My official bio.
Elizabeth Rosenberg uses her sewing machine to create art from fabric and thread. Her carefully crafted, award-winning pieces feature abstract images of flowing lines.
Elizabeth teaches and lectures about art quilting.
She lives on the north fork of Long Island, New York with her husband and her little chihuahua, Topolina (the Italian word for “Minnie Mouse”).
A little bit more about me.
I have been sewing since I was a child, as soon as my legs were long enough to reach the pedal of the sewing machine. I learned to knit, crochet, embroider, macramé and bead-weave as a young child. I have wonderful memories of many enjoyable hours spent doing crafty things such as painting-on-velvet, baking “shrinky-dinks” and weaving pot holders out of knitted fabric strips. Those childhood endeavors led to a life filled with the love of making things with my hands.
As a young mother new to the suburbs of Westchester, NY, I wanted to make a quilt for my newborn son, so I signed up for a class at the local library. That was in the late 1980’s. I’ve been quilting non-stop since, and have never looked back! I joined the local quilting guild; over the next few years I signed up for just about every workshop the guild offered. I was lucky to begin my quilting journey by studying with nationally known quilters such as Roberta Horton, who taught me how to piece with plaids, and her sister, Mary Mashuta, from whom I learned to love stripes. Taking a workshop given by Ruth McDowell, I developed complex piecing skills; from instructors with styles as varied as Elly Sienkiewicz, and Jane Sassaman, I learned to appliqué by hand and by machine. Traveling to quilt shows and seminars with my guild sisters, I was able to study with great artists such as Melody Johnson, Michael James, Harriet Hargrave, Emily Richardson, Hollis Chatelain, Cynthia Corbin and the exceptional Nancy Crow. Those fabulous instructors opened my eyes to the artistic possibilities in the world of textile art.
In 1995 I began to work in a local quilt shop (now closed) where I taught classes in free-motion machine quilting, couching by machine, free-motion machine embroidery, fusible appliqué, reverse appliqué, color/design classes, and even classes based popular patterns and books as well as quilts from my own pattern line, Inventing Tradition.
I created my pattern business to fill a void for quilt shop customers who complained that although there were plenty of patterns available for Christmas quilts, there were no patterns available to celebrate Hannukah and Passover, Jewish traditions I’d been introduced to by my husband. I designed a few such quilts and offered classes in the quilt shop. They proved popular, encouraging me to develop them into patterns. I marketed the patterns, selling them to quilt shops and distributors for a few years. In 2008, I sold the pattern company to 1-800-Dreidel, a Judaica distributor located in California.
In 1998 I was invited to give a slide presentation to my own guild, and then branched out, traveling to other guilds in the New England and Mid-Atlantic region. I also travelled to the Washington D.C. area to present my “Goddess Project” lecture and workshop for the Friendship Star Quilters. Those trips whet my appetite for travel-teaching, and I hope to repeat the experience sometime again!
In 2008, during a trip to Venice, Italy, I discovered the ancient art of lacemaking as it is practiced on the lagoon island of Burano. In 2009, I travelled back to Venice for a three-week stay to learn the art of lacemaking. The beautiful, intricate lace I learned to make, called “punto in aria”, has influenced my work, leading to my Venetian Lace series of quilts. Within this series, I’ve employed the use of both improvisational piecing and fused appliqué, along with a technique I call “free-motion-blanket-stitching.” For the first time, I added hand-embroidery both onto the quilts themselves and the edgings. I have also developed a power-point presentation and a workshop explaining how the Venetian Lace series came to be.
Currently, I find myself once again working in a quilt shop, this time as a manager. I’m happily surrounded by beautiful bolts of fabric that I’ve helped to curate into a great collection, as well as the Bernina sewing machines I love. Most importantly, I’m spending time with quilters who inspire me with their cleverness and creativeness every day. The day job leaves little time for me to quilt for myself, but that’s what weekends are for, right?