Monday, December 04, 2006

Flower pins made from Dyed Silk Cocoons

Marylin F. showed us how to make these festive pins from silk cocoons at the November meeting. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

October/November 2006

It’s been awhile! September’s newsletter was a phone call (live from Colorado!), and October and November are combined since there was no October meeting. Be sure to read below about the November meeting…You need to call Marilyn at XXX-XXXX to ensure she has a kit ready for you!

Recap of September Meeting (September 28, 2006)
A very, very small group gathered mostly for chatting…perhaps we should reschedule our couching party! Marilyn’s scarf from the August meeting won second place at the Oshkosh Quilt Show in the wearables category!

There was no October meeting; but Theresa, Joanne, Marilyn, and Katy enjoyed our trip to Marshfield to learn from Ellen Anne Eddy. Connie XXXXX and Theresa’s daughter Susan joined us too. Thanks to Theresa for organizing the trip; let’s bring some show and tell to the November meeting!

Reminders and Announcements

Our buddy, the night custodian at the library, has had a serious accident and will not be working his evening shift the rest of 2006. Therefore, we must wrap up our meetings and vacate the library by 8:45.

November Meeting (Thursday November 30, 2006) at the Menasha Public Library
Marilyn will teach us to make fun and easy pins from silk cocoons. PLEASE CALL MARILYN AT XXX-XXXX TO RESERVE A KIT! Kits will be $5. Additionally, please bring an iron, a Teflon sheet, and Angelina fiber if you have them. We will have irons to share, and Angelina will be in your kit if you don’t have any on hand.

Plan on show and tell galore! We haven’t gotten together in a while!

Upcoming Events

November 30, 2006: November meeting, 6:00. Silk Cocoon play with Marilyn.

Conversations with Cloth meets the last Thursday of each month at 6:00 at the Menasha Public Library.

Monday, September 25, 2006

About the September Meeting

By now you've probably gotten Katy's message from Colorodo, where she is enjoying the Ricky Tims workshop. She didn't have time to get the newsletter together this month, but asked me to post something to the blog about this month's meeting >>>

We'll be COUCHING. No one will be officially teaching, however, Theresa will be sharing some tips from the Libby Lehman classes that Darting Needles Quilt Guild sponsored earlier this month.

Bring your sewing machine, and any fibers (or anything else) you want to try couching down.

I'm sorry I'll have to miss this session!

Don't miss The Darting Needles Quilt Show that will be held Oct. 7-8 at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton. There are sure to be some gorgeous quilts on display!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Katy's Scarf

Katy made this fun scarf out of eyelash yarn.

Marilyn's Thread Scarf

Marylin's Thread Scarf (a work in progress).

You'll have the chance to see it live and up close (and finished) if you attend The Lakeside Quilt Guild's Bienniel Quilt Show Sept. 9-10, 2006, at The Sunnyview Expo Center in Oshkosh, WI.

Basic instructions (very abbreviated)
1. We used masking tape on the table to act as a template to keep the desired size and shape for the scarf.
2. Lay out a sandwich of water soluble stabilizer.
3. In between the stabilizer layers, threads, yarns, fibers, fabrics, scraps--anything that can be sewn-- are laid down in a desired pattern.
4. Use spray adhesive to hold everything in place
5. Sew! Sew! Sew!
6. Melt the stabilizer in water.

Presto! You have a treasured hand-made work of art!

Nicole's Belt

Nicole made this colorful belt at our August meeting.

Mary W. showed us how to make Thread Scarves.

Ribbon Embroidery Needle Case

by JoAnne

This lovely example of Ribbon Embroidery was the subject of a Conversations with Cloth program a few months ago. The class was lead by Karen M.

This was also on display at The Menasha Public LIbrary in July 2006.

Color Me Summer

Jacket by JoAnne

Another item that was on display at the Menasha Public Library in July 2006.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

August Newsletter

I went running yesterday. No big surprise there…but the clouds rolling through on Saturday morning were unusual and breathtaking. What will inspire you this month?
Recap of July Meeting (July 27, 2006)
Show and tell was the feature event of the evening. Marilyn brought a pin she’d made with dyed silk cocoons. We liked it so much she’ll be teaching us this technique in November! She also showed the book “Casting Shadows” by Colleen Wise. Katy, Michele and Gill brought their show and tell from mess night. Gill had a hand-dyed purple fabric that discharged to a light green—very striking! Michele liked mess night so much, she and her son played some more over the weekend. They discovered that colors tend to pound out completely different from the original flower. Check out photos on our blog,

Reminders and Announcements
The Marshfield quilt show is October 27-29. Ellen Anne Eddy and Judith Baker Montano are teaching. See for more information. Because several of us are attending Ellen Anne Eddy’s workshops, we’ll be traveling Thursday night when we’d normally have our meeting. As a result, we’ve agreed to have no formal meeting in October. However, the library is still reserved, so we can discuss having an informal work night instead. Bring your opinions to the August meeting.

Bits and pieces to share…Ben Franklin by the mall is closing and clearing out all merchandise. Friendship Quilts in Green Bay has a huge variety of the new Kaffe Fasset fabrics; Marilyn brought her purchases and we all drooled. Marilyn is the chair for the Lakeside Quilters’ Guild show September 9-10; it’s just $4 to enter. For more information or an entry form, call Marilyn or their registration chair, Leah N---. (P.S. You can get forms for the Darting Needles show in October off their website,, or call Katy.)

The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum has an exhibit on “Children of Haiti” through September 9th. Local artists, including a quilter, have created portraits of Haitian orphans.

August Meeting (Thursday August 31, 2006) at the Menasha Public Library
Mary will teach us how to make thread scarves. These light, beautiful accessories are prefect for late summer and fall! Supply list:

  • Spray baste (Mary likes Sulky KK 2000)
  • Variety of yarn/threads or any bits of fabric; variety of weights and textures
  • Dissolvable stabilizer of your choice (i.e., Fabri-Solvy by Sulky) large enough for a layer on top of finished scarf; e.g., two pieces 8”×62” for a 6”×60” scarf
  • Scissors, wide masking tape, pencil, pins, ruler (24”×6” works well to lay out shape of scarf)
  • 30 or 40 wt variegated thread to blend with yarn choices
  • Sewing machine with free motion capabilities. OK to do with regular straight stitch, but free motion is faster
  • Topstitch or embroidery needle size 12

Upcoming Events
August 31, 2006: August meeting, 6:00. Thread scarves with Mary.
September 28, 2006: September meeting, 6:00. Couching party.
October 26, 2006: TBD. No formal meeting; many are traveling to Marshfield.
November 30, 2006: November meeting, 6:00. Silk Cocoon play with Marilyn.

Conversations with Cloth meets the last Thursday of each month at 6:00 at the Menasha Public Library.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Preview of things to come :

This fall, Marilyn will show us how to make these lovely flowers out of dried and dyed silk cocoons. Posted by Picasa
Flower-Pounding by Michele & Son.

Pink Hollyhocks and Deep Purple Clematis. Posted by Picasa
Flower-Pounding by Michele and her 5-year-old son.

This is a great project for kids!

Orange Day Lilies and Red Hollyhocks.
Resulting colors were unexpected, but pleasing. Posted by Picasa
Bleach Discharge by Gill.

Foam stamp with bleach pen on hand-dyed fabric. Posted by Picasa

Michele's experiment showing that not all fabrics discharge the same.

Soft Scrub with bleach was "scribbled" over ALL the fabrics in this sample block. The difference is remarkable ... Posted by Picasa
Bleach Discharge by Michele.

SoftScrub with bleach applied with a foam appliactor "brush." Posted by Picasa

Clay & Wattle by Michele.

Bleach Discharge. SoftScrub with bleach on a foam stamp, applied with a foam "brush." Posted by Picasa
Katy's Dragonflies.
Stencils with bleach pen on hand-dyed fabric. Posted by Picasa
Katy's Bleach-Discharged Tree. Posted by Picasa
Gill's 2006 Challenge Piece won the prize for Viewer's Choice. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Discharge Tips!

Mess night at Katy's house was lots of fun! We all learned as we went along; here's a summary of our top tips:

Bleach diluted 50/50 with water works well in a spray bottle for rapid discharging. Comet powder is not strong enough to discharge. Soft Scrub works well, but store brand gel cleaner is too runny. The Clorox Bleach Pens also work well.

Foam stamps work well for discharging designs. We discovered two successful methods using either Soft Scrub or the Clorox pen: 1) squeeze discharge paste onto a plate and tap the stamp on the plate 2) Use a foam applicator to paint the discharge paste onto the stamp.

Stencils are fantastic for discharging a design. Place the stencil over the fabric and either scribble over it with the wide end of the Clorox pen or use a sponge or foam applicator to brush Soft Scrub over it.

The Bleach Stop (Anti-Chlor) is available from Dharma Trading Company (

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 2006 Newsletter

Our display case came out beautifully! Thanks to everyone who loaned an item for the month, and especially to Julie, Gary (a.k.a. Mr. Julie), Gill, Theresa, and Joann for setting it up. Swing by the library to check it out, and as always, happy creating!

Recap of June Meeting (June 29, 2006)
The challenge was met by five harried artists: Michele, Katy, Gill, Theresa, and Julie. Michele’s couched collection of fabulous fibers won “judge’s choice” because her piece was the only one that was truly finished before the meeting began! Viewers’ choice went to Gill’s innovative leaf appliqué.

Katy explained the reverse appliqué technique she picked up from an article by Deana Hartman in Quilting Arts #3. She used this technique on her challenge piece, so be sure to swing by the library to check it out if you’re interested.

Michele has done a fantastic job on our blog at Newsletters will be posted monthly, and she’s added beautiful pictures of many of the items in our display case.

Show and tell included Michele’s “bubble quilt,” back for a visit by special request! She’s taking a class through to help with finishing it. Gill brought three of her antique quilts. Katy had a single wedding ring quilt finished for her parents’ anniversary. Julie had a profusion of beads and regaled us with the tale of the “barefoot sandal.” Mary brought two samples of the thread scarves we’ll be making in August.

Reminders and Announcements
July mess-making at Katy’s house is Friday July 14 starting at 6:00. We’ll be doing flower pounding and/or bleach discharge, as individual fancy dictates. Bring a sandwich and we’ll brown-bag it together. Or eat with your family and come late. Wear old clothes! We’ll plan to “play” outside, but if it rains we can use the garage and basement.

Supplies for flower pounding

  • Fabric already prepared (if you didn’t give it to Julie to prepare in June, you can buy prepared fabric at Sew & Sew or call Julie RIGHT NOW to ask her to throw in a yard of muslin for you. (Cost will be around $4.)
  • Fresh flowers or leaves
  • Masking tape
  • Hammer
Supplies for bleach discharge
  • Fabric: solid colors or hand dyes work best. Black can be very fun. Prints may not discharge.
    Any cleaning product you have that has bleach in it (Comet, Soft Scrub, Clorox pen, bathroom cleaner spray with bleach…)
  • Optional: freezer paper precut shapes, leaves, or other items of your choice to mask areas of the fabric.
  • Bags to take home wet fabric

July Meeting (Thursday July 27, 2006) at the Menasha Public Library
July’s meeting will be show and tell from the mess-making party and a work night.

Upcoming Events
July 14, 2006: Brown bag supper and mess-making at Katy’s house
July 27, 2006: July meeting, 6:00. Show and tell and work night.
August 31, 2006: August meeting, 6:00. Thread scarves with Mary.
September 28, 2006: September meeting, 6:00. Couching party.

Conversations with Cloth meets the last Thursday of each month at 6:00 at the Menasha Public Library.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Fiber Art Display at Menasha Public Library, July 2006

Conversations in Cloth is a small, diverse art group comprised mostly of fiber artists, art quilters, and beaders who are always willing to expand our horizons! We meet monthly to share news and show and tell, and usually a featured technique is also taught or demonstrated.

New members are welcome at any of our meetings, which are held the last Thursday of each month at 6 pm at The Menasha Public Library, Menasha, WI.

The following pieces (and more) will be on display at the Menasha Public Library for the month of July 2006.

A few of the following pieces were 2006 Challenge Projects. Members were challenged to create a small piece that would interpret our mission statement : "Conversations in Cloth exists to support and encourage the creative energy of our members in their pursuit of fiber art and related artistic endeavors. By sharing ideas and knowledge, we will foster the growth of each individual."

Other pieces (coil pins, doll) were projects and techniques that have been demonstrated in the past year. Other pieces were individual projects that members have created and explored on their own.

Betty's Jacket

By Theresa

This jacket is for Betty Bright, colorful fabrics and fancy threads show off the huge applique flowers.

Satin stitch applique just seemed right for this jacket.

Swimming Lessons with Francie & Deana

By Katy

The techniques in this piece were gleaned from a Quilting Arts Magazine article by Deana Hartman and a class with Francie Ginnochio.

Original Design by Katy.

This piece will be donated to Priority : Alzheimer's to raise money for Alzheimer's Research. For more info :

Circle Study II : Triptych

by Katy

This piece is one third of a triptych (a three-part work) that I made in an afternoon, just playing with ideas.


by Theresa

This little project is the result of a class in experimenting with different techniques and fun fibers.

Paper Coiled Pins

By Gill K.

Wrapping a paper rush with Perle Cotton. Shaping as you wrap adds dimension, along with beads, buttons, and charms.

Beaded Jewelery

By Jackie

Stardust Doll

By Michele

This doll was made from a recycled stretchy glove as demonstrated on The Carol Duvall Show.

I'm not much of a doll person, but this project reminded me of Vasalisa's doll in the old Baba Yaga stories. The doll gave her encouragement and helped her along the way.

Crossing Streams

By Michele

Materials / Techniques : Black velvet embellished with yarns and scraps traded at our Fabulous Fiber Swap in May. Machine Quilted.

Artist's Statement : The 9"x12" size limit on this challenge was surprisingly liberating. I got to try a new technique (couching) without spending weeks and months on this piece.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

June Newsletter

Conversations with Cloth June 2006

Wow, it has been a very busy month for me! I’ll have stories to tell at our meeting in about a week…I’d better get typing and get this newsletter out! Happy creating!
Recap of May Meeting (May 25, 2006)
We had a ball goofing around and swapping fibers. Techniques that members learned from recent classes with Francie Ginnochio and Jenny Raymond were shared. We also discussed Jenny Raymond’s cool “bead glob” technique using Aleene’s Jewel-It glue. A glob of glue, a teaspoon of bead soup, and you’re good to go!

Here’s how to “make fabric” with Jenny Raymond’s method (thanks to Theresa and Joann for teaching us): Start with a base fabric. Cover it with big pieces of scrap soup, filling the entire area. Spray with adhesive such as Elmer’s Craft Bond Acid Free multipurpose spray adhesive (but any spray should work). Cover with a piece of water soluble stabilizer. Stitch all over with a twin needle; you can follow a pattern or meander, but you don’t want open space. You can couch on top, too. Then wash in the machine to get rid of the stabilizer.

The July meeting will be a work night plus show and tell from the “mess party.” We decided to make September a “couching party.” Everyone will share what they know.

We as a group are great at sharing resource tips with each other and this month was no exception…you can find Pentel Fabric Fun Pastel Dye Sticks (they’re like crayons but softer) at Hobby Lobby for just $2.99. carries every color of Angelina fiber. Libby Lehman’s book, Threadplay, long out of print, is being reprinted by Quilters Resource (it’s expected sometime this month). will make you stamps of anything, including your own signature. Show and tell included an amazing pictorial quilt by Michele featuring two children. The water and hair drew particular admiration. Katy had peyote stitch beadwork to show.

Michele has started a blog for us at We’ll post the newsletters out there for easy access, but they’ll still be mailed.

Reminders and Announcements
Challenges are due at the JUNE MEETING!!!!!!! 9” x 12” limit:
Conversations with Cloth exists to support and encourage the creative energy of our members in their pursuit of fiber art and related artistic endeavors. By sharing ideas and knowledge, we will foster the growth of each individual.

We will have a display case at the library for the month of July. Plan to display your challenge piece and perhaps another small piece.

We’ve chosen a date for July mess-making at Katy’s house: Friday July 14 starting at 6:00. We’ll be doing flower pounding and bleach discharge. Bring a sandwich and we’ll brown-bag it together. More details in the July newsletter, which won’t be this late.

June Meeting (Thursday June 29, 2006) at the Menasha Public Library
CHALLENGE NIGHT! There will be prizes for “viewers’ choice.” Also bring other small pieces for display in the library case during the month of July. We will have small description cards for you to fill out.

Also in June: Katy will teach a reverse appliqué technique she found in Quilting Arts #3. Supply list:
  • Sewing machine, needles, thread for straight stitch and for couching. Walking foot and open toe or couching foot helps.
  • Yarn for couching (if you don’t want to couch, bring thread you can satin stitch with instead)
  • 2-4 fabrics of equal size (fat quarters or less). Fabrics should have contrast but you should like them together.
  • Sewing supplies: Pins, marking pen or pencil, appliqué scissors (duckbill)

Also, if you’re coming to mess night July 14th, bring a yard or two of fabric (light in color) to be prepared for flower pounding. Julie has volunteered to prepare the fabrics by soaking them in soda ash and alum.

Upcoming Events
June 29, 2006: June meeting, 6:00. Challenge night!
July 14, 2006: Potluck and mess-making at Katy’s house
July 27, 2006: July meeting, 6:00. Work night.
August 31, 2006: August meeting, 6:00. Thread scarves with Mary.
September 28, 2006: September meeting, 6:00. Couching party.

Conversations with Cloth meets the last Thursday of each month at 6:00 at the Menasha Public Library.

Monday, May 29, 2006

May Newsletter

It sounds like everyone had a great time last month. I had a good time with my family, too. I passed the ride in the car (when I wasn't wrestling two dogs!) reading back issues of Quilting Arts. Did you know the magazine began with a focus on crazy quilting exclusively? It's evolved to it's current focus on fiber art embellishment. Goes to show that our skills and talents can evolve, too. Try something new this summer, and happy creating! -- Katy

Recap of April Meeting (April 27, 2006)
Thanks to Julie for making notes for this section of the newsletter. Karen put her new paper rush coiling skills to good use and made six pins for coworkers for Administrative professionally Day. Gill was coerced into agreeing to bring her antique quilt to show and tell next time ... she paid just $145 for it, and it was recently appraised at $700.

Karen showed a beautiful dimensional quilt as an example of ribbon embroidery and got everyone enthused for class. She suggests the reference book "Elegant Stitches" by Judith Baker Montano, the "queen" of ribbon embroidery. Judith also has a video out.

The group agreed to hold their regular meeting at the [Menasha Public] Library in July (program tentatively scheduled as a work night) and to have a potluck/mess night at Katy's on a day to be determined. Bring your calendars to the May meeting.

Reminders and Announcements
The Wisconsin Public Television and Sewing with Nancy(R) Quilt Expo in Madison will be held September 14-16, 2006. Visit

The Beaver Dam Area Arts Association is sponsoring an art quilt and other fiber art exhibit entitled "Life's a Stitch." The show runs through June 11 at the Seippel Homestead and Center for the Arts. Admission is free!

Our 2006 Challenge is to interpret our purpose statement in fabric! 9"x12" limit : [See purpose statement in header at the top of this page.]
We will have a display case at the library for the month of July. Plan to display your challenge piece and perhaps another small piece. We'll be looking for a rough count in May so we can prepare hanging equipment.

May Meeting (Thursday May 25, 2006) at Menasha Public Library
Fabulous Fiber Exchange! Demos and play time! Bring fibers, ribbons, or other bits that you would like to trade with others. The graduates of Francie Ginnochio's Fiber Play class will share what we know.

Supply List - bring what you have on hand. Don't buy anything!

  • Threads (including short pieces) ribbons, tiny scraps, yarns, loose fibers, Angelina Fiber
  • Sheer fabrics like tulle, chiffon
  • Background or foundation fabric
  • Leftover Tyvek envelopes
  • Fusible webbing (Stitch Witchery, Steam-a-Seam, Heat-n-Bond Lite, anything goes!)
  • Parchment paper or non-stick Teflon pressing sheet
  • Iron and ironing surface (we'll share)

Sewing machines are not needed.

Upcoming Events

  • May25, 2006 : May Meeting 6:00. Fabulous Fiber Exchange.
  • June 29, 2006 : June Meeting, 6:00. Challenge Night!
  • July date TBD : Potluck and mess-making at Katy's House
  • July 27, 2006 : July Meeting, 6:00. Work Night.
  • August 31, 2006 : August Meeting, 6:00. thread Scarves with Mary.