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.