Saturday, December 06, 2008

Lois' Challenge 2008

A few months ago, Lois handed out sample packs of coordinating decorator fabrics with the challenge to make something/anything out of it. The deadline for this challenge will be extended through the January 2009 Mtg. Read on for inspiration ...

A few people brought their creations to the December 4 get-together :

Lois and the bag that started the challenge.

Lois' spiral wall hanging (not a placemat, as someone wrongly interpretted it).

Sandy's fabric bowl. (Also notice her fantastic jacket!)

Karen's Portfolio.

Karen's Portfolio, inside.

White Elephant Gift Exchange at 2008 Christmas Party

On December 4, we had our annual Christmas Party at a restaraunt in the Fox Valley. This party is always one where we go home with stitches in our sides, and faces hrting from laughing so much!

Here's what the rest of you missed for our White Elephant Gift Exchange :

Katy (the most photogenic of us all!) with the video-tape box of nuts given by Sandy. This made a great rattle when we were shaking packages, deciding which one we want to open.

This, however, is the prize-winning White Elephant for the evening. This electronic room alarm kit given by Lynda, chosen by Karen. It was wrapped in a lovely gold lame fabric.

We missed the old exercise equipment from last year, however. Theresa, we hope you still have it for next year!

Fiber in Form Online Classes

Lynda Monk (aka Purple Missus) and Carol McFee (Textile Tales) create the most wonderful textured surfaces. And now they are offering an online class through Fibre-in-Form on how they do what they do ... Michele was in the first session of the first offering, and is slowly working through the lessons. See Michele's class samples here, here, and here :

Ink and Bleach sample

I just learned that they will be offering this class again in January 2009, publishing a book in April (Hurray!), and more classes are in the works. I can't wait!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

October Newsletter

Renew memberships starting this month. I have a new idea…let’s make membership $5 for an email-only newsletter, $10 if you need the newsletter mailed. ($5 per member is donated to the library.) See you Thursday!

Recap of September Meeting (September 25, 2008)
I heard through the grapevine that everyone had a great time with Lois and her Adirondack color wash. Please bring your samples as I’m anxious to see them! Check out this link for some project ideas using the sprays:

October Meeting (October 30, 2008)
It’s Laura Murray Movie Night. Theresa will bring her DVDs.

Announcements and Reminders
December 4th will be our offsite Christmas party at 6:30 at the Out-O-Town Club in Kaukauna. The address is N2161 Town Club Rd, Kaukauna, and the phone number is (920) 766-0414. Julie will make a group reservation for us, so RSVP to her at the October meeting or by phone.

· Take exit 150 for County Hwy J toward Kaukauna
· Take County Rd J south for 0.1 mi
· Turn left at County Rd OO (frontage road)
· Travel 1.3 mi, then take a slight right at Town Club Rd

We’ll have our famous White Elephant gift exchange. Remember, the focus is more on giving a laugh than getting a gift! Ideally, you’ll find something in the garage or basement, but if you must shop, $5 is the limit. New this year: I’ll bring a prize for the GIVER of the White Elephant deemed “most ridiculous” by popular vote.

Upcoming Events
October 30, 2008: October meeting, 6:30, Laura Murray movie night
December 4, 2008: 6:30, White Elephant & dinner at the Out-O-Town Club.
January 29, 2009: January meeting, 6:30, beading with Betty
February 26, 2009: February meeting, 6:30, Korean Pojagi with Gill

Conversations in Cloth meets the last Thursday of each month at 6:30 at the Menasha Public Library.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September Meeting

This Work in Progress is Karen's from a recent class. Stay tuned. She continues to add beads and other finishing touches.

Another WIP from Karen.

Samples of the dyed Paper Towels we made this month. Thanks to Lois for leading the session, and providing the kits!

Since we used Viva paper towels (courtesy of Katy at the paper mill), they seem as strong as fabric and can be used in a variety of art quilt applications.

Show and Share from August Mtg

Thanks to Sandy for taking pictures this month. Michele forgot her camera in Oshkosh!

Lois showed this piece which won a price in the recent Unlimited Possibilities Have a Heart Competition. Congratulations, Lois!

Detail of Lois' Have a Heart quilt.

One of Michele's recent Aurora Post Cards

Watermellon Post Card by Michele.

Tie Dye by Lois

Tie Dye by Teresa

Tie Dye by Teresa

Fabric Painting by Teresa - Night Sky

Painted Landscape by Teresa

A few Treasures from Karen's Sewing Room :

Fish Collage by Karen

On Karen's Design Wall :

Karen also showed us examples of how she recycles everything.
Even an AOL box in re-purposed for Bead Soup :

Saturday, September 20, 2008

September 2008 Newsletter

Turns out I have another trip this month—have fun playing with color & see you in October!

Recap of August Meeting (August 28, 2008)
(Thanks Michele for taking notes!) For the August Meeting, we had a potluck at Karen's house near Green Bay (Field Trip!). It was also Karen's Birthday! Everyone brought food, so we had a nice assortment to choose from. Teresa also asked people in the class to give her their used (colored) paper towels / sop cloths. She has a head start on next month's projects ... and she's willing to share!

Sandy, Michele, and Teresa shared the fat quarters they created at the 3-day Mickey Lawler Fabric Painting Class sponsored by Darting Needles. Michele thinks this method of surface design has some positives over dyeing fabric--especially the vividness of the colors. Lois shared some GORGEOUS dyed pieces. Julie shared a sample of a new fabric, comparable to Tyvec, made by ironing a recyclable plastic bag between 2 sheets of parchment.

We met at Karen's house because we all wanted to see her "Creative Space." It was very tidy and organized (not just because we were visiting). Karen doesn't throw away anything. She consciously re-purposes food containers to hold her odds and ends. Clear is best because you can see through it.

Other tips from Karen:
  • Check rummage sales (especially the free bins) for watercolor and art paper.
  • Everything can be recycled and re-purposed. She showed us two AOL boxes she is currently using for Bead Soup.
  • Karen glued a sheet magnet into the bottom of a tin to hold pins and needles.
Announcements and Reminders
A decision has been made on the schedule for the rest of the year! Betty graciously agreed to bead with us in January. This means December 4th will be our offsite Christmas party. Gulliver’s has closed, so think about where we might like to meet this year. And get those white elephants ready!

September Meeting (Thursday September 25, 2008)
For the September meeting, we will be coloring paper towels with Lois. The kit fee is $2 and covers use of Lois’s spray pigments. If you missed her samples a couple months ago, the effect is similar to tie-dye with mirror imaging. You end up with fantastic colors you can use for mixed media projects. Paper towels are supplied, but please bring:
  • Saran Wrap / Plastic (or in a pinch, about 6 plastic grocery bags)
  • Turkey basting pan or other box to catch the overspray
  • If you have one, a small spray bottle full of water; otherwise you can share

Upcoming Events
September 25, 2008: September meeting, 6:30. Paper towel dyeing with Lois.
October 30, 2008: October meeting, 6:30, Laura Murray movie night
December 4, 2008: White Elephant
January 29, 2009: January meeting, 6:30, beading with Betty
February 26, 2009: February meeting, 6:30, Korean Pojagi with Gill

Conversations in Cloth meets the last Thursday of each month at 6:30 at the Menasha Public Library.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August 2008 Newsletter

Do you have a favorite shape? I’m enamored of circles. I’ve been spending inordinate amounts of time on my bike, making those circles go round and round, dreaming of a quilt I’d like to create to tell the story of this year called “Full Circle.”

Recap of July Meeting (July 31, 2008)
Show and tell is taking longer and longer! How wonderful. Michele brought her “trash-heap rescue” loom, plus she showed us an online magazine she’s now subscribing to called Fibre and Stitch (; it’s $30/year). Journal making definitely agrees with Marilyn, since she brought three new ones to show off. Karen was inspired last month too, and brought her foiled journal. Lois had a southwest themed journal, plus some newly dyed fabric. We were all jealous of her batik stamps (called caps or tjaps). Gill showed us a variety of bookbinding methods she learned in a Sievers class a few summers ago. Her most recent Sievers adventure is learning Korean Pojagi, which includes a technique similar to French seaming with sheer fabrics. We’ve talked her into teaching us early next year (January or February). Finally, new member Lynda impressed us with her show and tell—her three dimensional felted piece and her loosely woven beaded triptych were both joyfully tactile.

We finally got around to our program of playing with paper clay. We learned that too much detail doesn’t work well with this medium, but that it will cut easily with scissors once dry. Remember that the most interesting results come after the paper clay is dried and painted. We’re looking forward to seeing these unique embellishments show up in everyone’s work in the coming months.

Announcements and Reminders
We will replace the November meeting (the last Thursday turns out to be Thanksgiving this year!) with a meeting on December 4th, which is the first Thursday of December. We might do beading with Betty, or we might relocate to a restaurant for our Christmas party. Stay tuned while we work out the details, but DO mark your calendar for December 4th. You won’t want to miss the “famous” white elephant!

August Meeting (Thursday August 28, 2008)
Remember there is no regular meeting in August—instead we’re meeting at Karen’s house for a potluck (and studio/junk drawer tour!) Bring whatever you like to share! Carpool options:
  • Neenah/Menasha crew, meet at the library at 5:30. Call Marilyn to coordinate.
  • Appleton group, meet at Theresa’s house at 5:30. Call Theresa.
  • Sandy and Michele plan to meet at the Oshkosh Perkins at 5:30.

Upcoming Events
August 28, 2008: August meeting, potluck picnic at Karen’s
September 25, 2008: September meeting, 6:30. Paper towel dyeing with Lois.
October 30, 2008: October meeting, 6:30, Laura Murray movie night
December 4, 2008: White Elephant and TBD.

Conversations in Cloth meets the last Thursday of each month at 6:30 at the Menasha Public Library.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Paper Clay

Here's a sampling of the paper clay impressions we made this month. Everyone brought interesting things to use for texture : rubber stamps, rubbing plates, "chops." Ha;f the fun is to see what everyone else brought to share ...

The paper clay dries in about 24 hours. It's completely non-toxic, intended for use by children. It takes color, paints, marker easily. And you can sew through it with just a regular needle.

By Marylin

Samples by Linda.

Next month, maybe we'll have pictures of the painted pieces.

July Show and Share

Lois has been doing some hand-dyeing. This was one of her favorite pieces.

Sandy completes her leaves!

More Journals

Many members brought back their completed journals, the project started last month :

Faux Leather Journal by Lois.

By Karen

By Marylin (I love this one becasue she got it to look like a granite countertop!-MM)

Also by Marylin

Also by Marylin

By Sandy

Sandy chose this McKenna Ryan fabric as a perfect compliment for her Faux Leather Journal (above).

Also by Sandy.

Sandy took the online class offered by Sue Bleiwiess on journal-making, so she brought a few other hand-made journals.

By Sandy

Pat added lots of other treasures to her Journal.

Thanks everyone. I'm glad you all enjoyed this project so much!
Thanks again to Sue B. for allowing us to use the lesson for our topic last month.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Textile Arts Tutorials

Hi All--
Just wanted to let you know about a wonderful list of textile tutorials that were recently collected and posted to

Textile Arts Resource Guide - Tutorials 2

There are tutorials for hand-dying, book-binding, beading, surface design ... almost any direction we'd want to go. Lots of ideas and guidance for new experiments. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

June/July 2008 Newsletter

Conversations in Cloth June/July 2008

Fear not ladies, Ironman is a mere seven weeks away as I write this, and then I will have time for hobbies other than training! I can’t wait to take creative time again…and YOU won’t have to wait so long for newsletters!

Recap of May Meeting (May 29, 2008)
Play night was lightly attended, but show and tell was rich as always. Michele brought a bouquet of books and we chose which one to make in June. She’s also been working on postcards featuring food…she made some astounding effects using UTEE (ultra thick embossing powder) over crumpled paper. Michele gets her heavy stabilizer, called Stiffy, from (a mill in North Carolina) and it is MUCH cheaper than Timtex.

Theresa brought her samples from Laura Murray’s class with Darting Needles. The painted Wonder-Under was a hit with the group. Laura’s website is and she sells all kinds of fiber-art stuff. Theresa purchased Laura’s DVD during her class, so look for it at a movie night in October!

Recap of June Meeting (June 26, 2008)
Karen brought a new member for show and tell: Lois! Lois brought some of her piece from a recent Art Garage show. One piece featured bleach resist (like the book Casting Shadows by Colleen Wise), including a border made using disposable snow fencing! Lois also learned a fun, low-stress way to play with color at a recent show: pigment dyed paper towels! Just like the ads say, VIVA® feels just like cloth! Lois agreed to show us the technique in September. (Betty’s daughter is getting married, so her “beading bonanza” will move to November.)
Theresa and Sandy recently learned “fabric dyeing in baggies” at the home of local quilter Jo. Both had a fantastic time, even though Sandy followed the directions and Theresa…didn’t!

In between all the show and tell, Michele led us through making faux leather journal covers. Be SURE to bring your journal back in July for show and tell! Michele took an online class with Sue Bleiweiss, who graciously granted permission for us to use her instructions. Check out Sue’s website:

July Meeting (Thursday July 31, 2008)
Karen is leading us in making paper clay embellishments. Bring a dollar for your supplies, a variety of textured items to make impressions, and a shoebox top to carry home your new treasures. Ideas for impressions include netting, buttons, rubber stamps, kitchen tools, even rubbing plates meant for Paintstiks.

We need to discuss the November meeting…traditionally we meet on the last Thursday of each month, but in November this is Thanksgiving. Will we meet on the third Thursday? And what about our traditional year-end party?

Upcoming Events
July 31, 2008: July meeting, 6:30. Paper Clay with Karen
August 28, 2008: August meeting, potluck picnic at Karen’s
September 25, 2008: September meeting, 6:30. Dyed paper towels with Lois
October 30, 2008: October meeting, 6:30, Laura Murray movie night
November meeting date TBD: Betty’s Beading Bonanza

Conversations in Cloth meets the last Thursday of each month at 6:30 at the Menasha Public Library.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Free Projects from Fibre & Stitch

Hi All-

This is the list of Free Projects from Fibre & Stitch published by Sue Bleiweiss, the originator of the Faux Leather Journal project we did in June.

Free Projects from Fibre & Stitch


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Faux Leather Journal Surfaces - June Project

At the June Meeting, Michele lead everyone in making a faux leather journal with Sue Bleiweiss' instructions (used with permission). The remarkable thing is that we started with ordinary brown paper shopping bags!

If you are interested in learning these techniques (and many more), consider taking some of Sue B.'s online classes. You'll meet people from all over the world, and you won't have to schlep a car-ful of stuff across town. Sue is one of the most encouraging and positive people you'll ever meet, too!

Here are some of the surfaces people made that night (Sorry, I don't remember who did what) :

A few people wanted to take the surface home to add stitching and other embellishments. Can't wait to see what they bring back next month!

Most people got as far as sewing in at least a few signatures. We didn't get to the closures in our 2 hour session (That's why you see so many fingers holding the journals shut.)

Marilyn's Journal

Sandy's Journal

Lois' Journal

Katy's Journal

Inside Katy's Journal

Karen's Journal