Friday, December 17, 2010

Preparations for a Show

Preparations for the Sisters in Cloth show, Double Take:  Photo and Fiber, which will be hung at Yale University's Haskins Laboratory in January, are underway.  This show represents a departure from our usual presentation style... and a giant leap in making our artwork more accessible to galleries.  We are mounting our quilts, all 32 of them, then using black "float frames" for hanging.  The photographer's pieces will also be framed, adding to the overall unity of the exhibition.  The result will be an absolutely stunning display of consistency and beauty in photo and fiber.

And the preparations include ordering and storing frames, mounting quilts on stretcher bars, and finding space for lots of quilts in an overflowing studio...

To see a few lovely examples of two of the completed pieces, check out Martha Wolfe's blog posts in late November and early December, and feast your eyes on a fiber tiger lilly.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

TEXTile is UP!

The Sisters in Cloth latest exhibit is up at the Guilford Free Library, 67 Park St., Guilford CT. It will be on exhibit through December 30.

Titled TEXTile, it was a challenge posed to all members and former members: create a piece 20" wide and up to 48" high inspired by "word". "Word" was meant to be translated very broadly; however, a word or character had to be contained within the piece.

Ten current members and two past members have contributed work: Barb Adams, Debbie Bento, Vivika DeNegre, Yvette Howard, Evelyn Judson, Gail Kotowski, Carol Ludington, Ruth Anne Olson, Marie Shepherd, Martha Wolfe, Diane Wright and Linda Zimmerman.

The Opening Reception will be Thursday, December 9, 5-8pm at the library. Please join us. There promises to be a party of friends and acquaintances....AND we are being joined in our celebration by two photographers, Mark Janke and Mary Ann Flick, whose exhibition will be showcased in the outer galleries.

Monday, October 4, 2010

This just in.....

Apparently mindless work can be very satisfying...nay, even exhilarating!

This little snap of what looks like a colorful wreath is actually the results of our 'sister' Barb Adams sleepless Sunday night. Yep, tissue holders. Go figure.

It all started on Friday when Yvette Howard brought to the meeting a sample of some tissue holders she had made for her church's annual Fall Festival Fundraiser. I have lost count of the emails I've received since then on the rapturous moments generated by creating these little colorful containers. Barb Adams and Debbie Bento have tweaked the pattern (the subtleties of a right sided feels just a wee bit "twilight zone" to me).

One of the beneficiaries of Barb's sleepless, yet productive night, will be a friend's kindergarten class. As cold and flu season approaches her class of 26 potentially runny noses will be properly dabbed. And, what child wouldn't want to have their very own bit of colorful fabric in his/her pocket? A bit like having your blankey with you at all times...but camouflaged so that it's a useful, acceptable, 'big kid' tissue holder.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sisters at Play

If you came to one of our meetings, you might wonder why we are called Sisters in Cloth...knitting, beading, sewing, paper collage and painting are all enjoyed by our group. We've had workshops on beading, batik, and felting. We've had guests who us glorious couture knitwear and incredible artistic basketmaking. We've even dabbled in origami...but today was different.

Eileen Clark, owner of Odonata Seaglass Jewelry and Gifts, gave a lively workshop on her signature style of encapsulating seaglass in sterling silver wire. We were pleased with the results and hope to make more of our own!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sun Printing in spite of Earl's Threat

Our ruggedly optimistic small group soldiered on in the face of Hurricane Earl's predicted arrival and sun printed. "Sun printed?" you ask. Yep....well...nope. Cloud printed. Ever so faintly some printing occurred.

The first pic is actually at the end of the morning when it began to sprinkle....rain painting ;^)

The final pic is the one we are holding out hope for...a real sun print. Fingers crossed for Yvette's butterflies.

Our philosophy is "What the heck! The worse that can happen is that we have painted fabric and have a ton of fun doing it." And we did.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sisters' Dye Results

Today was our regular meeting and the usual show and tell was the "main event" (as it often is).

Our former member Evelyn Judson, who has relocated to the Raleigh NC area, was in town and made the meeting. She returned our Green Challenge which had been shown jointly with her group's Green Challenge. She also brought her art quilt "Testimony" for us all to see. The photograph is included in an earlier posting.

Five us us who dyed last week brought our dyeing results...and over achiever Carol also brought two gradations that she'd completed over this past week. The variations of linen, cotton(s) and silk were obvious, as were some of the subtleties of mixing variations. We were so happy with the results we've decided to do it again: Sept 3, same time, same station...stay tuned.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dyeing in the yard

Today the Sisters dyed by the yard.

Pictured (L/R) Gail, Linda Z, Carol and Barb.

Thanks to our intrepid Carol, who had gone to the trouble of preparing all the dyes ahead, working in this #!*+ heat/humidity was still be tolerable. We dyed in two gradations: a bright and a golden. Everyone was very happy with her work.

Actually we had such fun we are hoping to schedule another dying date this summer. Hopefully more of the Sisters will be able to attend the next one...summer is always tricky getting a quorum.

Speaking of scheduling, Eileen Clark our former member who went on to become an accomplished jewelry maker has generously offered us a class building her "sea glass cages" sometime in September. Check out my blog to see the results of the class I took with her.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Farewell Lunch

Friday was the last day that Linda Sexton-Patrick said she was sure that she could break away from her moving preparations to attend a weekly meeting of our art quilt group.

Everyone knows what that means! FOOD! She chose seafood and we all met at The Stone House Restaurant at the Guilford Harbor where everything on the menu is yummy.

Pictured here is Linda (the one smiling), Gail and, seated, Janine.

For the last couple of weeks Linda has been treating us to her "over stocks": boxes of textiles of all sorts (silks, wools, vintage dresses and aprons, tablecloths, brocade, leather, doll-making supplies...etc!!) that she's packed and transported from her home in New London to our meetings for us to plunder. She spread out an array atop two double blankets in a shady spot beside the rear parking lot. We had a grand time and, yes, drew stares and grins from passersby. But what the heck: We were doing a good turn for our Sister...lightening her load like that ;^)

The farewell quilt that we presented her is a collection of nine patch blocks done by each of us in "her colors". We had it machine quilted (beautiful job!) and our own Marie created an embroidered label from the group.

Her new home certainly sounds wonderful....e.g. 1800 Sq. Ft. studio! (okay she has to also store some of her suitcases there but still...) Good Luck in Asheville, Linda!

On a totally different subject: The results of last week's post: Barb Adams' sale of her work in the fundraiser for the historic Congregational Church on the Green in New Haven: Over $1400!!! Hooray for Barb and the fund! Plus, she developed a lead for possible venue for the group's work! How exciting is THAT?! Good going, Barb!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Art Quilts and Gift Sale

Barbara Coleman Adams is participating this weekend in a fundraiser for the historic Congregational Church on the Green in New Haven. She's offering several of her beautiful quilts and some very unique gifts she's made with all the proceeds going to the Meeting House Fund. It promises to be a fun event along with events being held on the Green.


Art quilts, table runners, and more!

Barbara Coleman Adams

Is donating all proceeds from this sale of her work to the

Historic Meeting House Fund of

United Church on the Green, New Haven, CT

SATURDAY, June 19,

2010 1:00 – 6:00 p.m.

In the foyer of United Church on the Green

Corner of Temple & Elm Streets, New Haven

At 4:00 p.m. come to “Put Your Whole Self In,”

a story-sharing event for families of all shapes and sizes,

featuring master mime Todd Farley and puppeteer Betty Baisden

SUNDAY, June 20,

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Same location.

Worship with us at United Church on the Green at 10:30.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Conn Text Word(s) Part II

These two works are by former members Martha Wolfe, now residing in FL, and Evelyn Judson, now residing in NC.

Martha's is not complete at the time of the photograph...but it's recognizable. Titled Departures, it is the departure board and clock inside the New Haven Rail Station. After Martha's father graduated from Yale he commuted from New Haven to Columbia in NYC for his Master's degree. Her grandfather traveled through there as a soldier. Her sons, too, traveled through the station. This year Martha's father took his final departure.

For the parameters of this Challenge, please read the previous post. Let's just say that sometimes rules are made to be broken. Evelyn's piece titled Testimony is a wonderful example of why this is true.

This is obviously a spectator's view of a court in session. The back story compelled Evelyn to create this piece and break the 20" width rule. As she said "it HAD to be wider".

A friend of hers son was murdered. A man was arrested and brought to trial......a trial that the mother could not miss a moment of. Her friends did not want let her be alone so they took turns being with her every day throughout the trial. To say that the event had a profound effect on all is an understatement.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Conn Text: Word(s) Challenge Revealed

Conn Text” Challenge

We created a challenge open to all current and former members of Sisters in Cloth, aka Gone to Pieces, or aka Newcomer’s Quilting.


Our challenge is “word”. It can be interpreted to be a word, text; it can be inspiration drawn from a poem, literature, whatever inspires you by the word “word”.

1. Each piece will be three attached layers, 20” in width and up to, but no larger than, 48” in height.

2. Each piece will be faced (not bound).

3. Each participant is responsible for affixing her piece to black stretcher bars.

4. Each piece will contain at least one letter or character.

5. The work may be of mixed media, but should contain fabric.

6. Drop dead deadline is June 11, 2010

These were the instructions and yesterday was the reveal day which didn't start out all that

auspicious. I had a power failure at my house and, at the last minute, had to find another meeting place. We all congregated at a local tea shop.

The top photo is Yvette's Connections, a playful work using Jean Ray Laurie's color-form figures.

Next is Ruth Anne's sublime sunset with her quote embroidered on the top.

Third, in an almost completed state, is Linda Z's (and I should have written down her quote...duh)

These three are
followed by pieces in a decidedly more serious tone.

Barb's (not quite finished) piece is a scene from her daily walks from her house to the nearby beach where many of the residences have no trespassing signs of various types.
The signs are yet to be attached.

Gail's Justice is a montage of the men in her family (and herself) who served The Law along with photographs of landmark decisions. Her grandfather was a well known defense attorney, her brother a forensic scientist, and her father a court officer. (Gail is also an attorney).

For some reason unknown to me I can only post six photos...the others disappear. SOOoooo...I will post Martha's and Evelyn's on the next post. Stay tuned. They are among the "heavily meaningful".

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Art Quilts Off The Wall

There we were, right there on the first page of Front Porch News section in the Record-Journal, Sunday, May 23. Sisters in Cloth had been asked by Program Chair Sandy Parsons to provide the evening's's what we humorously call our Dog and Pony Show...for the Heritage Quilt Guild.

This was the third time regional quilt guilds have asked us to come and show them the what's and why's of "art" quilts. And we are ever so happy to have the opportunity!

In a happy coincidence the evening was also their celebration of their 25th anniversary and the revealing of their Twenty five years/Twenty five pieces Challenge. As we knew they would be focusing on their challenge we brought some of ours, specifically the Photo Challenge that was exhibited last year at the Guilford Art Center and later at the Guilford Library.

We started the talk with one of our first challenges. Inspired by a gorgeous quilt hanging in Yvette Howard's entry Hidden Wells, we all made one...or many...Hidden Wells, a Mary Ellen Hopkin's specialty some time ago.

I don't know the names of their makers but here are two good examples of the MANY members who participated in their Challenge. It was just wonderful that such a huge percentage of their membership joined in!

This woman had designed this "25" VERY effectively.

Barb Adams was the only other Sister who could attend the evening with me. She, naturally, was a big hit...she is very comfortable in front of a crowd and they loved her. She brought her beautiful journals that she makes for her trips....and her new stash of them that she has made for her church fundraiser.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Extravaganza 2010

Sisters in Cloth annually hosts a day of all things "quilty" that we have dubbed an Extravaganza. This year Betty Warner ( who is a very talented, knowledgeable and amusing teacher agreed to corral the independent, high-spirited group and demonstrated several hands-on techniques.
I think the jury is still out on whether she'll agree to return. Let's just say it was a lot like herding cats to get us all "attending" to the task at hand. It was just that kind of joyful day.

Of course there is always Show and Tell. Again, more high jinx with wonderful, artful pieces shared by all.

Here's Janine showing us her results of our class with Melanie Testa (

Two treats at the Show and Tell were the work of guests Rosalind Spann and Toni Torres. Below is Toni telling about her Black Mermaid piece (her second quilt!). Both she and Rosalind are among the artists whose work will be exhibited at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival ( and through June 13.


Pictured below is Linda Zimmerman

(, Marie Shepherd along with guest Judy Ross who are admiring the work of artist and vendor Karen Loprete ( Also vending were our own Ruth Anne Olson ( and Carol Ludingtion with her scrumptious hand dyed threads. Jan of Delectable Mountain Cloth ( in Brattleboro Vermont had driven down for the day with a carful of gorgeous silks/buttons/laces/velvets...yummm.

Other vendors who sent hand dyed fabric were Laura Wasilowski (, and Malka Dombrowski ( Needless to say by afternoon we were all a bit giddy from being overstimulated: good food, good friends, good fabric...excellent show and tell.

Our last Show and Tell was the group's presentation of our Farewell Quilt to our Sister Linda Sexton-Patrick ( who is in the throes of relocating from her home in New London to North Carolina. It's not quilted YET (it will be shortly) but we didn't want to miss the occasion with all her Sisters and friends to say good-bye.

Thank you to Yvette Howard AKA Incredible Hostess, Barb Adams who organized the delicious lunch and all who help invite, organize, set up, vend, clean-up. It was very much a team effort. Well done, Sisters!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Melanie Testa visits "The Sisters"

Melanie Testa grew up in our town. She has family here. When we caught word that she might be coming to town we jumped at the chance to meet her.

As luck would have it she was free (after a visit with her parents) to spend a day teaching us how to batik with soy wax as the resist.

It was one of the first truly warm sunny days of spring and we were all ecstatic to be in the studio with Melanie. The co-director of the Guilford Art Center was very accommodating in making a room available to us with very short notice. Thank you, Maureen!

And, Thank You, Melanie for agreeing to meet with us and, literally, going the extra mile for us in lugging the soy wax on the train from NYC when our order did not arrive. That's dedication!

You can see more of Melanie's work (including her new book) on her website:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Two (2!) Sisters' Work in Faculty Exhibit

The Faculty Exhibit at the Guilford Art Center ( opened with a very well attended reception on Friday night. The Center has been, since its inception, an education center for all media. It has long been known for its weaving, metal-smithing, pottery and sculpture. Early on it was home to mixed media excellence.

Two of our Sisters in Cloth members are currently on the faculty: Ruth Anne Olson ( and Linda Zimmerman ( They are pictured here with Linda in the green scarf and Ruth Anne pointing out another artist's work.

As you can see it was a great turn out. At least two pieces were sold which is always cause for celebration. And more importantly the faculty was showcased, offering the viewing public a peek at the quality of education available at the Center.

The opening was a must for me, as I had been asked to hang the exhibit, and I couldn't pass up the chance to be a "fly on the wall" and listen for comments, particularly from the artists, on how the installation "worked".

The Faculty Exhibit, showcasing all media, will be on view until April 10.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Two (2!) Sisters' Work Selected to IQSC!

Above Photo: Linda Zimmerman,

We all congratulate "Sisters" Vivika DeNegre and Linda Zimmerman whose work was selected along with 53 other pieces from the show to become part of the International Quilt Study Center's permanent collection documenting current contemporary quiltmaking. (

Their work is part of a large collection of SAQA ( members from around the work that has been traveling with an educational trunk show for the past year. Both artists' work were selected to help represent the state of contemporary art quilts.

Warbler on Yarrow
Vivika DeNegre:

A big hand for Vivika and Linda!!!

Check out their blogs for more information: Linda Zimmerman/My Textile World, and Vivika DeNegre/ Vivika DeNegre Art Quilts,

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sisters Set to Collaborate with Rosemary Alpert

Sisters in Cloth is honored that photographer Rosemary DeLucco-Alpert ( has agreed to collaborate on a joint exhibition. From among the fifteen images selected for inspiration, each member is challenged to create a piece 18" x 24" responding to either color or composition.

Rose also plans to photograph each of us as we work in our studios, documenting the journey from our introductions through to a collaborative exhibit of photography and fiber art.

We feel very lucky that Rose agreed to join us on this adventure. She has been an active member and nurturing force of the local "art scene" for several years. Check out her website and stay tuned.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Solo Show for Sisters' Member Gail Kotowski

A collection of fiber art by Connecticut artist Gail Kotowski is on display now at the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA), located at 30 Bank Street in New Britain, CT. The show, “Art & Fiber by Gail Kotowski” will run through the end of February.

An opening reception is planned for January 11, 5:30pm – 6:15pm in the CBA Third Floor Gallery.

The gallery is open during normal business hours and guests are asked to check in at the Member Services desk on the first floor.

Congratulations Gail!