Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hosting SAQA/CT

Our exhibit(s) Indigo and Postage Stamps at the Guilford Free Library was the venue for SAQA/CT's Regional Meeting.  It is always a pleasure to host this dynamic gives us a chance to see our friends from across the state and show them what we have been up to.

I have randomly chosen photos of some of our work along with a couple of panoramas.  I'll let the photos speak for themselves.  For more check our my own blog.  Between the two you will get an idea of how much fun yesterday was!

AND several asked for our recipes when they tasted our "Soup's on for SAQA" lunch.  Little do they know that we have a cookbook in the works. Maybe next year we'll have something else to share with them.  :^)
Carol Ludington's

East Wall
Debbie Bento, Robin Wolek, Diane Wright, Evelyn Judson, Carol Ludington,
Janine Anderson-Bays (2), Martha Wolfe, Yvette Howard, Diane Wright and Liz Shore

Evelyn Judson

Martha Wolfe detail

West Wall
Ruth Anne Olson, Barb Adams, Robin Wolek, Gail Kotowski, Linda Zimmerman, Robin Wolek
Sisters Self-portraits, Postage Stamps, Diane Wright (2)

Yvette Howard

Barb Adams

Linda Zimmerman

Liz Shore

Friday, December 7, 2012

Last Saturday, Diane and her hanging crew hung our latest collection of quilts at the Guilford Library  They really look terrific.  It is amazing the variety we have within our group.  If you have a chance and are in the neighborhood drop in and take a look.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Last winter I had an idea for a wedding gift for a very special couple who I knew would cherish a quilt made from fabric sent to me by the entire guest list. I wanted to create a unique quilt with fabric chosen by family and friends that reminded them of the bride and groom. Early spring an email was sent out explaining my idea asking the wedding guests to send me some fabric. Here is a portion of the letter.

To help me create this gift, I'd like to ask you to send me a piece of fabric that you'd like to include in the quilt. Here are some parameters:
  • It can be almost any kind of cotton, linen or wool.
  • Unless it's a particularly sentimental piece, please don't send tulle, sequined fabric or silk, because these fabrics don't stand the test of time.
  • The pieces of fabric can be as small as 6"x6" and as large as a half yard, from which I will use multiple cut pieces.
  • If there is story behind the piece of fabric that you'd like to share with Erin and James, please include a note about that, as well.
The fabric can come from anything or anywhere. I've included some suggestions below, but I welcome others, too!
  • clothing (shirts, pants, dresses, socks, etc.)
  • a towel
  • pieces from an old quilt that you're not using any longer
  • a tablecloth
  • cloth napkin
  • a purchased piece of fabric in a color you love (ask for a "fat quarter," or 1/4 of a yard)
  • lace doily
  • t shirt
  • curtains
  • sheets
  • if you live in another country, send a piece of fabric from that country
  • You can also design a piece of fabric with paint, applique, embroidery or any other technique! (You can design and create anything you would like, about 6"x 6," just please make sure it is machine washable)
I stress almost any textile will do! The goal is to use fabric that you love, have used, created or that reminds you of Erin and James in any way.

I received all types of fabric with very sweet notes explaining why a specific piece of fabric was chosen. When I gave Erin and James the quilt I gave them the notes which they poured over and enjoyed! While I didn't get any sequins or tulle, the most challenging piece of fabric was the neoprene. It was too stiff to use in or as a square so I cut out little sea turtles and attached ...a very important memory to Erin and James.
The quilt includes pieces from memorable t-shirts, lyrics from love songs embroidered by the bride's mother, upholstery fabric from a chair once in the home of dear friend, many versions of blue as a connection to the oceans where hours were spent researching sea turtles, childhood memories embedded in small ways, some family photographs, a man's shirt, and a special piece of fabric used by the bride and her sisters to hide the torn ceiling in their very old, but very dear, car.  There is fabric from France, Canada, India and Japan. Each square was touched and admired... all with a big smile and a full heart!

Designed by Linda Zimmerman

Friday, November 9, 2012

Let's Pile Them High!

In response to eQuilter Luana Rubin's plea to donate 5000 quilts in the next three months to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, our group has been moved to action.  We are making...and looking through our stashes of already made (or partially made) bed quilts.  We are also offering to ship other area quilt donations along with our own.

Not long ago, Sister in Cloth member Vivika DeNegre (AKA Quilting Arts editor) donated several collections of manufacturer samples to our group.  My The Day the Circus Came to Town is one of those (with light blue and yellow added from my stash).  I made it before Sandy was even a tropical storm...but I think it has found a home in our collection bound for NYC.

The plea from eQuilter...and the for bed sized quilts.  But I can't resist sending this crib sized one.  Somewhere there is a child who will be cheered and warmed by the Circus coming to town (instead of that darn storm).

If you live in our area and want to join us in sending your quilt (s) to Timeless Treasures, who has volunteered to warehouse the donations for eQuilter, contact one of the Sisters before Dec. 8, or comment on this blog.  We will coordinate packing and shipping.  And, don't forget to label your contribution!

Consider donating quilts or money to the effort:  details are on eQuilter's website at the bottom of the website, titled Hurricane Sandy.

The Day the Circus Came to Town

Crib Quilt detail

Crib Quilt back

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Lesson In What Not To Do

Sometimes the creative urge overtakes common sense. This happened on a Sunday evening, well after stores are closed!

I decided to trace a fish onto my Indigo piece and was out of tear away or water solvable paper. Our household has become a fan of tear away paper towels. So I figured that because the paper is porous and tears easily that it would work.

Well I got carried away and filled in some fin lines. I the proceeded for the next 2 hours to pull the bits of paper out, using a tweezers that has a small magnifying glass attached. To keep me on task in between bouts of unladylike adjectives, I imagined that I was a surgeon carefully removing a tumor .

I finally removed it all and was then able to thread paint to my heart's content. In the future, I hope that I will remember this lesson when the creative urge returns .

Gail Kotowski

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Play Day for Fiber Artists

Karen Loprete, fiber artist and member of the CT Fiber Arts Collective, invited members of Sisters in Cloth to a meeting at her home.
It was Karen's birthday, and she gave us all a wonderful gift:  a demonstration of dying silk scarves using Dye-Na-Flow dyes. Here we are, gathered around Karen, in rapt attention:

Below are a couple of Karen's pieces displaying Karen's colorful style. The one on the right is silk, the piece on the left a piece of cotton fabric that had been under the silk as Karen painted with her dyes.

Two of our pieces trying to dry in the drizzle that came in as we worked, but did not dampen our spirits (left) and, right,  Carol Eaton happily at work on a colorful piece. I wonder how long it takes the dye to wash off hands.

Here I am (Ruth Anne Olson) with my scarf. I was not happy with the look when I finished with the dyes, so I scrunched, twisted, and squeezed every which way so that the colors blended. You can see by the look on my face I am now happy (although I may be stamping it, or drawing some thin lines of metallic paints on it).

Rosalind Spann, who kept painting with dyes and then sprinkled with alcohol drops on one and salt on another.

Mary Lachman, obviously delighted with her lovely project:

 Debbie Bento pondering possible further options:

Barb Adams with her wonderful creation.

It was the best kind of a day for fiber artists: Getting together with friends who all love to create and try something new and who are all very talented artists. Many thanks to Karen and CT Fiber Arts Collective.  Many more photos of our play day and their art can be found on their blog.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Hits Just Keep on Comin'

First, the postman brought a wonderful surprise with this most recent issue of Quilting Arts' Gifts.  Wow!  Four of our Sisters' had projects featured:  Barb Adams, Deb Bento, Vivika DeNegre, and Carol Ludington.  They all had been quiet about their participation and surprised us all.  Each offered a project that  we all consider their 'own' to be sure.  In our group, Barb has always described her many trip in terms of her gorgeous journals.  Deb's notepad holders have been one of her most sought-after items in the Guilford Art Center's Gift Shop.  Carol Ludington has been a dyer of note...and local instructor...for ages.  Her trademark (IMHO) is her crystal clear ice dyed fabrics.  And, Vivika...gosh, where would I begin?!

  THEN, Gifts was followed shortly by the Oct/Nov 2012 Quilting Arts issue.  Lynn Krawczyk interviewed four quilt groups from across the county...Sisters in Cloth among them...on how to start your own fiber art group.  A subject near and dear to my heart.

The opening photograph shows seven of the twelve members at one of our regular meetings...a critical mass, per usual, but hardly ever a full complement.  Carol Ludington (see above), Liz Shore, Robin Wolek, Debbie Bento (see above), me, Janine Anderson-Bays and Marie Shepherd.  One of the cool parts of this is that the photo represents the total twelve years that we have been in existence.  Liz, Robin, Deb, Janine and I were there in the beginning when we were first formed from the Guilford Newcomers' Club.  (interestingly, Liz had dropped out a few years ago to return to employment and has just recently re-joined the group).  Carol and Marie joined later as the group morphed from Newcomers' to wider membership.

This photo was taken at one of the installations of Double Take, our exhibit that traveled to several venues around the area.  It was a collaborative effort, joining our work with that of photographer Rosemary Delucco Alpert.  This page features Yvette Howard (another one of the Newcomers) and Deb, along with a childhood friend of hers, Debbie Kouzoukian, enjoying the opening reception.

The last photo in the article is that of Linda Zimmerman's wonderful interpretation of one of Alpert's photographs, Pink Hydrangea.

I am so proud of my friends' successes in their journeys as artists.  It has been such a wonderful meandering, joyful trip!

Friday, September 21, 2012


I hosted my first Sisters meeting last week, on a gorgeous sparkling late summer morning. Color was a main topic (nothing unusual there, I'm sure).

We were treated with an array of fabrics that Carol iced dyed in the past week:

A sample of Carol's ice dyeing
 And also some beautiful silk scarfs from Carol:

Lovely texture as well
 As the seasons change, the colors that I am most attracted to change, too. It's no wonder that in August I was drawn to the warm spectrum and in the last gasps of a heat wave I took a stack of 5" designer fabric squares that I had been looking at for weeks and sewed them together into a small value quilt for the kitchen table.


My summer garden was very seasonal in its color, too. There were bright yellow peppers, orange tomatoes, a long row of zinnias. As the days are getting shorter and the temperatures have come down a bit, the morning glories are now the stars in the garden. Every year this blue amazes me:
Morning Glory
Time to finish my blue and white quilt : )
She's a bit territorial

Couldn't resist

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Show and Tell

Town Green
Today we met at my house and (duh) I forgot to take pics of show and tell!  I certainly can't say I forgot my camera.  I can say that the gray cells were not firing properly.  Sorry.  Next time.  Not to be too self promoting, I do have a pic of my most recent piece.

Our group is very busy, with several projects on the calendar:  First, the next SAQA/CT meeting is in Guilford on Oct 6.  Then, our 'drop dead' deadline for two (!) challenges is Oct 17 when both our "Indigo" and "Postage Stamp" pieces are to be revealed.  Both of the challenges will be exhibited at the Guilford Free Library in December...when we host the SAQA/CT group again!

If this isn't enough pressure, we are exhibiting in New Haven in February and in Newington next September.

We decided today that everyone would take turns posting on this blog.  Ergo, you will be able to hear from more of us more often...what inspires us, tickles us, provokes us, colors our work and informs our journey as a group and individually.  With any luck at all we will have weekly posts instead of the more recent sporadic ones.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Showing Off

Evelyn with "vintage" piece, including 2500+ buttons!

      Today's meeting was especially fun...We had visitors!  

Okay, Vivika is a "regular" member, however, since she's taken a full time position we don't see her very often.  So we are counting her's alway a treat when she can squeeze time in for  brief visit...this time she showed us her work with "Ink Effects"...immortalizing her Jack Russell.

The real visitors were former member Evelyn Judson and her daughter Catharine from the Raleigh NC area.  They brought a treasure trove of work, which included one of Evelyn's with 2500 hand sewn buttons, weighing a good seven pounds.

Catharine's fine embroidery

More of Catharine's work

 Evelyn's show and tell from her art group's challenge
Vivika's Ink Effects example

 Carol brought some of her luscious ice dyeing to share with Evelyn...Ruth Anne looks on.

We were all so glad to see our 'old' friend, her work and to catch up with her daughter who is sharing her mother's love of stitching.  Great meeting!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Impromptu Fibers

DOT interior
Thanks to the quick action and hard work of Diane Cadrain, Impromptu Fibers, an exhibit of art quilters across the state is hanging at the CT Department of Transportation in Newington CT.  Sixteen artists answered her call, with nine appearing with the collected pieces to hang the exhibit yesterday. 

Several Sisters were represented in the 16 participants:  Barb Adams, Debbie Bento, Yvette Howard, Diane Wright and Linda Zimmerman.

Impromptu Fibers will hang in the atrium at 2800 Berlin Turnpike, Newington CT until Friday, Aug 31.  For a full list of artists and their work and/or to view the exhibit, contact DOT employee Delois Barnes at or ring her at (860) 594-3307.

Check out Diane Cadrain and Diane Wright's blogs for more pics.

Barb Adams with Carol Vivick hanging EdJonetta Miller's piece
Barb Adams "Summertime"

Delois Barnes, DOT coordinator with Carol Vinick, Diane Wright and "Instigator" Diane Cadrain
Deb Bento's "Swish (yes, swish) Chard" ;^)
Diane Wright's "Salon:After Matisse"

Yvette Howard's "Hidden Wells"
Linda Zimmerman's "Good Morning Sunshine"

Linda Zimmerman's "Crisp Fall Day in the Adirondaks"