Sunday, January 22, 2012

While Waiting for the Snow

I love to snow dye and thought snow would never arrive this winter. So I decided to do some ice cube dyeing as seen in the August -September 20011 issue of Quiting Arts Magazine. I am in love with the results and can 't seem to stop!!  I used fat quarters of PFD fabric in white. 
 After soaking in soda ash solution, I fan folded some on the long side, some on the short sides, and others on  the diagonal (my favorite),  as well as just smooshing into a lump. Layer on some ice cubes, sprinkle on the powdered dyes in your choice of colors , cover and wait 24 hours. Rinse and wash, dry and iron. The pictures are just a few of  many I have done. 

And then I saw my empty glass vase on the counter and thought....why not try parfait dyeing with the ice cubes??  I didn't need to think twice about it and div
ed right in. 

 I started with yellow on the bottom,

followed by fushia,

then turquoise,

and put several colors on the top layer. I admit I was feeling reckless. 

I intend to play around with the timing of each layer as well as the the number of dyes used on each layer. That's after I restock my supply of PFD fabric and a few different new dyes. OH, and make more ice cubes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Art Quilts in NYC

Last Friday I had the opportunity to view Material Witnesses, a beautiful collection of art quilts created by the Manhattan Quilters Guild at the Art Quilt Gallery right next to The City Quilter in New York City. These two were my favorites created by Paula Nadelstern and Ludmila Uspenskaya. What an amazing source of inspiration! I can’t wait to see Paula Chung’s exhibit, Painting with Fiber: Florals, the opening is January 23 from 6-9PM and the show runs January 24 – March 4.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fiber Explorations

During the winter,  I step up my knitting projects.  For several years, I have watched the felting enthusiasts expand their projects and the industry develop.  I had avoided this side of fiber, as I thought it was a marketing ploy to make one purchase more yarn than necessary. After having completed the 8th flap-ear ski cap of the season, I looked at my collection of roving  that was slowly catching up to my bead stash and decided to make the leap.

I knew that wet felting was not an exact science and researched the net to minimalize my trial and error process.  I was determined not to purchase a book because the progression would lead to raising the sheep, spinning and dying.  After knitting several oversized cloches and either stretching the wool to fit Andre the giant or shrinking to fit an American Girl doll, I found a consistant method.

Using a top loading washing machine combine 3 tennis balls and 2 pairs of men's pants (jeans are best)  Set the temperature to the highest and run in a 5 minute cycle.  Use cold water for teh rinse cycle.  I remove the cap and check it to see if the fibers have felted and some yarns require 2 or 3 washings in this manner.  When the hat is ready to dry, I place the hat on an inverted 2 lb plastic Protein bottle that I have borrowed from my son, who of course had a fit when he saw the bottle in the sun.  How was I suppose to know that sun breakdowns powdered protein?  and voila a decent felted hat is complete.

To date, I have successfully made 10 ladies cap's in this manner. My new challenge is making a man's brimmed hat and as of today I do not have the sizing down despite 3 attempts!

Gail Kotowski

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We are SO proud....

of our "Sister" Vivika! (pictured here with guest demonstrator Betty Warner)

Vivika DeNegre is the new Editor of Quilting Arts Magazine!
(where you can also see her very first blog post as Editor)

Pokey Bolton made the official announcement on December
16th and interviewed Vivika for the “Quilting Daily” blog. 
Read the full article here:

According to Kate Themal, CT SAQA co-rep, who interviewed
her for SAQA/CT's blog:

Vivika is taking it all in.  Although she may have less time to
work on her fiber art and beautiful bird portraits, DeNegre
is excited to begin a new adventure:
“I am thrilled, of course, and also overwhelmed in many ways with the challenges - learning Photoshop, excel and outlook, understanding the publishing world from the inside, working once again after an 11 year retirement - all of these are new experiences.”
New Editor DeNegre is already working on the April/May 2012

We, Sisters in Cloth, who have known, worked, cried and laughed
with Vivika for about 9 years now, are very proud of her, and happy
that she has landed her "dream" job.  She is a rare individual:
Great mom of four, talented artist, good friend and confidant...
and...rarer still, she has more than 24 hours in her day!  That's the
only way she can do all that she does.  Seriously.

Congratulations Vivika!