Saturday, December 27, 2008

December 2008 Newsletter

Happy holidays to one and all!
Sorry this took so long, but I forgot how to do it!  Duh!

Calendars update:  You have all been keeping up with the calendars.  They turned
out beautifully, and both my daughters were quite impressed.  The second box which was accidentally shipped out to Linda will be sold at $16 apiece.  The profits will pay
Craig back for shipping and handling because he was kind enough to pay that out of
his own pocket.  (Where did you find this guy, Linda?!)  Any profits after that will be
refunded to those Divas who ordered from the original shipment.  Now the question is, what happens with the extra money per calendar that is due to you, Linda?  

Ugly Block Challenge:  The due date I am unsure of, but I assume it's not the January meeting.  Correct me pronto if I am wrong.  It is a 9 patch block that will measure 9" finished.  There will be four 3" solid blocks which will be made from one of the ugly fabrics for all 4 of them.  There will be five 3" mini-9 patch blocks made with 5 cream or muslin fabric from your own personal stash (these may all be the same), and 4 from the ugly fabrics that you received.  Could this possibly sound any uglier?  I think this project will be a success even if we never get past the description!  Call Yvette Thorn for more information.

Button Challenge:  Any info you need on this is listed in one of the newsletters below.  The due date is February 2009.

Directory:  I hope to be e-mailing these to you very shortly.  I apologize for the delay.  You just can't get good help these days.  When I set this up, I will also be
adjusting the mailing list, so those who didn't get me their information will no longer get any updates.  It was nice that they supported us, and nice to meet them all.

Our next meeting will be on January 26 at 7pm.  See you soon, ladies. 
xxxooo,  Laurie

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

November Newsletter

Hello, ladies, sorry it took me so long to get this out, but I wanted to have my 2nd massage therapy appointment before I wrote.  More about that later!
There were 16 members at the October meeting, lots of show and tell, and a lot of talking (my favorite part!  A big surprise to many of you, I'm sure!)  So, here we go....

Mona Waddington was our guest speaker for the evening.  She showed a nice 
selection of her quilts, beginning with her grandmother's 1890 scrap quilt.  It was a nice
variety of traditional, fun, challengy, pretty much ran the gammit!  I've decided:
Mona is good people!

Sharon Malec:
Is back in action!  Woo-hoo!!

The photos are all taken, the committee will be meeting, and they will e-mail us the order forms.  You'll know at the same time as I do.

November 24th Meeting:
Bring three 12 inch ugly squares of fabric. That's 3 twelve inch UGLY squares of fabric!
(Yes, you are reading correctly! See what happens when I miss a meeting!!!)
We will keep one ugly fabric, and trade the other two. The point of this is to prove that ugly
truly IS beautiful! The completed 9" finished blocks (9 1/2" unfinished) will be due at the
January 2009 meeting.  We will then sew the blocks together. We will decide at a later date 
if we will raffle it off among the group, or perhaps donate it.
NOTE: There will be 2 consistent fabrics that will be given to each of us to work with. One
will be a muslin, and the other is a pale sage green (Benartex Fossil Fern). There were
examples of ugly fabrics at the meeting,...I actually liked most of them,...go figure!

Sewing Machine Needles:
Chris Moline read an article regarding the sewing machine needles that we use.
The articles and books we read tell us to use specific needles as well as specific brands 
for specific purposes,...piecing, quilting, applique, blah, blah, blah. It all depends on the 
authors experiences. Well, the article talks about these needles and about how they are all 
a little off in their calibrations, causing us to call out dirty names while in the process of 
trying to create a masterpiece. Their claim was that the only needles that were truly 
calibrated correctly and consistently were Singer brand. So, Chris whipped out her handy 
calibrating tool (I looked but couldn't find mine! Ha! Who else but Chris would own one of
these things!?!) and started measuring needles. She needed to measure from the top of the 
needle to the top of the eye of the needle. Singer was the only one that was consistent and 
true. So, the point of this is to stop spending money on all of those expensive foreign
needles and buy good old fashioned, your grandmother used 'em, why not you? Singer 

Make your own hard bound book!
For show and tell several months ago, one of our members brought in a hard bound
book with her quilts in it. (Sorry, I can hear brain cells landing on the lower lobes of my 
brain as I type this, so I've forgotten her name although her face is right there where it 
belongs! From this point on she'll be known as Comic Book Girl. She is standing proudly with
her cape flapping in the wind behind her!  Oh, what a sight!)
Anyway, it was fun and reasonable when on sale. I know that Joan Bratton had one done for
one of her vacations.
Here is the web site:

Massage Therapy Information:
I fell asleep on the sofa leaning on my fist. Messed up my jaw. I was in pain for 2
months when my sister came in from California to visit. She had been to a new dentist who
massaged her jaw, popped it back into place, ground down her teeth for proper alignment,
and I want to know where in the area you can find a dentist like that?!? My dentist told me
that I probably had TMJ, which I didn't believe.
I looked on line and found this woman who does intra-oral massage. She massages from
your shoulders up, inserts a gloved hand into your mouth and presses pressure points to
relieve the pain.
It worked! It was $75 for a one hour session. I had a 2nd appointment because there
were still some pressure points that were in some pain,...but only when she pressed on it!
So, after the first visit I went home pain free. You've gotta love that!

In addition to the intra-oral massage, she and her girls also do other massage types:
Swedish, trigger point, neuromuscular, deep tissue, pre & post natal, and hot stone.
You may find relief from TMJ, Stress, whiplash, repetitive strain, plantar fascitis, postural
imbalance, neck and back, carpel tunnel, fibromyalgia, and headaches.
She also is a trained hypnotist, and can help you over come problems that you may
have,...being late, public speaking phobias, memory improvement,...the list goes on. She
is unable to convince you to do something that you do not want while under hypnosis. If you
want to begin showing up on time, she cannot set you up to arrive 5 minutes early. If you
want to be a better public speaker, she cannot set you up to be an exotic pole dancer!
So, it won't be as exciting as a Vegas show, but it may be benificial to you.
She also does something called EFT or emotional freedom technique (see
which is basically a method of tapping on pressure points. It has the same affect as
accupunture, sans needles.
She does workshops on stress, ergonomics, and pain reduction self care. She is willing
to do a workshop for us for free, maybe throw in some gas money. I'm going to talk to
Faithful Circle and see if they would be interested in her as a speaker. It's 30 to 60 minutes
for approximately $125. I was wondering if the group would be interested in hearing her
speak. We'll discuss this at the next meeting. I'm sure she's hoping to get some jobs from

BODYWORK, massage therapy and stress reduction center, inc.
Rose Marie Soraich, LMT neuromuscular, deep tissue, NGH certified hypnotist
105 West Elm Street, Wheaton, IL 60187 630-682-5599

Okay, ladies, that's a wrap. Can't think of anything more, at least not until I get upstairs and
stir the spaghetti sauce! Remember there will be no December meeting, the button
challenge is due in a few months (check last month's newsletter). Happy Thanksgiving to
those I will not see, as well as a happy set of holidays!
xxxooo, Laurie

Thursday, October 2, 2008


October 2, 2008

I'm sorry that I missed the September meeting, but I was not feeling well.  Please forgive me!
Linda VanderKolk was nice enough to submit some notes regarding the meeting.

There was a small turnout on September 22, but it was a very productive night!

In theory there was some work done on the black and white fused composition study.  Apparently no one brought the book (something we need to work on,...being organized.  Personally "being organized" is against my religion!)  I believe it was Cheryl who ran to pick up her copy of the book, but interest had waned by that time. 

CALENDAR UPDATE:  All but 2 items had been photographed.  The committee will meet soon,
and order forms will be available in October.  Don't forget, the more we order, I assume the
price goes down.  I've been wrong before, and that has been pointed out many, many times!
I won't name names.

A bag of graphically interesting buttons was brought to the meeting.  Each person selected one button.  The design on the button will form the basis of the art item.  Only challenge buttons may be used.  (So don't get any bright ideas!)  You can make anything, any size, but it must be recognizable as derived from the button.  The button should be included on the art somewhere, even if it's on the back.  More challenge buttons will be brought to the October Divas meeting or, if you can't wait to get started, contact Linda VanderKolk.

IDEA FOR A FUTURE CHALLENGE:  Nine patch composition.

RUSTING FABRIC:  There is an article in the August/September 1008 Quilting Arts Magazine written by Claire Waguespack Fenton called The Test of Time Rusting Fabric.  I know there were some of you out there who were interested in Rust-Tex, etc, so thought this might be useful.

October:  We hope to have a guest mystery speaker.  Dorothy Larsen is working on that.  Be sure to attend and bring an extra $5 to pay the speaker.
NOVEMBER:  Ugly fabric exchange blocks.  Everyone bring 3 different ugly fabrics,
12" x 12".  These will be exchanged.  A 4th fabric and a pattern for a block will be provided.  The blocks will be combined into one quilt.  Depending on how the quilt turns out, it could become a charity quilt, a raffle quilt, or maybe part of the Art
League's gallery display.

Also, plan to bring lots of show and tell in November.

DECEMBER:  Dorothy, we need to discuss the date for this meeting, or if we will be skipping
it completely like we did last year.  Ladies, the art league has their holiday sale going
on at that time and it would require meeting at a different location.  With the busy
holidays, last year we skipped it (my executive decision).  We'll talk.
FUTURE MEETINGS:  We are hoping to arrange for at least 3 guest speakers in 2009.  Your 
ideas for future meetings are welcome.  One idea is for the lady from Golden Products
to visit.  This is a mystery to me, but it's supposed to be worth our while.

The following was a handout at the PAQA meeting.  The woman had sent samples of her work for a workshop, they had been in a flood, and were cleaned by the women of that guild.  This is the process that they used:

The information described here was collected from several places and combined to make a cleaning procedure that worked for us.  Let us begin with important guidelines:  wear rubber gloves when handling contaminated articles!  If at all possible, try to keep the quilts damp.

It is important to get the river sludge rinsed out as soon as possible.  To do this I laid the quilts out on the driveway, used the garden hose with a spray nozzle and hosed them out, many, many times with a sweeping motion, back and forth across the quilt.  Hopefully you see the dirt lift out and spray away.  I did turn the quilts over and spray the back clean, then rolled them to the front again to continue spraying until I felt they were as clean as I could manage.

The items MUST be bleached with just enough bleach to kill the bacteria and mold.  Fill the washing machine, add the bleach.  Two tablespoons bleach to a washing machine tub full of water is enough to do this and not enough to fade the quilts.  The water can be cool.  Agitate it for just a bit, then add the quilt.  It doesn't need to run for a long time, just a few minutes, before draining the bleach water out.  I rinsed the queen size quilt outside in a kiddy pool filled part way with cold water and added about 3 tablespoons bleach.  I felt there was more water in the pool than the washing machine.  I carefully submerged the quilt into the pool and went to work swishing and pushing it down through the water until I felt the quilt had enough bleach water through all the layers to kill the bacteria.  I then took it to the washer to finish cleaning.

On one of the quilts I dipped my fingers into Tide and rubbed on the white background pieces to give them a little extra cleaning.  I wanted them white again, if at all possible.  And it worked!

Run a regular wash cycle and use Tide detergent.  Rinse out twice.  If it still seems to be a little sudsy, rinse again!

Do NOT put the quilts in the dryer.  They must air dry.  If you find spots that were missed, you have a better chance of removing the spots if they are not heat dried.  I would try Oxy Clean on those spots and cleaned again.

If you are too busy to give the quilt attention right away - KEEP IT DAMP!  Put the quilt in the freezer!  Roll the quilt or item with a layer of plastic on the top surface (garbage bags will work), jelly roll style, to keep the damp fabric from toughing to help prevent any bleeding.  Slide this in another bag and put in a freezer.  When you have time to work on it, take out the freezer and thaw long enough to unroll and get right to the rest of the cleaning.

There was a little color running on a few items but I feel this occurred when they sat in the river water for awhile.  After we bleached and cleaned, those few spots were hard to find.

I hope this helps someone.  If you have a quilt that has been dried already, go ahead and try this.  What have you got to loose!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Divas September 2008 Newsletter

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Divas September 2008 Newsletter

Is this thing on? 

I am trying to set this without the aid of smarter people than myself,...namely Cheryl!

p.s.  I failed miserably!

Our latest meeting was held on August 25, with 15 people in attendance, 2 of which were guests.

There was lots of show and tell, which was way fun.  A lot of those were quilts being dropped off for the upcoming photo shoot.

Speaking of which:


The final due date for your pieces is Monday, September 15, which is NOT a meeting day.  If you have not gotten them to Linda VanderKolk yet, then shake a leg!  It seems that Craig is a photo junkie, which is good for us!  He purchased new lighting for our project and is having a good time.  Linda says that he’s even able to get the quilting patterns, which is a really neat trick.  Believe me,...I’ve tried.  So thank you, Craig.  You are officially the Divas’ doll baby!  (Don’t be jealous, Linda!)


The surgery will be on September 16th, so get into prayer positions, ladies.  She’ll be shy a kidney, but we’ll still love her!


Using QUILT & EMBELLISH IN 1 STEP by Linda Potter, we embellished!  Using #8 pearl cotton, and thermore batting, we performed needle magic by using basic embroidery stitches as quilting stitches through the 3 layers.  The good thing aobut this is that after spitting our gum out, we were still able to talk as we sewed!


Using COLOR & COMPOSITION FOR THE CREATIVE QUILTER by Katie Pasquini Macpust & Brett Barker, we will be studying the chapter about Line & Shape (page 26).

Supplies: SOLID black or white  background fabric - 9” x 12”

PRINT black AND white fabric FUSED - 8 1/2 “ x 11”

Scissors (Stephanie?  Are you listening?  It WAS you who forgot them

the last time, aren’t you?)

This project will be similar to July’s.  You will decide on a shape to work with (circles, squares, leaves (!), or whatever makes your little heart sing), cutting out as many or few as you’d like, compose and design, then fuse into place.  What could be easier than that?  It’s cut and paste, ladies!  Hopefully someone will bring a snack because we won’t be able to eat any paste!


At our expense, of course!  She mentioned to “I forget who” that she was interested in teaching another class for us.  Either she love us, or she’s getting hungry.  We will need to discuss this at our next meeting. I have no details, but I’m sure you can check out her class offerings on her website.


I have more information about the Elmhurst Piecemakers’ quilt show to be held at the Elmhurst Historiical Museum (120 E. Park Ave, Elmhurst, IL  60126, 630-833-1457,

Two seperate shows, September 23 - November 9, and November 18 - January 4,

admission is free, hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 1 - 5 p.m.

In addition to the show there will be 2 lectures, also free.  I don’t know if you need to register or not.

Sunday, October 5 at 3 p.m. will be FunQuilts, which is way cool.  If you haven’t seen them before, chheck it out.  (  And on Thursday, November 20 from 1 to 2 will be Chris Moline with her trunk show of historical quilts from the 1830’s through the 1870’s.  Always a treat.  So hustle on down to Elmhurst for a lot of traditional quilts.  Stay in town for lunch!  (I feel like Aunt Bea!)


Could you please give us the book information?  The book you had made was so flippin’ cool!  The first time I saw one was when Joan Bratton had gone to New England (?) (memory check!)  It was gorgeous!  So, if you could give us the web site, it would be greatly appreciated.  A big fat thank you in advance!


I don’t know if you ladies are familiar with Bonnie McCaffery, but she is making videos of all of your favorite quilters.  They are free to view, although she does have a tip jar available.  The latest is of Denise Havlan - Portraits.  It was very interesting, and made me wonder if she gives classes in that area.  I know she is coo-coo for grandchildren right now, and is sort of laying low, but who knows?  I haven’t checked her web site yet to see if she’s available in that area.  Anyway, it might be nice to have a different influence.

Check it out at http//


This ends yet another wonderful newsletter from the weird one.  Our next meeting will be September 22, 7 p.m., at the Naperville Art  League located at 508 N. Center Street, Naperville, IL  60563.  There is parking behind the building, on the street, and across the street in a large parking lot.  We enter through the front door.  Our October meeting will be on the 27th. 

Hope to see you there.

xxxooo,  Laurie

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August 20, 2008 Divas Newsletter

Our last meeting was on Tuesday, July 28 and was attended by 12 of our country's finest.

We worked out of a book called COLOR AND COMPOSITION FOR CREATIVE QUILTERS by Katie Pasquini Masopust. There are obviously a lot of projects, so we will be pulling another one out of there for this month's meeting. More on that later.

Sorry it took me so long to get this newsletter out, but I was a busy little beaver. I got things together and then went to Hayward, WI for a week with my husband, my mother and my daughter. Â We had a nice time when my mother wasn't in the room. (Is it wrong to print that in black and white?) (I love my mother dearly, but....Well it's a long story!)

But I'm home now and my medications are wearing off. I can see the real world again, and life is good!

We had fun. I arrived late so missed the reminder of how things were to go. There's good and bad to that. Anyway, everyone arrived with a square of fabric that was larger, and a piece of fabric that had been set up for fusing. The fusing fabrics were passed around with everyone cutting a piece off to use for themselves. The vast majority brought batik-ee, hand dyed -ee sorts of fabrics. I don't know if that had been discussed at the June meeting, but I brought a print fabric. Duh! It still worked, but it would have been better with the other.

Anyway, the part I missed/forgot about was that we were supposed to fuse geometric shapes onto the background fabric. I DID have long thin bars,...definitely geometric, but I also had leaves (SURPRISE!!!!), which really aren't. Anyway, they turned out very nicely, and was a fun experience. If you hadn't fused yet, it was a nice little introduction.

Joan Bratton brought her "Sisters" quilt to show us. We have seen it at various stages, but it is really looking sharp now! This is the yellow quilt with the mariner compasses and gingko leaves. Very nice.

Sharon Malec brought in her framed needle felted dog. I apologize for not remembering what kind of dog it was, but I do know it was a damned nice looking dog! It made you want to touch it! (The dog!)

We were also able to see an ink drawing done by Linda VanderKolk that was hanging in the gallery! "Freedom Lost" is the theme. There was nothing posted or lying around giving any information on the show, dates, times, so you will have to call the Naperville Art League for more information if you are interested in seeing the work of one of our very own! NIce job !

August 25! This meeting will be more from the same book. This time we will be learning the "DOT" stitch (formally known as the quick stitch to embellish while you quilt). It will be taught by Dorothy.

Supplies: 2 pieces of fabric 12" x 12"
Pearl cotton #8 (there will be some at the meeting for your stitching pleasure)
Embroidery needle
BATTING WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE MEETING (Purchased from excess funds)
Thimble, scissors, whatever sewing kit stuff you may need
Quilting pattern if you have one you're interested in

Please bring in your fused pieces from last month, we don't care if they are finished or not. This is to show those who missed the meeting and are interested in experimenting on their own.

The calendars quilts are due by September 15, 2008. For your convenience you may drop them off at the August meeting. If this is not convenient, please call Linda VanderKolk to discuss it with her. Email Cheryl or Laurie if you need her number.
Here is the list as a reminder of those of you who have no brains! (I'm talking primarily about myself here, so unbunch your pants!)


Linda, I have a drop off date of September 15 for my quilt at the Elmhurst Historical Museum for the show that they will be having there. I will bring it to this meeting, but will obviously have to set something up with you to pick it up before then. Thanks, and I apologize for any inconvenience.

Sharon Malec has been approved to be her sisters organ donor, and I believe is undergoing or has undergone the procedure already. We have little information, but please keep the 2 in your prayers.

The Elmhurst Piecemakers will be having a 2 part quilt show at the Elmhurst Historical Museum (120 E. Park Avenue, Elmhurst, 60126) from September 23 through November 9, and November 18 through January 4. This is a nice selection of mainly traditional work by a nice group of ladies. I do not have the hours, but the phone number is 630-833-1457

The Greater Chicago Quilt Exposition III will be from November 13 - 16 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center, Schaumburg. More information is available at their website:

September 22 is the meeting date, 7 pm as usual, at the Naperville Art League located at 508 N. Center Street, Naperville, IL 60563.
There is parking behind the building, on the street, and across the streret in a large parking lot. We enter through the front door.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Calendar Deadline! Sept 15

Deadline for completed calendar quilts or other items is September 15. We hope to have photography and printing done in time for the November meeting. An order form will be distributed in August so be thinking about the quantity you would want to order.

Midwest Fiber Fest Trip

At the Diva's meeting the other night we discussed having a group outing to the Midwest Fiber Fest on July 19. It will be held at the McHenry Co College, 8900 US Hwy 14 in Crystal Lake IL from 9AM-7PM. Admission is $7. There is an art exhibit as well as at least 40 vendors

Anyone interested in carpooling can meet at the Hobby Lobby parking lot at Rt 64 and 59 in West Chicago at 8:30 AM. Sharon Malec is willing to keep a list of those interested in attending, so we know who we are waiting for. Please email me (Cheryl) for her contact info if you need it.

July Meeting Info

Here's what we decided to do at the July meeting.
July meeting: Art design/fusing.
Background fabric of your choice. Minimum size 9 x 12.
One 8 x 10 piece of fabric with fusable web already on the back. This fabric should be or should "read"
as a solid. Any color.
We'll need a few irons and ironing boards.

We will pass the solid pieces around, cut a geometric shape of our choosing, pass fabrics again, cut, etc.
When done cutting we'll design & fuse the pieces to the background. You'll have the start of a masterpiece.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


This is the first post to the new web home of the Divas Fiber art group in Illinois. We hope you find it informative!

Laurie and Cheryl