Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Elements of Design- Colour

This year the Waverley Art Quilters have been studying the Elements of Design using the book by Sandra Meech called Connecting Design to Stitch.

Last month we were talking about the huge subject of colour. It was a good opportunity for me to get out all the design books that I have bought over the years and read through it all.

As a bit of fun we had to draw a colour combination out of a box and I got Orange Triadic. To find the triadic colours that go with orange, I had to divide the colour wheel into thirds and find the colours an equal distance from each other. The triadic colours I had to use were orange, green and violet.

It was a bit of challenge for some people who did not get their usual colour preferences.

We had been working on Value the month before and so I thought I would follow on from that and use the Sea horse as the motif again.

Value exercise

I found a lovely pale violet silk to use as the background and fused on the other shapes. I was trying to follow the values that I used in the black and white one.

It sat like this on my design wall for a couple of weeks and the more I looked at it the more I didn't like it. I decided to start again and this time make the background the darkest value and then I liked it much better.

I can see that I didn't get enough value contrast in the rocks below but I still went with it because it is supposed to be a learning exercise.

I added beads to the seahorse and then quilted around the seahorse and the background. When I finished there was a funny looking crease at the bottom of his body before the tail started.

It kept catching my eye and I didn't like it. There was only one thing to do; I had to snip off the beads and quilt the body and then sew the beads on again.

Seahorse 3- colour exercise
I was much happier with it. I suppose I could have added some trapunto to add some support to the body but putting some quilting onto the body did the trick. I suppose the Seahorse was just too large to be unquilted.

It's always fun to experiment with colour.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Waiting Game

At the beginning of the year we had the wonderful news that my second daughter Bec was expecting her first baby.
A couple of months later she and her husband had an afternoon tea for the family and when they cut the cake, it was blue inside!

We were all thrilled that little Savannah was going to have a boy cousin.

The months have gone by and we have watched Bec get bigger and we have been getting all the baby supplies together.

A couple of weeks ago we had the baby shower and it was a lovely gathering of family and friends.

I couldn't resist getting some photos with Savannah

Savannah is 20 months now, I wonder what she will think of her little boy cousin.

She hates getting her photo taken and won't look at the camera. If she is on a lounge suite, she puts a cushion in front of her face, so it's very hard for us to get photos of her.

I found a flannel Peter Rabbit panel in my cupboard, I think I bought it before Savannah was born and never used it.

I had to iron and baste it very carefully because the straight lines were slightly off. I used a walking foot on my machine to keep it nice and flat.

I only quilted it on the lines and around the motifs because I wanted to keep it as soft and fluffy as I could.

Hopefully my daughter will use it; the idea was that it was something soft she could put on her wooden floor when the baby has his tummy time.

So now we are all prepared and it is a waiting game. Only a week to wait, but it will seem a long time to my daughter, I bet.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

A Time for all Seasons

My latest quilt is called A Time for all Seasons. I only came up with that title after it was finished; for nearly 3 years I was calling it my seasons quilt. Now people are telling me how much they love my clock quilt! I suppose the clock is a dominant feature. The photo below is a large file so you can see a bit more detail if you click on it.

A Time for all Season ©2016 Linda Steele
My thoughts when making this quilt was how time marches on and the seasons change but sometimes we are too busy to notice how beautiful nature is.

This quilt was a labour of love over the months and months that it took to make but in the end I was really rushing to get it finished in time for the Houston entry cut-off date and Vic Quilters entry, by the time I had finished it, I didn't like it very much, I was completely exhausted and over it.

Of course all that is over now, it's a bit like having a baby, you forget about what you went through and only have the joy of the finished product.

Here is a detail photo of the centre clock. I have divided the centre into the four seasons as well and really tried to get the seasons and embroidery to flow into each other and not make it too jarring.

Centre detail
Each corner of the quilt was devoted to a particular season.

Autumn Corner
Spring corner
Summer corner
Winter corner
I hand appliqued all the flowers, leaves and stems in the four corners and added hand embroidery and beads to enhance them.

Autumn detail

I don't think I have got the season's theme out of my system yet but when I do another one, I think it will be more like a pictorial quilt rather than a crazy quilt. The joy of making art quilts is that I can add the details with the embroidery that I am used to using with my crazy quilts.

So now I am free to start another quilt. I have become quite addicted to the Under the Sea theme and am planning to make a few more of them. I designed an applique miniature quilt a couple of years ago and must try to get that made plus I have a vague idea of another applique quilt, so I have to sit down and try and design that.

I will do some more posts in the future about how I made this quilt because I do take step by step photos as I go.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Victorian Quilters Showcase 2016

The Victorian Quilters Showcase is over for another year and I was really lucky to have won three prizes. I started working away on my 'Seasons' quilt three years ago but I didn't get much sewing done last year because I was minding my granddaughter Savannah. I finally finished it this year in time for the quilt show.

This is a photo that I took of my quilt at the show, you can see the ribbons that I won.

A Time for all Seasons ©2016 Linda Steele
I won Runner Up to Best of Show, 1st in my category and Excellence in Embroidery and Embellishment.
I'll give you all the details and some close up photos of the quilt in my next post.

Here is a photo of Bella Rouge, the quilt by Ramona Resurreccion that won Best of Show.

Ramona Resurreccion with her quilt Bella Rouge
Ramona does the most beautiful machine quilting on her long arm machine and she had two other quilts in the show.

Ramona with her quilt Timeless Treasure
Ramona put a beautifully embroidered table cloth onto a background fabric and quilted it, it's a good idea of how to use all those table linens that we have stored in our cupboards.

Her other quilt was in the Modern Quilt section, it is a quilt that she designed based on the triangle roof of Federation Square in Melbourne.

Making a Point by Ramona Resurreccion
My friend Annie Andrews had two quilts in the show and they both won prizes.

Annie Andrews with her quilt Sandrannie
Texas Stars by Annie Andrews
Eileen Campbell won first prize with her quilt called Please Find my Home. There were pictures of various nursery rhyme houses and you had to match them with the names that were printed on the borders of the quilt.

Please Find my Home by Eileen Campbell
Here are some other quilts from the show
Waterlilies by Suzanne Moore

The Pleasure of Patchwork by Darelle Castelow

Quilted Diamonds by Pat Carroll
Star Medallion by Desley Maisano

While I was doing my white glove duty a man came up to me and asked if I could photograph him in front of his quilt. In return he gave me permission to post a photo on my blog

Denham by Max Lennie
Max was inspired by the Jean Paul Gautier exhibition when he designed his quilt. It was double sided and was hanging beautifully flat.

The Profile a Quilter this year was the beautiful long arm quilter Karen Terrens. Here are a couple of her quilts that were on display.

First Blush by Karen Terrens
A Table for Two by Karen Terrens
Her quilting is so beautiful.

My friend Julie Adamson is a hand quilter and she won Excellence in Hand Quilting and Applique with her quilt called Victorian Lace.

Victorian Lace by Julie Adamson
Here is a detail photo so you can get an idea of her exquisite work.

Victorian lace detail 
I also had an official role at the presentation ceremony in my role as President of Waverley Patchworkers .
Waverley Patchworkers gave an award for the Mainly Applique two person section and it was won by Marjorie Bell for her quilt called the Conway Album Quilt.

Here is a photo of me with Marjorie in front of her quilt.

Here is a photo of the quilt.

The Conway Album quilt is a pattern by Irma Gail Hatcher and it was quilted by Yvonne Sebire.

The Victorian Quilters Showcase had so many beautiful quilts this year and it was a well-attended show. Congratulations to everyone who had a quilt in the show. I always say that anyone who finishes a quilt is a winner. They are easy to start but hard to finish.

In my next post I'll show some more photos of my quilt.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair 2016

The Melbourne Quilt and Craft Fair is always a highlight on any quilter's calendar and it begins tomorrow and runs until Sunday July 31st.
It is always held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre (affectionately known as Jeff's Shed), South Wharf. The Exhibition Centre is right across the road from Crown Casino.

I'll be there tomorrow and again on Sunday morning when I am doing white glove duty.

I hope to catch up with lots of friends and do a bit of shopping as well. My quilt is also in the judged show and the awards ceremony is on at 12pm.

I have been asked to attend the awards ceremony and that usually means that you have won a prize!!
I will also be at the awards ceremony in my capacity as President of Waverley Patchworkers to present a prize.

Here is a sneak peak of my quilt that will be on display at the show. It is called A Time for all Seasons. 

A Time for all Seasons ©2016 Linda Steele
Bye for now,

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Victorian Vietnam Veteran's Civic Reception

Last year I was approached by the President of the Victorian Vietnam Veterans Association asking for my help in making a quilt to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
You can read all about it in my post called Vietnam Veteran's 50th Anniversary Quilt from Dec 15th 2015.

Recently the Vietnam Veterans have written an article in their magazine about the quilt and my involvement in making it.

Earlier this month my husband and I were invited to a Civic Reception that was held at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), it was a very glamorous event. I felt very privileged to be an invited guest; the Premier of Victoria was in attendance as well as other politicians.

The quilt was on display but the lighting was very dark and there were a lot of shadows so it was very hard to get a good photo. But here I am at the Civic reception in front of the quilt.

As well as refreshments, there were speeches and an orchestral performance of a musical piece called Echoes of Conflict written by Vietnam Veteran, Lachlan Wilson. As we were leaving we were all given a CD of the music to take home.

When I got home and showed my son, I was surprised to find out that the composer was my son's Theory teacher at University when he did his music degree. What a small world!

Here is a better photo of the quilt.

I made the centre logo and the top and bottom border.

The Vietnam Veterans have been so kind and polite to me and it was an honour to help them out with the quilt. At all the events that I have been invited to they have made an effort to speak to me and thank me for my involvement.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Elements of Design - Value

The Waverley Art Quilters have been studying the Elements of Design using the book by Sandra Meech called Connecting Design to Stitch.

This month we were looking at Value.

Most people know the saying that colour gets all the credit but value does all the work.

When I told my family that we were studying value in Art Quilters this month they thought we were talking about how much our quilts are worth!

Value is the amount of light, medium or dark in a colour. Most fabrics we can buy are medium tones, there are not a lot of very dark or very light colours available.

The difference between a nice art quilt and a stunning one is usually down to value. You can be assured that the stunning quilt  has lots of really dark fabrics and some extra light fabrics.

I took photos of some of my quilts and converted them to black and white and it became obvious that some of them were lacking in value contrast and they could have been improved.

I got out my black, white and grey fabric and tried to sort them in value order.

I actually swapped the bottom 2nd and 3rd fabric but didn't take a photo of it.

I drew up a little composition using a Seahorse as the focal point and fused the shapes onto a grey background fabric.

I decided to attach the pieces and do the quilting at the same time seeing as it is only an exercise in value. Usually I sew down all the shapes and add embroidery and embellishment before I start the quilting.

I was happy with my little Seahorse when it was quilted.

The more I looked at it the more I thought that the Seahorse blended into the background a bit too much. I started to think about value again and wondered what the composition would look like if I changed the values.

It didn't take long to make up another one.

I liked the second one much better; the dark value made the Seahorse the obvious focal point. When working out the values for the first one I was influenced too much by what I thought the colours in the composition represented. I thought that rocks would be darker than a yellow Seahorse.

In the second composition I didn't think about what colour the shapes were, I only thought in lights, mediums and dark. It was a valuable lesson.
I think that I need to do another value study with the background as the darkest value because dark colours recede and I need to show more depth as I learned at the Fibre Forum Winter School.

Time and time again, I read about something and assume that I understand it all but it is only by doing the work that I truly understand.

Bye for now,