Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Vision 2020

I spent the last few weeks before Christmas working on a piece for Brenda Gael Smith's latest exhibition called Vision 2020. She announced the idea a few months before and as usual I never have an idea straightaway.

Then in late November, I got the idea of people having a vision or thinking about the future of coral reefs, as they are currently in danger. I wanted to use a face and took a few photos of myself that I wasn't very happy with. I went to the shopping centre with my daughter and her children to get 4- year-old Jack's haircut. He hates haircuts and you can hear his screams all over the centre. When it was finally over, I took a photo of Jack. Jack doesn't know how to act in front of a camera and instead of just smiling he did this funny side to side look.

Anyway, it was just a fluke but it was the perfect face for my quilt, Fragile Future.

Fragile Future ©2020 Linda Steele

I was absolutely thrilled to find out that I was one of the accepted entries and they will be on display at AQC (Australasian Quilt Convention) in April and then going on to tour around Australia and overseas.
Working on that quilt meant that I didn't make anything for the AQC challenge called Going Green this year. I decided to take the pressure off myself and I am glad that I did.

I also received the news that my quilt Magical Coral Reef got accepted into Gems of the Ocean in Oregon, USA and it will be on display there in February.

Magical Coral Reef ©2019 Linda Steele

The other good news was that one of my contemporary quilts called Connections-The Teenage Years got accepted into Art Quilt Elements 2020 in Pennsylvania USA and will be on display there in March.

Connections-The Teenage years by Linda Steele

Just in case you think I live a charmed life, I have just heard that I didn't get into the Australian Textile Art Award, so I certainly don't get into everything I try out for. It was just a lucky start to the year.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Happy 2020

We are only 3 weeks into 2020 and I have had a busy but fun time.
We had a lovely family Christmas but on the 1st of Jan it was time for my youngest son Cam to go back to Japan. He has been teaching English over there and his 12 months will be up at the end of March. Then he will come home again. He is enjoying living in Japan but he says he is ready to get on with his life in Australia now. Here I am saying goodbye to Cam at the airport.

On the 4th of Jan it was my father in law's 90th birthday, so the family minus Cam were back together again.

I had a lovely day with my two daughters and 3 grandchildren at Chelsea beach.

The flyers arrived from Vista Print to advertise my upcoming solo exhibition in Kyabram.

My phone kept going flat and I had to start charging it twice a day! It was time to gt a new phone and I got the I Phone 11 which I really love.

It takes wonderful photos. We have had terrible bush-fires here in Australia over the summer. Luckily I live in Melbourne and was at least 3 hours drive away. We did have some horrible smoke haze for a few days. Luckily, a cool change arrived which helped the fire fighters get the fires under control. One minute is was really hot and next minute we had a hail storm.

I took the photo above with my new phone and was pleased with how it photographed the hail.

I love everything about my phone except for one thing that I had heard nothing about before. Apple have changed the photos to a Heic file and Windows computers do not recognise that type of file!!
I was shocked when I uploaded my photos to the computer and they were all blank. I Googled it and had to download an app that lets Windows PC open the photos.
Then I tried to open the photos in Photoshop where I crop and resize my photos, to find that Photoshop cannot open a Heic file either. Then I had to download another program that changed the photos to a jpg!

I do not know why Apple decided to be so difficult. Anyway, that's the only drawback to my new phone.

I also planned the program for Waverley Art Quilters this year, it's all about working in a series, that should be fun and hopefully successful.

I have been busy sewing as much as I can and well as socialising with the grandchildren. I have had good news too and have successfully got into 3 exhibitions. I tell more about that in my next post.

My calendar is already pretty full for this year but I can handle it! Here's to a good 2020.

Bye for now,

Friday, 20 December 2019

Merry Christmas 2019

I had my Christmas break up party with my sewing friendship group this week. Every year someone decides on a little Kris Kringle gift for us to make and share with the group.

This year we had to make a scissor fob; it took me nearly all year to get it started. I embroidered a ribbon rose onto some purple felt and beaded the edge to give it some weight. Janice got mine.

Scissor fob

I actually embroidered the rose on both sides. A scissor fob hangs on the end of the scissor handles. It has a two-fold use; it identifies the scissors as yours plus it adds some weight to the scissors so they are more likely to fall handle first and protect the points of the scissors.

I received a lovely beaded scissor fob from Mariya.

Beaded scissor fob

All my commitments are over for the year and here in Australia we have our long summer holidays. I am looking forward to the break and hope to get lots of sewing done.

We had our photo with Santa as usual but this year we had a photo that included my two daughters and myself with the 3 grandchildren. I have put all the previous Santa photos on the fridge and it's lovely to see the change in them. Savannah is 5, Jack is 3 and Anna is 1. Such a special time.

My son Cam is coming home from Japan for 10 days; it will be good to see him again especially as he has been sick with the flu recently.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Queensland Holiday

Last week, I flew up to Queensland for a 5-day holiday on the Gold Coast. I went with my daughter, her husband and Savannah who is now 5 years old. Christmas is a busy time of year for my husband so he couldn't come with us.

It was so lovely and warm up there and we really made the most of our trip with activities on every day.
We went to the Brisbane Modern Art Gallery on the day we arrived because I was interested in seeing the Water exhibition. I think it was a good choice too because we hadn't adjusted to the Queensland heat yet!

The Waterhole exhibition by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang lived up to its reputation. It was so large I couldn't get it all into one photo.

Waterhole by Cai Guo-Qiang

The animals were all life size and very realistic looking. The exhibition is about how important water is to the animals and they are all together with their heads bowed drinking water and not worried about fighting each other.

In another room was a huge rocky riverbed, it's not a very good photo but you get the idea of the massive scale.

River Bed by Olafur Eliasson

The Gold Coast in Queensland is famous for its theme parks, so the next day we were off to Sea World. We had a wonderful and of course I went to the aquariums to get some coral reef inspiration.

I haven't done one of those fish with the large white spots before so I'll definitely include one soon.

They had a great selection of rides for children and adults, so everyone had a fun day. We even got a photo of Savannah with a Ninja Turtle.

The following day we were off the Movie World and this time Savannah posed with Wonder Woman.

At the end of the day my daughter and her husband went off to do the scary rides and Savannah and I did the children's rides again. It was hot and the lines were long and we both had sticky hands from the fairy floss. We decided to wet our hands in the water feature. It was an area where children had put on their bathers and were running through the water. We didn't know it was there so we didn't bring any swimming costumes with us.

Savannah started running in and out of it and accidentally got a little wet. We thought it was very funny and finally I said she could go in there with her clothes on.

I had never seen such complete joy in a child before. I think she was extra delighted because she knew it was a bit naughty and Mum and Dad weren't around.

Of course, she was completely drenched and we had to go to the gift shop and buy her some clothes and a towel. She picked a pink Super Woman T-shirt that had a cape on the back and she wore it non- stop for the rest of the holiday. Her parents weren't cross either!!

Here we are eating ice-creams, we were a twosome from the time she woke up in the mornings. How special to have this time with Savannah.

Her parents played a joke on me too. When we were at Sea World, they left Savannah and I having fun and they went on some of those scary rides. They came running back to tell me that I had to go on one of the rides because it wasn't scary and it was so much fun that they came to get me to try it. I went on with Marlon while Alison stayed with Savannah because Savannah wasn't tall enough for the ride. Needless to say, it was absolutely terrifying and I was lucky not to be flung out to my death. They laughed and laughed when we got off saying that it was the scariest ride and they played a trick on me!

Sometimes I think that they forget that I am not a spring chicken anymore. I didn't like those rides even when I was a teenager.

All too quickly the holiday came to an end but I felt lucky to be invited to come on their family holiday and it was a relaxing start to the Christmas season.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Quilting Practice 2

I have been having fun with the Angela Walters Free Motion Quilting 2018, I found it by accident one day and thought it would be a good way to keep my quilting muscles warmed up for when I need to quilt again.

The second lesson was called Continuous Curves. I marked up the squares with a purple fade away marker.

Then I stitched around the squares using a small scallop curve.

Continuous Curves

I've done this lots of time before and used to teach this pattern, but the aim is just to keep practicing, because we often don't quilt for a long time because those quilt tops take a long time to make.

Angela also suggested doing a continuous curve in a larger size. So, I marked up another square and did a different pattern.

The secret to doing continuous curve designs is to keep the curves shallow.

The following lesson was called Leafy Meander. Sort of like a continuous curve but there are no grid lines to follow.

Leafy Meander

It's such a fun challenge and I love that it only takes 5 minutes to do.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Quilting Practice 1

On Facebook a few weeks ago someone mentioned that she was doing Angela Walters Free Motion Challenge Quilt a Long as quilting practice. I decided to look it up and came across some videos from 12 months ago. On the spur of moment, I decided to have a go.

I actually already had a panel of squares that I had sewn together about 4 years ago and had never used, so it was easy to start straight away.

Panel of squares ready to go

Angela Walters mentioned that she was using Aurifil thread and I had a lovely pale gold that was perfect. I usually quilt with silk thread so sewing with a different thread was good practice also.

Aurifil Thread

Although Angela didn't mention it, I ditch stitch around the inside of each block before I started the quilting. I wanted to do some ruler practice as well, so I used the Line Tamer ruler by Four Paws Quilting, it's such a great ruler.

Line Tamer Ruler

Ditch stitching with Line tamer ruler

The first lesson was a meander or stipple stitch, which I have done a million times before but she also mentioned echoing around the inside of the block first, so I did that for the first time.

Meander or stipple quilting.

Well, that was a good start and so much fun, because it only took about 5 minutes to do. I have some quilts that I am making at the moment that will need quilting next year, so doing some regular quilting practice might make it easier.

I have since found out that Angela Walters is doing another quilt-a-long practice at the moment, so it's not too late to join in the fun.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Art Quilters Dinner 2019

It's hard to believe that another year is coming to an end. I've already had two break up parties. We had the Waverley Patchworkers Christmas meeting on Monday night with a really good turnout. At the Christmas meeting we bring a plate of food to share at our tables and have a sit and sew night. Instead of paying our entrance fee we all bring food for Christmas hampers for the Waverley Benevolent Society. They make up hampers for the people in the area that are going through tough times. I wish that I had taken a photo of all the donations, there were bags and bags of yummy treats.

The Waverley Art Quilters also have their break up in November because December gets too busy. We went to our favourite local Chinese restaurant as usual. Here we are looking gorgeous!

The Waverley Art Quilters

Because I run the group, they gave me a lovely glass candle holder called Klimt's Flowers. I absolutely love it!

Klimt's Flowers Candle holder

One of our members, Marion, makes beautiful cards and she made me one this year and everyone in the group signed it. Definitely a treasure to keep.

Every year we are given a challenge to complete over the holidays. The challenge was supplied by Norma this year, we are calling it the circle challenge.

The Circle Challenge

The instructions say that we can paint, dye, add other fabrics, weave, applique, piece, use hand or machine embroidery or anything we can think of!

We all got a different DMC thread to use and mine is a sage green. We can use it as colour inspiration for our challenge.
I have no idea what I am going to make with this challenge. It would be sensible to get on with it and do it now and not a couple of days before it is due next year.

Mmm, I have a long list of work to do over the holidays for the various challenges, quilt shows and competitions in 2020. I suppose I just have to add it to the list.

Bye for now,