Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Adelaide Craft and Quilt Fair 2019

The week after I got home from Japan, I went to Adelaide to visit family and friends and the Adelaide Craft and Quilt Fair. It was held at the Adelaide Convention Centre in the city and that made it so easy to get there by public transport.

The major attraction this year was that Danny Amazonas was the guest artist. You can see how big they are by the photo below. They are huge and super impressive.

Me in front of one of Danny Amazonas' Quilts

The quilt that I am in front of is called Abyss.

Abyss by Danny Amazonas

Here is a detail photo so you can get an idea of the hundreds of fabrics that are included.

Abyss detail

Danny did a long talk and spoke about his quilts and how he makes them. He puts fusible web behind his fabrics and also starches his fabrics so they are ready and easy to use. He makes his own starch.

Danny doing his talk

He seemed like a lovely humble person. His quilts are very large, the one below named Bouquet is 3 metres wide and 1.76 metres high.

Bouquet by Danny Amazonas

I loved Levitate almost as much as I loved the undersea quilts. I am into circles at the moment!

Levitate by Danny Amazonas

Here is a detail photo so you can see all the fabrics, Danny uses a lot of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Levitate detail

I went to Danny's morning lecture and in the afternoon I did my duty at the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates). SAQA had the Textile Posters exhibition on show.

While I was in Adelaide I went to the South Australian Art Gallery to see the Ben Quilty Exhibition. Ben Quilty is a young, famous Australian artist. He won a prestigious Portrait Prize, called the Archibald Prize, a few years ago with his portrait of another famous Australian artist, Margaret Olley.

Margaret Olley by Ben Quilty

I have seen this portrait before but this time I was so struck by how thick the paint was.

Paint texture
When I did my painting classes a few years ago I was being so careful to be smooth, I should have been much more free!

Ben Quilty's exhibition was mainly focussing on his paintings that he had done since his trip as an artist in war torn, Afghanistan. I found the paintings quite sad and full of anguish and didn't take many photos.

Life Jackets by Ben Quilty

At the gallery there was also a work by Japanese artist, Chiharu Shiota. She makes big installations using string that she weaves. I saw a documentary on her recently and she said that she is inspired by the idea of what or who used to be present in a room.She says that she feels the presence in absence and the red represents blood.

Absence Embodied by Chiharu Shiota

It was a brief but lovely visit to Adelaide.

Bye for now,

Monday, 3 June 2019


My youngest son, Cam decided to spread his wings and teach English in Japan for 12 months. My husband and I went with him in March to see him get settled. He was very glad to have us there as there was surprisingly little English spoken in Kobe.

We had to get him registered as a resident and find the shops, buy supplies, open a bank account, find out about getting the internet connected, learn to navigate the train system etc. There were lots of little things to do that were much more difficult when there was no English. Even the instructions for the TV we bought were all in Japanese of course.

Here is a photo of Cam all ready for his first day of work. He was pretty nervous and didn't want his photo taken.


Anyway, we did it and managed to get some sight-seeing done as well.

The first thing we did was see Osaka Castle, Osaka is the closest main city to Kobe where Cam is living.

Osaka Castle
Here is a close up photo of one of the gold decorations that you can see on the roof.

Osaka Castle Roof decoration

Everywhere we looked in Japan we could see these bonsai like pine trees.

Japanese Pine Tree

We went to Kyoto a couple of times. We spent a day at the Fushimi Inari Shrine. It is a huge walk up through the red gates. I wish that I had taken note of how long it took but I was too exhausted. Lots of the young girls wear their kimonos to the heritage sites and I asked one if I could take her photo. She looked so gorgeous.

Japanese Kimono

Here is a photo of some of the shrines at the top to prove that we actually made it.

View of the top
On the way down I took a different route and went through an old village and saw some Koi fish.

Koi Fish

Even though it was early in March we did see a few early blossom trees.

Blossom trees
It must look absolutely beautiful when they are all out.

On another day in Kyoto we went to see the famous Golden Pavilion.

Golden Pavilion

It was a dull day when we were there and we had a bit of rain but it was still beautiful.

Golden Pavilion Lake view

We went everywhere by train and their system is so efficient. I couldn't resist taking a photo of this man in traditional dress.

Japanese man at station
There were special places to stand and line up and the train doors opened at exactly the right spot. You don't have to run around to find a door like we do in Australia. In fact, I never saw anyone rushing the whole time we were there. If you miss a train you don't have to worry because there will be another in 2 minutes. I suppose the population is so much greater over there.

There were lots of attractions in Kobe. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza and right next door was the Kobe Herb Gardens which went right up the mountain. I took so many photos of the beautiful gardens but here is one of me next to the Mother and Child statue. It was starting to sink in that I was going to leave my baby behind.

Me with Mother and Child statue

Kobe is unique in that it is right between the mountains and a harbour.

Kobe Harborland
We enjoyed Harborland because there was a huge western style shopping centre that seemed like it was built for tourists. There was even a International food section with English writing, so we knew what we were buying.

Kobe had a large zoo that was like zoos used to be when I was young, sort of glass cages so you got a really good view of the animals.




On our last day we went to the Kobe Aquarium, it's not as famous as the Osaka Aquarium but it was really good with a huge variety of fish.

Kobe Aquarium

There were decorated manhole covers everywhere.

That is a very brief look at our wonderful time in Japan. I took a lot of photos and absolutely loved our time there.

My son seems happy living in his miniscule apartment and has already had a visit from his girlfriend and a friend from school here in Australia.

I loved Japan, the people are very polite and we felt very safe and didn't worry about leaving Cam over there. I would love to go back again, we didn't get a chance to visit Tokyo and I'd love to do one of those textile tours.

Bye for now,

Friday, 24 May 2019

What a year so far

I can hardly believe that I haven't written a blog post this year! My life has been an absolute whirlwind. Every year seems busier than the last and this year the time is racing by.

I spent January making a quilt for the AQC challenge-Magic. I called my quilt The Magical Coral Reef! Imagine my surprise when it won viewer's Choice.

Magical Coral Reef and me

At the end of February I went to Japan with my husband and son for 2 weeks. We had a wonderful time but it was sad to say goodbye to my son Cam, who is going to live in Kobe for 12 months teaching English.

Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan
While I was in Japan my brother in Adelaide passed away unexpectedly from a burst Aneurysm, he was only 59 years old.

When I got home from Japan, I went to Adelaide to visit my remaining brother and while I was there the Adelaide Quilt and Craft Fair was on. I got to see the amazing quilts of Danny Amazonas.

Danny Amazonas
 I have been to Montsalvat to see the Polly Hollyoak  exhibition.

Polly Hollyoak
I went to the National Gallery to see the Escher exhibition.


When I was in Adelaide I went to the art gallery to see the Ben Quilty exhibition.

Margaret Olley by Ben Quilty

In Sale I saw the Annemieke Mein exhibition.

Annemieke Mien

I still run the Waverley Art quilters and during the Christmas holidays we had the Kimono Challenge.

Where's the Coral by Linda Steele
We have also studied Klimt.

A Touch of Klimt by Linda Steele

In the last month I have been to Kyabram, Canberra, Yarrawonga and Bairnsdale. It has been so busy.

In Bairnsdale we had the Victorian Quilters Autumn Gathering.

I was in Canberra for the opening of the SAQA Connections Exhibition for the Oceania region. I was absolutely thrilled to be accepted.

SAQA Connections exhibition.

This is a snapshot of what I have been up to. Hopefully I will take some time in the coming weeks to give some more details.

Of course there are 3 little people that also take up a lot of time, but they are such a joy.

I am sorry if I haven't taken the time to comment on people's blogs but I have been keeping up.

Bye for now,

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Merry Christmas 2018

I posted a photo of my Christmas Quilt on my Facebook Page and people are always asking for some close-up photos so I thought I might post them again seeing as the posts I did about it were back in 2013.

Christmas Crazy by Linda Steele

I made this quilt, Christmas Crazy back in 2013 and it will probably be the only Christmas quilt I will ever make.

Here are some photos of some of the blocks, if you click on the photos they should enlarge.

This is a photo of the large block at the top.

I actually keep this quilt hanging in my sewing studio all year round, I do love it and don't want to store it away.

Actually, I just remembered that I did a Christmas block for the 2019 Crazy Quilt Calendar earlier this year.

Crazy Quilt Calendar Block 2019
You can read about it here.

Merry Christmas,