Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Marimekko Inspired

Last month the Waverley Art Quilters were immersed in Marimekko designs. Many of us drove up to Bendigo Art Gallery to see the Marimekko exhibition. You can see the post about my visit to the exhibition here.

I am lucky enough to have a Marimekko shop at my local shopping centre and for a recent birthday I got two Marimekko cushions.

Marimekko cushions

Even the Clinique makeup company had a gift with purchase and it came in a Marimekko bag.

Clinique makeup bag with Marimekko pattern

I do love black and white.

I was actually inspired by two large black and white ottomans at the Marimekko exhibition and thought I would piece together many black and white fabrics for my little quilt.

Marimekko Ottoman

I gathered my black and white fabrics and laid them out in what I thought was a pleasing design.

Black and white fabric layout

I decided to piece them together placing white fabric in the spaces.

Black and white background
That was going to be my quilt but it just wasn't enough; I had to think of a way to enliven it. I remembered all that plain fabric that I have left over from the Nancy Crow classes and I also remembered the knitwear that I photographed at the exhibition.

Marimekko knitwear

I really loved all those spots. I got out some blue fabric and cut up lots of circles and fused them on top of the pieced background.

That looked much more interesting and of course even better when it was quilted

Marimekko inspired ©2018 Linda Steele

I really enjoyed making this little quilt which is only A3 size, but it gives me an idea to make one a lot bigger.

You can see this quilt and see what the other members of the Waverley Art Quilters made at our quilt Show on the 2nd and 3rd June.
Mulgrave Community Centre
355 Wellington Road,

As well as the quilts there is a cafe and 6 shops.

Hope to see you there.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Waverley Patchworkers Quilt Show Preparation

We have the Waverley Patchworkers Quilt Show coming up on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June 2018.

Here is a photo of our raffle quilt this year.

Waverley Patchworkers Raffle Quilt 2018

It has been beautifully quilted by one of our members Naomi Hynes of The Elegant Stitch.

We always have a challenge at our quilt show and this year the challenge is called Birds of a Feather, so I am looking forward to seeing what our members make for that.

Our flyer also has a bird on it.

We are at a different venue this year because our usual hall is being renovated. The new address is 

Mulgrave Community Centre
355 Wellington Road

There is plenty of parking and we will have a large quilt display as well as a display from the Waverley Art Quilters.

There will be 6 shops, a café and demonstrations.

The show is open on Saturday 2nd June from 9am to 5pm and Sunday 9am to 4pm.

Hope to see you there.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Farewell to my friend

My dear friend Sue recently passed away and I can hardly believe she is gone.

We moved across the road from her and her family in 1984 and my 3 year old son saw some kids playing over there and went right over there and started playing with them.

Sue and I bonded over the kids and our love of Jane Austen books. We were busy bring up children and it wasn't until 13 years later that Sue introduced me to patchwork.

Here is a photo of us from 2 years ago, we spent so much time together that we didn't take many photos of each other.

She was always there on the end of the phone or email. We emailed daily. As soon as something happened, be it a major event like an engagement or new baby or just an annoying experience from a trades person we would contact each other about it.

Back in those early patchwork days we would travel to different patchwork shops on a weekly basis and often get lost because we were both hopeless with directions. So much fun and laughter though.

I rang Sue the day before she went into hospital for elective surgery and we were discussing our next outing and planning our trip to Uluru in August.

Unfortunately she didn't revive well from the anaesthetic and developed pneumonia and just couldn't recover.

Sue, Me and Annemarie in 2006

Sue loved applique quilts and was always making lovely soft quilts with flowers on them. 

Our family spent many a Christmas lunch at her place and Sue was such a good cook and prepared a magnificent feast every year. We were at all her family events, like birthdays, weddings and engagements and she and her husband Bob were at all our big occasions as well.

I found a couple of old photos of us. Here is one from 1991 when she had her red hair.

Here is another photo from my 40th birthday

Sue changed her hair style a lot more than me.

Our lives were so entwined and I miss her so much. She was a life changing friend for me, she introduced me to patchwork, she decided that we would join Waverley Patchworkers and of course quilting has become such a major part of my life.

Treasure your friends, life goes by so quickly and can change in an instant.

Bye for now,

Friday, 4 May 2018

Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazine

The latest Australian Patchwork and Quilting (AP&Q) magazine is in the shops at the moment and it has a lovely 2 page article about me.

It is Vol 38 No 3. Jessica Harlow interviewed me a few months ago and asked for some photos of some of my quilts. I think she has done a good job with the article.

It never gets old seeing my quilts in a magazine, thank you AP&Q for the invitation.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Marimekko Exhibition

Last week a couple of friends and I drove up to Bendigo to see the Marimekko exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery Marimekko is a  design company from Finland which began in 1951 making fabrics for ready to wear clothing.

Now they design fabrics for clothing and decorating.

Here I am at the entrance to the gallery.

There lots of displays of fabric and clothing from over the years and I clearly remember the shift style dresses of the 1960's that my mother used to make for me. I enjoyed looking at the exhibition from a design perspective and it was interesting to see that the following fabric was inspired by rain.

I liked this knitwear maybe because I love striped and spotted fabric these days.

They make fabric in different scales, smaller sized for clothing and larger for curtain material. One of the fabrics on display is what I recently bought as a cushion but the fabric was a smaller scale than the fabric on display.

Most of the designs were very abstract with a lot of black and white featured but I liked seeing this more organic screen print.

I  especially liked the display in the last room.

They often had the large scale fabric on display as well as the same fabric in a dress.

Most of the fabrics were cotton but they also produce silk fabric such as in the dress in the following photo.

The main reason I had for going to the exhibition was that we are studying Marimekko with the Waverley Art Quilters this month. What a coincidence that I picked Marimekko to study long before I knew there was going to be an exhibition.

The exhibition is on until the 11th June, so there is plenty of time to get there.

Now I have to work on my Marimekko challenge piece in time for our next meeting.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Bleaching Map

Last month our topic for the Waverley Art Quilters was Maps.

I struggled with this at first as I was looking at maps of my suburb but it wasn't inspiring me and then I thought about doing a map of the places where I've lived but still I didn't feel any enthusiasm. I started to wonder how I could do a map that tied in with my coral reef series and suddenly I felt a stirring of interest. I was Googling maps of the Great Barrier Reef when I found an article and illustration of where the coral bleaching was occurring up in Queensland.

Apart from being dismayed at the large bleaching area I knew I had found an idea for my map challenge.

I found a perfect hand dyed fabric for the water but didn't have a hand dyed fabric with enough interest for the land so I decided to do some sun printing and make my own fabric.

Here is the first layer of sun printing. I used a black Sun dye called Currawong.

When it was dry, I heat set it with the iron and sun dyed a second layer with magenta and orange.

That made an interesting fabric but would have been too distracting and obvious if I used it as it was, so I cut it up into squares and rectangles and pieced it together.

That made it more interesting.

I painted some Lutradur, which is a polyester cross between fabric and paper, but it is more fabric like and takes paint very easily and doesn't fray. I wish I had taken more photos but I was rushing to get this finished before AQC.

I left some Lutradur white and painted another piece two shades of orange to represent how good or bad the bleaching is.

Over the top of the Lutradur I free motion embroidered some star shapes to look like coral.

Finally I added some stamping and thermofax screens with some fabric paint.

Bleaching Map

You can see how badly the coral bleaching is in the north of Queensland and down in the south where the temperatures are a bit cooler there is no bleaching.

It is very distressing when I see how beautiful the coral reefs looked 20 years ago compared to what they look like now.

I can't think of what to call this little A3 quilt, Bleaching Map doesn't seem very creative!!

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

AQC 2018 part 2

I have well and truly recovered from the quilt convention but it took a few days, I really should learn to pace myself a bit more.

I took so many photos of the quilts but I will just show the ones that particularly caught my eye.

I loved Delightful Daisies by Bernadine Hine, she painted the quilt and it really glowed.

Delightful Daisies by Bernadine Hine

I also loved this heron quilt.

Heron by Janelle Northcott

There was a display of 12 quilts by Jo Wearing, they were all big quilts and the patterns were designed by Judy Niemeyer, my favourite one was Paradise in Blooms

Paradise in Blooms by Jo Wearing

There were 3 quilts called Royals by Sarah Fraser, they made a striking display.

Royals by Sarah Fraser
They look like photos but I took a close up of Lady Diana's eye so you can see how it's made of squares of fabric.

Royals detail
I met Carolyn Sullivan a quilter from New South Wales who had a retrospective of her work, she usually works in earthy tones with a lot of hand stitching but recently she has done some bright, graphic work that really appealed to me. I love the texture she achieved in the background.

Abstract trees by Carolyn Sullivan

There was also a huge display of work by a quilter from the UK named Gillian Travis. I really liked the screen printing and stamping that she has done to add detail to her work. Gillian was also a tutor while she was here.

Gillian Travis

Gillian Travis

Gillian Travis

Another tutor was Meri Vahl from the USA, I went to her lecture and it was very interesting. She has won the Best of the World quilt 2 or 3 times and I never appreciated how good her quilts were from photos. They are fantastic in person.

Free Tibet by Meri Vahl 

Now look at the wonderful detail

Meri Vahl detail

Meri Vahl detail

There was also a SAQA exhibition called Turmoil and Tranquility and two of my favourites were from Suzan Engler and Donna Deaver.

The following quilt looks as if the middle square is sitting forward but the quilt was completely flat, it was all done with clever shading.

Winter Silence by Susan Engler

I have always admired photos of Donna Deaver's sea quilts and was glad to see one up close at last.

Morning Walk by Donna Deaver
Even looking at her quilt up close, I still don't know how she achieves such wonderful movement in the sea.

So that's AQC over for another year, I feel so lucky to have it held in Melbourne so I can go every year. I suppose that's how the quilters who live in Houston must feel.

Bye for now,