Monday 25 June 2012

Napoleon Exhibiton

Over the weekend I attended the latest exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria titled Napoleon: Revolution to Empire.
I didn't know what to expect from this exhibition and had even considered not going. What a mistake it would have been to have missed this wonderful display.

I realised that I hardly knew anything about Napoleon and can now understand why he is such a famous figure in history. As the title of the exhibition suggests the display begins with the French Revolution and documents his rise to power.

I found the beginning of the exhibition very interesting but was so surprised by the second half of the exhibition that shows the opulence of Napoleon's life when he became Emperor. I was especially surprised at how soon after the French Revolution that this occurred.

As well as the glorious paintings of the time there is a huge display of the decorative arts. Clocks, swords, dinner sets, jewellery, crowns, vases, furniture and clothing are all on display and they are jaw-droppingly ornate and beautiful.

I always find ornate decoration to be very inspiring and see inspiration for quilts and quilting designs everywhere I look.

I was surprised to see gold embroidered bees all over Napoleons red velvet cloak. He had adopted the bee as his emblem of immortality because golden bees were discovered in a tomb in 1653 and were considered to be the oldest emblem of the sovereigns of France.

This made me think of bees in a new light. I have included some bees in my quilts.
Bee in Crazy about Spring

Many bees in Crazy about Spring
Bees in Quilting all over the World
But I couldn't find as many bees as I thought in my work. I usually add bee charms instead of embroidering them.
Bee charm in Naturally Crazy
I think I will embroider a bee this week in honour of Napoleon and how much I enjoyed the exhibition.

The exhibition is on at the National Gallery of Victoria in St. Kilda Road, Melbourne until the 7th October 2012. So there is still plenty of time to see this wonderful display.

Bye for now,

Monday 18 June 2012

Sydney Quilt Show 2012

Last week I travelled up to Sydney to visit the Quilters Guild of NSW Quilt Show. People from all over Australia made the same trip because the Guild was celebrating its 30th birthday.
The Sydney show is very big with plenty of quilts on display and plenty of shops to tempt you to spend your money.

In honour of their 30th birthday the guild invited 30 well known, award winning quilters to participate in two "one-off" Master Quilter Categories. One category was for the Traditional quilts and the other category was for the Contemporary or Art Quilts. I was honoured to be asked to participate.

I entered my quilt Holiday Waltz and was so thrilled to receive 2nd prize.
Holiday Waltz ©2012 Linda Steele
Rachelle Denneny won 1st prize with her beautiful wholecloth quilt named Golden Ivory. I am friends with Rachelle and I watched her quilt this quilt, step by step as she posted the photos on her Facebook page. It was wonderful to see the finished quilt.

Here is a detail shot to get an idea of the beautiful quilting.
Golden Ivory detail © 2012 Rachelle Denneny
Jenny Bowker made a stunning quilt as a tribute to quilt maker Margaret Rolfe. I was lucky enough to be there when Margaret Rolfe saw the finished quilt for the first time. Here is a photo of Margaret in front of the quilt.
The Quiltmaker © 2012 Jenny Bowker
Best of Show went to Ming Hsu for her quilt named Long Fong(Chinese Dragon and Phoenix).
On one of my white glove duties I was in charge of minding the Best of Show quilt and I got to study this wonderful quilt in detail.
Long Fong detail © 2012 Ming Hsu
Here are a couple of other quilts that were in the Masters section.
The Unicorn's Garden © Eileen Campbell

The Forever Journey:eat, pray, stay © 2012 Julie Haddrick

Here is the link to see all the winners at the Sydney Quilt Show 2012. There are links at the top of the page to see the winning quilts in each section

By the way, I also won another prize in the show. My quilt Naturally Crazy won 4th in Mixed Techniques.
Naturally Crazy © 2012 Linda Steele

 I had a wonderful time at the show and met up with many friends and made some new friends as well.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 12 June 2012

June Crazy Block

I am ready to show you my June block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2012 (CQJP). This time it is another blue block. I really love working with the blue colours. It was always my favourite colour growing up, although I probably liked a lighter blue than this. This block is  9 inches wide, all my blocks are going to end up being a round shape but they look square at the moment.

Nutcracker © 2012 Linda Steele
In keeping with my Christmas scene, I have put a nutcracker in the middle of this one. I have quite a collection of nutcrackers that go on display every Christmas, so I had to include one in my quilt.

Can you see the Mouse King lurking up in the top right hand side?

Nutcracker detail
I have used a turkey stitch for the Nutcracker's beard. It is such a bushy beard that it is a bit hard to see his mouth.

This is what the base block looked like before I added the embroidery.

June base block
I was working on this block at the Australasian Quilt Convention (AQC) this year, just in case anyone saw me there and thinks that this block looks vaguely familiar.

People from all over the world are making crazy quilt blocks for the Journal project this year. You can see them by clicking on the link CQJP 2012

Bye for now,

Friday 8 June 2012

Art Quilters Display

I forgot to tell everyone about the Waverley Art Quilters display that was on at the Waverley Patchworkers Quilt show a couple of weeks ago. It was a very popular display and we received some lovely compliments about our work. Most of the work displayed is an A3 size. We find that A3 is an achievable size for a small, once a month challenge. For the first couple of years we used A4 but that size became a bit limiting.

Waverley Art Quilters Display 2012
We only showed some of our recent work and not everyone was able to put their work in the display.

Van Gogh Inspired
Inspiration from Image
I think the Inspiration from Image part of the display was my favourite, maybe it was the complementary colours of red and green that made it so vibrant.

To read my last post about the Waverley Patchworkers Quilt Show, click here

Seeing all those red leaves reminds me that there is an Art Quilt Competition running at the moment called One Red Thread. Click on the link to find out all about it. It will be running in conjunction with the Berry Quilting Retreat in September this year, but I think entry forms are due at the end of June. I promised that I would enter, so I had better get onto that!

Bye for now,

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Quilting in Ballarat

There is going to be a wonderful quilting retreat in Ballarat next year. It is called
 Quilt at the Winter School. and the venue is Ballarat Grammar.
Imagine spending 5 days from the 6th to the 12th of July 2012 happily sewing, laughing and learning, chatting, shopping and having a break from your everyday commitments.

There are 11 tutors including myself. I am teaching Celebrate the Crazy Quilt and 5 days will give you time to experience the joy of Crazy Quilting and help find your artistic voice.
Crazy about Kookaburras © 2010 Linda Steele

Over the five days you will learn all of the crazy quilt stitches and combinations as well as 3 different methods of piecing your base block.
Immerse yourself in fabric and thread while we discuss colour and design and how to make quilts that reflect you.
The skills you will learn can be applied to all your work including traditional and art quilts.
Topics covered include, Foundation piecing, Hand embroidery, Ribbon embroidery, Appliqué, Beading, Design, Colour, Dyeing and painting lace and ribbons and much more.

I will be giving the class some patterns but I will also be teaching you how to break free from patterns and design your own.

It sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. I have heard that you must book early to ensure a single room.
Click on the link Quilt at the Winter School to find out all about it.

For all those  readers on Facebook, I now have a Facebook page for Linda Steele Quilts. Just click on the link in the right sidebar of my blog to find the page. The page is only a couple of weeks old, so it's pretty new.

Bye for now,