Tuesday 30 April 2013

Clarice Cliff

We were studying Clarice Cliff with the Waverley Art Quilters last month and I must confess that I hadn't heard of her before but I found some lovely big books on her in my local library.

Clarice Cliff was an English ceramic artist who was born in 1899 and died in 1972. She is known for designing and painting ceramics in an Art Deco style. Her first range was named Bizarre and her pieces were so popular that Bizarre became the name for all the work produced under her name.
Clarice Cliff's designs were bold and colourful often using orange, purple and blue but during World War 2 only white pottery was allowed to be made and she stopped designing.

We had been discussing copyright in our group and I was trying to come up with an idea to represent Clarice Cliff whilst still being original.

I liked one of her first designs and used the pattern as a background and took a photo of a white jug with some paint brushes in it to depict her work as a ceramic artist. I used the photo I had taken to make templates for an applique pattern.

Clarice ©2013 Linda Steele
One of our group happened upon a second hand store when she was on holidays in the country and found several Clarice Cliff pieces for sale. A small toast rack was $600! Apparently Australia has the biggest collection of Clarice Cliff ceramics outside of England.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 23 April 2013

AQC 2013

I spent a lovely three and a half days at the Australasian Quilt Convention last week.   AQC is on every year in Melbourne and once again it was situated in the beautiful Royal Exhibition Building. Apart from the classes, quilts and shops, I love being able to catch up with so many other quilters from around Australia. Everyone who participated in classes got a lovely roomy tote bag full of goodies from the many sponsors and shops at the show.

For the first time in years I decided to do a couple of classes with some visiting American tutors, Judy Coates- Perez and Susan Brubaker Knapp. I know them both from their numerous articles in Quilting Arts magazine and they were both running classes about painting on fabric. I have dabbled in painting on fabric myself but it was fun to spend two days painting and getting a few hints on how to improve. Here are a couple of their quilts that they had on show to show you their beautiful work. They were both lovely teachers and many of my friends were in the classes with me so we had a very enjoyable time.

Judy Coates Perez Quilt

Susan Brubaker Knapp Quilt

Another of my friends was doing a four day pictorial applique class with David Taylor.  David was also guest speaker on Thursday night and he was very amusing. David's quilts have won many awards and we were lucky that he had two of them on display.

David Taylor- Cock of the Walk
David Taylor-Maynard
David Taylor-Maynard detail
Every year AQC have a quilt challenge and this year's topic was Free. Helen Godden won this year with her beautiful quilt of horses.

Helen Godden Quilt
The quilting was quite amazing and here is a close-up of it.
Helen Godden's beautiful quilting
The second prize went to another amazing quilt by Gillian Shearer.
Gillian Shearer
Every year the Best of Australia quilt is announced at the Saturday night dinner. The Best of Show from each state is eligible to win and this year it was won by South Australian quilter Rachelle Denneny. Her quilt is a beautiful cream whole-cloth quilt and here is a detail shot of the quilting.
Rachelle Denneny Quilt

The Rajah Award is given to an Australian quilter who has given above and beyond in quilting and its promotion and this year the very worthy winner was Jenny Bowker. I was lucky enough to be Jenny's quilt angel (helper) in her Saturday class and she is a very knowledgeable and generous teacher.

Jenny Bowker's Quilt honouring Margaret Rolfe

I did do some shopping as well and bought a bit of this and that.

Stencils and paint
Lace, dye and beads
Batik Fabric
The quilt convention is over for another year and if you didn't make it this year, don't worry it will be on again next year, no doubt bigger and better than ever.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Round Robin Final

I have finished the final block in our Southern Cross Crazies Round Robin and I am just about to post the block off to its owner. It is the first time that I have participated in a Round Robin and I was a bit nervous at first but it has turned out to be a very rewarding experience.

I suppose it was lucky that the other 7 ladies were very good embroiderers and I had such lovely work to view every month. Not only did I get to see other peoples work but I also got a chance to work with other colours and ideas and because we only had to add an eighth of a part of the block, it wasn't too much work to do.
This is the block I received in the final round.

Final Round Block

Beautiful silk ribbon embroidery

Floral Spray

Embroidery using wool
Isn't the work lovely?

Because I am the last person to work on this block, it was my job to fill in the spaces and make sure the block was balanced.

I decided that the centre was a bit pale with all the colourful detail around the edges and so I put some silk ribbon flowers near the centre and added some butterflies in silk ribbon in a long narrow spot. You can also see some feather stitch between the flowers and the butterflies and I also added some lazy daisies along the edge of the white ribbon

Silk ribbon flowers and butterflies.
Next I put a spider in the web, added some stem stitch to the lace motif, put some Cretan stitch along one of the seams and below that added another little vine with some purple flowers
More details

Herringbone stitch

Finally I added a brass butterfly charm on the white fabric below the lace motif. Here is the finished block.

Block finished
I can post this block off to its owner and I have another job off my to-do list!

This has been a rewarding experience and the added bonus was that I got to know some other crazy quilters around Australia just a bit better and who knows we might even meet in person one day!

I wonder what my block will look like when it returns to me!

Bye for now,

Monday 8 April 2013


I have some exciting news to share. I have been asked to teach crazy quilting on a cruise next February!!

The cruise is a Needlework, Patchwork and Craft Cruise and it runs for 14 nights to New Zealand.
It departs from Sydney and leaves on Feb 13th 2014.

The ship looks luxurious and amazing with indoor and outdoor pools, dining rooms, lounges and bars, theatre and on board entertainment and even a day spa and fitness centre.

There are 20 other teachers apart from me and you can choose 2x2 day classes and 1x1 day class. That means there are 5 days of classes and the rest of the time you will be enjoying the ship entertainment or sight-seeing around New Zealand.

The cruise will be stopping at Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Dunedin, Dusky Sound, Milford Sound and Hobart.

It looks beautiful and even though we will be doing all that sight-seeing, we don't have to cart our luggage around; it just stays on the boat.

Husbands and non sewing friends are very welcome; there is plenty to do while we are occupied with our classes.

I am teaching a Crazy Quilt Patchwork Journal Cover as my one day class and my Crazy about Australia Quilt as a 2 day class and my Crazy Quilt Block Holder as a 2 day class.

Here is the link for the Needlework Cruise Website to find out further information.

Bye for now,