Tuesday 25 June 2013

Charmed-Lotus Flower

A package arrived last week and I was mystified because I couldn't remember ordering anything. Inside was the next instalment of Charmed. The block and charm that I have been receiving from the Quilted Crow Girls every two months.

Don't they package them beautifully?

This month the block is called the Lotus Flower and it didn't take long to put it together with the foundation piecing method. The block finishes at 6" square.

Lotus Flower block

They always supply a lot more fabric than is needed for the block but there is quite a lot of background fabric in this block and I must have been very generous with my cutting in the beginning because I only just had enough of the fabric.

Here is the little charm that came in the package to add to the charm bracelet.

Lotus Flower Charm
I can't remember how many charms there are in the set. I suppose they'll keep coming until they are finished.

Bye for now,

Saturday 22 June 2013

The Quilt Show

Have you heard of The Quilt Show? It is a subscription computer television show for quilters run by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. Alex Anderson is well-known for her television show Simply Quilts and Ricky Tims is well known for his wonderful award winning quilts.

They have a new show every month and it usually features a well known quilter who shows his or her quilts and then demonstrates their techniques. They are always inspiring and at the end of every season they sell the DVDs of all the shows in the season so you can watch it as much as you like.

They also have a blog and a newsletter that arrives in my email inbox every Friday. Imagine my surprise when I found that they had featured my quilt Naturally Crazy as their latest zoom quilt. What is a zoom quilt you ask?
They have a special program where you hover your computer mouse over the quilt and you get to see the details of the quilt up close.
Naturally Crazy ©2012 Linda Steele

It's a shame that they have a photo of my quilt on a sideways angle, I would have sent them a better photo if they had asked. Oh well, it was a thrill to have my quilt featured on their high profile blog.

Click on The Quilt Show link and have a look for yourself.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 18 June 2013


This month the Waverley Art Quilters had to do a small A3 sized quilt inspired by a chair!!

I thought about it for a while until it was the weekend before the meeting and I had to do something. I didn't want to just put a chair in the middle of a quilt; I wanted to tell more of a story. I thought about doing a café chair with a Parisian background or a pool chair in front of a beach or pool but I didn't have the time or the photos to use.

I looked around the house and found a chair with a guitar propped against it and thought I would photograph it.

I put the photo in Photoshop and used Filter> Stylize> Find edges and printed the pattern out on my A3 printer.
I traced the pattern onto tracing paper to make it easy to get the reverse pattern for fusible web. I also traced the pattern the right way onto freezer paper because I wanted to use the freezer paper as a stencil to paint some of the chair and guitar to give it some more dimension.

 freezer paper as a stencil
I painted the frame of the chair with Tsukineko ink using the autumn leaf colour.

Freezer paper removed
I already had fusible web stuck behind the fabric so I just had to carefully cut around the edges and fuse it to the background fabric. I did the same thing with the guitar.

Chair©2013 Linda Steele

It is all raw edge, I just stitched around the edge with a free motion straight stitch. This was a change for me because I usually satin stitch around the edges, but I have been noticing that a lot of Art Quilters don't do that now.

Once again it was amazing to see the variety of quilts at the meeting. There were so many different chairs and so many different ideas and techniques.

Bye for now,

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Last month the Waverley Art Quilters studied Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928).

He was an architect who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but he is also known for his furniture design, particularly chairs.
Mackintosh was commissioned to design the new Glasgow School of Art and as well as being the architect he designed the entire interior including the furniture and stained glass windows.

He met his wife Margaret MacDonald at the Glasgow School of Art and together with her sister Francis MacDonald and her husband Herbert MacNair; they began to exhibit together and were known as The Four.

Mackintosh admired the Japanese  style of clear simple lines and although known as an Art Nouveau designer, I think that he was ahead of his time as he designed with restraint (similar to the yet undiscovered Art Deco style).

He died in London of throat and tongue cancer when he was 60 years old.

He was well known for his rose design and I found my quilt quite easy to make up for a change. I fused some narrow black stripes on the side and free hand drew a rose and a couple of stems with leaves.

Mackintosh © 2013 Linda Steele

I zig zagged around the edges of the rose to give it some definition and I was going to do the stems in green when I thought that it might give a more stained glass look if I did it in black. I think that it looks better that way.

Just by chance I had taken a photo of the quilt before I quilted it and it looks so flat. The quilting really does make the quilt. It is 12" x 16".

Mackintosh unquilted
Bye for now,

Thursday 6 June 2013

Cohuna Retreat

Last weekend I travelled to Cohuna to teach at their annual retreat. The retreat has been going for 10 years and some people have been to every one. I stayed at the comfortable Cohuna Motel, which has an old fashioned country charm. Every bed has its own teddy in case you are feeling lonely and need someone to talk to.

I was amazed when I saw the bathroom tiles because they were the very same tiles that were in the house where I grew up. It brought back many fond childhood memories of laying in the bath and trying to see different pictures in the shapes.

I was teaching two, one day classes. On the Saturday I taught Beginners Machine Quilting. On Sunday I taught my Beyond Beginners Machine Quilting class.

Beginners Machine Quilting

I forgot to take a photo of the Sunday class, it was a big class and we were very busy perfecting our quilting.

On Saturday night after dinner the local drama group entertained us with some jokes.

I was thrilled when Pat showed me her finished crazy quilting from last year's retreat. Pat has done some beautiful embroidery and had it framed.

Pat with her crazy patchwork

Here is a detail shot of her lovely work.

Cohuna is up in northern Victoria and it hadn't rained for over seven months and they were very glad of the constant rain that fell on Saturday. They had over 3 inches and it fell just in time for the farmers.

The other tutors were Mariya Waters, Michele Hill, Dijanne Cevaal, Annette Blake and Jan Preston. On the Sunday afternoon the committee gave all the tutors a bag of produce from the local area.

There were at least 8 shops in attendance with so much wonderful stock to tempt us. I bought some wonderful batiks from Gail's Patchwork Emporium whose shop in Sebastopol burnt down and couple of years ago. She has rebuilt and has been trading again for 5 months.

Here is a photo of Michele Hill who bravely got up at the dinner to tell us a funny joke.

Michele Hill

 Click on Michele's name and you will be taken to her blog to find out more about the wonderful weekend. Michele took a lot more photos than I did.

Thank you to the committee for having me back in Cohuna again and to the enthusiastic students who booked into my class. We had a fun time and it was lovely to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones.

Now that I am home I have to prepare for my 5 days of teaching at the Ballarat Quilt at the Winter School. I am also behind with my Waverley Art Quilters homework!! There is always plenty to do.

Bye for now,

Wednesday 5 June 2013


I have been very busy lately with my teaching. Last month I taught my Beyond Beginners Quilting class at Wonga Park Community House and we were so busy that I forgot to take any photos but they were a lovely group of ladies that I first met last year in  my beginners class. They had obviously been practising because they did some lovely work in the class.

On the Mother's Day weekend I taught at the Phillip Island Patches Weekend. This time I taught a two day Crazy about Australia class. The Phillip Island Retreat is very famous for being a friendly and fun time and this year was no exception. It was an extra special year because they have been going for 25 years! They had a silver theme to celebrate the 25 years and there were a few extra treats added to the weekend to celebrate.

At the Saturday night dinner people were encouraged to dress up in silver and here is a photo of myself and some friends in silver.

All the tutors had to pick some favourite outfits and so here is a photo of the winners and the tutors.

My Crazy about Australia class all worked very hard and did some beautiful stitching. The one thing about sewing by hand is that it is slow and so I provided a kit for the crazy piecing this time so we could have more time for doing the embroidery.

Crazy about Australia Class

We had a lovely time and the weather was very warm for May. We were well fed with delicious meals and snacks, the committee had worked very hard to make sure that everyone had a wonderful time.

Tutors and Committee

At the special Mother's Day breakfast we were all given a silver pen with a little torch on the end with Phillip Island Retreat printed on it.

We were also given a bag full of fabric, thread, ribbon and sewing accessories, unfortunately I can't show you a photo because I was being too efficient when I arrived home and packed everything away before I could take a photo.

Thank you to the wonderful committee, tutors and students for making my time at Phillip Island so enjoyable.

Last weekend I taught at the Cohuna retreat but this post is long enough, so I'll write about that tomorrow.

Bye for now,