Wednesday 27 July 2016

Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair 2016

The Melbourne Quilt and Craft Fair is always a highlight on any quilter's calendar and it begins tomorrow and runs until Sunday July 31st.
It is always held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre (affectionately known as Jeff's Shed), South Wharf. The Exhibition Centre is right across the road from Crown Casino.

I'll be there tomorrow and again on Sunday morning when I am doing white glove duty.

I hope to catch up with lots of friends and do a bit of shopping as well. My quilt is also in the judged show and the awards ceremony is on at 12pm.

I have been asked to attend the awards ceremony and that usually means that you have won a prize!!
I will also be at the awards ceremony in my capacity as President of Waverley Patchworkers to present a prize.

Here is a sneak peak of my quilt that will be on display at the show. It is called A Time for all Seasons. 

A Time for all Seasons ©2016 Linda Steele
Bye for now,

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Victorian Vietnam Veteran's Civic Reception

Last year I was approached by the President of the Victorian Vietnam Veterans Association asking for my help in making a quilt to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
You can read all about it in my post called Vietnam Veteran's 50th Anniversary Quilt from Dec 15th 2015.

Recently the Vietnam Veterans have written an article in their magazine about the quilt and my involvement in making it.

Earlier this month my husband and I were invited to a Civic Reception that was held at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), it was a very glamorous event. I felt very privileged to be an invited guest; the Premier of Victoria was in attendance as well as other politicians.

The quilt was on display but the lighting was very dark and there were a lot of shadows so it was very hard to get a good photo. But here I am at the Civic reception in front of the quilt.

As well as refreshments, there were speeches and an orchestral performance of a musical piece called Echoes of Conflict written by Vietnam Veteran, Lachlan Wilson. As we were leaving we were all given a CD of the music to take home.

When I got home and showed my son, I was surprised to find out that the composer was my son's Theory teacher at University when he did his music degree. What a small world!

Here is a better photo of the quilt.

I made the centre logo and the top and bottom border.

The Vietnam Veterans have been so kind and polite to me and it was an honour to help them out with the quilt. At all the events that I have been invited to they have made an effort to speak to me and thank me for my involvement.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Elements of Design - Value

The Waverley Art Quilters have been studying the Elements of Design using the book by Sandra Meech called Connecting Design to Stitch.

This month we were looking at Value.

Most people know the saying that colour gets all the credit but value does all the work.

When I told my family that we were studying value in Art Quilters this month they thought we were talking about how much our quilts are worth!

Value is the amount of light, medium or dark in a colour. Most fabrics we can buy are medium tones, there are not a lot of very dark or very light colours available.

The difference between a nice art quilt and a stunning one is usually down to value. You can be assured that the stunning quilt  has lots of really dark fabrics and some extra light fabrics.

I took photos of some of my quilts and converted them to black and white and it became obvious that some of them were lacking in value contrast and they could have been improved.

I got out my black, white and grey fabric and tried to sort them in value order.

I actually swapped the bottom 2nd and 3rd fabric but didn't take a photo of it.

I drew up a little composition using a Seahorse as the focal point and fused the shapes onto a grey background fabric.

I decided to attach the pieces and do the quilting at the same time seeing as it is only an exercise in value. Usually I sew down all the shapes and add embroidery and embellishment before I start the quilting.

I was happy with my little Seahorse when it was quilted.

The more I looked at it the more I thought that the Seahorse blended into the background a bit too much. I started to think about value again and wondered what the composition would look like if I changed the values.

It didn't take long to make up another one.

I liked the second one much better; the dark value made the Seahorse the obvious focal point. When working out the values for the first one I was influenced too much by what I thought the colours in the composition represented. I thought that rocks would be darker than a yellow Seahorse.

In the second composition I didn't think about what colour the shapes were, I only thought in lights, mediums and dark. It was a valuable lesson.
I think that I need to do another value study with the background as the darkest value because dark colours recede and I need to show more depth as I learned at the Fibre Forum Winter School.

Time and time again, I read about something and assume that I understand it all but it is only by doing the work that I truly understand.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Fibre Forum Winter School 2016

My week at the Fibre Forum in Ballarat went very quickly. One minute it seemed that I was checking in and the next thing you know it was time to say goodbye to everyone.
As usual in Ballarat it was cold but we only had one rainy day which was a relief. We stayed at Ballarat Grammar which is a beautiful school with lovely buildings and grounds.

Ballarat Grammar
There are some beautiful old trees in the front of the school.

I was doing a Master-class with Lisa Call called Working in a Series. I don't do many workshops these days but I couldn't resist doing a Master-class with Lisa. The class was all about the benefits of working in a series as well as learning about critiquing and taking your art to the next level.

We had to make 4 little compositions. I chose to work on some coral reef quilts. They were only little exercises because there was no way I could do 4 finished pieces in 5 days. Every morning we would have our work pinned to a design board and Lisa would critique it.

It could have been very daunting but the other eight students in the class were all supportive and friendly and it wasn't as bad as you would think. We all had completely different styles of work, so it was very interesting.

My first composition was very reminiscent of the homework that I have been doing in my Art Quilters group this year.
Composition 1
Lisa didn't like my choice of background or the values of my rocks. It was so interesting because when I did my Design and Composition course a few years ago the teacher said that she didn't like my backgrounds. It seems I still haven't learnt that lesson!

For my next composition I went back to basics and did a value study to help with my fabric choices.

Composition 2
Lisa liked that one much better as it showed greater depth.

I went back to colour for my third composition and tried to follows the values in my back and white piece.

Composition 3
I think that it does show more depth.
I didn't want to create another underwater scene because of the time restrictions and the fact that I can do them so much better at home where I have all my fabric and supplies.

I decided to try an abstract study using the underwater fabrics that I had with me.

Composition 4
I quite like my little abstract composition. I might revisit that technique sometime.

The other class members did some fantastic work but I don't think it is fair to show photos of it because it was done in a class under time pressure and I didn't ask their permission to post their photos.

The students and tutors were asked to make 10cm x 10cm and 15cm x 15 cm little pieces of work to sell for fundraising.

15cm x 15cm
10cm x 10cm
They were priced at $10 and $15 and were all snapped up very quickly.
I bought a 10cm x 10cm piece by Francie Mewett from South Australia.

I met Francie earlier this year at AQC and then again at the Fibre Forum, it's good to have work by someone you know.

I also bought one of Lisa Call's art work called Lines 54, it is beautifully mounted on a black painted artist canvas and will be a great reminder of my class with her.

Lines 54 by Lisa Call

We were very well fed with home cooked cakes and slices for morning tea, cheese and fruit platters for afternoon tea, breakfast, lunch and main course and dessert every night. One night we had birthday cake for desert and everyone who had an 0 birthday this year had to stand up and we got served first as a treat. There I am on the right. You can get an idea of all the different ages at the Forum.

0 birthday cake

Our class had to sit together on the last night. By the end of the week you feel as if you know your class very well. They were a great group, unfortunately one of our class members had to leave early and wasn't at our final dinner.

Lisa Call's Class

In the school grounds was a statue of a fish and I had to take a photo of it seeing as I was immersed in fish all week.

So the Fibre Forum is over and it did go quickly, Lisa made us really think about what we want to achieve in our art in the future. We are going to receive 10 weeks of online class so we can think further about our plans.

It is not often that you get an opportunity to think about these things and so it will be interesting to see if it makes a difference to my life. One of the things she stressed was that there is only so much time in a week and we have to work out our priorities and not try and do everything that is put in front of us. It's OK to say no! Easier said than done sometimes.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Sun Printing

Last month we had an unexpected burst of sunny weather and on the spur of the moment I decided to do some sun printing. I had been talking about sun printing with some friends at the recent Waverley Patchworkers Quilt Show. I had mentioned that whenever I did sun printing the wind springs up and I find myself running around madly with rocks etc. trying to stop the fabric from blowing away.

My friend had a marvellous hint that made it so much easier. You get a cheap artist canvas and leave on the plastic wrapping. Then you have a firm surface to pin your fabric on. I just happened to have 3 artist canvasses from my painting days and decided to try it out. It made it so much easier. It was a firm surface to take outside, it stayed put even if there was a breeze and it was so easy to bring inside again.

Here are my sun printing experiments drying in the sun.

I had know idea what I wanted them for, I was purely trying it out and having some fun. I only had two colours of sun dye paint, green and yellow but you can use any watered down acrylic paint. Because it was a gentle winter sun, I thought I would stick to the sun dye paint.

Here are the results, I was very happy with them.

It was just a fun, spur of the moment experiment and I don't no what I'll do with them. They could make a good background for an art quilt where I could do further surface design on them. The fabric could also make good leaves for some applique.
The fabric is still nice and soft even though I used paint.

I am very happy with these sun dyes paints and will order some more colours.

Bye for now,