Tuesday 30 August 2016

A Time for all Seasons- Winter

Here in Australia it is the last week of Winter and already we have been having some sunny days and new shoots are appearing on the bushes and the temperature is rising by a few degrees.

I loved working on the winter blocks on my latest quilt A Time for all Seasons.

Apparently if you click on the photos 3 times it enlarges them.

I did the snow block first even though we don't have much snow in Australia and none where I live, I still think of snow when I think of winter. I embroidered a little robin on a snowy branch and a reindeer and some pine-cones. I tried to think cool and icy when I was sewing it.

Winter Block- Snow

Winter detail

I had to be very careful when designing my blocks because it would have seen so easy to put trees in the centre of each one. So in the centre of the rain block I put a little frog who doesn't mind being out in the rain.I included a seagull and a turtle and even some lightning.

Winter Block- Rain
Frog detail

The last block in the winter section was actually a night scene because it was up the top at 12 o'clock and it was to signify the end of winter. I really love the little fox that I have wandering across the block, we have plenty of foxes around our neighbourhood. I also included a possum, bat and grasshopper.

Winter Block- Night 

Fox detail

Here is a photo of the winter corner. This photo was taken before I had finished the quilting because I notice that I haven't done the quilting inside the flowers yet. I'll have to take some more photos when I eventually get the quilt back.

Before I started the applique in the corners I did a test to see if I would fuse the flowers and blanket stitch around them or turn the edges.

Applique testing

I decided that I liked the texture and dimension that I got from the turned edges, so I used the water soluble applique paper and a glue stick to turn all the edges before I sewed them to the block. It made the applique process much easier.

Preparing the applique 

I tried to get a detail photo of the winter section in the centre of the quilt.

Looking at these blocks again makes me remember how much I enjoyed researching the seasons and making the blocks.

Bye for now,

Sunday 28 August 2016

Exciting Baby News

The wait is finally over and I have a new little grandson. My daughter Bec gave birth to a healthy baby boy last week.

His name is Jack and he was 8lb 1oz.

Here is a photo of me holding him when he was just a few hours old.

It is such a wonderful, happy time when a new baby arrives.

Here is a close up of his little face soon after he was born. He looks very much like his father with the longest eyelashes I have ever seen.

Jack Steele French

Here is a photo of Jack after his first bath when he was 3 days old.

Little Jack has been very placid so far and hasn't cried much but it's early days yet! My daughter is home from hospital now and I am going to be on duty whenever her husband has to go to work. He has his own business so he cannot take time off like some Dads do these days.

Luckily my sewing is up to date and I have some stitching prepared for those times when I am over there helping and we are having a quiet time while Jack is asleep.

I am very lucky to live close by to my daughter and am able to help her out.

Happy times.

Bye for now,

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Elements of Design- Colour

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

Last month we were talking about the huge subject of colour. It was a good opportunity for me to get out all the design books that I have bought over the years and read through it all.

As a bit of fun we had to draw a colour combination out of a box and I got Orange Triadic. To find the triadic colours that go with orange, I had to divide the colour wheel into thirds and find the colours an equal distance from each other. The triadic colours I had to use were orange, green and violet.

It was a bit of challenge for some people who did not get their usual colour preferences.

We had been working on Value the month before and so I thought I would follow on from that and use the Sea horse as the motif again.

Value exercise

I found a lovely pale violet silk to use as the background and fused on the other shapes. I was trying to follow the values that I used in the black and white one.

It sat like this on my design wall for a couple of weeks and the more I looked at it the more I didn't like it. I decided to start again and this time make the background the darkest value and then I liked it much better.

I can see that I didn't get enough value contrast in the rocks below but I still went with it because it is supposed to be a learning exercise.

I added beads to the seahorse and then quilted around the seahorse and the background. When I finished there was a funny looking crease at the bottom of his body before the tail started.

It kept catching my eye and I didn't like it. There was only one thing to do; I had to snip off the beads and quilt the body and then sew the beads on again.

Seahorse 3- colour exercise
I was much happier with it. I suppose I could have added some trapunto to add some support to the body but putting some quilting onto the body did the trick. I suppose the Seahorse was just too large to be unquilted.

It's always fun to experiment with colour.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Waiting Game

At the beginning of the year we had the wonderful news that my second daughter Bec was expecting her first baby.
A couple of months later she and her husband had an afternoon tea for the family and when they cut the cake, it was blue inside!

We were all thrilled that little Savannah was going to have a boy cousin.

The months have gone by and we have watched Bec get bigger and we have been getting all the baby supplies together.

A couple of weeks ago we had the baby shower and it was a lovely gathering of family and friends.

I couldn't resist getting some photos with Savannah

Savannah is 20 months now, I wonder what she will think of her little boy cousin.

She hates getting her photo taken and won't look at the camera. If she is on a lounge suite, she puts a cushion in front of her face, so it's very hard for us to get photos of her.

I found a flannel Peter Rabbit panel in my cupboard, I think I bought it before Savannah was born and never used it.

I had to iron and baste it very carefully because the straight lines were slightly off. I used a walking foot on my machine to keep it nice and flat.

I only quilted it on the lines and around the motifs because I wanted to keep it as soft and fluffy as I could.

Hopefully my daughter will use it; the idea was that it was something soft she could put on her wooden floor when the baby has his tummy time.

So now we are all prepared and it is a waiting game. Only a week to wait, but it will seem a long time to my daughter, I bet.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 9 August 2016

A Time for all Seasons

My latest quilt is called A Time for all Seasons. I only came up with that title after it was finished; for nearly 3 years I was calling it my seasons quilt. Now people are telling me how much they love my clock quilt! I suppose the clock is a dominant feature. The photo below is a large file so you can see a bit more detail if you click on it.

A Time for all Season ©2016 Linda Steele
My thoughts when making this quilt was how time marches on and the seasons change but sometimes we are too busy to notice how beautiful nature is.

This quilt was a labour of love over the months and months that it took to make but in the end I was really rushing to get it finished in time for the Houston entry cut-off date and Vic Quilters entry, by the time I had finished it, I didn't like it very much, I was completely exhausted and over it.

Of course all that is over now, it's a bit like having a baby, you forget about what you went through and only have the joy of the finished product.

Here is a detail photo of the centre clock. I have divided the centre into the four seasons as well and really tried to get the seasons and embroidery to flow into each other and not make it too jarring.

Centre detail
Each corner of the quilt was devoted to a particular season.

Autumn Corner
Spring corner
Summer corner
Winter corner
I hand appliqued all the flowers, leaves and stems in the four corners and added hand embroidery and beads to enhance them.

Autumn detail

I don't think I have got the season's theme out of my system yet but when I do another one, I think it will be more like a pictorial quilt rather than a crazy quilt. The joy of making art quilts is that I can add the details with the embroidery that I am used to using with my crazy quilts.

So now I am free to start another quilt. I have become quite addicted to the Under the Sea theme and am planning to make a few more of them. I designed an applique miniature quilt a couple of years ago and must try to get that made plus I have a vague idea of another applique quilt, so I have to sit down and try and design that.

I will do some more posts in the future about how I made this quilt because I do take step by step photos as I go.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Victorian Quilters Showcase 2016

The Victorian Quilters Showcase is over for another year and I was really lucky to have won three prizes. I started working away on my 'Seasons' quilt three years ago but I didn't get much sewing done last year because I was minding my granddaughter Savannah. I finally finished it this year in time for the quilt show.

This is a photo that I took of my quilt at the show, you can see the ribbons that I won.

A Time for all Seasons ©2016 Linda Steele
I won Runner Up to Best of Show, 1st in my category and Excellence in Embroidery and Embellishment.
I'll give you all the details and some close up photos of the quilt in my next post.

Here is a photo of Bella Rouge, the quilt by Ramona Resurreccion that won Best of Show.

Ramona Resurreccion with her quilt Bella Rouge
Ramona does the most beautiful machine quilting on her long arm machine and she had two other quilts in the show.

Ramona with her quilt Timeless Treasure
Ramona put a beautifully embroidered table cloth onto a background fabric and quilted it, it's a good idea of how to use all those table linens that we have stored in our cupboards.

Her other quilt was in the Modern Quilt section, it is a quilt that she designed based on the triangle roof of Federation Square in Melbourne.

Making a Point by Ramona Resurreccion
My friend Annie Andrews had two quilts in the show and they both won prizes.

Annie Andrews with her quilt Sandrannie
Texas Stars by Annie Andrews
Eileen Campbell won first prize with her quilt called Please Find my Home. There were pictures of various nursery rhyme houses and you had to match them with the names that were printed on the borders of the quilt.

Please Find my Home by Eileen Campbell
Here are some other quilts from the show
Waterlilies by Suzanne Moore

The Pleasure of Patchwork by Darelle Castelow

Quilted Diamonds by Pat Carroll
Star Medallion by Desley Maisano

While I was doing my white glove duty a man came up to me and asked if I could photograph him in front of his quilt. In return he gave me permission to post a photo on my blog

Denham by Max Lennie
Max was inspired by the Jean Paul Gautier exhibition when he designed his quilt. It was double sided and was hanging beautifully flat.

The Profile a Quilter this year was the beautiful long arm quilter Karen Terrens. Here are a couple of her quilts that were on display.

First Blush by Karen Terrens
A Table for Two by Karen Terrens
Her quilting is so beautiful.

My friend Julie Adamson is a hand quilter and she won Excellence in Hand Quilting and Applique with her quilt called Victorian Lace.

Victorian Lace by Julie Adamson
Here is a detail photo so you can get an idea of her exquisite work.

Victorian lace detail 
I also had an official role at the presentation ceremony in my role as President of Waverley Patchworkers .
Waverley Patchworkers gave an award for the Mainly Applique two person section and it was won by Marjorie Bell for her quilt called the Conway Album Quilt.

Here is a photo of me with Marjorie in front of her quilt.

Here is a photo of the quilt.

The Conway Album quilt is a pattern by Irma Gail Hatcher and it was quilted by Yvonne Sebire.

The Victorian Quilters Showcase had so many beautiful quilts this year and it was a well-attended show. Congratulations to everyone who had a quilt in the show. I always say that anyone who finishes a quilt is a winner. They are easy to start but hard to finish.

In my next post I'll show some more photos of my quilt.

Bye for now,