Tuesday 25 October 2016

Making the Australian Quilt Exhibition

I have finally been to the Making the Australian Quilt 1800-1950 exhibition. It is currently on display at the Ian Potter Gallery, Federation Square in Melbourne Victoria, Australia.

It is a wonderful display of Australia's historic quilts, some are rarely on display and to have them exhibited in one space is such a privilege.

The most famous quilt is the Rajah quilt that was made by convict women in 1841 on the voyage to Australia. It is a very large quilt and was actually displayed behind glass because it is so fragile and precious. The quilt is named after the ship that they sailed on.

The Rajah Quilt c1841

Embroidery in the bottom panel of The Rajah Quilt

One of my favourite quilts was a Tumbling Block quilt made by an unknown sailor on a ship around 1841, it was made of silk but it was still so vibrant.

Tumbling Block Quilt c1846

Here is a detail photo, it was expertly made.

Tumbling Block detail

There was a hexagon quilt made by Elizabeth Macarthur, her husband pioneered the wool industry in Australia.

Elizabeth Macarthur hexagon quilt c1840

I recognised the pattern of Auntie Green's Quilt because it has been reproduced in magazines previously. It was good to see the original.

Auntie Green's quilt by May Ann Wellen c1860

The miniature hexagon quilt by Prudence Jeffrey looked as if it was made in recent times. Those hexagons were only 1cm wide.

Miniature hexagon by Prudence Jeffrey c1857
We looked at The Westbury Quilt by the Hampson sisters for ages. It was made to commemorate Queen Victoria and was embroidered with many motifs and sayings. It seems to have been made as a raffle quilt.

The Westbury quilt by The Hampsons 1902

The Westbury Quilt detail
There was a room full of beautiful crazy quilts that were so detailed and vibrant.

Crazy quilt by Clara Bate c1815
There are so many photos that I could show you of this wonderful exhibition. There was even a display of waggas and signature quilts.

Even though I took many photos I still bought the beautiful hard cover book of the exhibition.

Not only does the book have photos of all the quilts, it has all the text about the quilts and many detail photos as well.

Inside the book

Margaret Rowe is an Australian author of quilting novels set in Australia and in the novel she describes some historic quilts and the fictional quilt group make challenge quilts inspired by the subject. I have read all the novels and it was exciting for me to see the actual quilts that she has written about.

There is still time to see this amazing quilt exhibition before it closes on November 6th 2016, if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Country Calls

It's been really hectic and busy at my place lately. There have been some trying times with three deaths within our close family and friends in the last two weeks. During that time we had a violent wind storm and we were without power for 42 hours. The nights were worst because it was so dark without even street lights for a glow around the house. We went out to dinner for both nights and took all our food from the fridge and freezer to our daughter's house, luckily she lives very close by and she has a spare fridge. I also went to her place for a shower and to wash my hair before one of the funerals.

Just before all this happened we found out that we had a drainage problem with cracked pipes and a blockage and part of our paving had to be dug up and repairs made to our drainage system. We had a plumber here for 5 days and it cost $8,000!

I feel as if we have come out on the other side of the drama and life is getting back to normal now.

The latest Quilters Companion Great Australian Quilts no. 7 has arrived at newsagents and I have a project in it called Country Calls.

Quilters Companion Great Australian Quilts no.7
The front cover features Sue De Vanny's fun emu project.

Quilters Companion contacted me earlier this year and asked me to make a crazy quilted wall hanging with an Australian theme.

Country Calls ©2016 Linda Steele
I used the motifs from my previous crazy quilts but I had to work quickly because magazines are always running to a tight schedule. I got it sent to them a couple of days before the deadline.

I included all the instructions for foundation piecing the background and a full size pattern but for some reason they didn't publish it and just wrote that knowledge of foundation piecing is assumed!

It is set out nicely and includes some close up photos over 7 pages of the magazine.

Here are some photos that I took of the project.

The magazine is good value with projects by Sue De Vanny, Deb Layt, Dijanne Cevaal and
 Margaret Rowe, who writes the Australian based quilting novels and as well as lots of other projects.

I am sure you won't be disappointed.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 11 October 2016

A Time for all Seasons-Summer

This year I finally finished my Seasons quilt.

A Time for all Seasons©2016 Linda Steele

Summer in Australia can be quite hot and where I live we have a lot of agapanthus in our gardens. Sunflowers, roses and butterflies are also in abundance and I put them into my summer block.

Summer block

We also have some lovely sunsets and of course bush fires so I included those themes in the quilt as well.
I decided on a underwater theme for my sunset block, mainly because I am often on holidays overlooking water when I photograph the beautiful sunsets.

Sunset Block
Summer sunset detail

We have had some devastating bush fires in Australia and it was a bit eery at times when I was making this block. I embroidered Australian animals on the block, fleeing or looking scared of the fire.

Summer Bush-fire block.
I used felt and the embellishing machine to make the fire in the centre of the block. You can read about how I made it my clicking on this bush-fire link from a blog post in October 2015.

Here is a photo showing the summer corner of the quilt.

I also included summer in the bottom of the centre clock.

We often have an Ibis or two eating some grass in our backyard during summer especially after some summer rain.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Elements of Design-Texture

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

The last element to study was Texture. Texture is an important element in quilting and textile work, it can provide interest and variety and it can also add realism to a quilt.

There are two types of texture;

Tactile texture is how the cloth or surface feels; silk and wool are good examples of tactile texture.

I use a lot of tactile texture in my crazy quilts and my underwater quilts.

Under the Reef detail showing texture

Under the Reef starfish using wool and beads

Under the Reef detail, using silk for the blue fish

Visual texture is implied by the pattern on the fabric, especially fabrics that have rocks, stones, flowers and grasses printed on them.

Here is a photo of the background of one of my underwater quilts, the fabrics I chose have a lot of visual texture.

Under the Reef background
I have spent the last few months embroidering some coral texture onto felt for a future underwater quilt. It's quite amazing how long these little corals take to make.

Next year we are going to study the Principles of Design using the Sandra Meech book.

Bye for now,