Saturday 23 December 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

It's Christmas time again, it comes around so quickly and I have been busy as usual. All the parties are over now and all the meetings and commitments can wait until next year. All my shopping is done and the presents wrapped.

One of my friendship groups shares a Kris Kringle gift with a particular theme. This year we had to make a candle mat that was dinner-plate sized. I had some left over shapes from an applique project and decided to use them because of lack of time and my usual sewing machine was getting repaired.

After I had fused the shapes I used a sewing machine to blanket stitch the edges. As usual it looked much better when I quilted it. I was a bit worried because I wasn't using my usual machine but it turned out ok.

I also bought a candle to go with it; it was a Grateful candle which I thought was a nice sentiment for the end of a busy year.

I received a beautiful Christmas candle-mat from my friend Jo.

In hindsight I wish I had made a Christmas one, it's my first year with this group and they have been very kind and welcoming to me.

So here I am another year older and just as busy as last year but I made a few resolutions at the start of the year and one of them was to start exercising again and I did a yoga class every week and certainly felt the benefit.

I would still like a bit more time for sewing though.

I will finish the year with a couple of photos of my two favourite people, I feel so lucky that I can see them so often and be part of their lives.

I am going to take a break from blogging and have a holiday at home, give the house a good clean and get lots of sewing done. That's the plan anyway!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and thank you to the faithful few who take the time to comment on my blog, I really appreciate it.

Bye for now,

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Party Time

It's that time of the year when all the groups I belong to have their Christmas break up parties and we all look forward to a break from our commitments for a while.

I received a lovely bunch of flowers from the Waverley Art Quilters to say thank you for running the group.

We have finished our study of the principles and elements of design using the Sandra Meech book called Connecting Design to Stitch. Next year we are going back to studying various artists and themes. I have chosen all women abstract artists for us to discover and learn more about; that should be interesting.

A couple of years ago I gave a talk to the Westernport Quilters group and I spoke about my involvement with the Waverley Art Quilters and it inspired them to start their own group. I was so happy when I found out about it, they have gone a step further than us and have a page on their website showing their work.

You can see their art quilts here.

I only have one break up party to go and I will be officially on holidays from all duties, whew,  I need a break!
I have the good news that I got my Bernina 820 sewing machine back at last and it is sewing beautifully. Now I have no excuse, I have sewing to do.

There is still time to visit the AQIPP exhibition in Box Hill, it closes on Thursday 21st and it is well worth a visit. You can see my post about it here. I still want to get back there myself because the opening night was very busy.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 5 December 2017


I have been doing an online class with Fiona Duthie a very talented and famous Canadian felt maker. I am not a felt maker but have admired her work when it comes up on Pinterest and thought I would look into felt making a little more.
What I found out was that I hate the huge amount of rolling that you must do to make felt from scratch and quickly decided that it wasn't for me. I decided to combine some of her ideas and merge them with my dry felting techniques that I do starting with pre-felts and my embellisher or needle felting machine.
An embellisher machine looks like a normal sewing machine but it uses no thread, just 5 barbed needles that meshes or felts the fabrics together.

Here are some of the samples that I made.

They are only samples but I think they could be used as coral in my Coral reef series of quilts.

I used my embellisher machine and then wet them and did some hand felting and rolling to finish them off. They took a couple of days to dry. Here they are waiting to dry.

I have written down how I made the samples and put them into a book so I can reproduce them if I want. The other people doing the class did some amazing work, most of them are very talented felt makers and needless to say I didn't post my meagre attempts onto the forum.

I have been without my main sewing machine, the Bernina 820 for 4 months while the technician sorts out its various problems, mind you he hasn't spent much time on it and I have had to ring several times to get him to keep on with it; it's very frustrating. It's been so long that I hardly remember what was wrong with it.

I remember that it wouldn't sew backwards and it kept saying that it had lost steps and the sensor wouldn't recognize the foot I had attached and kept telling me to put on the correct foot.

It is very annoying and I have kept myself occupied with the felting and hand sewing but I am getting really sick of it. The latest news is that he is going to get me a loan machine while my machine is getting sorted out. I hope I get my machine back before Christmas.

Bye for now,

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Memories of Stitches and Craft Melbourne 2017

The Stitches and Craft show is over for another year. I enjoyed my days there minding the SAQA - My Corner of the World exhibition. The quilts were such a high standard and we were lucky to have such a prestigious international exhibition here.

I took photos of all the quilts and some I didn't like at first butI got to like after a while especially after reading the artist statement.

The quilt that received many comments was Main and 3rd by Jill Kerttula
The photos don't do the quilts justice, as usual with quilts

Main and 3rd by Jill Kerttula

Another favourite was Birding on a Quiet Hill by Sara Sharp.

Birding on a Quiet Hill by Sara Sharp
Cradle 3 by Erika Carter was made with hand painted organza and it really looked like branches blowing in the breeze.

Cradle 3 by Erika Carter

A quilt that was made of wool fibres represented shadows on the ground; it was very cleverly done by Mita Giacomini.

August by Mita Giacomini

The Stitches and Craft show was more of a craft show than a quilting show with many different shops to what we are used to but I still managed to buy a few things; some fat quarters that will be perfect for rocks in my coral reef quilts, some sparkly felt that I use for a base when embroidering coral and a book on felting.

I am not a felt maker and never will be but I can use some of the techniques for my coral reef quilts and the book has wonderful step by step photos.

Bye for now,

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Stitches and Craft Show 2017

There is a new Stitches and Craft Show in Melbourne and it starts tomorrow Thursday 23rd November. I was in there today hanging the SAQA travelling quilt exhibition called My Corner of the World.

It is a large exhibition of art quilts from around the world. It is a fabulous display and I loved seeing all the different quilts up close. I had a friend help me and it took us four hours to hang the quilts.

Here are a couple of photos.

Lake Vistas 2 by Joan Reive of Canada

Blue Heron by Molly Samuels of USA

I will be there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I hope people will come to the show, I got a chance to see some of the stalls and it looks fun, fresh and exciting with stalls that I haven't seen before. There seems to be a Christmas and celebration look to the show and it looks great.

The show is on at the beautiful old Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Australia, Thursday 23rd Nov to Sunday 26th Nov. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm.

Hope to see you there.
Bye for now,

Tuesday 21 November 2017

AQIPP Opening Night 2017

Last week I attended the AQIPP (Australian Quilts in Public Places) opening night. It is a biennial event and this year the theme was Reflection.

I decided to stay with my coral reef theme and made a quilt about the dangers of plastic and litter entering into the reef. My quilt is called 6 Pack Shame and I was surprised and thrilled to win a prize for Creativity in Colour.

Here I am standing with Fiona Horne who donated my beautiful prize.

Fiona is also passionate about the reef and the danger that it is currently facing. Fiona Horne makes glass ware and many of her pieces are inspired by coral reefs. She did not choose my quilt to win the prize that was done by the judges; it was just a coincidence that we have the same interests.

Here is the photo of the beautiful glass necklace that I won.

Necklace made by Fiona Horne of Rhino beads
I love the colour and I am sure that I will get a lot of wear out of it.
Fiona's business is called Rhino Glassbeads.

I also won some beautiful hand dyed threads by Marina Holland, I think it amazing that they are threads that are the perfect colour for embroidering corals.

Hand Dyed threads by Marina Holland
I also received two template sets from Victorian Textiles.

Templates from Victorian Textiles

There were lots of quilters that I knew there and was able to get some photos of them with their quilts.

On Reflection-Cape Town Harbour by Sue de Vanny

Place of Reflection by Linden Lancaster

Both Sue and Linden won Honourable Mentions for their beautiful quilts.

Reflection by Fran Batrouney

Reflection by Jacie Malseed
Super Moon by Rebecca Wolske

Upside Downside by Judy Robinson Whitty

The evening went by very quickly especially as I felt quite overwhelmed at winning a prize. I will have to go back to see the exhibition again and take some more photos when it is not so crowded.

Here is the photo of my quilt 6 Pack Shame.

6 Pack Shame © 2017 Linda Steele

As I was leaving the exhibition I caught sight of the AQIPP banner and my quilt from the last exhibition was featured.

The picture at the bottom is from my bushfire quilt that was in the competition two years ago.

It was a lovely finish to the evening.

AQIPP is on at the Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne Australia.
It is open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturdays from 12pm to 4pm. It is on until December 21st, so there is still plenty of time to see the exhibition.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 14 November 2017

The Embroiderer's Guild of Vic Exhibition

A couple of weeks ago I went to the EGV's (Embroiderer's Guild of Victoria) annual exhibition. The theme was Ebb and Flow although you could exhibit work that did not pertain to the theme.

My favourite work was by Lesley Uren and it was a Leafy Sea Dragon done in gold work. It was positioned behind a table so I couldn't get too close to see the details.

Leafy Sea Dragon on Gold by Lesley Uren

Lesley Uren also had a  Weedy Sea Dragon on display.

Weedy Sea dragon by Lesley Uren

Another of my favourites was a box with a beautifully appliqued and embroidered top by Sylvia Reeves.

Water Lily by Sylvia Reeves

I also took a detail shot to see the wonderful embroidery.

Water Lily detail

I also liked Perception by Mary McArdle, it was a combination of painting and embroidery.

Perception by Mary McArdle

There was a lot of gold work on display and here is one called She is in Love by Sue White

She is in Love by Sue White

There were a few quilts on display and there was one that caught my eye because of the embroidery and the dear little quotes on it. It was displayed on a hoop and unfortunately the name card was placed right in the middle of it.

Best Friends Forever by Glenda Walker

Hexagons are so popular at the moment; they are good projects to take along to sewing days. Here are some close-ups of the quilt blocks.

There was a stand of little works by the South Western Branch who were celebrating their 40th birthday. The embroidery was exquisite.

South Western Branch 40th Birthday display

Here are some close ups of some of the pieces.

Blue Wren by Gillian King

Butterfly by Gwenda Armitstead

Robin by Beverley Speirs

Thistle by Robin Southey

The Ebb and Flow Challenge was won by Linda Bateman with her incredible piece called Who Broke the Golden Egg.

Who Broke the Golden Egg by Linda Bateman

It's hard to appreciate the wonderful and intricate beading from the photo.

The Embroiderer's Guild in Wattletree Road, Malvern, Victoria, Australia put on a wonderful exhibition every year and if you get a chance next year I highly recommend a visit.

Bye for now,