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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Waverley Patchworkers Retreat 2019

Last weekend I went away for a couple of days with the girls from Waverley Patchworkers. They have been going to Forest Edge in Neerim East for 10 years because it is such a lovely spot.

Some of us actually stopped sewing, eating and talking for a little while and went for a walk.





The theme this year was Down on the Dairy Farm or something like that? We were asked to make a Churn Dash block with an animal in the middle. Here is the one that I made. I haven't made a block for a long time because I don't do traditional quilts now, it only took an hour.

Churn Dash block


When we arrived, we had to pin them onto a design wall in the dining room.


 I took the photo in the morning but more were added as the weekend went on. They are going to be put together for our gift quilt program.

On Saturday night we could dress up in the Dairy farm theme. There were a lot of farmers. I am dressed up in a rather unflattering outfit as milk!



After dinner Val taught us a couple of line dances and then she taught us how to make paper flowers.

Here's my flower.


Val was so organised and made little kits for us with the papers all cut to the correct size. When we had made one flower, we put them together for a photo. They are all made out of cheap wrapping paper, but look fabulous.



Here is one that Val had made to sit on a table. You need 6 flowers glued together to sit on the table and 12 to make a ball.



It was a lovely get-a-way with absolutely perfect weather.
We had two large rooms for sewing by hand or machine. I was in the hand sewing room. It was lovely sewing and chatting for two days.

Well actually, I didn't do very much sewing, I was mainly cutting out components for another Coral Reef quilt.




There's one more thing that I have to mention, I have been getting some really annoying spam on my blog despite having the captcha program enabled. The spam comes through in the middle of the night and it is in Arabic looking writing so I don't know what it says, but it's a very unpleasant thing to wake up to in the morning. So now I have enabled comment moderation because I had read that it stops the spam. Sure enough I haven't had any spam since I did that!

Bye for now,
Linda

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Houston Silent Auction 2019

Every year the people at the Houston Quilt show invite previous winners to donate a quilt to their silent auction to help raise funds for the wonderful show that they put on every year. I try to donate one every year because they put on such a great show and do so much to encourage quilters from all over the world.

Once again, I was invited but knew that I didn't really have any spare time to make something. Then I remembered the little crazy quilt I did for the Crazy Quilting calendar last year. You can read my blog post about it from 9th October 2018 here.

I added a red silk border to it.

Adding the border

The deadline to have it arrive in time was looming and even with the fastest postage from Australia, it takes a week to get there. So, I quilted the border with a feather pattern which didn't take very long.

Crazy about Christmas by Linda Steele

Here are some detail photos.




I received the news that it has arrived in Houston and now I just have to hope that someone bids on it and buys it.

It is the only quilt I will have in Houston this year; I didn't get one done in time. Hopefully I can get my latest quilt done in time for next year's show!

Bye for now,
Linda

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Maria Shell's Visit

Waverley Patchworkers were very lucky to have Maria Shell teach a 2-day workshop recently. Maria Shell lives in Alaska and writes an informative Blog called Tales of a Stitcher. We had a full class and were lucky enough to have a table each so we had plenty of room. She was also our guest speaker the following evening. Maria Shell is a contemporary quilter and has become very popular lately so we were lucky to have her teach.

Here is Maria showing a couple of her quilts.






It was a busy couple of days and we were a bit out of our comfort zone as Maria was encouraging us to cut our fabric without using a ruler to achieve a more contemporary look that wasn't so perfect that it could have been made by a computer. I can understand what she means as you do see some perfect work sometimes that doesn't seem to have any life or excitement to it.

Here is our class photo after our busy two days.

Class photo

This is the block that I completed.


I probably won't do anything with it, just keep it as a reminder of the class with Maria Shell.

The following day was a day off for Maria and so a friend and I took her into the city to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

The was a new exhibition of Kaws on. Kaws real name is Brian Donnelly, I was interested to see the exhibition because I had previously watched a documentary on him. He makes little figurines of his large statues and they sell for large amounts of money. The line to get into the gift shop was 1-3 hours long and that was in the morning. Needless to say, we didn't line up!

Here is the huge painted bronze statue that is in the entrance to the gallery.

Gone by Kaws

You can get an idea of how big it is by the person walking behind it in the background. I felt Gone was a very emotional piece as it is his best friend that has died.

Here is another one in the exhibition called Waiting.

Waiting by Kaws


We asked someone to take our photo in front of one of the statues.



Maria Shell has left Australia now and has gone to New Zealand to teach at their biennial Symposium. She says that she has plans to come back though as many people were disappointed not to do a class with her.

Bye for now,
Linda

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Deborah Halpern

Last month the Waverley Art Quilters were studying Australian artist Deborah Halpern. Deb was born in 1957 and is a sculptor, print maker and painter. She designs colourful, whimsical, mosaic work and the shapes are usually outlined in black.

When I was researching Deborah Halpern, I was surprised that I had seen her work in the city for years but never made the time to find out what they were or who made them. I also found that her parents were part of the founding group of Potters Cottage in Warrandyte, the suburb next to mine! Potters Cottage began as a Pottery studio and then they added a gallery and finally a restaurant as well. I have been to that restaurant a number of times over the years! Potters Cottage is now a wedding venue.

If you click on her name you can see some of her work. I used to see Angel outside the art gallery in Melbourne for years and it has since been restored and is across the road from the art gallery at Birrarung Marr. I am going into the city in a couple of weeks and so I will make sure to visit the sculpture.

I was making my quilt inspired by Deb Halpern just before Showcase because it was my only window of free time. I drew up a funny face on some paper, found some bright fabrics that I had bought last year and madly cut and fused without trying to over-think the process.


It's pretty out there and wild for me! I have actually called it Showcase 2019 because that was how I was feeling in the weeks before Showcase. Even my hair is in shock (and a different colour), but notice that I am still smiling!!

It's a bit of fun but the wonderful thing about our Art Quilters group is how we are learning about all these wonderful artists that I wouldn't take the time to research otherwise.

A couple of months ago I did a small art quilt inspired by our group's study of Yayoi Kasuma, but I was never quite happy with my result. You can see the blog post here.

original Kasuma

Anyway, I was adding the binding and on the spur of the moment I added some white dots and I loved having more contrast and am much happier with it now.

Kasuma Finished



Bye for now,
Linda

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Wyndham Patchworkers Quilt - In

It was a beautiful sunny, spring day last Saturday as I drove to Werribee to be guest speaker at the Wyndham Patchworkers Quilt-In. The event was a great success and the organisers should be congratulated. The venue was only two years old and it was booked out with 150 people attending. Disappointingly, some people had to be turned away as they had not booked in ahead of time. I have been to many Quilt Ins and gatherings but never to one that was booked out before.


Some of the attendees

We all received a tote bag with a magazine, zippered fabric pouch and a eucalyptus washing liquid sample.

Tote bag

Crazy Quilts were the theme of the event and they had a 16" x 16" challenge, I forgot to take photos of them, but they'd done a great job. The room was decorated with quilts and morning and afternoon tea was provided and they had a raffle with over 30 prizes. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time.

There were shops in attendance and of course I made a purchase.

Purchases

My talk went very well, because it was a crazy patchwork theme I brought most of my Crazy Quilts to show as well as the quilts in my Coral Reef series.

I had run out of business cards and so had just ordered some cards from Moo Cards for the first time.
I only ordered 50 to start with to see how they turned out and they came in this lovely little holder.

Moo Business cards
 You could have 5 different pictures on the back with my website and email details on the front.

Moo Cards

I chose 4 different coral reef scenes and 1 contemporary design.

They were very popular and I only have 16 left so I'll have to order some more. The most popular one was the one on the left with the Clown Fish and the 2nd most popular one was the contemporary quilt on the right. I found that very interesting.

That was my last speaking event for the year and with all the quilt shows over, I have the time free to make some more quilts and I am getting excited about having time to myself at last. It's been a busy year.

Bye for now,
Linda

Friday, 13 September 2019

Art Quilt Australia 2019

Last week I made the drive down to Geelong for the opening night of Art Quilt Australia 2019. I am a relatively new member of Oz Quilts and was thrilled to be juried into the exhibition with my contemporary quilt Coral Tragedy.

Coral Tragedy by Linda Steele
It's a different style for me but I have been experimenting with contemporary quilts for about 12 months now and I am enjoying the challenge.

As usual with these events, I get to catch up with other artists that I have met before as well as meeting new ones. Sometimes it is really good to put faces to names at last. I felt quite honoured to be amongst some really big names in the art quilt world!

There were two awards because also showing was the Wool Quilt Award.

Neroli Henderson was thrilled to win the Art Quilt Award and I managed to get a photo of her with her quilt.

Neroli Henderson with Whitewash

I got to catch up with Sue Reid again, I met her for the first time earlier this year at the SAQA exhibition in Canberra and again at One Step Further in July.  So now it is the 3rd time that I have met up with her this year!

Sue Reid with And the Wheels go Round no. 4

I was given a lovely catalogue showing all the quilts in the exhibition.


Inside there is a full photo and detail photo of each quilt. Here is the page about my quilt. The quilt on the right is by Pat Forster.

Inside the catalogue

Here is a detail photo of my quilt.

Coral Tragedy detail
I love the way that the quilting shows up on the plain fabrics.

If you go the Art Quilt Australia website you can see photos of all the winners. As usual I was too busy talking to take many photos. I really should go back and have a closer look at the quilts. It really is a fabulous exhibition.

The exhibition is held at the Geelong Wool Museum.
26 Moorabool Street,
Geelong
Victoria Australia

The exhibition will be on until 15th December 2019.
Bye for now,
Linda

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Wyndham Patchworkers Quilt-In 2019

Wyndham Patchworkers have invited me to be the guest speaker at their Quilt- In this year.
They are having a Crazy Quilt theme and challenge and so I will be sure to bring all of my crazy quilts to show.

Here is the flyer they have made to advertise the event.


I hope they get a good crowd and I would love to have some people who read my blog to come because I don't do many teaching or guest speaking jobs these days.

Apparently they have a lovely venue and I am looking forward to meeting them all.

 Date: 14th September
Venue: Chirnsides By the River
             220 Watton Street, Werribee, Victoria
Time: 10am to 3.30pm
Cost: $10 including morning and afternoon tea.

Here is a photo of one of the crazy quilts I will show.

A Time for all Seasons by Linda Steele.

Bye for now,
Linda

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Canberra Quilt Show 2019

I was asked to judge the Canberra Quilt show this year and although I only got to spend a couple of days in Canberra I managed to fit in a few activities as well.

The judging went well, they were a very organised group and even though I was the only judge I am happy with my choices. Judging on my own was not as daunting as it sounds; I feel as if all my years of being a quilt appraiser helped me make the decisions. As usual there were some great quilts that missed out on a prize because there are only so many prizes available.

I was staying with Beth Miller and she very kindly picked me up from the airport and took me to the Canberra Art Gallery which had a Monet exhibition on display.

Impression Sunrise by Monet
One of Monet's haystack paintings was in the exhibition.

Haystacks Midday by Monet
It wouldn't be a Monet exhibition without some water lily paintings.

The Water Lily Pond by Monet

I think my favourite painting was Saint-Lazare Station panted in 1877. It had a bit more contrast than some of his others but it was still so atmospheric.

Saint-Lazare Station by Monet

A visit to the Canberra Gallery wouldn't be complete without seeing Blue Poles again.

Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock

I also saw a painting by John Brack that I have never seen before; I thought he only painted in muted colours!

Latin American Grand Final by John Brack

Time was running out because the gallery closed at 5pm but I still managed to visit Yayoi Kasuma's Infinity room.



Infinity Room by Yayoi Kasuma

The room is fairly small and surrounded by mirrors, you had to be careful walking around because it could be disorientating. Here's a photo of me trying to make a photo.

Infinity room by Yayoi Kasuma
We studied Japanese artist Yayoi Kasuma with the Waverley Art Quilters a couple of months and so that was why I was particularly interested in seeing the exhibition.

After the Judging was over the following day Beth took me to the Canberra Aboretum. It was freezing cold but we had a coffee in the cafe first and then had a quick look around. I loved the sculpture by Richard Moffatt called Nest 111.

Nest 111 by Richard Moffatt


There was another sculpture called Wide Brown Land but it was huge and I couldn't get it all in one photo or maybe it was too cold for me to try harder!

Wide Brown Land by Marcos Tatton, Futago Design Studio and Chris Viney

That was the end of my whirlwind trip to Canberra, although it was my second visit this year. The Canberra Quilters were a lovely group and took me out for dinner on the Friday night before judging. I was actually really well looked after and thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

Please look at the Canberra Quilters website to see the photos of all the winners.

Bye for now,
Linda

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Kathryn Harmer Fox Workshop

A couple of weeks ago I did a workshop with South African artist Kathryn Harmer Fox. Showcase had only just finished and I was fairly worn out but I still enjoyed my time in the class at the Embroiderer's Guild in Malvern, Victoria, Australia.

We could choose various Australian themed designs and I chose the kangaroo.
First, I put a little bit of watercolour behind where I was going to place my kangaroo. I shaded  Inktense pencils and then used water to spread and blend the colour.

I traced the kangaroo onto the fabric and then I started to add various little pieces of fabric to make the kangaroo. I attached the fabric with a fabric glue-stick and then free motion stitched over the fabric to blend the fabrics together.
Of course, mine is not finished because as soon as I got home I got stuck in to all the other things I had to do.

Kangaroo postcard

Around the room were a lot of Kathryn's beautiful, inspiring work on display. She is very artistic and was stressing that knowing how to draw is very important to her. Luckily, I have gone back to drawing classes this term, although I am very dismayed at how out of practice I am!

Kathryn Harmer Fox

Kathryn Harmer Fox


Kathryn's work was also for sale and I bought her gorgeous Crane postcard. What better memento from my time with her?

Crane by Kathryn Harmr Fox


Before I left Kathryn posed for a photo with me.

Kathryn Harmer Fox and I

I am not sure that I want to do this realistic style of work anymore but you never know!

Bye for now,
Linda