Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Quilting Practice 1

On Facebook a few weeks ago someone mentioned that she was doing Angela Walters Free Motion Challenge Quilt a Long as quilting practice. I decided to look it up and came across some videos from 12 months ago. On the spur of moment, I decided to have a go.

I actually already had a panel of squares that I had sewn together about 4 years ago and had never used, so it was easy to start straight away.

Panel of squares ready to go

Angela Walters mentioned that she was using Aurifil thread and I had a lovely pale gold that was perfect. I usually quilt with silk thread so sewing with a different thread was good practice also.

Aurifil Thread

Although Angela didn't mention it, I ditch stitch around the inside of each block before I started the quilting. I wanted to do some ruler practice as well, so I used the Line Tamer ruler by Four Paws Quilting, it's such a great ruler.

Line Tamer Ruler

Ditch stitching with Line tamer ruler

The first lesson was a meander or stipple stitch, which I have done a million times before but she also mentioned echoing around the inside of the block first, so I did that for the first time.

Meander or stipple quilting.

Well, that was a good start and so much fun, because it only took about 5 minutes to do. I have some quilts that I am making at the moment that will need quilting next year, so doing some regular quilting practice might make it easier.

I have since found out that Angela Walters is doing another quilt-a-long practice at the moment, so it's not too late to join in the fun.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Art Quilters Dinner 2019

It's hard to believe that another year is coming to an end. I've already had two break up parties. We had the Waverley Patchworkers Christmas meeting on Monday night with a really good turnout. At the Christmas meeting we bring a plate of food to share at our tables and have a sit and sew night. Instead of paying our entrance fee we all bring food for Christmas hampers for the Waverley Benevolent Society. They make up hampers for the people in the area that are going through tough times. I wish that I had taken a photo of all the donations, there were bags and bags of yummy treats.

The Waverley Art Quilters also have their break up in November because December gets too busy. We went to our favourite local Chinese restaurant as usual. Here we are looking gorgeous!

The Waverley Art Quilters

Because I run the group, they gave me a lovely glass candle holder called Klimt's Flowers. I absolutely love it!

Klimt's Flowers Candle holder

One of our members, Marion, makes beautiful cards and she made me one this year and everyone in the group signed it. Definitely a treasure to keep.

Every year we are given a challenge to complete over the holidays. The challenge was supplied by Norma this year, we are calling it the circle challenge.

The Circle Challenge

The instructions say that we can paint, dye, add other fabrics, weave, applique, piece, use hand or machine embroidery or anything we can think of!

We all got a different DMC thread to use and mine is a sage green. We can use it as colour inspiration for our challenge.
I have no idea what I am going to make with this challenge. It would be sensible to get on with it and do it now and not a couple of days before it is due next year.

Mmm, I have a long list of work to do over the holidays for the various challenges, quilt shows and competitions in 2020. I suppose I just have to add it to the list.

Bye for now,

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Metamorphosis Exhibition

On Tuesday, I went to the Art Quilt Exhibition with the theme of Metamorphosis. It is put on by the AQIPP group, which stands for Australian Quilts in Public Places. It is run every two years and I have been exhibiting in the last 3 exhibitions.

Here I am in front of my quilt yesterday.

My quilt is called Sunken Treasure and is about a shipwreck that becomes an artificial coral reef.

Sunken Treasure ©2019 Linda Steele
I didn't win a prize this year but I was still happy to be included in the exhibition.

The winner was Linden Lancaster with her quilt Run the Fire and it is certainly a worthy winner.

Run the Fire by Linden Lancaster

I have seen photos of this on Facebook and some people asked if it was a photo. I was surprised to see it up close because it is actually made on very small snippets of fabric.

Run the Fire detail
If you click on the photo you should be able to see the small snippets.

Next to my quilt was Sue de Vanny's gorgeous quilt, I think we were put together because of the underwater theme.

Danseurs de Meduses by Sue de Vanny

What a beautiful quilt! Here is a detail photo. The top is quite heavily thread painted and the jelly fish frill underneath is 3D.

Danseurs de Meduses detail

The winner of the Best use of Colour Award went to Michelle Mischkulnig for Change Born on the Breeze. Her quilt was about the changing seasons.

Change Born on the Breeze by Michelle Mischkulnig

Karen McGregor from the Waverley Art Quilters entered a quilt about a little rock wallaby, he was done in wool and looked so soft.

Rock to Rock-Wallaby by Karen McGregor

Here is a closer picture of the dear little wallaby

A small quilt caught my eye, it had lots of detail.

Moths Flight by Bree Thomas.

There were so many different interpretations of the theme Metamorphosis and the gallery had hung everything so well, in colour themes so there was nothing jarring, the exhibition really flowed.

The exhibition is on at the Box Hill Town Hall on Whitehorse Road, Box Hill. Victoria, Australia.

Free admission and open until the 21st December, so there's still plenty of time to get there.

Tuesday-Friday 10-4
Saturday 12-4

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Pixeladies Photoshop Class

For the last two months I have been busy working on Photoshop Elements Essentials 1 and 2 with Deb Cashart and Kris Sazaki, who are also know as the Pixeladies. They run these fantastic on-line courses for Photoshop Elements that are suited to Textile artists.

Now I have done these classes before, quite a few years ago but I decided to upgrade to the new 2019 Photoshop Elements. Pixeladies also offered a discount to those who had done the classes previously. I loved the classes, they explain everything so well, with videos showing you the way, step by step. They also answer questions and you can see what the others are doing by logging in every day.

There are some great new features in the latest Photoshop Elements that make things so much easier. I found it much easier doing the classes again because I already knew all about layers and resizing photos etc. Saying that, there was still lots to learn!

Here is a recent photo I had taken of friends at our recent Waverley Patchworkers Retreat.

See that annoying sign behind them, ruining the photo?

Now the sign is gone! So much better.

One of the lessons was about playing with filters. Now that is a rabbit hole where you could play for hours and hours.

I used my latest little art quilt called Windows.

Windows by Linda Steele
Here's what it looked like after I had added some filters. For those who may be interested, the filters I used were Twirl, Mosaic Tiles, Polar Coordinates and Hue/Saturation.

Windows with filters applied

We learnt how to take a section of a photo and add it to another background. I had a photo of my granddaughter Savannah who had recently been to the snow. So, I cut her out using one of the Selection Tools and made a snowy background for her with the brush tools.

Savannah in the snow

We also had to make a postcard using all different photos. I had lots of photos of my granddaughter Anna's recent 1st birthday and so I used them to make a fun postcard. I also used the text tool to write Happy 1st Birthday

Anna's Postcard

Another lesson was adding photos to text, so I used photos that I had of my grandson, Jack. I couldn't leave Jack out after using photos of the two girls!

Jack's Postcard

Well, that was fun and I am so glad that I did the classes. Although the lessons are over and I have the printed lessons to look up instructions if I forget how to do something, the classroom and all the videos are open for another 6 months. So I plan to go over all the lessons again and make sure I remember how to do everything.

I use Photoshop mainly to resize and crop photos but I realise that I could use it so much more than I do for planning quits etc.

I highly recommend the Pixeladies classes, sign up to their newsletter and you can find out when their next classes are.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Simply Moderne Magazine

I sometimes buy the Simply Moderne Magazine and I noticed a new issue was out when I was at the Newsagents. I was innocently flicking through it when I found a full-page picture of my quilt, Magical Coral Reef!

Simply Modern issue 18, page 13
Well I had to buy it. The article was about the Sydney Quilt Show and this quilt of mine was on display there with the AQC Magic Challenge. How wonderful that they picked my quilt to put in their magazine.

This is the front cover.

Simply Moderne issue 18

I had more news today. On a whim I entered my quilt, Connections-The Teenage Years into the USA Art Quilt Exhibition, Art Quilt Elements 2020. All the top art quilters enter so I didn't have any hope of being juried in.

I was selected!! The email said that the jury looked at 762 images and they selected 48 entries.

Connections-The Teenage Years by Linda Steele

Connections- The Teenage Years detail

This quilt has just returned from being exhibited in New Zealand this year and it nearly killed me to get it done in time for the deadline. It's really big, 2m x 2m or 79" x 79".

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 22 October 2019


The final challenge for the Waverley Art Quilters was Windows. I had lots of ideas of the various ways to depict windows but as usual time was against me.
I was doing the workshop with Maria Shell and started piecing some little squares that looked just like windows to me. You can see my blog post about it here.

Here is a photo of my starting point.

After I made a few components, I tried to make a composition out of them.

Well, that wasn't working very well! At last I just pieced them together in rows and I was much happier.

Windows by Linda Steele

Speaking of Maria Shell, after she finished teaching in Australia, she went over to New Zealand to teach at their Symposium. While she was there, she visited a quilt exhibition that featured one of my quilts. You can read her post here. I didn't get over to see the exhibition so it was lovely for me to see the photos.

Bye for now,

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,

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,

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,