Tuesday, 25 February 2020

One More Coral Reef Quilt

My solo quilt exhibition in Kyabram begins soon and I felt that I needed one more coral reef quilt for the exhibition. I am expecting that this will be the last one in this style. I might explore the coral reef theme a bit more but my next work will not be so pictorial. It's been a fun 5 years though.

I only decided to do one more coral reef quilt about 3 months ago and I also had the Wonder of Eyes quilt to make so I have had a very busy start to 2020. I always say that I won't put myself under so much pressure again but then I think that I can do it one more time!!

I already had some coral and fish made so I wasn't starting completely from scratch. You can see from the photo below, the markings that I make with a Fabrico marker really help to make the fish look more lifelike.

I took a photo of lots of them.

I ended up putting some gold paint on them as well, you can probably see that in the photo below.

I did some blue fish and added some yellow marker to improve them.

I machine quilted some fish onto the quilt and added some colour with another Fabrico marker.

I never regret buying those fabric markers.

I made some coral by machine as I knew that I didn't have time to do all the hand embroidery that I usually do. I machine stitched them on wash-away solvy and then put some felt behind them and added some colonial knots by hand. I like the effect.

Coral by machine

I also made some coral by machine by couching some circles onto purple felt; I didn't think I would use them as they looked too plain, but I was inspired to add some beads and they looked so much better. It's amazing what can pop into your brain when you are under time pressure.

Couched coral

The Kyabram Town Hall Gallery exhibition space is very large, that's why I thought I needed another quilt. This quilt is so new that I haven't even taken a photo of it yet but I have this week to put a facing and rod pocket on it before I hang the exhibition on Saturday.

My husband named this quilt, I couldn't call it another coral reef quilt, could I? It's called Coral Symphony; I loved the name as soon as he said it. A fitting end to my series.

My coral reef, crazy quilts, pictorial and applique quilts will all be on display in March.

I am planning to be at the exhibition on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd of March, Monday 9th March, Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th March and Friday 27th March. Hope to see some of you there!

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

The Circle Holiday Challenge

Last week, the Waverley Art Quilters had their first meeting for the year and we had to unveil our holiday challenge. As usual it was a challenge; we all had similar calico coloured fabric with circles on it as well as some stranded DMC embroidery floss in various colours.

This was my challenge fabric and thread.

We could make what we like with it but I found it quite uninspiring. I had to work on a few quilting deadlines over the holidays and in the end, I decided to make a book cover. Originally, I had thoughts of dyeing or screen printing the fabric but I had to be quick and just used it as it was.

I wanted to learn something from the challenge though so I decided to get out my sewing machine instruction book and learn how to sew using the alphabet. I know it's hard to believe that I have been sewing since the 80's and have never sewn with the alphabet function.

Here I am with my practice piece of fabric.

I used a tear-away stabilizer behind the fabric and had to remember to press the pattern end button as the last letter was sewing or it would start repeating the words again.

Here is the front cover of the book, I had decided to cover a blank display book for me to draw various quilting designs that I come across or like.

It's hard to see but I used the green thread to stem stitch around the inside and outside of the circle.

I used black and white fabrics for the back and the lining.

Let's hope I can be a bit more creative in our next challenge!!

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The Wonder of Eyes

One of the exhibitions at AQC this April will be The Wonder of Eyes. This is a fundraiser and people have been asked to make a small 20cm x 20cm (approx. 8") quilt. The little quilts will be on display at the Quilt Convention and when the Convention closes a swap will take place and we will be sent someone else's little quilt as well as making a donation to the Fred Hollows Foundation, which helps to restore sight to people in under privileged countries.

I was going to make a little quilt with a fish eye of course! But I couldn't find a photo that I was happy with and in the end, I went to my bird photos and found a photo of a peacock that I could use.

The Peacock fused onto the background

Then I heavily thread-painted him on the machine.

Thread-painting the peacock

Then I quilted it with silk thread and faced the quilt instead of adding a binding.

The Peacock©2020 Linda Steele
I was happy with him and I hope the person who receives him is happy too. I wonder which one I will receive?

Another exhibition at the Quilt Convention is the Visions 2020 Textiles and my image has been one of the quilts used in the promotion.

Fragile Future advertising

Fragile Future was one of the hardest quilts I have ever made. I now have a new respect for anyone who makes a portrait quilt. One incorrect quilting line on the face changes and deforms the face and has to be unpicked. I think I might try to make more so I improve.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

My Exhibition in Kyabram

I am having a solo exhibition in Kyabram in March this year. My crazy quilts, applique quilts and Coral Reef series will be on display.

The Kyabram Town Hall Gallery is in the main street of Kyabram and the exhibition will be on during everyday of March except Sundays.

Kyabram is approximately 2 and half hours north of Melbourne, beyond Bendigo. Kyabram is a lovely country town that has a great cafe across the road and a quilt shop called Catharina's Country Collections a couple of doors down from the gallery.

Here are some of the quilts that will be on display.

A Time for all Seasons

Crazy about Ballet

6 Pack Shame

Magical Coral Reef

I hope people will make the trip to see the exhibition. I will not be staying up there for the month but if people let me know that they are going, I'll make the effort to be there.

The Gallery is attractive and spacious and my exhibition is in one room and there will be two other exhibitions in the other two rooms.

I have made some flyers to advertise the show.

I hope you can make it to the exhibition in March 2020.

Kyabram Town Hall Gallery
Allan Street,

10am to 4pm every day except Sundays.
Admission is $5

It is a great place for a mid-week day out with some quilting friends.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Vision 2020

I spent the last few weeks before Christmas working on a piece for Brenda Gael Smith's latest exhibition called Vision 2020. She announced the idea a few months before and as usual I never have an idea straightaway.

Then in late November, I got the idea of people having a vision or thinking about the future of coral reefs, as they are currently in danger. I wanted to use a face and took a few photos of myself that I wasn't very happy with. I went to the shopping centre with my daughter and her children to get 4- year-old Jack's haircut. He hates haircuts and you can hear his screams all over the centre. When it was finally over, I took a photo of Jack. Jack doesn't know how to act in front of a camera and instead of just smiling he did this funny side to side look.

Anyway, it was just a fluke but it was the perfect face for my quilt, Fragile Future.

Fragile Future ©2020 Linda Steele

I was absolutely thrilled to find out that I was one of the accepted entries and they will be on display at AQC (Australasian Quilt Convention) in April and then going on to tour around Australia and overseas.
Working on that quilt meant that I didn't make anything for the AQC challenge called Going Green this year. I decided to take the pressure off myself and I am glad that I did.

I also received the news that my quilt Magical Coral Reef got accepted into Gems of the Ocean in Oregon, USA and it will be on display there in February.

Magical Coral Reef ©2019 Linda Steele

The other good news was that one of my contemporary quilts called Connections-The Teenage Years got accepted into Art Quilt Elements 2020 in Pennsylvania USA and will be on display there in March.

Connections-The Teenage years by Linda Steele

Just in case you think I live a charmed life, I have just heard that I didn't get into the Australian Textile Art Award, so I certainly don't get into everything I try out for. It was just a lucky start to the year.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Happy 2020

We are only 3 weeks into 2020 and I have had a busy but fun time.
We had a lovely family Christmas but on the 1st of Jan it was time for my youngest son Cam to go back to Japan. He has been teaching English over there and his 12 months will be up at the end of March. Then he will come home again. He is enjoying living in Japan but he says he is ready to get on with his life in Australia now. Here I am saying goodbye to Cam at the airport.

On the 4th of Jan it was my father in law's 90th birthday, so the family minus Cam were back together again.

I had a lovely day with my two daughters and 3 grandchildren at Chelsea beach.

The flyers arrived from Vista Print to advertise my upcoming solo exhibition in Kyabram.

My phone kept going flat and I had to start charging it twice a day! It was time to gt a new phone and I got the I Phone 11 which I really love.

It takes wonderful photos. We have had terrible bush-fires here in Australia over the summer. Luckily I live in Melbourne and was at least 3 hours drive away. We did have some horrible smoke haze for a few days. Luckily, a cool change arrived which helped the fire fighters get the fires under control. One minute is was really hot and next minute we had a hail storm.

I took the photo above with my new phone and was pleased with how it photographed the hail.

I love everything about my phone except for one thing that I had heard nothing about before. Apple have changed the photos to a Heic file and Windows computers do not recognise that type of file!!
I was shocked when I uploaded my photos to the computer and they were all blank. I Googled it and had to download an app that lets Windows PC open the photos.
Then I tried to open the photos in Photoshop where I crop and resize my photos, to find that Photoshop cannot open a Heic file either. Then I had to download another program that changed the photos to a jpg!

I do not know why Apple decided to be so difficult. Anyway, that's the only drawback to my new phone.

I also planned the program for Waverley Art Quilters this year, it's all about working in a series, that should be fun and hopefully successful.

I have been busy sewing as much as I can and well as socialising with the grandchildren. I have had good news too and have successfully got into 3 exhibitions. I tell more about that in my next post.

My calendar is already pretty full for this year but I can handle it! Here's to a good 2020.

Bye for now,