Tuesday 19 October 2021

Sketchbook Fun

 I have hardly done any sewing for the last couple of months. I am the Convenor of the Victorian Quilters Showcase which is usually held in July but it was cancelled twice and now it is finally going ahead as a virtual show. Instead of sewing, I have been on the computer with my head in spreadsheets.

I actually find it quite overwhelming at times and when I have a break I cannot concentrate on any sewing. I have gone back to the sketchbook that I was playing around with last year and adding to the pages. I had made the sketchbook a few years ago and finally started filling it in during lockdown 2020.

I wasn't happy with some of the pages and didn't know how to fix them. I had started this page with some yellow and orange paint and added some collage paper to the edge.

I decided to try and emulate the collage paper with some green ovals in paint. I wasn't happy with that so I tried to add detail with a felt tip pen.

I didn't like that and so I left it that way for nearly 12 months. I have been on so many Zoom meetings or have watched so many on-line interviews that I felt I must do something else as I listened. I reached for the sketchbook and thought I would try again, I had nothing to lose.

I found that I really loved adding the detail and that page looked so good, I thought I would add to the next page as well.

I can't believe the difference that it made, now I love it and it was so much fun to do.

Here is another failed page.

I didn't like what I had done, so I had painted over it and finally added a stencil. That didn't improve it and so there it sat for 12 months.

Last week, I covered it with some collage paper, added some circles and painted around them.

Probably not as successful as the first page but still a vast improvement.

Here are another couple of pages that I've done, I did them as little 30 minute classes on-line.

So much fun. At least it's something arty to do when you are a bit stressed and pressed for time.

I am looking forward to doing some sewing again though.

Bye for now,


Tuesday 12 October 2021

Intersecting Lines

 Our last topic for the Waverley Art Quilters this year was Intersecting Lines. It's hard to be motivated when you're locked down and cannot meet so I decided to use one of my new Tim Holtz fabrics as a background. I've been using solids for a while now and it was fun to use a patterned fabric.

Intersecting Lines

I chose 3 plain fabrics that coordinated with the background and cut and pieced until I was happy. It probably looks easy but some of it was difficult and I even had to unpick and re-sew a couple of seams.

I decided to add a border for a change because I think it sometimes acts as a frame for a contemporary quilt.

The small quilt measures 12inches wide and 16inches high. I also tried to resist going into too much detail with the quilting and quilted with mainly straight lines.

Next month is our last meeting for the year and at the moment the plan is for us to be out of lockdown!!

We cannot get to the One Step Further exhibition at the moment and so they have put it online.

Please click this link, if you are interested. I hope it works.

Bye for now,


Tuesday 5 October 2021

Hanging by Threads

 Last year I made a Coral Reef quilt for the Victorian Quilters Inc. biennial art quilt prize, One Step Further. It is open to everyone in Australia and New Zealand. I don't need to remind anyone what 2020 was like, so of course the exhibition could not go ahead.

Fast forward twelve months later and we are still in lockdown. Luckily, the exhibition is on Kyabram which is in the regional area and their gallery is open and the exhibition is on at last.

Hanging by Threads©2020 Linda Steele

My quilt is called Hanging by Threads and it is mostly made of wool, with just the upper blue area in fabric.

I enjoyed the challenge of trying to make a coral reef out of wool. I made most of the coral using hand embroidery and then hand needle-felted some wool around the edges to attach it to the wool background.

Preparing the coral.

I also experimented with making coral a bit differently and did some big knots and straight stitches in wool and ribbon and then needle-felted it down to embed it into the fabric.

Making coral

Here is a couple of photos of the top section of the quilt, a healthy Coral Reef.

Then there is the middle panel, where the coral is just starting to deteriorate.

Finally, the bottom panel where the coral has bleached and there is no home for the fish.

Making a Coral Reef out of wool was a challenge, but I really enjoyed making it. I can't even remember why I thought of the idea now!

The exhibition opened last Friday and unfortunately, I missed out on a prize, but I hope to go and see the exhibition and prize winners before the exhibition closes on November 30th. 

Restrictions are supposed to start to ease on October 26th when the shops and hairdressers can open and from November 5th, we are allowed to see 10 family members at home if we are all vaccinated.   Melbourne has the unenviable reputation as the most locked down city in the world! 

Bye for now,