Tuesday 22 August 2023

Eco Dyeing at Tarndie

 Last weekend, I was down at Geelong for the Art Quilt Australia Awards, my last post was all about my excitement of winning First Prize.

The following day some of us drove down to Tarndwarncoort Sheep Farm or Tarndie for short, for a day of Eco Dyeing.

It is one of the oldest sheep farms and properties in Australia and was built in 1848 and now classified as a National Trust property. The same family still owns the property as it has been handed down through the generations.

As it was a sheep farm, we were dyeing using wool fabrics, they were quite thick upholstery fabric that they got in for us to use as they specialise in dyeing yarns.

First we dyed some fabric using Cherry Ballart or wild Cherry with some copper which gives a lovely Chartreuse colour and then we learnt about Indigo dyeing.

These are the fabrics that I did. I have ironed the fabrics but couldn't get the wrinkles out, so I won't be using upholstery fabric if I ever do it again.

 The Indigo vat seems like a lot of work, so I was glad to see it done but probably won't add it to my bag of tricks.

Our last technique was eco dyeing with leaves. I have done it before with iron water, so I took the opportunity to use copper instead to get an orange colour.

Here I am arranging my leaves onto the fabric.

This is a photo of all our fabrics on copper pipes after being steamed.

 Here is the big reveal when we unrolled them and took off the leaves.

We had a lovely lunch in the dining room of the old house.

We also had a walk around the farm even though it was a bit of a wet, cold day. They keep Polwarth sheep which have the brown faces. The sheep in the photo below had twins and you can see a white lamb with them. The white lamb kept following the other mother with the twins, probably wanted some playmates.

Polwarth Sheep

Despite the cold weather, it was an enjoyable day and lovely to get to know the other women who mostly came from interstate.

Bye for now,


Tuesday 15 August 2023

Art Quilt Australia 2023

 Oh my goodness- I won!!

I drove down to Geelong on Friday for the Ozquilt Network opening of Art Quilt Australia 2023. It was held in the National Wool Museum. I was very happy to be selected, the jurors chose 37 quilts out of 76 entries. It was good to meet up with quilters that I know and also put faces to names that I know.

I was innocently sitting down listening to the speeches and the winners being announced, when suddenly my name was called out as the winner of the Award of Excellence, which is the top award! I was in shock, I never in a thousand years thought I would win this prize. I received a beautiful bunch of flowers and $4,000! My quilt is called Moroccan Magic and was inspired by my trip to Morocco last year.

After the awards were announced we could look at the exhibition and the artists that were there could do a 2 minute talk about their quilt. I took a few photos but really I was in too much shock to take it all in.

Here are some of the photos that I took.

Alison Withers won the Wool prize, it has to be made by at least 60% wool.

DIY Deluge Design no 5 by Alison Withers

The Silent Web by Cindy Watkins

Dianne Firth won the Highly Commended Award.

Deposit by Dianne Firth

Simple Pleasures by Sue Broadway

Seeking the Sun by Grace Widders

Forest Floor by Linda Balding

Clap Clap You by Tania Tanti

The exhibition is open until the 12th November, so I will try and get back there to have a good look at all the entries.

Here is a photo of my quilt called Moroccan Magic. It is improv pieced, I have no pattern, I just start sewing and put fabrics together, piece by piece while thinking about my subject. 

Moroccan Magic by Linda Steele

Here are some detail photos.

Moroccan Magic detail

Moroccan Magic detail

Moroccan Magic detail

My artist statement said Morocco is a sensory overload, with its doorways, winding pathways and exotic markets.

The have a lovely catalogue too which has large photos of all the quilts for only $20.

Bye for now,