Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Beginning a new quilt

For some time I have needed a project to take to sewing groups, I didn't want to have  something that was too complicated or needed good light for precision. I also wanted something bright and happy so I started making blocks with shapes that were not flower shapes.

I have finally finished the 12 blocks.

I fused the shapes and then used my sewing machine to blanket stitch around the edges. I used my machine for the blanket stitching because I find it a tedious stitch to do by hand.

I am going to add embroidery to them as my sewing group project, if the lighting is not very good I should still be able to embroider it without too much trouble. I have started a bit already to see if it would work. The pink circle has some colonial knots around it.

I found a thread container that I had bought years ago and thought it would be perfect to keep with the blocks.

I added some bright threads that I thought would go with the blocks. This is what it looks like when it is open.

So now I am ready to go to any sewing days. I have no idea what the finished quilt will look like as I have only designed the outside blocks. There is no hurry to design the rest of the quilt though, the idea is to have some sewing to do while I catch up with friends. I have the Waverley Patchworkers' retreat coming up and this will be perfect to take.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Houston Silent Auction 2017

Once again I have been invited by the International Quilt Festival or better know as the Houston Quilt Show to participate in their annual silent auction. It is an honour to be asked and I am happy to help as it is a major fund raiser for them and they do so much to promote quilting around the world.

My quilt named The Bleaching has been accepted into the show and so I thought I would make a small quilt with a coral reef theme.

Unfortunately I didn't take any progress photos as I was in a rush to get it made on time.

Here is the top finished before quilting.

The Coral Reef top

Because of time constraints this quilt is all done by machine, I didn't have the time to do the hand embroidery that is done on some of my other Coral Reef quilts.

Then I pin basted it.

Then it was time for the machine quilting.
It didn't take very long to quilt because it is 16" wide by 22 ½" high.

The Coral Reef ©2017 Linda Steele

Here are a couple of detail photos.

I hope someone likes my little quilt and bids on it. 

Houston has had some very bad floods and storms lately and we have been assured that all our quilts are safe on the 5th floor and told that Texans are very resilient and the show will go ahead. I wish them all well; we have watched the devastating scenes on TV in Australia and can hardly believe the tough times that they have gone through.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Hokusai Exhibition

There is a wonderful exhibition of works by Hokusai at the NGV ( National Gallery of Victoria).

Hokusai was a Japanese artist born in October 1760 and died in May 1849. You might think that you have never heard of him but his woodblock print of the Great Wave is known worldwide. It is hard to see in the photo but there are some people in boats and the work is to show how nature is mightier than us.

The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai
 As usual the foyer of the gallery is decorated with big posters of the current exhibition and as we arrived we were greeted by colourful animated posters of Hokusai.

It is a huge exhibition and I was surprised that there are so many writings by Hokusai and so we can follow his thoughts and ideas as we view the exhibition.

It is well documented that the Impressionist painters were influenced by Hokusai and other Japanese artists, so I was very surprised to read that Hokusai was inspired by the European art that he saw.

One of the things that struck me the most was his beautiful use of negative space. We don't need to fill every space.

He also loved the theatre and plays and did many of the illustrations for them; the one below was of a puppet show.

He was famous for working in a series and one room was full of his waterfall artworks. Another series was 36 views of Mt Fuji. I bought a postcard of one of them.

Many of them had that dark line of blue across the top and it really gave depth to the prints and look at the water, there is so much movement in it. Apparently he drew every day and he really was a master of carving woodblocks. 

Toward the end of his life he concentrated on flowers and birds and I bought a postcard of one because I really liked the composition.

Peonies and Canary by Hokusai

My favourite room apart from seeing the Great Wave was a room of art inspired by poetry. I was so fascinated that I forgot to take any photos. The translation of the poetry was written next to each work and they were mostly about love lost, found or unrequited, they were delicate little verses and I really loved them. 

I might have to go back and take some more photos.

In the gift shop I bought some postcards and also a notebook with the Great Wave on the front.


The exhibition is on until October 15th, so there is still plenty of time to see it.

Bye for now,