Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Grace Errea visits Waverley Patchworkers

I have just spent a lovely few days with Grace Errea, a quilting teacher from the USA. Waverley Patchworkers were having Grace as their special guest and she stayed with me while she was in Australia.

You might know her book called Impressionist Applique.

My friend and I took Grace to Healesville Sanctuary on the first day so she could see a little bit of Australia; not just the inside of a classroom. We saw kangaroos, koalas and a platypus and a wonderful bird show among other things.

I tried to take a good photo of a Brolga but he wasn't being very cooperative.


We couldn't believe what beautiful blue eyes the Satin Bowerbird had. He could mimic other birds including a kookaburra; we could hardly believe what we were hearing.

Satin Bowerbird

The highlight for me was being able to get a couple of photos of a blue Wren.

Blue Wren

That evening Grace gave a lecture about using the correct value of fabrics in our quilts instead of concentrating on colour only. Here is a photo of Grace and I in front of one of her quilts before the lecture.

Grace Errea and I

The next day Grace taught a new method of reverse applique by machine. Here is the Hummingbird I made in the class, it's still just a top, I might quilt it one day!

Over the weekend Grace taught a 2 day applique class using her heat set method. Here I am preparing some of the pieces. Instead of using fusible web, we painted a diluted glue onto the edges.

Here are some of my hibiscus petals already glued together.

Underneath the petals I have a special board that we all had to make before the class. It is 25" x 25" and is made of 3 layers, a layer of foam core board, thick polystyrene and a iron safe fabric and then covered with fabric. It is light and portable and we can pin into it, iron on it and carry our pieces around on it. I am sure that I will get a lot of use out of it.

The petals are made and now I have to start on the leaves. This is a picture of Grace's quilt and mine is supposed to eventually look like it.

Grace's Hibiscus Quilt

When I chose the pattern I didn't realise how large it was, it's a different experience making such large pattern pieces because the ones I design are usually on the small size.

Grace has gone back home now but we all really enjoyed her visit.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Waverley Patchworkers Retreat 2017

I spent a lovely couple of days at the Waverley Patchworker's Retreat. I know why some members never want to miss it because it is a lot of fun.

It was held at Forest Edge in Neerim South and it was a great venue, surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful trees. This was the view near my room.

On the way there my friend and I dropped went to the Egyptian Tentmakers exhibition. Their quilts were lovely, I had seen their quilts a few years ago and the standard of stitching has really improved. There were a couple of appliqued quilts using silk as well as cotton.

They were for sale but we resisted the temptation.

Then it was time for lunch and a visit to Sewing Connection, a quilting shop in Pakenham. I couldn't resist doing some shopping there. Their shop is 30 years old this year.

Then it was on to the retreat, we were not supposed to get there until four o'clock but everyone was keen and arriving at 3.30!

We were so lucky with beautiful sunny weather and I went for a walk after breakfast the first morning to see the river. 
Here is a photo of the walk to the river, it was so pretty and very relaxing.

On Saturday night there is always a bit of fun and you can dress up if you want. The theme was blue and white-water. Many people wore blue and white clothes and some went to more trouble. I had a great idea for a costume but that fabric is still in the bag and didn't get made. In the end I just wore some blue and white that I thought looked watery. My friend went to more trouble with a sailor suit.

Some people went to much more trouble including some other friends of mine, who won the prize for best costume.

The food was wonderful and the venue was great. We were thoroughly spoiled and I know why people go every year. We had two big sewing rooms with large light filled windows. One room was for the machine sewers who got so much done. I was in the hand sewers room so we didn't get as much done but we had a lovely time laughing, chatting and sewing.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

New Zealand Quilt Symposium Exhibitions 2017

The New Zealand Quilt Symposium in Christchurch begins on Thursday 5th October and runs until Tuesday the 10th. Not only are there the most wonderful classes by many local and international tutors there are a number of quilt exhibitions as well.

I have two quilts in the Piano exhibition space which is 156 Armagh Street, Christchurch.

My Quilt Life on the Reef is in the A Matter of Time Exhibition.

Life on the Reef by Linda Steele

There is also another exhibition at the same venue called Passion and Perspective by students of Nancy Crow. I did two weeks of classes with Nancy Crow in January this year.

We were asked to make a quilt using what we learnt with Nancy. Nancy recommended that I use brighter colours, not use a ruler to cut pieces and to design by intuition and improvisation by not planning ahead.

The quilt I made for the exhibition is called Rhythms 3.

Rhythms 3 by Linda Steele

It's certainly a different style of quilt for me and I can tell you that I went through quite a few attempts before I made this quilt. My other ideas weren't working until finally I remembered what Nancy taught me. Don't plan ahead! So I put up one piece of fabric and then put another next to it and so on until I had a quilt on the design wall.

I can't say I love the quilt but I quite enjoyed the process when I got into it. I would like to try again with some other coloured fabric.

I really enjoyed quilting it though. The plain colours really show the different stitches.

I really wish that I could see the exhibition so I could see what the other quilts look like. Hopefully people will post some photos on line. I wonder what Nancy Crow would think of my quilt?  She would probably say that it's a beginning and to keep trying.

I've since found out that there is a lovely colour catalogue of the exhibition called Passion and Proportion and it is only $25. I'll look forward to receiving my copy.

Bye for now,