ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, September 11, 2017

What's Up? What's Coming Up?

I cleaned up my studio, cleared the decks, and got back to work quilting the pieces I made this past winter!

But then I learned that my website had been hacked! What ensued was a frustrating week of fumbling in unfamiliar territory, a lot of calls to my web hosting company, and learning things I never hoped or expected to learn. The end result is that the problem seems finally to be resolved.

I've also been experimenting with brown dyes. My favorite Chino brown dye colour from G&S Dye has changed so much that I had to go shopping for something that might be similar. I ordered 6 different browns from Dharma, expecting that Brazil Nut would be just the ticket (stack on left), but it turns out that Bronze is very close to my old Chino. You can see it in the fabrics in centre and on right. I'm a happy camper to find such a good likeness of Chino on only my second try.

My main reason for writing today is to share details of some workshops I have coming up this fall.

I will be giving a lecture and workshop to the Region of York Quilters' Guild in Newmarket, Ontario  on October 25 and 26.

In addition, I'll be teaching two workshops for The Quilt Store in Newmarket, Ontario:

On October 31 I'll be teaching Liberated Radial Piecing. You will learn how to create a radial design similar to mine while using improv cutting and piecing methods.

On November I will be teaching an Introduction to Fabric Dyeing. In this class you will learn about colour by dyeing a 12 step colourwheel using only three dye colours. You will have a choice between a bright colourwheel
or an earthy colourwheel.

In addition, you will learn how I dye my multi-coloured fabrics.
If you've always wanted to learn how to dye fabric, or if you are curious about how I obtain my saturated colours, this is a great opportunity for those of you who live in or near the Greater Toronto Area.

On the weekend of December 1- 3 I will be teaching my "In Full Bloom" class in a retreat format at Inspired Getaways in Arnprior, Ontario. You will have a choice of either my peony pattern or my poppy pattern. You can bring your own fabric or purchase a kit of hand-dyed fabrics from me. Treat yourself to a fun and productive weekend with all meals provided.

Kits available for the peony in pink.

Kits available for the poppy in either red or blue.

If designing your own botanical art quilt appeals to you, I'll be offering my "Inspired by Nature, Designed by You" class in a retreat format the weekend of May 10-13, 2018. Check out some of the amazing quilts some of my students have created in previous classes here or here.

Christine Earl designed this lovely trillium quilt in the class I taught in London, Ontario.

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Little Vacation

I spent last week on a vacation with my sister. We decided to go to Newfoundland. Newfoundland is Canada's most easternly province, and is actually an island. The official name of the province is "Newfoundland and Labrador". We flew into the capital, St. John's and spent a couple of days there. Here we are having a bad hair day :-).  Newfoundland can be a very windy, and sometimes damp, province.

We drove around the city the first day and viewed some of the jellybean row houses that St. John's is famous for. 

Met a Newfoundland cat as well. Like the people, he was friendly. Newfoundlanders are some of the friendliest, warmest, and most helpful people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. This was my third trip to Newfoundland.

We drove up to Signal Hill, where you have a great view of the St. John's Harbour and behind it the city. 

There's also a view of Cape Spear, the most easterly point in Canada.

Signal Hill was the site of St. John's harbour defenses between the 17th century and WW2.

It is also famous because Guglielmo Marconi received the world's first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901.

We really lucked out on weather. We arrived at the cottage we had booked for four nights to find this view. The cottage was in a very tiny town named Burnt Harbour, about 50-60 minutes south of St. John's on the South Shore. I was torn between going out touring each day and staying home to enjoy the view. The colours changed every day. In fact, they also changed every hour throughout the day. From very blue,

to completely grey,

to something in between.

Apparently this summer has seen the best whale season in 34 years, and that was evident! We could often see whales, or pods of whales, cavorting out in the cove. One night we even heard one breathing near our cottage.

We spent some time exploring nearby Tors Cove. Loved this artful little scene, with the ropes drawing your eye into the composition of boats.

We visited the Five Island Art Gallery, which contained a great selection of all kinds of local art.

We spent some time in Petty Harbour, a real fishing village, photographing boats, crab traps, and reflections.


We ate cod (lots and lots of cod!), lobster and scallops. It was a really restful vacation. I am back home and when I finish dealing with 50 lbs of tomatoes, I'll be cleaning up my studio and getting to work. However, I do have a vacation with my husband coming up in September.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Art Quilt at Haliburton School of Art & Design

Last week I spent teaching "The Art Quilt" at the Haliburton School of Art and Design. As in previous years, I had the pleasure of experiencing many deer sightings. Most of them were near the instructor cabins, or on the road to the instructor cabins.

In this class we talk about creativity, I give a presentation about Composition and Design, and students are given two different design exercises. The first exercise involves Seat of the Pants Construction, while the second involves designing with a plan (creating your own pattern). I encourage students to work small so they won't be so precious about their work and willing be willing to take risks. But before we do the design exercises, we spend a day dyeing fabric.

Here are Gail and Virginia mixing up dyes in the dye box we are required to use. The dye box completely contains any stray airborne dye particles. It might seem awkward at first, but once a system is worked out, things go pretty smoothly. On the bright side, it means not needing to sweat behind a particulate respirator.

It is always exciting to see the fabric after it is washed out.

Carol and Janice look pretty happy with the results.

All of the "Seat of the Pants" exercises were posted to our design wall and we discussed them as a group.

Really love that green squiggly line along Janice's composition.

Here are results from the Planned Design (creating your own pattern).








After many years of this class filling (sometimes with a waiting list) I had only seven students this year. It was a small and intimate group. However, I will be retiring the class for a few years and teaching a different topic next year.

It seems that more and more I am relying on the camera in my smart phone when I travel. However, I did have my DSLR camera in my car, knowing there would be opportunities to photograph deer. Having a zoom lens sure helps. Here's one of those photos.

I have no teaching now until the end of October. The time between now and then will be spent in the studio, taking vacation (which includes some pleasure travel), and probably dyeing more kits. I can hardly believe that we are so far along in the summer season, but it went by very quickly during my many weeks of travel.