ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Latest News, Quilt Canada Reminder, and Art Quilt Series, Session 3

Here's a reminder that registration for Quilt Canada 2017 is taking place and is now open to non-members. Register early to avoid disappointment (classes get cancelled due to low registration when people wait until the last minute, or the class might also be full if you wait). Info here. I'm one of 11 teachers that will be offering a wide variety of workshops during the conference. Of course there is also the National Juried Show, featuring the best Canadian quilts, and a tempting merchant mall. 
June 14-17 at the International Centre, Toronto.


I've just finished a four-week on-line class covering the basics of PhotoShop Elements with the Pixeladies. I highly recommend it, and am beginning the second level later this month. Here are a couple of cool things I did in class.

I took this photo of bottles in Spain a couple of years ago.

I did a few manipulations to turn them into black and white, remove the third bottle in the background, and then simplified the values to create an abstract black and white composition.

Our final assignment was to do several manipulations to a photo. I had this nice photo of reflections that I took in Venice (I think Burano), but it always bugged me that buildings seemed to be leaning and the reflections were angled.

I straightened the photo, cropped it, pumped up the saturation on the reds and yellows, and then added a copyright watermark.

While home this winter, I am still enjoying making good food! That includes bread. This is one I made in the past week. I just signed up for a bread making class on Craftsy (Craftsy.com), so stay tuned!

I am making my own granola and yogurt now. I know what ingredients are in it, it is far less sweet than store bought granola, and I sure can find the nuts in mine!

My yogurt maker makes both Greek and regular yogurt. It came from Amazon.ca and cost about $65. Love it and the yogurt it makes.


Here is the little seat of the pants composition I started as a demo in my Art Quilt class. I finished it this past week. Once I got the basic shapes down I sort of started to take liberties with the design. It may become a small study for a larger piece.

Yesterday I taught Session 4 of my Art Quilt Series. The topic was creating a more planned design by creating your own pattern. I encourage students to work small so they wont treat the work as so precious and will be willing to take risks.

Is this not a cool design by Lynn? The exercise was to use at least 5 values of one colour, with the possibility of adding in a second colour. Orange, being the complement of blue, makes this design sing.

Virginia was well on her way with another landscape. See how a variety of values can really make your work come alive!

Another landscape, this one by Heather, almost finished.

Marion was working on a butterfly design in values of blue.

Joan was working on a whimsical landscape in aquas and teals.

A few students brought back finished pieces from the last class.

Virginia finished her landscape design. A little bit of a diagonal design, but also a little bit of L-shape.

Cindy finished the landscape she began in the previous class.

and created a second piece inspired by that class. Both of these pieces were completely finished!

Tonight I am going to begin ironing the many meters of fabric I have started dyeing for my spring and summer teaching. Another 100 meters of white cotton is on order. We have packed all the hosta patterns for spring and summer teaching (my husband did the folding, and I did the assembling and packaging). We will undertake the floral patterns later this month. Everything is being planned in advance and spaced out better than last year. I am optimistic the year will be more manageable.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Art Quilt Series Ottawa, Session 2 and New Work

Yesterday was Session 2 of my 5-day Art Quilt Series, running five Saturdays between January and March. I am having a lot of fun with this eager and relatively small group of eight women.

In our first session two weeks ago we learned about creativity, composition, design, and colour. At session 2 we started with some colour exercises involving acrylic paint.



Then students were put to work for the rest of the day creating a "Seat of the Pants" design, cutting everything for their art quilt free-hand.

 Not everyone finished, but most pieces were well on their way. Lynn did finish her Bird of Paradise.

Beth finished her abstract Canada Geese.

Wendy's Southwestern rock formations were coming to life.

Virginia was blocking in the major shapes of her landscape.

This is a really fun and gratifying class for me to teach because everyone is creating something different, and I look forward to what each student will come up with. Below is my start on a Seat of the Pants composition that I created while demonstrating to the class how I might do such a composition. I'm liking the direction it is going so I am going to finish this one before the next class.

In our third class, which takes place in February, I will be teaching the class how to create their own patterns and build the quilt from there. This will be a more planned design. I'll be sure to share photos.

I also completed a new pen and ink drawing. I photographed this beautiful stairway in Provence in 2015. I absolutely loved seeing it come to life with pen and ink.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

At Last a Hosta Blossom

I actually fused the last piece of this design a week ago, but immediately headed out to teach the first session of my Art Quilt Series last Saturday, and then I started an on-line Photoshop course on Monday. I've been distracted by the US election as well. In light of that, I think we need to post something happy and pleasurable! Here it is, the hosta blossom I worked on last week, and that has been planned for some time. Right now it is not permanently attached to this background. I will audition it on others before I make my final decision.

I worked on two pen, ink and watercolour drawings since my last blog post. They are both based on photos I took in  Provence in 2015.

This yellow chair was just sitting in a grey alley.

I've worked on this quite a bit, but it is still not finished. Based on a photo taken at the Abbey Saint Hilaire in Provence.

In order to avoid the pressure and rush of last spring, we'll begin dyeing fabric this week for kits required during my spring teaching. We'll also begin copying and folding and packaging patterns. All of this is spread out nicely in my calendar and I'm hopeful it will be a bit more sane than last year. I'm excited about Session 2 of my Art Quilt Series, which takes place next Saturday, January 28. I'll be introducing the class to "seat of the pants" design.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Registration Opens for Quilt Canada 2017

I'd like to share that registration has opened for Quilt Canada 2017. I'll be teaching four workshops.

You can find out everything you need to know at this link.

Here's to a Creative New Year!

Here we are, already seven days into 2017. I would like to wish you a happy and creative new year!

I've been busy, but I'm also taking time to relax.

Remember this piece? I'm back at the job of machine quilting it. I made the piece a year ago but never finished quilting it.

I've also got my pattern all ready for the hosta blossoms. I'm going to be building on it this week. Stay tuned!

Since I last wrote, I've completed a few pen and ink drawings with watercolour. This first one is based on photo I took in France.

This one is based on a photo taken in Italy.

Originally I intended my art journal to be more about quick sketches from my life, but I'm finding myself using my photos a lot. This next drawing was more what I had in mind. I bought this polka-dotted cup, saucer and plate at HomeSense over the holidays. I can never resist black and white polka dots. It was just begging to become a pen and ink drawing, especially on a day I was snowed in.

One thing I'm loving about being home is making good food from scratch. I'm experimenting with making bread right now. I've never been fully happy with the way bread bakes in my bread maker, so now I'm using it just to mix the dough and then baking it in the oven. This French Bread was a success.

This week I'll keep on working on quilting the ferns, start building the hosta blossoms, prep for my upcoming Art Quilt class at the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild (the series begins on Saturday) and yes, I'll probably bake some bread too.

Monday, December 19, 2016

In the Studio and Outdoors

Christmas 2016 is quickly approaching, and I've been busy baking numerous batches of shortbread. In addition, I created my second in the Smoke bush series. It's a triptych, on the chartreuse green background I originally planned to use. There might be a few small changes to come, but for the most part, this is the final version.

I will need some time to think about how I am going to quilt the above piece. I want more of an impression than a completely realistic piece I'm also trying to come up with a clever name for this series. In the mean time, I will start quilting the first piece that is more realistic due to the veins. Looks like I have lots of thread colours that will work!

I've been journaling a bit more. Here's my latest pen & ink drawing with watercolour. It is based on a photo I took at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, a few years ago.

Sunday was cold, but the sunlight made me want to go outside and photograph. I took my car and drove around some of the country roads a few minutes from my home. Between 3 and 4 pm the sun was lower in the sky, so the light was magical. It also allowed me to capture some wonderful shadows.








These two are very similar but I couldn't decide between the two!


As the sun lowered, sometimes I found the snow actually looked like golden sand!




Since I probably won't be blogging again before Christmas, I'd like to take this time to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and a wonderful time with friends and family.