ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Threads: Uncommon & Unforgettable

Yesterday I returned from Haliburton, physically exhausted but mentally and emotionally rejuvenated. I haven't watched a TV, listened to a radio, or read a newspaper in two weeks. I didn't even miss them. I slept in my own bed with a cat on my hip last night. Life is good.
Here is the wonderful class I had last week. They were enthusiastic and worked hard, but also worked hard at having fun!
Tuesday night we had another faculty reception at Rail's End Gallery. I have been told by a colleague that I don't smile enough on my blog, so here I am smiling! I know you've seen enough of "Exhale" for now.
We experimented with a wide variety of ways to use thread, including thread sketching. Here is Nancy's Luna Moth, which she thread sketched and then coloured with artist pencils.
Lise's thread sketched horses.
Susan's thread-sketched bird and foliage.
Mary Lou's thread sketched dahlia.
We spent a day dyeing thread.
After washing and fixing the colour, it was a glorious sight to see skeins of coloured thread drying on the rack.
Once dried, the thread needs to be transferred to a spool if you are going to use it on your sewing machine (either in the needle or the bobbin, or for couching). An umbrella swift can make the job faster, but a pair of feet are always readily available (these are Betty's by the way).
Up above she is winding the thread onto a spool.
We experimented with a variety of thread painting methods. Here is Penny's thread painted lily.
Korleen's dragonfly stitched on a piece of water soluble stabilizer. The dragonfly will be cut out and the stabilizer dissolved.
We also tried a bit of thread lace using tulle netting and water soluble stabilizer. We also tried some hand-stitching with the hand-dyed threads. I must have been caught up by something because I completely failed to take pictures of the samples that were developing on the last day.

This past week I stayed in the teachers' cottages. My lovely roommates were Lila Lewis Irving and Helen Donnelly. Lila is a non-objective painter with an impressive career. Helen is a professional, theatrical and therapeutic clown. We had wonderful discussions in our cabin during breakfast.
Helen on the left, Lila to the right.

There were many dinners out with friends, and probably too many desserts. Here is Anita Zobens, owner of Cotton Mill Threadworks, who came to take the class, but also made everyone's week easier because she brought a selection of Superior Threads with her.
Lise get's the prize for travelling the furthest to take the class. She drove all the way from eastern Quebec.
Tomorrow I have to get weighed. It won't be pretty.

I will be back at the Haliburton School of the Arts for two weeks next summer. When everything is official I will announce the dates and classes.


  1. I weighed in and it wasn't pretty=) When I told my husband, he said, 'oh, r u going to eat me?' Of course I am still laughing! You must be a superb teacher because the work of your students is simply stunning.

  2. The thread dying is intriguing. May I ask what you used?
    Looks like fun!


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