ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm blogging from Waterloo, Ontario (about a 6 hour drive from my home in Ottawa), where I am staying with my sister between my teaching gigs at Greenwood Quiltery in Guelph and two guilds in Simcoe, Ontario. In Ontario we are experiencing spectacular weather this Thanksgiving Weekend. Temperatures reached 25 degrees celsius (77 degrees fahrenheit) today.
Greenwood Quiltery is housed inside a beautiful historic home on Woolwich St. in Guelph. Greenwood Gallery is just above the shop, and the current show features the work of Dwayne Wanner of Burlington, Ontario.
The garden at the back of Greenwood Quiltery always welcomes me from the parking lot into the store.

Yesterday, Saturday, family members were invited to have Thanksgiving dinner with residents of St. Jacobs Place, the retirement residence where my father lives in St. Jacobs, Ontario.
On the left is my father, Norbert, and on the right is his friend and table mate, Leonard. Both men are 87 years old! My father typically refuses to eat his vegetables, and this day was no different. He has taken an attitude that he will only eat what he likes. At 87, perhaps I will do the same.

On Thanksgiving weekend we have a tradition of driving to the country, past the farm where I grew up and where my father was born as well. Most farms in this area have been bought up by Old Order Mennonite families, and it was no surprise to see this buggy just as we approached the farm (you can see the farm on the horizon line to the right)
Things look quite a bit different from when I lived there, but the house is still the same, built in the 1860's.
Here it is

We headed along my favorite road, Hessenstrasse, past Mennonite farms. The house and porch below caught my eye!
I pulled closer thinking they were quilts, but I do believe they are actually hooked rugs.
You will never see orange or yellow in the clothing or quilts or rugs of Old Order Mennonites. There is always purple, blue, green and magenta.

We made our yearly visit to Nauman's Pumpkin Farm, where I delighted in photographing autumn sights.

I found these late-season hostas behind the house. Notice the blossom pods still on the plants. I don't remember ever seeing this before in autumn.

The end-of-season sunflowers also provided lots of photo opportunities. Spectacular colour and texture!

I always love the drive down the lane, under a canopy of trees, leaving the farm. Most of the trees haven't changed colour yet as we have not had enough cold nights.

After dropping my father back at his residence, I visited the St. Jacobs Quilt Gallery. I have a show coming up here in July-September 2012. This is the first gallery I ever had a solo show in 2004. I named that show "Homegrown", and next year's show will be called "Encore" since it is my second time here. The current show is one of traditional quilts purchased at Mennonite Relief Sales.
Today my sister and I headed to Stratford, Ontario to see The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Stratford Festival. The tickets came compliments of Kerry Gage, who works at the Festival. Kerry and her family purchased one of my quilts this past spring for their mother, Sherry Clarmow's birthday. Kerry kindly gifted me with two tickets. The show was well done, and being a comedy, elicited lots of laughs.
The Avon River runs through Stratford, and the swans and ducks are a familiar site.
I loved the reflection of an autumn tree that shows through below the willow on this picture.
I've caught a virus and am battling a sore throat, headache and lots of sneezing. I am trying to rest my voice as I have had past experiences trying to teach with laryngitis. I have two lectures and 5-1/2 classes coming up next week, so I need a voice!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  1. Thanksgiving Blessings to you, too, Elaine! My late aunt -- the quilter in my family, who died in 2002 just shy of her 95th birthday -- used to speak of St. Jacobs. I don't know if she had a friend there, or if it was one of the places in which she taught as a very young woman...but your photos of it brought it nearer to me. Thank you -- and get well soon!

  2. Is your Thanksgiving earlier in Canada than ours in the US (4th Thursday in November)? I enjoyed the pictures of the Mennonite or Amish farmland and your childhood home.
    Martha Ginn

  3. You have had a wonderful weekend. Good, and thank you for showing us a bit of your history.

  4. Yes Martha, Canadian Thanksgiving is always the second Monday in October (same as your Columbus Day I think?) Not sure why ours is so early and yours so late, but it does give us some breathing room between Thanksgiving and Christmas!


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