ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Art Quilt Series/Student Work

Last night I purchased these tulips at the grocery store. Even though we are experiencing warmer than usual winters in Ottawa, we sure don't have flowers, so some fresh spring blooms at this time of year can really cheer one up!
This morning as the tulip blossoms started to open a bit, it occurred to me that they looked a little like worn and jagged knee joints! Can you tell where my mind is these days?
The washing machine repairman came by today and pronounced my washing machine not worthy of fixing. I promptly went out to buy a new (well actually used) one. I like the old style, top loading washing machine that doesn't save water. If you are only dyeing for yourself I think the water saving machines are great, but I want to be able to easily rinse out 30 meters at a time. Besides, with all the dyeing I do, my washer takes a beating, and these old style washing machines are much easier and cheaper to fix. I've also tested and think I can dye sitting down using a chair on wheels and swivelling stool in the basement.

But let me get to the main reason for this post. Mainly I want to showcase some student work. Saturday I taught Part 6 of my Art Quilt Series at Dragonfly Fabrics in Ottawa. I've been meeting with this group one Saturday a month for the last six months. Our last class covered a variety of edge finishes, framing and mounting options, labels, documenting and photographing your work, entering shows, selling your work, and evaluating your work.

We managed to get a group photo. From left to right, standing in the back row are me, Suzanna, Carolyn, Josée, Ghyslaine, Lynn. Sitting in the front row, from left to right, are Jeannie, Madeleine, and Sue.

Several students brought completed or almost-completed works to class. Jeannie created this piece after our last class on Surface Design. She used foils and Shiva Paintstiks to create the leaves from stencils. Love that yellow-green colour scheme, one of my favorites!

It was certainly Ghyslaine's day to shine! She brought three pieces. The first is her completed design exercise, in which I had asked that students work with 5-7 values of the same colour.
Ghyslaine also completed a piece using "seat of the pants" construction methods to depict her two cats under the Christmas tree. The variety of green values she cut free-hand for the tree give it depth, and the composition is interesting because it shows just a small section of the tree.
Ghyslaine also just finished free-motion quilting the poppy she started in my "In Full Bloom" class about two years ago. It only needs squaring up and binding now. By the way, that's Linda Doyle, the owner of the shop on the right-hand side.
It looks like I'll be doing another multi-part series at Dragonfly fabrics next year, probably my "Uncommon Threads" class. Stay tuned for details.

Josée spent some time dyeing since the last class, in preparation for creating a piece inspired by a purple iris. She learned how to dye in this class.

I love when students send me photos of their completed projects started in my classes. I have two I've been waiting to share. The first is the tree that Sue B started constructing at the "Tree Collage" class I taught for the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild a few weeks ago. In this photo the collage has been built on muslin, which will be cut away later, and then the tree will be attached to a background. What a fabulous job Sue did with her values and knots in the tree. She later told me that she did experience some difficulty with thread breaking while trying to free-motion the trunk. I always suggest using a Topstitch 90/14 needle and a good quality polyester or cotton thread. I personally love Superior Rainbows, colours 855 and 856, for my tree trunks. When stitching through more than one layer of fusible, I do not advise using rayon thread or any other threads that may not be as strong or may be more difficult to use in your machine.
Last year Carol M. took my Liberated Strip Piecing class at the Country Quilter in Richmond, Ontario. A few months later I found the finished piece hanging in the Richmond Quilt Show. I love the bright colours and graphic lines. Carol actually sold this piece at the show!


  1. Seriously, 30 m of fabric at a time in your washing machine! I am preparing for my first ever 2 day workshop in april and am more than a little nervous!
    Teaching my 3D flowers the first day and 3D embellishments the second.
    Hope the knee is coming along!

  2. Some seriously lovely student work here, Elaine. Well done, all!

  3. Beautiful work! Yay for Sue B for finishing her tree! Mine is still in progress. :)

  4. I took the one week Art Quilt course with at Haliburton last summer with you. I can see that if you take the once a month course there's more time for homework. If you take the one week course it's a lovely getaway in beautiful country and you are immersed in learning.


Your posts are important to me. Due to a huge amount of SPAM on my blog recently, I have decided to moderate comments, at least for the time being. Please be patient, your post will be approved as soon as I can get to it.