ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Latest / More Student Work

Today I got a free haircut. Well not exactly free. Last week I gave a second lesson to my young hairdresser to help her make a quilt for her toddler. We are doing a knowledge exchange, trading services on an hourly basis. Hmmm ... now if only my massage therapist needed some quilting lessons!

A box of about 30 copies of the free sample issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited arrived today. This is the special issue I mentioned in my previous blog post. MQU will use it as a promotional issue to give away at shows throughout the US, and it is available for download on your computer if you sign up for their e-newsletter. What a fantastic promotional opportunity this is for me, as my article is prominently placed near the front of the magazine and will be seen by many readers who might not ever read the magazine. Hopefully this will help me to continue doing what I do for a living. The more exposure, the more teaching invitations.

The magazine will make great door prizes at lectures and workshops, so I will be sure to take a good number of copies with me on my teaching trip to the Greater Toronto Area next week. The best part is that even if you don't win an actual magazine, you can still access it by downloading the issue on your computer.

My knee continues to be a challenge. I've been icing 4X a day, going to physiotherapy 2X week, and doing leg strengthening exercises daily. This leaves me little time for anything else ;-)) But there is still clearly something wrong with it, given the clicking, catching and locking. My physiotherapist thinks that I may have a torn meniscus in addition to arthritis. We won't know for sure until my MRI in April. I am continuing to do what I usually do, but doing it sitting down.

Last week I dyed about 120 meters of fabric. Given the brisk sales in St. John's, NL and Yellowknife, NT, I needed to stock up my store in preparation for the Toronto area. So far I've ironed 100 meters and have another 20 to go. After that I will need to cut many of them into fat quarters and bundle and label some of them. Of course I am doing the ironing sitting down too, and I'll be teaching from a chair on wheels throughout my Toronto trip.

I set up a card table in my basement, and folded an older shower curtain over it to protect it. I sat there on a stool to mix all my dyes and dye the fabric.
As I dyed the pieces I moved the containers over to the top of my washer and dryer (which is where I usually do my dyeing). The sink was close at hand when I needed it, but a lot of the time I kept a pail of water beside me to wash hands between colours. The stool was a perfect height for the sink when it came time to rinse.
Here is my dye shelf, organized by colour.

This past week I was delighted to receive several photos of recently completed student works.

First came M.R. Charbonneau's (Quilt Matters) tulip. While M.R. did not make this work in my class, she used the very same collage method that she learned in my Collage Tree class. You can read about the making of this work on her blog. I love when students take a method and run with it. I adore the way M.R. has taken a cool purple tulip and placed it on a warm purple background. It absolutely sings!

Heather forwarded a photo of her finished tree collage, from the class I gave a few weeks ago at the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild. I love the way she has taken her leaves off the edge.

Helen recently finished a piece she started last year in my Dye Happy class. The flower centre below was painted with thickened dyes. Helen has a strong stitch and embroidery background so she has heavily hand-stitched the centre with french knots and bullion knots in various shades of white, then added beads. The green and gold section is heavily hand-stitched with fly stitches, while the red petals are heavily machine stitched. The piece is then mounted on stretcher bars and placed in a float frame. The texture is so rich it absolutely begs to me touched!
Albertina sent me the photo below of "46 Fabrics", a quilt she made using a gift of a wide variety of fabrics from her daughter in law. She used my "Reflections" method (Albertina took the class a few years ago) to pull together all the varying fabrics, placing the cool colours in the middle and the warm colours around the outside. I think it has a very modern and abstract feel! By the way, this method involves cutting your curved blocks free-hand.

That's all for now! I'll be teaching my "Reflections" class again this Saturday for the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild. Then its prepping and packing for two weeks in the Toronto area. I will probably blog throughout the trip as I have gaps between lecturing and teaching days.


  1. I sure hope you get that knee sorted out soon... awesome you have so many teaching gigs!

  2. Thanks for the kind words about my tulip, Elaine. I very much enjoyed your class and can see using this technique for a number of future projects! :)

  3. Nice student work Elaine! Man, I wish MY basement work area was as neat as yours!! I will bet that you will have no trouble at all getting rid of the copies of Machine Quilting. That will be a lovely litle prize for your next students.Take care of the knee. You are NOT expendable :-)

  4. Elaine, doing your dyeing and ironing while seated is certainly challenging--be careful not to get a backache to add to your knee problem. The therapy you are doing now will help your healing if/when you have surgery. Your new supply of hand-dyes looks so inviting--lucky students.
    Martha Ginn


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