ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Magical Manitoulin

 
Last night I returned from a week-long trip in Northern Ontario.  I began with a lecture and workshop on Manitoulin Island.  The largest freshwater island in the world, Manitoulin Island is situated at the north end of Lake Huron, in the Great Lakes Region of Ontario, Canada.  It is accessible by ferry from the south and by swing bridge from the north.  I entered from the north, after about 8-1/2 hours of driving from Ottawa.  There are many adjectives that could describe the Island, but the first one that comes to mind is BUCOLIC.  As I entered the island, the above scene stopped me in my tracks.  Although I understand the best autumn foliage had already passed by the time I arrived, what I saw was still quite spectacular.
 
At my lecture/trunk show to the Island Quilters Guild I was introduced by Jackie White, who many of you will know from the Canadian Quilters Association.  There she wears the hat of Director at Large, blog writer, as well as being the Association's comedian (she writes a column for the Canadian Quilter magazine).  Her own guild members are often the subject of her humourous stories.  There are a lot of artists on Manitoulin Island ... I can see why as the landscape is so inspiring!  At my lecture, I also had the pleasure of meeting textile artist, Glenna Treasure.
 
During my time on the Island I was billetted at the home of Myra Tallman, a master quilter known for her hand applique and hand quilting.  I expected I'd be sleeping under a beautiful hand-quilted quilt, and I was not disappointed!  Myra and her husband live on a quite picturesque farm.  Imagine my delight when I raised my blinds on Thursday morning to see this sight!
And when I entered the kitchen of their house, I noticed the fantastic view of Mindemoya Lake.  Check out the dramatic view with the burning bush in the front yard!!
 
Thursday I taught my Collage Tree workshop to the Island Quilters Guild.  That's Myra on the left in the green Tshirt.  The workshop took place in the village of Sandfield, in this wonderfully lit classroom where everyone had their own table.
 
At the end of the day we stopped for a group photo.  I can't wait to see the finished trees.  I hope everyone sends pictures.
 
I had Saturday off to tour the Island before I had to head to my next engagement, and it just so happened that I was connected to a relative I hadn't seen in likely more than 30 years, who now lives on the Island.  Here I am with Nancy having coffee after she showed me around the Island, and took me to her little piece of Paradise.  I envy her life there.  She lives down a winding gravel road on a small lake, with a beautiful view.  The only thing I don't envy is that she and her husband are beekeepers and I am terribly afraid of bees! 
 
Manitoulin Island is dotted with many old barns, and has charming rail fences crossing the landscape everywhere.  The still-colourful leaves made for great photography.  Although weather forecasts predicted rain every single day, it seldom did rain, although the skies were mostly overcast.  Here is my collection of barn photos. 
 
 
  
 
This photo includes it all: a barn, a rail fence and autumn foliage.
 
 
Sometimes I find autumn foliage even more vibrant and stunning on a grey day!
 
 
Nancy called ahead to textile artist Judith Martin to see if she was home and whether we could visit the Little Current United Church to view the Manitoulin Circle Project.  Judy met us there, and then invited us to her studio, where we had a photo taken in front of her last in-progress piece for the Circle Project (Judy on right, me on left).  Judy's work has been an inspiration to me, particularly when I was first beginning to notice art quilts. 
 
We ended the day with a visit to Bridal Veil Falls, an experience I will never forget!  I have read about the arduous journey of salmon as they swim upstream to spawn before they die, but had never witnessed it.  Several salmon were still struggling to make it up the falls, although many had succumbed.  The cycle of life for salmon begins and ends here.  It was late in the day with not enough light so my photos of the salmon are just a blur.
 
 
Deer are plentiful on Manitoulin, and we spotted this doe and her two fawns on the way back to have dinner at Nancy and David's house.   
 
 In my next blog post I'll be sharing my experiences with the Lively Heritage Arts Guild and the Sudbury Quilting and Stitchery Guild. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

11 comments:

  1. It looks like an idyllic place, the pictures are so wonderful. Love the old, sad, empty barns. I really miss the whole seasonal cycle of life in the north...

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    1. Oh me too Laura ... I love the barns. There are quite a few in a fairly small area too so you don't have to look too hard. The north is always here waiting for you if you need a "fix".

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    2. I am planning a trip north (just to Pennsylvania) for Thanksgiving (US) in November--hope it isn't snowy.

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  2. Thank you for this post. As soon as I spotted the title, I was wondering about Judy. I follow both your blogs. I am such a fan; it's a good thing I live so far away; as it is, my gushing still might be embarrassing!

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    1. Oh it was a pleasure doing this post Margaret!

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  3. Elaine, this post is very well written. You seem to have had a perfect visit to our beautiful island, and have taken some amazing photographs. It was great to meet you.

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    1. I did have a great visit Judy ... thank you for being a part of it.

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  4. Elaine, thanks so much for the wonderful post!

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    1. Thank you for your part in bringing me to Manitoulin Jackie!

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  5. It was so nice to meet you and enjoy your trunk show. I am glad that you enjoyed our little Island.

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    1. Thank you Rolanda. You are fortunate to live on Manitoulin.

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Elaine