ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Friday, April 25, 2014

On the Shores of Lake Ontario

This past week I had a lovely visit with the Lakeshore Quilters Guild, on the shores of Lake Ontario. Tuesday night's meeting took place in Port Hope. I was warmly received, and many people pitched in to help carry the quilts and hand-dyed fabric in and out of the hall. My billet was with Simone, who provided a comfy stay, and breakfast the next morning. The visit was so quick I didn't even get photos.

Wednesday's workshop took place in Cobourg. Nice spacious classroom! As it turns out, this is the second time I've taught for the Lakeshore Quilters Guild. Several years ago I visited to teach an introductory machine quilting class.

The topics of the day were "Free-Form Curves" in the morning and "Liberated Applique" in the afternoon. This is the same class that I taught in Montreal a weekend ago.

Let me introduce you to Linda Stephen. That's Linda on the left below, wearing the yellow vest. To her right is her sister Kathy. Linda is the person I've been chatting with by email for many months now as she wears the hat of Program and Workshop Coordinator. She took very good care of me while I was there, taking me for dinner, bringing me lunch, and even sending a care package with me for the four hour drive home.

Everyone spent the morning learning to be more comfortable with cutting and piecing curves free-hand. They are a relaxed and creative group, so this comfort level was achieved pretty quickly.  Here's a picture of the group at the end of the day, after the afternoon session of "Liberated Applique". Amazing what you can do with one piece of fabric that has value variation within it.

And here's another picture of the class with me in it on the right. If you click on the photos a larger image will open.

A few students even got to the stitching part.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Visit to Montreal

Yesterday I noticed the crocuses finally blooming in my garden. What a thrill to know that spring is finally here.
Alas, today it is snowing :-((

On Sunday I had the pleasure of teaching for the West End Quilters of Montreal. It was great to be back in Quebec to teach again.

We had a wonderfully bright and spacious classroom above the Loblaws grocery store.

The morning class was Free Form Curves, and the afternoon Liberated Applique. Below is a photo of the quick sample I demonstrated for Liberated Applique. This flower was made with one single piece of fabric and cut free-hand.

I took most of these photos in the afternoon when everyone was working on their liberated applique project. Some chose to attach it to the curved (and free-hand cut and pieced) background they produced in the morning. Others chose to save that background and add some liberated applique to a plain background.

Wow, Audrey quickly produced some wonderful waterlilies.

Barbara worked on hydrangea.

Sandra's flowers were very dramatic.Lots of value contrast in the piece of fabric she started with.

Linda at work.

Anna worked with prints, and put her own style into her work.

Allison preferred to create a koi fish, and this was the result. Not everyone gravitates to botanicals, and it makes life more interesting that way.
Mary. Finding a fabric with lots of mottling and value variations in it can help produce a much more complex flower than using solids and prints.

I hope I will get to teach in Quebec again soon!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dye Happy, Part 2

Friday I taught Session 2 of Dye Happy at Wabi Sabi.  Great to see some of the results from the first class.

Judy has already sewn some of her hand-dyed fabrics into a bag!

Mary's 9 step value gradation of purple.

Bev's bright colourwheel and parfait fabrics on left. Molly's two-colour run on the right.

Molly's very exciting parfait-dyed fabrics.

Ruth's entire collection of hand-dyes from my classes.

Valerie's very rich series.

Neera's wonderful results on a variety of silks.

We have a proper dye studio with a sink and washing machine and a few stainless steel tables!

Bev measuring out her two colour run.

Everyone tried dyeing a few folded fabrics. Photos of results to come as soon as I get them :-)

Hope you enjoyed the colour!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Good Times in Kingston

A few days after returning from teaching in Winnipeg, I had my car packed and was off to Kingston, Ontario for a lecture and workshop. The City of Kingston is about a two hour drive from where I live, and I have taught there several times for various groups. This was a return trip to the Limestone Quilters Guild.

My friend Lee was kind enough to staff my fabric booth and help out with my digital presentation. Over the years I have sold a lot of fabric in Kingston!

There was a fairly big crowd at the meeting.

There were 17 or 18 students in the class on Saturday, which was held at the Stitch by Stitch quilt shop. It was fun to meet my Facebook friend Vivien (on right) for the first time. You can see the start on her blue poppy just to the left of her. The person on the left is Carol.

This is Lilian, the Workshop Coordinator, lining up all her fabrics in preparation for creating a poppy.

Beth making her fabric selection.

Mary Anne decided to work on a purple lily.

It was great to see Francis wearing the shibori scarf she dyed in my first Dye Happy class two years ago!

Speaking of Dye Happy, tomorrow is our second session in Ottawa, and then I am heading to Montreal later on Saturday for a workshop I am teaching on Sunday.  I will be sure to post pictures of both these classes when I return.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wonderful Winnipeg

Sunday I returned from lecturing and teaching at the Manitoba Prairie Quilters show and conference. Manitoba licence plates, if you have seen one, have the words `Friendly Manitoba` printed on them, and now I know why. They are a friendly bunch!

On Thursday night I had a great chance to connect with my friend Anna Hergert, from Saskatchewan, who was there judging the show. Friday morning it was off to teach. The show and conference took place at the Canad Inn, so everything was conveniently located in the same building. Friday`s class was `In Full Bloom`, and my hand-dyed fabrics sure were a hit with the 20 students in class.

Pearl came with a photograph of purple poppies as the colour inspiration for her piece.

Friday`s class was `Liberated Radial Piecing`, with a second group of 20 students, some who had also been in class the day before.

Corine finished nearly  half of her radial design and it is looking good!

The dynamic duo of Wendy Wood (on left) and Wanda Steiner (on right) organized and attended my workshops, and looked after my every need during my stay.

Friday night I had some time to visit the guild`s show and merchant mall. One of the first exhibits that caught my attention was a lovely and poignent wall of work honouring Heather Lair, a well-known Canadian quilt artist and teacher from Gimli, Manitoba, who lost her battle with cancer this past year

I took a few photos of some of my favorite pieces. This piece,`Thoughts in a Snow Storm` by Sandi Howell featured an amazing flower centre with countless french knots. It begged to be touched.

Here is a photo of the full quilt.

Wendy Wood`s `Deep in Space`.

Because I can`t resist an old barn, here is `Standing Still` by Susan Selbie.
 `Sunset at Oak Hammock Marsh` by Tracy Popp.

`Alanna`s Quilt` by Susan Selbie, depicts the colourful houses in St. John`s, Newfoundland. To me it is a great example of a `modern` quilt.

Saturday night was the banquet and awards ceremony. All the quilters who won ribbons were honoured, and I was the guest speaker that evening.

While in Winnipeg I finally invested in a new rotary blade!  Wow!  I can`t believe how dull my old blade was when I cut through that more than a 100 meters of hand-dyed fabrics. The new blade cuts like butter! I should do this more often!