ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, November 10, 2014

Around The World Blog Hop

I've been invited to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop by California fiber artist and printmaker Martha Wolfe. Martha's work has been in numerous SAQA exhibitions and other juried shows, and it first caught my eye because of her love of nature and the great outdoors. Martha's work is representational and largely based on value contrasts to bring it to life and give it depth. While I tend to focus on botanicals in my nature work, Martha has created many wonderful works featuring animals. Do go to her website and check out her fantastic cow quilt!!! I had the opportunity to meet Martha in Houston in 2012, when we were both volunteering at the SAQA booth, and then at the SAQA Conference in Santa Fe in 2013.

For this blog hop, each participantof is encouraged to talk about what we are working on, how our work differs from others of its genre, why we do what we do, and how does our process work.

The inspiration for my work comes from the natural world and usually my own photographs. My artistic process is described in great depth in my interview in the June/July issue of Quilting Arts Magazine.  I am best known for my botanical-themed quilts, particularly hosta foliage. I'd like to start by sharing some great news: I just sold a major work!  "Standing Ovation" (photo below) went to a good home in my own city where it will form the focal point in the newly-redecorated bedroom of a hosta loving couple :-) It's a great example of the kind of work I have been doing over the last several years. It basically boils down to a study of light and shade, curve and line.

A major project I've been involved in this past year is designing fabric for Northcott. In fact, it appears that I am the "Featured Designer" on the Northcott web site at the moment. My first fabric line, Falling Leaves, was released in September. My second line, Poppy Passion, will be available in April 2014. I'm sharing just a couple of photos here of the new line. You can view the entire line at this link.

Poppy Passion comes in two colour ways. This is the panel for the purple colour way.

The second colourway features corals.

As an artist, I don't typically work with panels, but I am pretty excited about these because they look so much like "me". They feature images that were created using my sketches and photos, and the main poppy featured is inspired by my quilt "Kissing Joy". You can see it here

I've also been keeping a busy teaching schedule this year, so am fitting in smaller projects in between. Here is one I experimented with recently.  Having tried dyeing fat quarters in small drawer trays with pretty good results, I wanted to find a pan that would allow me to dye a full meter, either scrunched along the length of the pan or accordion folded in the pan. I settled on some evestroughs from Home Depot, with end caps caulked on each end. It worked and there was no leakage!

This is the result for the scrunched fabric. I poured bands of colour on starting with yellow, then blue, then scarlett, then back to yellow. Wherever two colours meet you get a secondary colour. However, I think next time I will add less dye. Because of the pudding of excess dye (where all 3 primary colours mixed) I ended up with a bit of mud.

I quite like the top section though!

I also tried accordion folding a piece of fabric and pressing with an iron. 

You can see this one batching in the lower container in this photo.

I poured 3 colours of dye on this fabric, one colour along each long end, and then another colour in the middle. I then pressed with a gloved hand to work the dyes through the fabric. I'm pretty pleased with this one. I used various blues and aquamarine so there isn't much contrast, but a lot of patterning results from the folding.

I've also been working on dyeing a palette of Mediterranean colours, inspired by a trip to Greece in September. If you wonder why I've chosen the colours I have, it will be pretty obvious if you visit my blog posts on Greece.

Here are all the fabrics batching in my dyeing dungeon, aka laundry area of my basement.

The results are here. Now, you might ask, what am I going to do with them? Not sure yet, but it was one of those things I just had to do, and it fit easily into a couple of days between teaching and other business commitments.

I'm now happy to pass the torch to two other artists that are participating in this blog hop.

Frieda Anderson
Frieda is a quilt artist, dyer, teacher, and author from Elgin, Illinois. You can visit her blog at 
I've known of Frieda's work for a very long time and own one of her books. Her work features many whimsical botanical and woodland quilts inspired by walks in the woods near her home. They feature her luscious hand-dyed fabrics, often silk. Because she works on the theme of nature, Frieda is a fellow member of my Crossing Oceans international exhibition group.

Elena Stokes is a full-time studio artist from west New Jersey.

You can visit her blog at: http://elenastokes.com/blog/
I know of Elena's work from many SAQA shows, and had the pleasure of meeting her in Houston in 2012.
Elena creates abstract and impressionistic works that are suggestive of the landscape. It is exciting to see her career growing with so many recent successes, including acceptance into Quilt National 2015.

Please take the time to visit Frieda and Elena's blogs and learn more about their work and their process and keep travelling around the world with the blog hop. To see where the blog hop has already travelled, travel backwards from Martha's blog, above, or a simple google search of "Around the World Blog Hop" will reveal hundreds of creative participants.


  1. Congratulations on the sale of Standing Ovation. It's a beautiful piece and not at all surprising that someone wanted to have it. Also, congrats on your second fabric line.

    I see you'll be teaching at Stitches on Salt Spring Island this summer. It's a wonderful shop. Have fun!

    1. Thank you Suzanna. Yes, Stitches is a wonderful shop. I visited many years ago when I was just getting into making art quilts.

  2. I moved recently and haven't found a good quilt shop yet, so I haven't seen your fabric lines in person...hope to soon. Your piece that is too muddy is actually quite nice,mother dark spots make the colors look brighter. If you aren't happy with it, you can send it my way!

    1. Where did you move to Laura? The piece is muddier than I would like, but it is not too bad.

    2. I've moved back to New York State, near my daughter and grandchildren. Quite a bit south of where I used to live in New York, but now 10 minutes away from them instead of 10 hours. Not as many quilting shops here as there was in NC, or maybe I just haven't found them yet!

  3. Hah!mthis is a great post Elaine. Congratulations on the poppy line. I sent a comment here last week but apparently you did not get it. Hope this gets to you!

    1. Why thank you Carolynn. I wonder what happened to your comment?


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