ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lethbridge, Part 1

I am home once again from my trip to Southern Alberta. The weather was warm and sunny, and I could not have asked for better! The City of Lethbridge is a small city of just over 100,000 people. I'm told the population is comprised mainly of young students (there is a university and a college there) and seniors. It's a pretty and funky little city with interesting restaurants, cafes and shops. The landscape within and surrounding the city is beautiful. In the photo below you can see the coulees that Lethbridge is known for. The City of Lethbridge web site defines coulees as "steep-sided, v-shaped valleys found along the river throughout Lethbridge. In Southern Alberta coulees were formed when the last glaciers retreated from the area. Since that time, the coulees have been eroded by water and wind. Coulees are a santuary for wildlife and home to hundreds of native plant species."

On the day after I arrived I gave a talk at the Galt Museum. The large windows of the Museum look out on coulees.

This Museum was once a hospital in its early days, so there are many exhibits throughout that commemorate that fact.

My talk took place in a large room with windows surrounding it, and my quilts were  hung in two rows, one on each side as you entered. 

I taught a three day class (Inspired by Nature, Designed by You) for the Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guild. Nineteen students registered. Here we are! I'm wearing the turquoise/aqua sweater. This was before it got really, really warm!

I'm sharing a good number of works here, and the state of completion they were in by the end of the class. 

Here are the fabrics and photo that Kathy was working with.The flowers featured in her quilt above are prairie crocuses. A bit different from the kind of crocuses we see in our gardens here in Ontario.

I was lucky enough to actually see a wild prairie crocus during my trip. Unfortunately, I couldn't get very close though because it was on the other side of a fence that was preventing tourists from falling down a steep hillside.






Jackie made great headway in class and then spent a few days after class completing this piece. She sent me a photo when I got home, along with the advice to "be fearless". I couldn't agree more. She also offered some tips she found helpful in organizing her project.


Connie was working on sunkissed tomatoes. A topic I've thought about myself!

Here's Connie enlarging her pattern with an overhead. Most students chose to visit the local copyshop/printer to have their enlargements made.



 Donna was working a bit more free-form, and plans to add dragonflies to this piece.






Thank you to the organizers and everyone in the class for your warm welcome and friendship during my visit. Thanks for taking such good care of me!

In my next post I'll be sharing a little excursion I took before teaching my next class, as well as photos of the dyeing class I taught in a most amazing arts centre!


  1. They're all going to be beautiful! And I'm amazed that you dye all that fabric!

    1. Thank you Holly. My students in Lethbridge did me proud! The dyeing may seem like a bit much at times, but adding that to my teaching helps me be able to make a living at this.

  2. These photos of your Lethbridge class look marvelous! And the students must have loved learning how to use their own photos to make their art! What a gift! Their progress is amazing. You are a good teacher, and of course, having your beautiful hand-dyed fabrics available makes their experience even better. Wish I could pop in to a class in Canada! The scenery is interesting; glad you described the coulees.

    1. Thanks Martha. I am so fortunate to see so many parts of my beautiful country. Coulees are completely new to me!

  3. Thank you for an amazing workshop Elaine. It was such a fun process to learn. Your teaching technique is excellent.

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed the workshop Rose-Marie. You did an amazing job with your piece.

  5. I always love seeing the variety in your student's work. Absolutely beautiful pieces.


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