ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lethbridge, Part 2

After my 3 day workshop for the Lethbridge Centennial Quilters' Guild, I took a day off before my dyeing workshop with the Textile Surface Design Guild. I spent a quiet day on my own taking an excursion about 45 minutes outside of Lethbridge. I've always wanted to visit "Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump". It's a UNESCO world heritage site and a cultural site older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids. 

Indigenous people used to drive herds of buffalo off the cliff to obtain their meat supply. There is archeological evidence of this as far back as 6000 years ago. I watched the 15 minute film in the excellent Interpretive Centre, and am very glad I did. It made the experience all the more meaningful. These hunters had well-thought-out hunting strategies based on an excellent understanding of the regional topography and buffalo behaviour. You can read more and learn more here.

On my drive I kept my eyes open for interesting landscapes and sights to photograph. This wonderful rusty old truck presented itself.

What an amazing dye studio the Textile Surface Design Group Lethbridge has access to! It is located in their interdisciplinary, community arts centre known as Casa. I haven't seen anything quite like it in any place I've taught in Canada. It has both a dry room (as you can see below) and also a wet room, which you will see in subsequent photos. In the dry room meetings and instruction can take place, fabric can be ripped and prepared.

The wet room has at least 3 deep stainless steel sinks, deep enough to fit tall pails and fill with water. 

There are several stainless steel tables with shelving underneath, a fridge to store mixed dyes, microwaves for processes requiring heat, a silk steamer, mixing box, and lots of storage space.

I really enjoyed looking at the pottery for sale during the Casa sale, prior to class. Casa is a beehive of creativity. I heard music and drumming, and saw other groups at work in other mediums.

Here's a photo of Judy with her finished fabric two days later, just before she took me on a tour of a Hutterite colony (I'll share this in my next post). 

Mary sent me photos of her fabric after my return home. The class I taught is called "Dye Another Day". In this class students learn several processes I use to create the multi-coloured fabrics I dye and sell.

They also each get to dye a Textile Temptation Pack that contains velvet, cotton, silk dupioni, silk organza and cheesecloth.

Here's a photo Connie sent me of her Textile Temptation pack.


  1. Loved reading about the buffalo and learning about the historic site. Dyeing and the old truck were interesting, too, behind the buffalo information.

  2. Stunning scenery on this trip. Lovely results with the dyeing.


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