ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Sunshine Coast. Part 1: The Sunshine Coast Quilters' Guild in Sechelt

After Canada Day Weekend, I took the ferry from Horseshoe Bay, north of Vancouver, to Langdale, on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. While one can actually drive to the Sunshine Coast since it is part of the mainland, it would be a long drive. It is on an area of land that juts far out from the Horseshoe Bay area. The ferry only takes 35 minutes. Shortly after arriving on the Sunshine Coast, you will reach the town of Gibsons, made famous because of the TV Show, The Beachcombers, that was filmed there in the 1980's. It's a picturesque little town.

Truth be told, most of the Sunshine Coast is picture perfect. I took this photo just a block from where my workshops were held.

Just outside our classroom a bush of white poppies were in bloom.

I was especially thrilled to find Smokebush (Cotinus). As you may recall, I started a series on this plant over the winter, and finding this bush afforded me ann opportunity for some good photos to continue the series. I'm still working on downloading and editing photos, but here are a few:

The most precious find though, was a blue poppy just around the corner. This was once Bill Terry's yard. An expert in the blue poppy, Bill is the author of several books and a former instructor at Capilano University. The following from Wikipedia:

"Since 1994, Bill Terry has lived on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, with his wife, Rosemary, pursuing a lifelong ambition to create the perfect garden. Bill specializes in plant propagation and has taught this subject in the Capilano University Continuing Education program. He also lectures on the Blue Poppy and its relatives and raises the plants for sale. At one time, his collection of Asiatic poppies (Meconopsis) was the most diverse in North America. Now retired, Bill worked as a CBC executive, with a broadcast career that spanned thirty-five years and encompassed thirteen jobs in radio and television production and management in four Canadian cities. Bill believes gardening is the most optimistic of occupations, which explains why gardeners tend to live to a great age.
He is the author of "Blue Heaven: Encounters with the Blue Poppy, (2009), "Beyond Beauty: Hunting the Wild Blue Poppy" (2012), and "Beauty by Design: Inspired Gardening in the Pacific Northwest." (2013, co-authored with his wife, Rosemary Bates). All are published by TouchWood Editions, Victoria BC, Canada."
I arrived just after class finished, around 4 pm, and the poppies were bathed in that late day magical light. Aren't they exquisite? They almost look as though they have stitched lines.

I taught a two-day "In Full Bloom" class to about 14 students. Each student designed their own floral quilt using one of their photographs for inspiration. Karen was the first one to finish her hibiscus.

Anne finished a day after class ended.

If you've followed my blog and my work, you know that these pieces usually take several days to build. Here are a few samples in progress at the end of our second day:










I can't wait to see some of these pieces finished.

On the third day, I taught a Liberated Radial Piecing class. One of the students in the class, Joan Baker, showed me the quilt she made after seeing the article about me and my work in Quilting Arts Magazine. She decided to try her hand at hosta leaves. She approached it differently, using paint to create the look of dappled light. I think it is quite successful.

Here are just a couple of liberated radial piecing projects in progress.

I had an email from Karen soon after the class showing me her piece, draped over a table, and ready to be quilted.

I had the pleasure of eating on the wharf two nights in a row with a few students from class. Yes, the good weather just kept on coming!

Thank you to the Sunshine Coast Quilters' Guild for your warm hospitality and friendship, and for inviting me to your piece of paradise. Soon it was the weekend again, and I took a few days for R&R. You'll see that in the next post.


  1. Love those blue poppies! You are visiting such interesting places and meeting so many people! Your students pieces always look great. I like the radial pieced ones. Interesting.

  2. Thank you Holly. The blue poppies are definitely one of the hi-lights of the trip! I met so many people that I can't remember anyone's name!!! Been having afternoon naps every day since I came home :-)


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