ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Conversations Over Coffee, and Spring

I'm back with my second collage coffee cup in the "Conversations Over Coffee" series. In the first image below you can see what I thought was a finished collage. I did notice that the handle of the cup got a bit lost, but I was a bit stuck on the fact that this is the way the cup actually looked in real life. 

A friend left a comment on Facebook about the "lost" handle, and that made me take it more seriously. Who cares if the handle of the real live cup gets lost? We can improve on it! And so I did, as you can see in the photo below.

I like the background the cup is sitting on, but I am still toying with the idea of collaging my backgrounds as well. That will become clearer as I move forward with a few more pieces in the series.

My next cup project will be a challenge because it is white. Here is the photo that inspired it. 

It occurs to me that the perspective on the orange cup (shot from above) is much more interesting than the perspective in the other coffee cups I've photographed in my travels. Most of them are taken straight on. Well hmmm ... I might have to have me a photo session with my own coffee cups here at home. "Conversations We Can't Have Over Coffee"?? It feels that way as this lock-down really drags ... we are all weary of the pandemic.

It's been raining a lot lately, and we've experienced many cloudy days. Last weekend when the sun came out we went to one of our favorite nature trails. I was delighted to see the woods turning green again.

And even more delighted to be there at a time when ferns are unfurling

It is also Trillium season here in Ontario.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Elaine's Back

Greetings my long lost blog followers. It's been one year and 10 months since I last posted here. I became one of those blogger ghosts. I used to wonder why some people started blogging and then disappeared, or started a web site and then didn't update it for years. Without going into too much detail, I had a year of ill health: a very severe depression in fact, that had me hospitalized twice, for a total of 8 weeks. But I think the anxiety I suffered with it was worse than the depression. I had absolutely NO IDEA how bad a depression could be. While I had suffered one in my 30's, it was nothing of the magnitude of this one! All of this happened just before Covid hit. To say that Covid has been difficult would be an understatement, but I feel as though I am making progress and getting glimpses of myself again. For most of the last year I have been busy making practical things like knitting socks, crocheting rugs, making a jelly roll rug, sewing three large quilts. Only recently have I started a new series. My daily walks, distanced visits with friends, making things, and setting small goals have helped me cope.

I am happy to share the first in my new series called "Conversations Over Coffee". Conversations over coffee with a friend are one of the things I most miss about these strange and isolating times we live in. I spent many years travelling to teach and travelling for pleasure, and I have photographed the coffees I have enjoyed in many locations. I have always loved collage, but never seemed to find the time to try it. In the process of trying collage I have fallen in love with commercially printed fabrics again. I love the whimsy of polka dots and swirls and squares, and in this turquoise cup below there is even a cat face near the bottom centre. I am not sure if this will be the background I will settle on. I plan to wait until I've made several cups before I decide. I would like some common feature in the background to pull all the cups together.

The cup above was inspired by a cup of coffee I enjoyed in Vancouver. Next I'm going to do a collage inspired by this orange cup of coffee I enjoyed in Strasbourg, France, in 2017. Isn't it cheerful?

This past Saturday I also gave my first presentation on Zoom, to Courtepointe Quebec, the Quebec Provincial Quilting Association. The feedback was very positive. So I am hanging out my shingle to give presentations again. Do email me at equehl@hotmail.com if you are interested. But please note that I am not currently teaching on Zoom. If and/or when that changes, I will announce it on my web site, here on my blog and on Facebook.

As I write we are in the third wave of covid here in Ontario, and the most restrictive lockdown we have seen since Covid started. We just didn't get enough vaccinations in time before the variants took over. I had my first shot of Moderna on Saturday. Fortunately, because I am turning 60 later this year, I was eligible to receive a shot with the 60-69 age group.

I hope you are keeping well and safe. This past year has been hard on all of us. Brighter days are ahead.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Captivating Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

I've seen Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, in the rain a couple of times, but this time we had the pleasure of seeing it in sunshine! Just look at the view from the guest house we stayed at during my visit to the Celtic Quilt Guild. Carolyn and Howard graciously offered the space to us. At night you could see the milky way if you turned out the lights and went out on the deck. We arrived to a wonderful dinner of lobster!!! 

I taught a second "In Full Bloom" workshop here just like the week before in Mahone Bay. A few students decided to design their own work and a good number worked with my patterns. Look at the bright and lovely community centre the class took place in. Each student had their very own table.

This student finished her peony over the two days.
and so did Claudia.

Wow, here's another heavy weight of the quilting world in my class. Do check out Anne Morrell Robinson's website. She runs an amazing business out of her home studio in Margaree Harbour, Cape Breton Island. I wish I had her energy!

So great to see Kristi Farrier again ... she used to live near Ottawa and now she's moved to Cape Breton! Kristi is also the current SAQA Rep for Maritime Canada. To Kristi's left is Helene Blanchet, whose show we had the pleasure of seeing at the Antigonish Library on our way home. A bit about that later in the post.

Here's the class. On the right in the front row is Carolyn McKay, my lovely hostess.

A big thank you to this group for their warm welcome! After class my husband and I drove up the coast to the town of Cheticamp for dinner. We stopped on the way back to our guest house to take a few photos. Enjoy!

On our way home we stopped at the Antigonish Library to see the exhibition of Helene Blanchet. It was as charming as she is. Helene tells stories with her quilts, and the story she tells in this show is about her experiences moving to Calgary for three years.

In "The CFA" (first piece on left above, detail shot below), Helene depicts herself arriving in Calgary. If you've ever met Helene, this is so her!

 I love the way she extends her designs into painted frames. "A Coulee for Barbara"

I could not find a website for Helene, but you can read an article here in the Cape Breton Post 

Again, we took our time driving back to Ottawa. Everywhere we went, including our overnight stay in Riviere-du-Loup it was lobster season. We picked up dinner on our last night at a "poissonerie" very near our hotel.

Friday, June 7, 2019

A Week in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

We are home from Nova Scotia! Well we've been home since Saturday night, but there was a lot of unpacking to do, and I needed to rest. So here I am doing my blog post. We drove to Nova Scotia and back from Ontario, giving ourselves ample time and overnight stops. 

My time with the Mahone Bay Quilters' Guild began with an afternoon lecture and tea. What a cool idea! If you know me at all, one of my favorite things in life is afternoon tea and the treats and finery that go with it. OK, so yes I am on a restricted diet for medical reasons right now so couldn't eat most of these, but that is a story for another day. They sure were pretty.

Every year this guild has a special event with what they call an "Extraordinary Quilter". I was honoured to be their 19th! Heather Sanft, whose family owns and runs Lunenburg County Winery even gifted me with a bottle of blueberry wine with my own Elaine Quehl label for the event!

It rained a lot in Nova Scotia, so I spent a lot of time in the cottage when I wasn't teaching. My husband was fortunate to do some hiking and viewing of beautiful places. The magnolias were in full bloom!

On Days 2 and 3 I gave a two-day "In Full Bloom" workshop. There were 20 students, and approximately 75% of them decided to design their own quilt, with about 25% using my patterns. Here the gang gathers round to watch my demo.

And some random shots I found on my camera. Letty:






Nice to see Judy Cooper again. I first met her when she was living in Newfoundland. Do visit her blog to see her art work. She also has a wonderful collection of photos of teapots and pincushions from the afternoon tea that she organized.

I was gifted with one to take home.

Can you believe this artist was in my class? Laurie Swim! One of my inspirations!


My Facebook friend Mary Elizabeth


Pam, with Debbie and Alicia in the background:

Last but not least, the amazing Heather Sanft, who organized these workshops! Heather has many talents, including being a Master basket maker.

I think this basket she finished one morning before class, and gifted to me, is going to be the perfect basket for my current knitting project. Thank you Heather!

Here's the full group on our last day.

After the two day In Full Bloom class, I taught a one day Hosta Leaves workshop. Sadly by the time I thought to get a group photo, a few students had left. Stay tuned for my next blog post about teaching on Cape Breton Island.