ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A Hosta Class and Pattern?
Part of the reason I have not offered a class or published a pattern is my concern that having copies of my hosta quilts out there might devalue them. They will no longer be one-of-a-kind. Although my primary focus is not on selling my work, I do sell some of it, and have sold more hosta and foliage works than any other series I have made. Collectors might not be so happy to know there are copies out there. It is also these quilts that have gotten me into many shows, more than any other works.
Most of my classes are designed to help students make something unique. I encourage this, and don't necessarily want to encourage others to copy me. One exception is the "In Full Bloom" class. It is impossible to design an original floral quilt in a one day class, so I provide patterns in the one day class so students can learn about value and how to construct one of these quilts while using one of my patterns.
There are a few patterns out there that have been made so many times that you will see them in every guild show. There are some that if I never see a quilt made from them again it will be too soon. Many people, particularly across Ontario, have taken my In Full Bloom class, and I often hear about students entering them in their guild's show. It has crossed my mind that one day someone will say the same thing ... "there is another one of those damned Elaine Quehl poppies";-))
I taught a lot of In Full Bloom classes last year, and it got to the point where people started expecting me to provide the hand-dyed fabrics for them. I simply can't keep up all the dyeing when I'm away teaching so much. Would people expect the same if I taught a hosta class? Would they want to use the same fabrics I use?
I do need to make a living, so if interest in my classes should ever wane, will I want to start teaching a class on how to make a hosta quilt? Maybe that will depend on what series I am working on at the time. If I have moved on to something else, it might feel OK to teach a hosta class. Still I would rather encourage students to find their own imagery, although I know not everyone will want to do this.
What do you think? Hosta class or not?