ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A New Year ...

At this time of year everyone seems to be making New Year's resolutions or choosing a word for the year to inspire them. What about you? I don't really do either. I keep a running list of goals all year long, and update it maybe once a month. My list includes nine major categories:
1) Well-being (this includes health related items like eating better, exercise, and getting in the studio because it is good for my mental well-being)
2) Self Development (things I want to learn, things I need to learn)
3) New Work (the work my heart wants to make)
4) Show Entries (shows I plan to enter along with entry deadlines)
5) Course Development (classes I am revising or developing or dreaming about developing)
6) Patterns (this is a relatively new one)
7) Dyeing (what do I need to dye that might be useful in upcoming classes or for my own work)
8) Publishing (includes website updates, new brochures, e-newsletters, e-blasts, and sometimes magazine articles)
9) Commissions 

The last section is called SHORT TERM GOALS.  This is where I list all the things I need to do in the next few weeks. Sometimes they get carried over a few times.

Keeping all of the above balls in the air really does require me to write everything down, especially since my memory is not what it used to be!!

One thing is for sure, there are some big changes coming for me in the new year. I now have a retired husband and will have my first fabric line, and am heading into the pattern publishing world. There is also a plan to have a shopping cart on my website in a few months. My patterns will be sold there, and perhaps some fabric. It may be my Northcott line, and there may also be hand-dyed fabrics.  

As I write this I am beginning my relationship with Electric Quilt 7 software. I am on a fairly tight deadline to design two patterns for my new fabric line. Can I just say that the free-hand drawing tool is a big challenge?! My fabric line was finalized just before Christmas, but I have been asked to wait until the end of January to share it. So everyone will have to wait a bit longer. Well OK, maybe it is me that is having the hardest time waiting ;-))

In the mean time, I have some other in-progress work shots to share.This first little piece is my 10 x 7 inch submission for the upcoming SAQA Trunk Show. All members are invited to contribute a work that will get shared in a travelling trunk show to spread the word about Art Quilts. You can see it is a spring off from the panel I made for the European show, in the photo beneath it.  This piece is not yet quilted.

Over the holidays, between the travel and bad weather, I also managed to get a really good start on the hosta bud piece. All that is left is the main bud and one leaf below it. This piece is slow in the making.

Here are all the panels for the European exhibition group so far, with of course a big gaping hole in the middle one, where the main hosta bud still needs to be created. This piece has brought me back in touch again with my love of light and shadow, and how it creates form. But wow, it has a lot of little pieces. I am fairly happy with how the sheer purple organza is giving the effect of purple buds about to pop open. But as I write this I wonder what would have been the effect with green organza overlaying purple fabric? An idea to explore in a second hosta bud quilt.

What do you think? Do they work together so far? 

I am working on several projects at once. This peony is an experiment for another pattern I hope to publish. I am off to a good start but lots more work to do, after some of the other stuff that needs doing.

I have also finalized the designs for my new hosta classes. The first group to try my two new patterns will be the Windsor Quilters Guild in March. There are some lovely values of green in my new Northcott line, so maybe I can turn one of these into a pattern that promotes the line. That is if I manage to master that darn free-hand drawing tool.  Yes, I know, I didnt learn free motion in a day, and I probably wont master the tool in a day.

All best wishes for a happy, healthy, and creatively fulfilling 2014!


  1. Your work is so beautiful, Elaine! And yes, I think the triptych is working well so far. Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you so much Margaret, and Happy New Year to you as well. I plan to add one more panel ... what do you call it when there are four panels?

  2. What an exciting year for you! Sounds if you are organized. Now your husband is retired maybe he will become a house husband and leave you more time for your work? lol

    1. Thank you for your comment Sewing Geek. It is a real challenge for me to keep organized! Truth be told I'm not much of a cook or housekeeper, so that isn't what is keeping me from my work. More often it is travel for teaching, and right now learning the design software and trying to re-design my website. I am out of my league! Happy New Year!

  3. Going to try again to comment , Elaine. This is a great post! I LOVE the triptych so far! It will be gorgeous as always. Happy New Year!

  4. Yes, you made it through Carolynn. Thank you very much and Happy New Year!

  5. Oh, my, but you have been a busy bee! You have us eagerly anticipating the Northcott fabric. The third part of the tryptich is my favorite--love the colors you used; don't know what you call a four-panel piece. We have single-digit temps predicted for tomorrow, but it's dry, so no snow or ice. This is pretty unusual for South Mississippi, and we're kind of wimpy about it! Good stay-at-home time with the kittens.

    1. Martha, I just learned that a four panel piece is called a quadriptych. I think the weather is unusual everywhere this year. I'm staying inside a lot! Hope you are enjoying the kittens.

  6. Happy New Year and best wishes Elaine. Good luck with your list.

    1. Thank you Barb, and all the best to you for 2014.

  7. Happy New Year, Elaine, and hope you get all of your goals accomplished, both short & long term!


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