ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Friday, February 28, 2014

Almond Blossoms, Orange, Lemon and Olive Groves

More photos from Andalucia, Spain today.

It was especially delightful to find the almond trees covered with pale pink blossoms.

Orange and lemon groves were plentiful on the drive from Malaga (where we flew into) to our country hotel in Alora.

We enjoyed fresh-squeezed orange juice every morning and ate some of the sweetest clementines ever!.

A ground cover of yellow flowers was evident in many places, and especially in the orange and lemon grove we decided to photograph in one day.

Of course olive oil is one of the most popular Andalucian products, and we saw olive groves everywhere. This view was seen from the parking lot of our country hotel/B&B.

Love the gnarly and twisted trunks.

The bright green carpet here is barley, used in the brewing of San Miguel beer.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Little Colour from Andalucia, Spain

Even more than the photos of white-washed villages, I think these colourful shots of pottery warm me even more. These first two photos were taken at a street market in Andalucia, but colourful and locally-made pottery was available everywhere. Yes, I brought a little home.

Colourful pots decorating homes were also a common site, with blue or turquoise being an especially popular colour.

I'm thinking of enlarging this photo and having it framed to hang in my kitchen.

The White-Washed Villages of Andalucia, Spain

Here in Canada's Capital, it is snowing again! That makes me long to be back in the white-washed villages of Andalucia, Spain, where we spent two weeks earlier this month. Although weather there was a bit cooler and wetter than forecasted, it sure was warmer than here! Today I'm sharing a few pictures of the typical white-washed villages found in Andalucia.


Hmmm ... come to think of it, a good percentage of my best pictures were taken in the village of Frigiliana.


I sure could use one of those blue skies right now.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

News (Shows, Articles and Workshops)!

Checking in tonight to share news and some photos of recent workshops.

I learned yesterday that "Encore" was accepted and will hang at the National Juried Show of the Canadian Quilters Association in St. Catharines, Ontario in June. In the mean time, it took a little detour today. I shipped it, and other work, as well as a lovely stack of hand-dyed fabrics, to the office of Quilting Arts Magazine in Massachusetts, whether they will be photographed for an upcoming feature article about me. Stay tuned! The expected publication date will be the June/July issue, but I will let you know when the date is definitivelyconfirmed! I am very happy to be showing "Encore" in Canada and in the US (in Quilting Arts Magazine) before it travels to Europe for the "Crossing Oceans" international group show.

Sunday I taught Part 5 of my Art Quilt Series here in Ottawa. A few students brought some of their design experiments. This exercise was about working with value (while also keeping other Elements and Principles of Design in mind).

Isn't Barb's blue dog just the coolest?

Monique's Chinese lanterns are so graceful.

Inez chose to depict a milkweed pod. Great choice of complementary colours.

You could walk right into Mary's forest scene.

Ruth's dynamic close-up of a portion of sunflower focuses on the green area below the flower. (I can't think of the technical name of that part of the plant right now?).

Monday I was off to Perth, Ontario, to teach "Liberated Radial Piecing" for the Lanark County Quilters Guild. It was great to spend time with this group again. What an innovative and relaxed group of quilters.

We had a wonderfully large and bright classroom. I actually got some exercise while moving around between students ;-)

Most students in the class had worked with free-form cutting and piecing methods before, so there was no one intimidated by trying this.

The process starts with making a series of strip sets, all cut and pieced without rulers.

After that, wedges are cut to form the radial design.

Bev brought her finished poppy quilt that she started in my workshop at the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild about a month ago. She did a fantastic job with the values!

I know I've been quiet this month. We had a two-week trip to Spain to celebrate my husband's retirement. I will share some photos shortly. 

Teaching travel is gearing up, and I'll be off to visit the Windsor Quilters Guild next week.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Recent Workshops

I've taught a number of workshops over the last several weekends, but have been a bit neglectful in posting. Today I'm sharing some pictures from these workshops.

Two Sundays ago I taught  Part 4 of The Art Quilt Series at The Running Stitch. We lost a bit of momentum due to having to cancel a class in December because of bad weather. I finally had a chance to see some of the hand-dyed fabric students dyed at the previous class in November. Here are some pictures. Suzan went a step further and created a colourwheel from her colourwheel of bright fabricss. Below that is a stack of fabrics from the earthy colourwheel dyed by Kristi.

A few of the multi-colours:

Barb, who has taken my dyeing class before, dyed these with friends while vacationing beside the pool in Nevada :-) Lovely!

Some students completed the first design exercise, which was a "seat of the pants" construction. I gave them certain parameters, like a) choose an orientation, b) choose a compositional style, c) have one of the elements and principles of design dominate, d) pay attention to what you've learned about colour. Here are just a few of the samples brought to class.

This is Barb's forest scene. Love the little complement of blue against the oranges and pinks. Although it did not appear in the original photo that was the inspiration for this piece, Barb improved upon the photo by making this addition.

Kristi tried her hand at a couple of landscapes. Love how the curve running from lower right to upper left moves your eye through the piece, and the sky on the second version is absolutely stunning.

Monique's flower seems to be rising like a balloon floating upward. A very nice airy composition that will probably be enhanced by removing the dark border that seems to be boxing in that lovely floating flower. Love the touch of the little yellow petal, which helps to balance the larger and heavier flower.

Ruth's still life has a nice use of different values, giving the fruit bowl lots of depth.  A really interesting feature is the smaller art work hanging on the wall of the scene.

Mary placed her focal point in the sweet spot ... the golden mean position. The eye moves around the piece nicely from there, along the curved stem and around the leaf on right.  The stitched feathery edges she has added using a decorative stitch adds an interesting texture.

The next design exercise is to design a small pattern and create with a more planned approach. Again, I gave the class parameters, which will include working with a 5-7 step value gradation.

Last Saturday I taught my In Full Bloom class for the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild. Students were very patient given the challenges with the new fusible product I'm using while Steam a Seam is out of production. One thing I have discovered is that the new fusible (Pellon Lite EZ Steam II) is stronger and tougher, making it possible to trace on the sticky side instead of the paper side. The good news about this is that it alleviates the need to have a pattern in reverse and think in reverse. Everyone was very pleased about that. However, the product is a bit inconsistent. Sometimes the parchment paper side comes off easiest and sometimes the heavier freezer paper comes off easier. 

Sue's tulip was coming along splendidly.

Bev's poppy was off to a good start.

Today I taught In Full Bloom to the Common Thread Quilt Guild, on the east side of Ottawa. We had a wonderfully large and bright classroom.

Cheryl brought along the tree she created in my Tree Collage class a few weeks ago, when I taught for the "Frayed Edges" group in Ottawa. Her classmates are convening here to give feedback on her background. She sewed a wonderful grey sky of diamond shapes. 

Here is a better shot of the tree, but I was using my cell phone camera, and shooting on the table from above, so I completely cut off the roots she added. The colour combination is really nice with purples.

The class was ever so patient again with the fusible challenges, and I think everyone was grateful to not have to think in reverse.  I took just a few photos near the end of the class.

Carole used one of my variegated hand-dyed green velvets for the leaves on her rose. 

Jeannine's rose:

Kirstin got a good start on a tulip in warm reds and oranges.

Of course it takes more than one day to build one of these flowers. I look forward to seeing photos of the finished pieces.

A couple more local workshops at the end of February, and I start travelling again in March.