ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Oh No, I Dyed My Shoes Again!

The last week or two has been very busy at my house! Can you tell what I've been doing?  Darn, I dyed by brand new athletic shoes again ... by accident!!!  The good news is that a good scrub with dish detergent and discharge paste will take most of it out. They are going to look awfully ugly at the gym until I get around to it!

I've dyed and ironed and cut more than 50 meters of fabric.

As you can see I've beefed up the selection of warm colours in my store.

That would be the store of fabric I carry in the trunk of my vehicle when I'm on teaching trips.

Peak teaching season is beginning in earnest, and I'll be off next week on a multi-group tour, visiting four cities: Peterborough, Misissauga, Lindsay, and Toronto, Ontario.  I'll be gone about 10 days and have managed to build a couple of "down" days into my schedule.

The other thing I've been working on here is finalizing, printing and packaging the pattern I created to go with my new Northcott fabric line called "Poppy Passion".  The fabric line will hit stores in April, so I need to ship my patterns to Northcott by March 15 for distribution. I procrastinated on this too long so it is now last minute. I know why I procrastinated!  As soon as I get the patterns back from the printer I will probably find an error. This happened last time even though I had the pattern proofread and tested. Fortunately it wasn't a serious error. It costs a fair bit to print  hundreds or thousands of patterns, and one can suffer a big loss if one doesn't get it right!

The pattern, also called "Poppy Passion" can be created using the Purple Passion colour way

or the coral bliss colourway.

I designed the pattern to be do-able for beginners and beyond. It is a simplified version of the original poppy in my "Kissing Joy" quilt:

Meanwhile, I'm teaching two workshops locally, tomorrow and Saturday. Tomorrow is Session 3 of my "Dye Happy" class, and Saturday I'm teaching "Liberated Radial Piecing" for the local Common Thread Quilt Guild.

We will be folding and packing the patterns on Sunday.

All this is to say that I have not been in the studio creating very much. However, I do have a couple of designs at the printer being enlarged. I will share more soon!

Monday, February 23, 2015


Someone passed along my Quilting Arts article from June 2014 to the Editor of The Hosta Journal, published by the American Hosta Society. He (Robert Olson) invited me to write an article for their spring journal. I submitted it last week and will advise when it is published. I included a list of some of the hosta gardens in Ontario that I have been privileged to visit, and I hope they also get some exposure from it. 

Apparently your typical "hostaholic" loves to search for the rarest of hosta hybids.The angle I'm coming from with my story is that I too am a hostaholic, but unlike most I am more interested in the study of value, line and curve. I know very little about hosta varieties or growing conditions. I talked about the art end of hostas, what I look for and what draws me to them, as well as how I make my work.

The Journal subscription is available to all Members of the American Hosta Society. If there is some way I can share this article with my readers at a later date I will surely do so.

Friday, February 20, 2015

New Studio Assistant?/End of an Era

Meet Wilma! She is a new one-year-old kitty we adopted from Ottawa Stray Cat Rescue last Sunday. She was originally a feral cat, but was brought in to be spayed with the intent of releasing her after. While in care it was discovered that she loves to be petted, so she was put up for adoption. It is true that she loves to be petted and have her cheeks and chin rubbed, but first you have to find her to do that. She is very shy and loves to hide!

She does appreciate a good bed of velvet in my fabric closet, where she is living since yesterday.

We had our first face to face meeting yesterday in my studio, and I was able to pet her for the first time.
She even "kneaded" my knees for me. But it is going to take a lot of time and patience to earn her trust.

This gives me increased motivation to get into my studio!

I did not mention this before because it happened only a couple of days before we left for Costa Rica. We lost our dearest companion, Kissabelle, at the age of 17.  She was the best cat ever! Lots of personality, many classic "Kissabelle moves", and an all around beautiful cat. These photos are in memory of our beautiful times together. She was the centre of our household. We miss her a great deal, but knew there was space in our lives for another kitty needing a warm and loving home.

RIP Kissabelle.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Trip to Montreal

It has been a busy week! On Monday night I gave my new lecture, "A Design and Colour Journey" at the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild. Tuesday I headed to Montreal, where I gave the same lecture to the Beaconsfield Quilters Guild on Tuesday night.

To the right of me is Andrea, the Workshop Coordinator for the guild.

On Wednesday morning I gave my "From Inspiration to Art Quilt" lecture for the day guild

After the meeting we went for lunch, saw an art show and went shopping. How cool is it that I found these earrings just after talking about the golden mean/Fibonacci sequence during my Design lecture? The growth of the nautilus shell perfectly represents this concept!

On Wednesday I taught my "Liberated Radial Design" class. We had a very spacious, warm and bright classroom.  Outside it had been snowing for two days straight. We enjoyed the warmth from the sun and blue sky through the windows on Wednesday.

I had a great time with this group! Having visited twice before during the last decade, and having some members as friends on Facebook, I felt like I knew some of these ladies. But I did meet new people and make new friends too.

Heather and her piece below. She is the first student to have the centre of this design fit without a hole to be covered!

Haleh is a modern quilter, and that shows in her choice of fabrics.

Annick is the guild's photographer, and is responsible for a couple of the photos in this post.

Debby is also a teacher!





I'm loving Lauma's soft and hand-dyed colour palette!


Julie.  I was pleased when Julie shared her finished poppy quilt, from the class I taught at this guild a few years back. She decided to try the poppy in values of black and white.

I stayed with Helena Scheffer and her husband Dave, along with their three adorable canines. Perfect hosts! The large dog is Chloe, and I wanted to take her home! The pugs in the background are Gus and Lucy. Helena is an award-winning textile artist. I've linked to her website, so just click on her name if you'd like to see some wonderful work.

Sweet sweet Chloe!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Goodbye Costa Rica and Hello Montreal

I am beavering away at putting the finishing touches on a new presentation called `A Colour and Design Journey`, which I will deliver to the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild tomorrow night, and the Beaconsfield Quilters Guild in Montreal on the next night. Tuesday I am off to Montreal for a few days, looking forward to seeing members of the Beaconsfield Quilt Guild again.  Before I go, I wanted to finish posting photos of Costa Rica.

I have to say that the beaches were beautiful. The is the private beach at Manuel Antonio Park. It was worth getting up at 5:30 a.m. to walk there and see it deserted.

We lucked out at seeing the Poas Volcano as well. There is only ever a 30% chance of seeing it due to its location in the cloud forest.

I spotted this blue boat on a cruise around a wildlife preserve.

As a coffee lover, I enjoyed a tour of the Doka Coffee Plantation. Below you see the coffee plants.

This is an old ox cart, repainted. This was the mode of transportation for coffee barons to bring their product to towns for sale in the days of old. 

For some reason there were hydrangea growing everywhere at the coffee plantation,

as well as bananas.

The warehouse filled with bags and bags of coffee.

and we had a chance to sample the coffee at the end of the tour.

Wishing you a fantastic week filled with creativity. I look forward to some creative time after my return from Montreal.