ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, March 30, 2015

I'm Having Another Fabric Launch Party!

My second line of fabric, "Poppy Passion", will be in stores in April. The Pickle Dish Quilt Shop & Studio in Carleton Place, Ontario, will be hosting a party to launch the line on Sunday, April 12, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Come on out for refreshments and a chat, see the new line, and perhaps purchase or win some! 

Says Jan Kittle, owner of The Pickle Dish,
"If you were lucky enough to purchase some of Elaine's Falling Leaves and have completed your project, bring it along for show and tell. I will have fat quarter bundles cut and one meter pieces also. I will presell up to half of each bolt, which can be picked up on the day of the event. The remainder will be held to be sold to those who attend. We sold out of Elaine's previous collection in 1-1/2 hours so either call the shop to reserve a bundle, or plan to arrive early." 

Please drop The Pickle Dish a line if you plan to attend so Jan can determine how many cookies to prepare!

Poppy Passion is available in two colourways:

Purple Passion (click on that link to view the collection on the Northcott web site)

Coral Bliss (click this link to view the alternate colourway).
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Revised and Updated "In Full Bloom" Class

About six years ago I began teaching how I make my floral quilts. At the time I decided to teach the class in such a way that students would learn about value and would have to make their own fabric choices (with some guidance of course). They were provided with a pattern that included the outline of the flower and all it's parts, with letters and numbers indicating the part, as well as a photograph of the original flower to make their fabric decisions from.  Many students turned out fabulous works and surprised themselves by being successful with this project. A few were frustrated at not having a pattern that told them where the appropriate value and colour should be placed. My patterns were used exclusively in the classroom and were only available to students in conjunction with instruction.

When I started publishing patterns last year, I knew I would have to publish them for a diverse group of quilters, many of whom would want the pattern designer (me) to tell them exactly where each fabric should be located. I published the Sunkissed Poppy pattern (second photo below), and the result was that some students in the class were working from a new pattern that told them where to place their fabric, and some took on the challenge of making those decisions themselves.

The bottom line is that I have three designs available at the moment for workshops where you would like all the information, where the challenge of choosing values and colours is less pronounced. They are as follows:

(requires 6 values of pink, 6 values of green, and yellow for the flower centre)

Sunkissed Poppy
(requires 11 values from soft yellow, to stronger yellow, to orange and peach, through several values of scarlett and into a burgundy and purple/burgundy). There is even a colour chart on the back of the pattern, which makes me fear that students will want to have EXACTLY the fabrics I have. The truth is that this poppy will turn out just fine with eleven values from lightest light to darkest dark, plus a colour for the background, and central portion of the poppy, and a tiny bit of green in the centre.

Don't believe me? Well here is the proof. I chose 11 values of blue, from the very lightest all the way to the deepest navy, and followed the pattern. Added an orange and chartreuse in the centre, and voila! So here is another colour option for this pattern.

Below are the four patterns I used when I taught the class in such a way that students made all fabric choices for themselves. Of course they had my quilts there to help with their choices, along with the photograph of the flower.

Kissing Joy

Queen of the Night



Now I would love your opinion and feedback on how you would like to see this class offered? If I offer the first three patterns there is still no reason why students could not make their own colour and value choices, even though I do provide that information on the pattern. This would make the class suitable for beginner and advanced students alike. This would also update the class so that I'm providing a new set of designs, and not the same old same old.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Haliburton School of the Arts, Summer 2015

Registration began March 2 for classes at the Haliburton School of the Art's Summer Arts Program.

The two classes I am offering this year are as follows:

Quilting - Flowers & Foliage (July 20-24)

Create a beautiful art quilt featuring your favorite flower or foliage. Learn to turn a close-up botanical photograph into a pattern suitable for creating a fused art quilt. Selection of a suitable photograph, layout, value and the creation of depth through value contrasts, the construction of the flower or foliage, attachment to suitable background and quilting the completed design will all be covered.

If you would like to see what students made in this class two years ago, follow this link.

Quilting - The Art Quilt (July 27-31)

Instruction will inspire your creativity and enable you to produce original works of art in the quilt medium. The goal is to enable you to experiment, take risks and create original work as you discover your voice, your style, and what you want to express. Instruction and exercises in colour as well as the elements and principles of design and composition will give you the background to make visually dynamic work. Explore the process of dyeing your own fabric, the techniques you might need to construct the work itself, and how to finish it off. Learn how to create a pattern for your original design and discover freeform construction methods. You will have the opportunity to complete two small works using both methods and begin to make plans for a larger art quilt. You will be required to bring a familiar and reliable sewing machine in good working order.

Take a peek at previous classes here.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dye Happy, Session 4

Friday was Session 4 of my Dye Happy class at Wabi Sabi. It is always gratifying to see the results of the previous class. While we do various dyeing processes in class, students usually have to let them batch and wash out at home.

Several students decided to dye some silk-rayon velvet scarves using the Bomaki Shibori method.

Marion's colours are so lovely.

Sue and her rainbow scarves.

Heather and her rainbow scarves.

Barb tried the rainbow method on cotton.

Nancy's folded fabric.

Nancy's stitch resist experiment.

Marion's soft-toned two colour run.

This is Heather's beautiful stash so far.

Just out of the immersion dye bath, Sue and her pole-wrapped Arashi Shibori.

Friday's topic was Soy Wax Batik. You can see the wax melting in an electric frying pan here, and the many batiking tools we tried. The wax forms a resist that does not allow the dye to penetrate.

Sylvia sent a photo of her soy wax resist fabrics after washing out. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Back from the Road

I left almost two weeks ago. It was a wintry day, and got even more wintry the closer I got to Peterborough. However, the next morning, hints of spring were in the air and the temperatures stayed pretty much above 0 celsius for the entire trip!

I started with an early morning lecture for the Kawartha Quiltmakers Guild in Peterborough, Ontario.

Maureen brought all the pieces she finished after my Serendipity Strips and Curves class at the Haliburton School of the Arts two summers ago.

The next day I drove to, and through, Toronto to visit the Mississauga Quilters Guild.  This was my second visit to their guild, the last being about eight years ago. I found them much changed. Eight years ago I would have described them as a very traditional guild. This time I found a diversity of quilters: traditional, modern and art! You could feel excitement in the room and everyone seemed eager to learn new things. The guild meeting I spoke at was packed, or seemed so to me.

Another one of my past students showed her work. Wendy said she made this landscape-type piece after learning how to do free-form curved piecing in my Art Quilt class at Haliburton School of the Arts. I like that each block is different, each cut improvisationaly, and representing earth and sky.

I had a day off between lecture and workshop, so visited a friend and did some shopping. The next day I taught Liberated Radial Piecing to a group of about 18 eager students. I am not sure why, but this class is very popular right now.
Linda and Jane (my billet) discuss fabric choices here.

We had a fantastic bright and spacious classroom.

Thanks to Bonnie for recommending me to the Mississauga Quilters Guild. She is another of my past students from the Haliburton School of the Arts. She is using some of her hand-dyes from the Dyeing to Quilt class in 2013.

Here is Jane, my gracious and welcoming billet. I made myself at home in her house.

Here is Darlene sewing up a storm! She is co-organizer of the workshop and made sure we had snacks and refreshments.

Paul's creative juices were flowing and he began his own design journey.

This is a fabulous photo of Ruthie, the owner of Ruti's Needlebed in Mississauga. We have crossed paths before, including me taking a workshop with her about 12 years ago.

Here is another finished piece from a previous workshop. Maxine took my In Full Bloom class several years ago and brought her finished quilt top. It is so pretty and spring-like, and I can't wait to see it stitched to a background and quilted..

A couple of "Liberated Radial Piecing" pieces in progress:

I rested on Sunday while visiting family and Monday headed off to Lindsay to speak at the afternoon meeting of the Lindsay Creative Quilters Guild.

The next day, Tuesday, I taught Hosta Leaves 101.

Ruth and Melissa working at their hosta leaves.


Karen and her finished quilt top! Karen is also the Workshop Coordinator for the guild.

Olga's finished quilt top. .



I met so many people in the last two weeks that I can't possible keep all names straight, and I have forgotten the name of the student who was working on this piece. I have sent an email request to find the name and will post as soon as I know.

After Lindsay, I headed back to Toronto to deliver a lecture to the Pieceful Nights Quilt Guild.

Here everyone is waiting for the meeting to start. I had met several people from this guild before, so it was great to catch up.

For example, I met up with Judy again, who showed me the quilt she made, which is a reproduction of The Great Wave off Kanagawa, a very famous woodblock print by Hokusai from 18th century Japan. According to my research (you can check out the links I just provided) this is one of the most reproduced artworks in the world. With Hokusai long deceased. the design is probably now in the public domain.

Prior to the meeting I met up with Kiyomi, and Carol and Erica, and other friends that I know from a past visit to the York Heritage Quilt Guild. We enjoyed coffee in the afternoon, and then it was off to Andrea's house for dinner. Andrea was my billet while in Toronto. I was so distracted by meeting the beautiful gentle giant Farley (the dog) that I completely forget to get a photo of Andrea!! This is Kiyomi hugging Farley.

 Quinn was really curious about me, and came to my room several times, despite his shyness.

After four cities, unloading and reloading my full car 6 times (thanks to the many people who provided help), moving in and out of hotels and billets several times and sleeping in six different beds, it probably isn't surprising that I felt like I'd been run over by a truck by the time I left the last guild ;-)). However, the two days of down time was definitely a good idea! Getting to the gym and pool three times during the trip was also good. I get to do this again next month with three different groups. I better rest up!