ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, June 29, 2015


I have finally had time to view and crop my photos of Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, visited between Edmonton and Salt Spring Island. I needed to view them on the big screen of my desktop computer where the monitor shows colour much better.

I believe this was the first time I have ever seen blue poppies, except in photographs.

These are Oriental Blue Poppies.

They were slightly past their peak, but still beautiful.

This is a type of white poppy. I don't remember the exact name but I found it very stunning. I tend to shy away from white work in my quilts, finding values of white difficult to deal with.

Nevertheless, I did create a white magnolia once, but it had a strong hint of green in it.

This poppy is really white!

It seems the blue flowers (some of my favorites) are in bloom this time of year. Here are delphinium in a deep hue

and a lighter hue. The same flowers, though not as lush, were blooming in my own garden when I arrived home.

Really really loved the field of pink/orange/yellow snapdragons! 

A variety of roses were in bloom.

Irises were near the end of their season.

Dahlias were just coming into their season.

I am really enamoured of this smoke bush! I love the shimmer of the leaves in the sun, with one side of the leaf being an eggplant purple and the other being the complementary colour of orange. Can't stop thinking about them!

Banana plants, back lit. There's that wonderful yellow-green again!

Petunias climbing over a wall.

On my last day I took a drive to downtown Victoria just to photograph the hydrangea. I saw them several years ago outside the Fairmont Empress Hotel. I was thrilled to find them again.

I hope you enjoyed this visit to one of Canada's most beautiful and frequently-visited flower gardens.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


During my drive back from the west coast of Vancouver Island to Victoria/Sidney I stopped at Cathedral Grove, a park preserving old growth rain forest. I don't think I need to say much more than the word GREEN, my favorite colour.

I haven't stopped thinking about the ferns!

I hope you like green! No words needed. 

Along the Coast

After teaching in Edmonton, Alberta and Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, I headed to the western coast of Vancouver Island for a few days of vacation. On my first evening I was fortunate to spot a young bear along the road driving through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Many cars stopped to capture photographs before the bear nonchalantly lumbered back into the forest.

This area is northwest coast rainforest, so they get a fair bit of rain. I was fortunate to have a sunny few hours to walk the wild beach. There were maybe a dozen wind surfers out.

I enjoyed browsing the treasures washed up by the ocean. The kelp formed interesting patterns.

No surprise that it rained the next day. I headed to Tofino for a bit of shopping and some wonderful restaurants!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Salt Spring Island, Part 2

Yesterday I wrapped up my workshops on Salt Spring Island. What a great time I had at the 3-day retreat where I taught "Inspired by Nature, Designed by You". I am really enjoying teaching these multi-day classes where each student designs something different.
Here's a photo of class participants. Left to right: Margaret, Terry, Deanna, Jennifer, Glenda, Bobbi, Susan, Shannon, Wendy, Karen and Quita.

I ended up in this photo on the left.
I'm pleased to share student work. None of these are completely finished, but most are well underway.
Bobbi's blue flower just requires a few more blue shadows and green leaves in behind the upper left corner.  A stamen in the middle and stitching to pull the centre purple into the petals will complete it.

Terry's coleus just requires a background behind the leaves.
Wendys coleus requires work in purple and pink on the lower right green leaf. This and the piece above make me want to rush home and do a coleus myself! Love the colour combination.
Jennifer's lily has only the lower petals and background left to do. 

Karen's arbutus tree. Karen decided to work in a collage method after I showed how I create my collage trees. The combination of yellow-greens with deep earthy reds is striking..
Susan's abstracted and stylized ferns. Susan was able to complete all 3 pieces of this triptych in the 3 days.

 Shannon's rocks make a nice and effective diagonal composition with lots of value contrast.
 Margaret's blue rose. Once a few more pieces go down the rose will be more obvious.

Quita's hosta leaves. Still the upper leaf to finish. Quita's composition is somewhat abstract because she decided to focus on the shadow under the upper leaf.
Glenda's close cropping of a hosta leaf: Things are starting to fall into place as all the values are added.
Deanna's white flower is very intricate with a lot of small pieces. She has just added in the background greens and started on the flower.
Hopefully everyone will share photos of their works once finished. I am now on vacation on Vancouver Island until I fly home on Friday.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Salt Spring Island

After Edmonton, I flew to Vancouver Island, where I spent a couple of days with Daphne Greig before heading on to my teaching trip to Salt Spring Island. We spent a day at Butchart Gardens. I took a lot of photos, which I am going to share when I have time to view and crop them properly.

The ferry ride from Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island to Salt Spring Island is a short 25 minute ride. It ended up raining later that day.
The next morning I woke to a glorious summer day, with no humidity. I love the weather here as it is comfortably warm with a coolish breeze, and it cools down nicely at night.  No humidity like back in Ottawa.

 This is Rita, the resident cat at the Salt Spring Inn and Restaurant.

Yesterday I taught a dyeing class at the Fair Grounds, a place where we were not worried about getting messy.

View from the Fair Grounds.
 My accommodations are deep in the woods, down a long and winding road. It is oh so quiet :-) After class it is nice to hang out in one of the hammocks on the porch.
There I have a view of birds at the bird feeder

and the many deer that stroll by.
After the first day's class I had the pleasure of shopping at the ArtCraft Gallery. I highly recommend it. It is packed with hand-made items by artists and crafters of the Southern Gulf Islands.
Today I started teaching my 3-day "Inspired by Nature, Designed by You" class. I have students from as far away as Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Smithers, BC.

We all took an extended lunch today to visit the famous Salt Spring Saturday Market.

The market is a great place for young entrepreneurs, like this one, performing to raise money to purchase a new violin.
Of course there are many delightful things to eat too!