ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Thursday, October 29, 2015

New Brunswick Teaching Trip, Part 2

When I arrived at my hotel room in Fredericton, New Brunswick, I found this beautiful gift bag from the Elm City Quilters Guild had been left for me. How thoughtful, and another example of Maritime hospitality.

The bag contained snacks, beverages, bath products, toiletries, and a magazine. Many things to make my stay comfortable.

Attached was a card with an abstract watercolour painting of cats. Hmmm ... they must have been reading about me.

Our classroom was huge and bright, and again very accessible.

On my first day I taught my In Full Bloom class. That evening I gave a lecture. I did not take any photos at the lecture, but am awaiting some to be sent from members who did.

I taught a half day class on Flip and Sew Curves

followed by a half day class on Liberated Applique.

This group did such a fantastic job and really seemed to enjoy my third class, Fast & Fun Fused Designs. Many had not ever cut their designs free hand before.

This is June, my class helper most days.


I met so many people in my 9 days of teaching and lecturing in New Brunswick, that I am struggling for names here. If anyone can please help me with the names of the following members, I will be happy to add them.


I enjoyed lobster roll after class one day with Pat, the Guild's President. Pat is the one who contacted me to invite me to teach in Fredericton. I enjoyed her company.

I took two days to drive home to Ottawa again. My first day brought blue skies and beautiful views.

I decided to stop at Hartland to view the longest covered bridge in the world. It was more than worth the 5 minute detour from the Trans Canada Highway. My husband and I have driven to the Maritime provinces many time for summer vacations, and we have never stopped here.

It definitely is the longest covered bridge I have ever seen!

That night I stayed in Quebec City overnight, discovering that I speak better french than my GPS! A huge thank you to the Elm City Quilters Guild for also taking such good care of me! Let me repeat: that is Maritime Hospitality!

Thanks to so much help from everyone, along with accessible classrooms and hotel rooms, I came home fairly rested and no worse for wear. Certainly my arthritic knee was no worse on my return. However, I did have a cortisone shot yesterday and hopefully things will continue to improve.

New Brunswick Teaching Trip, Part 1

On Sunday I returned from a fantastic teaching trip to New Brunswick. I was away for two weeks. What a beautiful drive, with autumn leaves at their peak.

You know you are in New Brunswick when you see these kinds of signs, in both official languages (New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province in Canada). I never did see any moose but that is probably a good thing as they can cause severe damage to your car, and you, if one catches you by surprise.

I undertook the 11-12 hour drive to New Brunswick over two days. My first booking was with the Marco Polo Quilters Guild in Saint John. My first class was Hosta Leaves 101. You can see students using the big bright windows to trace their patterns.. 

My photo taking during workshops was a bit haphazard on this trip, largely due to my limited mobility. I spent most of my trip teaching from a chair on wheels due to my arthritic knee. I did manage to photograph a few finished hosta pieces.

A big thank you to Barb who treated me to dinner at her house one night, and provided me with homemade lobster mac n'cheese and blueberry pie and red pepper jelly. I spent my final night in Saint John sitting in my hotel room eating lobster mac n'cheese while watching the federal election thanks to Barb. It was delicious!

My second workshop was Surface Design 1, which includes Prismacolor Artist Pencils and Caran d'Ache Necolor 2 Water Soluble Wax Pastels. Students learn how to use artist pencils to add shading and hi-lights. They also learn to use the wax pastels  to create a piece that is impressionistic after adding water with a brush. More definite lines can be added after that with dry crayons.


This is Dorothy with her partially completed project from the Liberated Radial Piecing class.

On Sunday afternoon I gave a lecture and trunk show.
Because I chose to drive, rather than fly, I was able to take my store with me. There were shopping frenzies from time to time.

On my last day in Saint John I taught my In Full Bloom class.

A big thank you to Sandra, who was a very organized workshop and program coordinator. I think this is a fantastic photo of an elegant woman and I hope she likes it too. 

Big thanks to Leslie who worked as my class assistant most days, including running my store so I could focus on teaching.

It was a beautiful day when I finished my last day of teaching so I decided to do a little sightseeing. I visited the Reversing Falls, where the ocean tide pushes back the rapids on the Saint John River.

near the Irving pulp and paper mill.

Before leaving town the next morning I decided to see the down town and water front. A large cruise ship was in port.

I took a walk through Market Square, a building that pulls together the New Brunswick Museum, Saint John Library, and shops and restaurants under one roof. One can walk several blocks through an overpass called "The Connection". It is all indoors.

Oh and there is a model of the Marco Polo ship that this guild is named after.

I had one more lobster roll at the Saint John Market.

With a large cruise ship in port, it was a busy day at the market

After that I headed north to Fredericton. 

An enormous thank you to the Marco Polo Quilt Guild for taking such good care of me! With accessible classrooms and an accessible hotel room, a lot of the stress of my knee problem was alleviated. Everyone was so helpful with transporting my class materials and fabrics too, and many took turns providing dinners and lunches. That's legendary Maritime hospitality!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The ancient village of Oppede la Vieux

This is my final post about our August trip to Provence, France. I am cutting and folding hand-dyed fabric at this moment. This week I received the x-ray results on my left knee. They show severe osteoarthritis, and that my cartilage has deteriorated so much that my joint is almost bone on bone. As well, there are loose bodies floating in my knee, so that explains the pain I've been feeling. I am once again being referred to a surgeon (the waiting times here are very long), and have started physiotherapy. I was not expecting this diagnosis. Only a few weeks ago I was climbing a step ladder to paint my studio, and a few weeks prior to that doing the same in our guest bedroom. No it wasn't easy, but the fact that I was able to do it, did not lead me to suspect such a severe diagnosis. I had been managing very well with my knees for the past three years since my major flare-up 3-1/2 years ago. I had been under the impression that my arthritis was only severe under my kneecaps. So we will see how things progress in the next weeks and months. I can still teach if I have a chair on wheels. Things may settle down shortly, but the writing is on the wall that I will need some sort of treatment soon.
There are two villages named Oppede in Provence. One refers to a relatively young and modern village. When you see "la Vieux" tagged on the name "Oppede" it means old or ancient. Our bed and breakfast during our second week was only a few kilometers from both the new and the ancient Oppede. 

Oppede la Vieux (the ancient one) is a beautiful and largely abandoned village that has fallen into ruin. However, there are signs of restoration everywhere and many people are buying up property there. You can't drive to this village unless you live there. You have to park in a lot a km or two away, and walk through fields and forest and up hill to access it (and yes I did the walk and climb!). There are a couple of cafes there,

Walking through the forest and up stairs to access the castle and cathedral.

The cathedral is situated on a windy hilltop with fantastic views of the countryside.

Heading back down from the cathedral and castle.

Village streets are quiet, often steep, and hauntingly beautiful.

A pink rose near a pink wall.

Why are so many Provencal villages situated on hilltops? Because turmoil raged for centuries when this region won and lost in warms. A hilltop setting enabled the inhabitants to see invaders approaching

Soon I'll be on my way to New Brunswick!