ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Friday, March 4, 2016

My Week

It has been a busy week with lots of travel.

On my way out of town on Sunday I stopped to visit a show at the City of Ottawa's Atrium Gallery. My friend Sharon Collins has a solo show of 33 of her textile artworks on display until March 16. I am so glad I made the time! It is a wonderful and cohesive body of work. The complexity of colour with the layering of hand-dyed silk organza, and the way light seems to emanate from each piece, really appeals to me. The works are minimalist in nature, minimally stitched, and that is refreshing. Definitely no longer art quilts but TEXTILE ART. Some of the colours made my heart sing and some made me contemplative.

I wish I could share more detailed photos, but there are no photos allowed inside the gallery. I took these outside the  gallery just to entice you to see the show.

On Monday I felt like a world traveller as I drove through Paris and passed by signs for Scotland and Delhi, on my way to Vittoria (near Simcoe), Ontario to visit the Norfolk County Quilters Guild. Yes all of those places are small towns in Ontario. Had a great time with guild members and made it back to my sister's place in Waterloo just as the storm was hitting.
Molly brought her finished poppy from my class with the group 5 years ago. 
There was also quite a shopping frenzy at my store of hand-dyed fabrics and patterns.

The storm was brief, and we enjoyed a beautiful and sunny day on Wednesday, although it was crisp and cold. In between my lecturing and teaching I am staying with my sister in Waterloo, andk have been spending time with my father who has been hospitalized for a few weeks now. He looks good, his vitals are good, and he isn't in physical pain, but after several falls he has lost his confidence to walk and refuses to do so. He is despairing at his loss of independence. While he wants to die and keeps repeating that he is too old for this world, (91), I don't think the universe is finished with him yet. He is on a waiting list for a geriatric program at another hospital.

On Wednesday night and Thursday morning I gave lectures at the Oxford Quilters Guild in Ingersoll, Ontario, with a half day workshop on Wednesday afternoon. A long time ago when I decided to make art quilts, my two major Canadian inspirations were Laurie Swim and Reta Budd. Well guess who showed up at my lecture and workshop? Yes, that's Reta Budd in the middle, now retired from making fantastic landscape quilts. On the left is Jean Hillis, the guild's Program Coordinator (you will be seeing some of her work again at the NJS this year).

I've included two of Reta's works here that I was able to find on-line.

I will be teaching one more workshop for the Oxford Quilters' Guild tomorrow. Next week I am off to Hamilton.


  1. We're currently having a winter storm so your lovely photos, truly brightened my day and inspired me to get sewing. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

    1. It seems to be spring here Jo. Glad to hear you found the post inspiring.

  2. I like the positive reaction to "minimalist" quilting that these pieces have in your post, Elaine. I've been criticized by one Edmonton-based fibre arts group for "not enough quilting" in my pieces -- though they've accepted them in their biennial shows. I try to 'quilt according to what the piece tells me'...and sometimes it's minimal!

    I've never met Reta; her work is so very beautiful. At this point I cannot imagine retiring from making landscape quilts...but then, I've just begun! I suppose there may come a day...

    1. I think the trend of quilting densely comes from the quilt world, where new technology and skills made it possible to do that just for the sake of doing it. I find that Sharon's work looks more like "art" than "quilt" (not that quilt cant be both) because of the minimalism. It just works here, and I think too much quilting would detract from what she is doing. You just keep on doing what YOU need to do Margaret. One group is only one group.

  3. Thank you so much for introducing Sharon Collins. Her work is absolutely stunning and I had never heard of her. I work a lot with silk organza and what she is achieving with light in her work is what I am trying to achieve. So now I have a 'hero' with work I can study and ponder.

    1. Thank you for your comment Charlotte. I love Sharon's work and wish I had thought of doing what she does with all the organza I've dyed. I still haven't figured out what I am going to do with mine, but think I am probably going to cut them with my Brother Scan n' Cut. Here is Sharon's website:


  4. Thank you for sharing those beautiful pieces. I had the privilege to meet the generous Reta Budd on my way through. She open her house to me to let me have a peek at her work. What a beautiful soul.


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