ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, December 19, 2016

In the Studio and Outdoors

Christmas 2016 is quickly approaching, and I've been busy baking numerous batches of shortbread. In addition, I created my second in the Smoke bush series. It's a triptych, on the chartreuse green background I originally planned to use. There might be a few small changes to come, but for the most part, this is the final version.

I will need some time to think about how I am going to quilt the above piece. I want more of an impression than a completely realistic piece I'm also trying to come up with a clever name for this series. In the mean time, I will start quilting the first piece that is more realistic due to the veins. Looks like I have lots of thread colours that will work!

I've been journaling a bit more. Here's my latest pen & ink drawing with watercolour. It is based on a photo I took at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, a few years ago.

Sunday was cold, but the sunlight made me want to go outside and photograph. I took my car and drove around some of the country roads a few minutes from my home. Between 3 and 4 pm the sun was lower in the sky, so the light was magical. It also allowed me to capture some wonderful shadows.

These two are very similar but I couldn't decide between the two!

As the sun lowered, sometimes I found the snow actually looked like golden sand!

Since I probably won't be blogging again before Christmas, I'd like to take this time to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and a wonderful time with friends and family.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Want to Learn to Design Your Own Art?

2017 is quickly drawing to a close. This is the time of year when people start thinking about plans and resolutions for the new year. What is it you want to learn in 2017? Have you always wanted to design your own original art quilts? If so, you might be interested in my "Art Quilt Series", a 5-day workshop running across 5 Saturdays in January, February and March 2017. If you've ever thought about taking this class, do it now! There are still a few spaces left, and it probably won't run again in Ottawa for several years (last time was 2013). Now would be the time to take it when it is so close to home and you can sleep in your own bed, and avoid the cost of accommodations, travel, and meals when you take it elsewhere.

For dates, details, and price, go to the Workshops page of the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild.

Do you want to see what we did in previous classes? This link will run you through all my blog posts about previous classes. When you get to the end of one page of posts, click on "Older Posts" at the bottom of the page to get to earlier posts.

I would like to specifically draw your attention to this post. I laid out information about the class in a lot more detail the last time I taught it in Ottawa in 2013.

One change we've made to the class for the upcoming sessionf is that I will be teaching free-form piecing on one of the five days instead of dyeing. Why? Because many members at the OVQG have already taken my dyeing classes. However, I am flexible to the wishes and needs of the class and we can discuss that at the first class.

Let me also reassure you that you do not need to be an artist already to take this class. This is a great class for people who want to break away from using other people's patterns and designs.

Let me share just a few of the design exercises students completed in this class. You can see more by running through the links above.




Sunday, December 11, 2016

Two Weeks In the Studio

One of the things I enjoy a lot about being home right now is spending time with my feline companions. Every day at 5 pm Peekaboo snuggles on my lap while we tune into CBC's Power and Politics. We snuggle again later at night for the 9 pm or 11 pm news.

We have snow now, and Wilma does her "Google Street View" looking out at snow from my studio window these days.

I've been journaling and doing pen and ink sketches with watercolour. Here's Peekaboo sleeping on my lap.

When I'm not sure what to sketch I rely on photographs I've taken. This one of two boats near the dock in Haliburton.

This drawing is from one of my favorite photos I took in Venice. It is interesting how one can simplify what is in the drawing but still get the idea across. I like doing these drawings because when using ink I don't view them as "too precious" and there is no temptation to erase and start over. I just keep going and accept the imperfections. They are fast too.

And so this brings us to my first Smoke bush quilt. I cut a lot of leaves, and had planned to make a composition on this chartreuse green.

I procrastinated a few days while thinking about veins or no veins, and how to do the veins. If in doubt, cut some more leaves!

Finally jumped in and decided to do the veins with Prismacolor Artist Pencils. There are more choices for colour than my textile paints or Shiva Paintstiks. I tend to prefer dry media anyway because what you see is what you get. You don't need to wait until it dries to know. After doing all the veins, I decided to protect with diluted acrylic medium (3 parts water to 1 part medium). This will prevent the artist pencil from rubbing off on my gloves while I quilt the piece.

My wee studio is now a complete disaster, and I have to figure out where to put all those fabrics I dyed for my smoke bush leaves. Many of them are going to take up a lot more space because they have fusible web ironed to the back.

Here is the finished first piece in this series. At the last minute I decided I liked a monochromatic look so chose a light background in the same colours as the leaves. The piece is about 22" x 32".  The next piece will be larger, and will be using that chartreuse green above as a background, and will be a triptych. I'm already working on it.

I also got inspired last week to dye some fabric for hosta blossoms, inspired by the two photos you see below.

This one is imminent on my agenda. In the mean time, my seasonal bakefest has begun, so I may be a bit distracted this week. It's great to be creating again!