ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

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!


  1. Lucious fabrics you have dyed. I'm looking forward to the hosta blooms. Your journal sketches make me want to watercolor again. And of course, I love seeing Peekaboo and Wilma.

  2. You've been extremely productive. I feel the same way about using ink to sketch. I'm more likely to keep erasing pencil marks but I'll leave the ink and just keep going.


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