ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring Catch Up and Hitting the Road

Spring has arrived in my part of of the world. Plants are growing and blooming and I've had the snow tires on my car replaced with all season tires.

I know there are other parts of Canada that are unfortunately still experiencing snow. That includes Alberta, where I am heading tomorrow. However, I'll be in Lethbridge, in the southern part of Alberta, near the US border, and it is a bit warmer there so the snowfall is expected to be less than 1 cm. 

Invitations for teaching in 2018 are trickling in, and hopefully I will be able to post a confirmed schedule soon. If you are on the west coast of Canada, there is an opportunity to share travel expenses with a guild in Delta, British Columbia. We are looking at early to mid April 2018. Yes, I will be on the west coast at the end of June to mid July this year, visiting four different groups, but that trip is now full. Should you like to have information about the possibility of me teaching and lecturing for you in 2018 please email me at equehl@hotmail.com.

Friday I will be giving a lecture/trunk show at 2  p.m. at the Galt Museum in Lethbridge, Alberta. The Lethbridge Herald has written a small article talking about the history of quilting in Alberta, and promoting my lecture for Thursday. You can read it here. I'm excited about the 3-day workshop I'll be giving for the Lethbridge Centennial Quilt Guild because every student will be designing their own original nature quilt inspired by a photo they have taken. I will also be teaching a dyeing workshop for the Surface Design Group of Lethbridge.

Speaking of photos, I wanted to share a very positive experience I had this past weekend. But first I'll say this. Once upon a time I had a student in my class who said something like this: "I don't give a shit about copyright, but I sure would be pissed off if someone stole my design". It is hard to reach someone who thinks like that. I want to share a wonderful and positive experience I had today. I received an email from a painter asking for copyright permission to use my photograph (below) of Peggy's Cove, which she found in an on-line search. In fact, she even offered to pay for a high-resolution copy. I granted the copyright permission, sent the high-resolution image, and did not charge her since I am not a professional photographer who makes my living from my photography. However, I was impressed that she asked and did not just take. Copyright issues are something that I try to educate about in my quilt design classes. Students are discouraged from basing their work on the photographs of others unless they have permission from the photographer. If you are new and inexperienced on these matters (as I once was) there are great copyright guildelines on the Canadian Quilters' Association's webpage at this link. https://www.canadianquilter.com/pdf/Copyright.pdf

You won't be surprised that I've been doing a lot of dyeing since I last posted. I have almost achieved my goal of dyeing all the fabric I'll need for the year before heading out on the road. This week's 62 meters (some photos below) is mostly background fabrics for hosta kits and peony kits. They will be ironed upon my return, when I'll also do some dyeing for my upcoming Collage Tree class at Quilt Canada.

Which brings me to this subject. This is a message for local customers, and customers who visit the Ottawa Valley Quilters' Guild's show in May. I know that many are assuming I will be there selling my hand-dyed fabrics from a booth. This is to let you know that I am discontinuing sales of fabric at shows. I am cutting back a bit to save my sanity (and body), and I can't do shows AND have fabric available to support my classes. Also, virtually all shows now require vendors to have liability insurance, which significantly increases the cost of renting a booth at a show. I am not upset about this. I understand why, and it has helped make my decision easier about how to control my volume of work. That doesn't mean you won't be able to purchase my fabrics anymore. You just have to contact me personally to arrange a time and place.

It is probably a good thing that I'm flying to Alberta for 8 days. Our front porch has turned into a nursery with a couple of robins building a nest above the light fixture immediately above our mailbox. Mama robin appears to be waiting to lay her eggs. I simply can't resist the urge to crack open the front door to take a peek (or a photo), so I'm sure the robin family will have more privacy while I'm away. My husband has better self control

More news from Alberta soon.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

In the Studio and the Dyeing Dungeon

Remember this? Uh huh, I have finally finished quilting it. Hurdle overcome! It is also faced, and finished and waiting for our next Crossing Oceans Show on the theme of Journeys. It took a lot of patience to stitch around all those little spores, in various values of grey. I've decided to call the piece Sporogenesis. It was inspired by the ferns that grow in the old growth forests of the west coast of Canada. Ferns regenerate and reproduce via spores, that are carried on the currents of wind, streams, and lakes.

I'm making major progress in my yearly dye-fest! Trying to dye all this fabric is not nearly as onerous when I'm not trying to do it while travelling! It's happening at a more leisurely pace this year. 20 or 30 meters at a time. I'm keeping on top of the ironing too.

As you can see, there are times when I can barely find my studio tables.

The bins are getting filled up with hosta kits

and poppy kits

and soon peony kits.

I'm aiming to dye enough to see me through all the teaching trips this year. I know that is a lot and I may be over-estimating, but I can always save some for next year and/or sell some from my website if I overestimate too much.

If you are in Ottawa, or close by, this coming Friday and Saturday the Out of the Box Annual Fibre Fling takes place at the Kitchissippi United Church. You can see more information on the publicity card below, or visit www.out-of-the-box.org.  Until a few years ago I was a long-time member of this group. I got my feet wet exhibiting in group shows with them, learned and was inspired by them, and became a dyer after an inspiring talk by member Hilary Perreault. A few of us alumni have been invited to exhibit a mini-retrospective of our work.