ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Quilt Canada 2017, Toronto and Upcoming

I returned from Quilt Canada on Monday. It was a very successful show, and the most well-organized I have ever attended. This made my job as a teacher easier (not easy, but easier). I came home tired, but did not feel as though a truck had run over me, which is often the case after a teaching venue such as a national show, with classes often spread out and difficult to find, and long distances to transport supplies. I was able to move into the classroom the day before classes started. There was someone to greet us, we had a map of the International Centre, and everything was on ground floor. I could just wheel my carts full of teaching supplies right into the centre. Parking was close by. We all had our own private hotel rooms where we could seek quiet time.

There was also enough time to see the show and merchant mall because everything was in one location. So here I am going to share just a few of my favorite quilts with you. You can see all of the award-winners at this link. Interestingly, all of my favorites were award winners this year, and that has not always been the case.

This first piece by R. Leslie Forbes caught my attention right away. Having been to Murano, Italy last September, and having taken lots of photos of the colourful houses and reflections in the canals, it was especially meaningful to me. That night, I searched for my blog post about Venice, and guess what? There is none! I know I shared a few photos on Facebook, but soon after returning to Canada I was heading out on a teaching trip. I think I meant to post photos, but then forgot after I returned. I will have to get to this one of these days!

I am posting the titles and artist statements, as well as the awards won. If you click on the photos I think you can manage to read the text.

Mother Earth, by Galla Grotto is another favorite. Galla's name seemed so familiar to me, and then it finally dawned on me that she is one of the members of my Crossing Oceans group. She lives in France.

I always love a good foliage quilt! This one, by Judy Leslie, features croton leaves. I've taken a number of croton photos myself!

I taught four workshops. Sometimes when I get really busy, I forget to take photos. Sorry! On day one I taught "Collage Tree" to 21 students. You can see a lot of bark being cut here.

On day two I taught "In Full Bloom" to a pretty full class (I think there were 18 or 19 students). Most decided to create peonies. One thoughtful student brought a bouquet of peonies for me, and even tucked in a couple of hosta leaves. I was a happy teacher, and that is the only photo I have of that day!

On day three I taught "Sketch and Colour". This class is new as a one day class, but is a segment I took from my week-long "Uncommon & Unforgettable Threads" class. It involves thread sketching, and then shading with Prismacolor Artist Pencils. The first photo is my sample. I finally finished the satin stitched edge while demo'ing in class.

You can see the stitching that one of my students did here.

Here's another student finishing her satin-stitched edges after she did her colouring.

Here's a sample of the other design, three turquoise chairs on a colourful patio. It is not quite finished yet.

On day 4 I taught Improv Curves.

One of the pleasurable aspects of teaching at shows and conferences, is getting to meet and network with other teachers. I had a lovely dinner one night with, from left to right, Hollis Chatelain (North Carolina), Karen Henry (Nova Scotia), Gail Mitchell (New Brunswick). That's me on the right, not smiling because I was so focused on not blinking when the flash went off.

I have three more days to prepare for my three week teaching trip to the west coast. Truthfully, I've been thinking and planning for this trip for months. Boxes of fabric, kits, and patterns were shipped several weeks ago to keep the weight of my bags within airline limits when I fly. Now I'm working on getting everything I need into two 50 lb bags. This will be the longest teaching trip I've ever taken, but that is because I was smart enough to book a few days off between each group.  I'm looking forward to it. And if you are in the area, here is the publicity for my first lecture, with the Textile Arts Guild of Richmond.

From there I'll be heading to the Langley Quilters Guild for three days. I'll be spending Canada Day weekend in Vancouver, and from there I'll head up the coast and ferry to the Sunshine Coast, stopping for three days of workshops with the Sunshine Coast Quilters' Guild in Sechelt. Then I have a couple of days off before a lecture and two days of workshops for the Victoria Quilters' Guild. Stay tuned as I hope to post from the road. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Blog Post That Was Forgotten!

I was just about to blog about my trip to Quilt Canada, when I discovered this draft blog post that never got sent before I left! Please indulge me, it is a busy time of year. I returned home on Monday and have six days to prepare for my west coast Canada teaching trip.

I was going to generate excitement for my classes by showing the kits and fabric that were travelling to Quilt Canada for my classes. Here are the poppy and peony kits. Peony was the most popular kit. Could that have anything to do with peonies being in season?

I dyed a number of Textile Temptation packs before I left. Some went to Quilt Canada, but a lot also were shipped to groups in the Vancouver area (Richmond, Langley, Sechelt and Victoria), along with kits and other hand-dyes, for sale at my upcoming lectures and workshops.

Prior to leaving for Quilt Canada, I also got immersed in quilting my new samples for Improv Curves. Both of these works were inspired by a photo I took (which appears below the quilts) at Antelope Canyon in Arizona several years ago. The first was free-motion quilted with all-over texture.

The second was quilted with long flowing lines using a walking foot. Much more minimalist.

My photo of the light shining through the roof of the canyon.

Before I left for Quilt Canada, two of the three robin eggs hatched. The babies grew rapidly, with Mom spending very little time in the nest. Her days were spent gathering food for the young ones. While I was away they all grew up and left the nest. leaving behind one unhatched egg. 

I was inspired by raindrops left on our hosta leaves. I'm just an amateur photographer, playing with my Macro lens here. Hope you enjoy these images.

You may recall this sample I played with a number of months ago, trying to recreate water drops in fabric. I must get back to this one of these days!