ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Little Vacation

I spent last week on a vacation with my sister. We decided to go to Newfoundland. Newfoundland is Canada's most easternly province, and is actually an island. The official name of the province is "Newfoundland and Labrador". We flew into the capital, St. John's and spent a couple of days there. Here we are having a bad hair day :-).  Newfoundland can be a very windy, and sometimes damp, province.

We drove around the city the first day and viewed some of the jellybean row houses that St. John's is famous for. 

Met a Newfoundland cat as well. Like the people, he was friendly. Newfoundlanders are some of the friendliest, warmest, and most helpful people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. This was my third trip to Newfoundland.

We drove up to Signal Hill, where you have a great view of the St. John's Harbour and behind it the city. 

There's also a view of Cape Spear, the most easterly point in Canada.

Signal Hill was the site of St. John's harbour defenses between the 17th century and WW2.

It is also famous because Guglielmo Marconi received the world's first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901.

We really lucked out on weather. We arrived at the cottage we had booked for four nights to find this view. The cottage was in a very tiny town named Burnt Harbour, about 50-60 minutes south of St. John's on the South Shore. I was torn between going out touring each day and staying home to enjoy the view. The colours changed every day. In fact, they also changed every hour throughout the day. From very blue,

to completely grey,

to something in between.

Apparently this summer has seen the best whale season in 34 years, and that was evident! We could often see whales, or pods of whales, cavorting out in the cove. One night we even heard one breathing near our cottage.

We spent some time exploring nearby Tors Cove. Loved this artful little scene, with the ropes drawing your eye into the composition of boats.

We visited the Five Island Art Gallery, which contained a great selection of all kinds of local art.

We spent some time in Petty Harbour, a real fishing village, photographing boats, crab traps, and reflections.


We ate cod (lots and lots of cod!), lobster and scallops. It was a really restful vacation. I am back home and when I finish dealing with 50 lbs of tomatoes, I'll be cleaning up my studio and getting to work. However, I do have a vacation with my husband coming up in September.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Art Quilt at Haliburton School of Art & Design

Last week I spent teaching "The Art Quilt" at the Haliburton School of Art and Design. As in previous years, I had the pleasure of experiencing many deer sightings. Most of them were near the instructor cabins, or on the road to the instructor cabins.

In this class we talk about creativity, I give a presentation about Composition and Design, and students are given two different design exercises. The first exercise involves Seat of the Pants Construction, while the second involves designing with a plan (creating your own pattern). I encourage students to work small so they won't be so precious about their work and willing be willing to take risks. But before we do the design exercises, we spend a day dyeing fabric.

Here are Gail and Virginia mixing up dyes in the dye box we are required to use. The dye box completely contains any stray airborne dye particles. It might seem awkward at first, but once a system is worked out, things go pretty smoothly. On the bright side, it means not needing to sweat behind a particulate respirator.

It is always exciting to see the fabric after it is washed out.

Carol and Janice look pretty happy with the results.

All of the "Seat of the Pants" exercises were posted to our design wall and we discussed them as a group.

Really love that green squiggly line along Janice's composition.

Here are results from the Planned Design (creating your own pattern).








After many years of this class filling (sometimes with a waiting list) I had only seven students this year. It was a small and intimate group. However, I will be retiring the class for a few years and teaching a different topic next year.

It seems that more and more I am relying on the camera in my smart phone when I travel. However, I did have my DSLR camera in my car, knowing there would be opportunities to photograph deer. Having a zoom lens sure helps. Here's one of those photos.

I have no teaching now until the end of October. The time between now and then will be spent in the studio, taking vacation (which includes some pleasure travel), and probably dyeing more kits. I can hardly believe that we are so far along in the summer season, but it went by very quickly during my many weeks of travel.