ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Sunday, November 11, 2018

My Great Big Maritime Adventure

A few days ago I returned from my marathon 15 day trip to the Maritimes. After 15 days, driving more than 3,600 km across five provinces, sleeping in 11 different beds over 15 days, teaching for four groups, and eating countless lobster sandwiches, I am happy to be home. Winter is coming and hibernation has its lure.

On my first day I stopped off in one of my favorite cities in Canada, Quebec City. I had never visited on a late October day. I didn't have much time, but managed a walk around the old town, Chateau Frontenac and the Petit Champlain district (one of the oldest neighbourhoods in North America). It was all decked out for autumn and Halloween.

Painted mural across from my hotel.

I cashed in my Best Western, Aeroplan, and AirMiles points so that I could make the drive a bit more leisurely. The idea was to never have to drive more than six hours in a day. Well it took more like 8 hours to get to my next destination, Fredericton, New Brunswick, thanks to an early snow storm that dropped 10-15 cm of snow. The roads were very treacherous. I was also careful on this trip to get some down time between each booking.

My third night was spent in Antigonish, Nova Scotia so that I would only be an hour away from my first teaching destination at the Northumberland Quilters Retreat, held at Liscombe Lodge, Liscombe, Nova Scotia. Oh my goodness, just look at the view outside my bedroom!

My two-day Collage Tree workshop started after lunch on Friday, and finished after lunch on Sunday. After our Friday lunch, I found this view from my classroom. The sun had emerged!

We worked and ate, and ate and worked. At the end of the retreat, many of my students had finished their tree trunks. They now only need to thread paint them, prepare their background, machine quilt, and add the tree to the background. What a warm and welcoming group!

A couple of days later Claudia Fortune sent me this image of her finished piece. You know what? I like it better than my own piece! Didn't she do a fantastic job?

About a week later, Virginia Caul-Gallant sent a photo of her finished work. I think I like this one better than mine too!
I dyed a number of kits for students to choose from, but many also used their own fabric. For many years I've taught this class with students bringing their own fabric. The first time I offered kits was at my class in Spain this past March. I am finding more and more demand for kits.

When the retreat finished, I headed toward Halifax. The next day I visited Peggy's Cove. I've visited this beautiful site a few times, but I have never visited on a more beautiful day! It was warm, and I didn't even need a coat. It was sunny, and perhaps most amazing of all was that there were relatively few tourists. Such a beautiful and peaceful site!

I had a few days off before I needed to teach my next class in Prince Edward Island. My friend, Canadian Quilt Artist, Laurie Swim, invited me to stay at her house for a couple of nights. Here I am in front of my favorite quilt of Laurie's, "At The End of The Day". We had lots of chat time, I had lots of rest time. It was great to visit someone who understands that after teaching for two days that one might just sometimes want to be alone for quiet time. We also had a lunch one day with Valerie Hearder and Rose Lesage.

Before I left I had a private viewing of Laurie's Gallery in Lunenburg. At this time of year it is not open every day.

Laurie's public art project, "Hope and Survival", commemorating the Halifax Explosion, was home and on display during my visit.

Here is some of the close-up imagery in the quilt

and names of those who died in the explosion. You can read more about this quilt at this link.

This is Laurie's latest work, "Down to the Seas".

Next I headed to Summerside, Prince Edward Island, where I taught an In Full Bloom class to a group comprised of members of both the Northern Lights and Green Shores Quilters' Guilds. I was hosted by Libby Colwille, third from the left in the back room. Thank you for your hospitality Libby!

It rained a lot while I was on Prince Edward Island, and it was interesting to see it after all the tourists have gone home.

Next I headed to Port Elgin, New Brunswick, where I taught another Collage Tree class for the Spruce it Up Quilt Shop, owned by Lorette Bellefleur-Cole. This is Lorette in her lovely store in a country house.

Our workshop took place in the upstairs room of Bistro Le Chat Bleu restaurant in Baie Verte (fantastic food!). Just look at the view from our classroom. Yes it rained all day.

But the rain slowed down long enough to head out on the back deck for a class photo. A big thank you to everyone who helped me take my bins up and down the stairs. Those carts on wheels are great, until you get to a place with stairs. You have no idea how much your help is appreciated.

From there I headed across the province to Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, where I taugh another In Full Bloom class. I got so engrossed, or maybe I was tired, and I completely forgot to take photos at the class. A big thank you to the amazing Pat O'Brien who hosted me, and appears to have slaved over an oven all day before my arrival to put on a fantastic evening meal. Thanks to the Gorge Quilt Guild for your warm hospitality. I managed to snap a photo of the bridge across the Saint John River, that runs through this charming village.

I did the drive home across two days, stopping at Riviere-du-Loup the last night before heading home.

I made it!! Just a couple of lectures and one workshop to go in 2018 before I begin my hibernation to work on my commission and prepare for Quilt Canada 2019.