Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fronds, Feathers, Flowers, Froth, Fun....Home from Asilomar

Another fabulous class at Empty Spools Seminars, at the beautiful Asilomar State Park near Monterey, California!  Above, my intrepid and amazing students, 25 in total, who worked with me for 5 days to accomplish more refined and beautiful machine quilting, all done on a home sewing machine.  My table is in the foreground and this "chairs up" session at the front of our huge classroom/building covered one of many techniques included in the class.

This particular group forged out on their own to counter the next building's group, who chanted all day long and were interfering with our own Zen and the sounds of our machines.  Original chants were devised and performed, highlighting lessons learned and teacher foibles, ha. 

With all the class work, the other activities, the evening sessions, time to eat and sleep, who knows when they had the time to do this, and practice, and perform so very well!  This will be my "chanting" class in my memories, the class where all I had to do was hold out my arms, and a chant would ensue. 

Yes, we had fun.

Yes, we learned about doing beautiful motifs and techniques on our home sewing machines.  Podflowers grew, feathers flowed, gingko stretched our brain power.

My trip home was smooth, my last day there I spent in a fantastic new room far away from the woods, up on a scenic outcropping with a full ocean view.  A wonderful way to unwind, pack for the trip home, and relax.

Class, I never found the gingko handouts with the diagram.  They were not on the kitchen counter after all.  I may have unpacked them in my first night's hotel and left them there.  Who knows what some housekeeper might be practicing in her off time, and what wonderful gingkos she is quilting.....!

Thanks to everyone for making my last class so wonderful.  I will always remember my times at Empty Spools, the fun and talented people, the scenery, the buildings and charm.  Special thanks to Diana, Suzanne, and Gayle for making it all possible and for taking such great care of me and everyone, and for all those over the years who were my classroom assistants/hostesses and made it all go smoothly.  

Special thanks to Roberta for all her assistance with the machines and who provided me with a wonderful smooth familiar Bernina 730 for my quilting demos, and for the lovely bag, which I shall show in a future post.

Oliver was ecstatic when I arrived home, and is still checking out my luggage and interesting crumbs and exotic scents in my things.  There were even a few pine needles.  I think he grew while I was away, but is now so content and happy that I am home and doing fun things like laundry. 

More on what we learned in a future post.

Meanwhile, keep quilting....your work gets better every day!



Kay Lynne said...

Looks like you had a great time and the students look eager to learn! Isn't it great to be surrounded by people that all have the same interest. Hope you're having a great weekend.

California Fiber artist and composer said...

I was lucky enough to be in this class. Diane is an incredible teacher. We had "chair time" several times a day, and then went back to our machines to practice, while Diane circulated the room and helped each of us individuall. Diane is able to adapt her teaching style and tips to accommodate every style from Cindy Needham who was doing incredible heirloom quilting on satin (she will be teaching at Empty Spools Seminars next year) to art quilters working on batiks. If you have an opportunity to take a class from Diane before she retires, or to read her books, I would thoroughly recommend it. Her tips and tricks really helped me to improve my quilting, and I went home re-invigorated to work on taking my domestic machine quilting to the next level. (What she didn't know was that many conscientious students went back to the classroom after dinner to keep practicing with a bit of socialisation!)

Diane Gaudynski said...

Kay Lynne, we did have a great time. There is something very special about so many of us who are interested in quilting, all in a room together, quilting!

And yes Susan I did have a hunch that many worked away into the night to achieve the results I saw in class. It was quite remarkable, and thanks for the nice comments too. I really appreciate them.

Joan said...

How wonderful that you share your talents, Diane. I check your blog every day and of course I'm disappointed when you haven't blogged in a while, so it's always good to read when you do blog. Thank you. Joan from Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

SewCalGal said...

I feel so fortunate to have been able to take your class at Asilomar. It was a stretch for me, even though I've been quilting for years, I just never thought I could do some beautiful FMQ work. You inspired me to try, I came, I learned, I enjoyed. I now have several FMQ designs that I'm very comfortable with and several new ones that I will practice and master.

Thank you Diane for all you have done to make our world of quilting so wonderful. And for all the insights you shared in your class, and fun humor you provided while encouraging everyone.

Our chants were from the heart, for the wonderful Miss Diane.


Diane Gaudynski said...

Joan, I do hope to continue my blog, and teaching via my blog. Thanks so much for your support.

SewCalGal - it was wonderful to meet the real you in class even though I didn't know who you were until almost the end! Thanks so much for your words, it was really great spending time with you in class. Your blog is amazing, you have so much energy and work so hard. Let the quilting be the way to relax and get away from it all. Ommmmmmmmm.......
Miss Diane

Linenqltr said...

It was truly a privilege to have been in your last session at Asilomar. I have admired your work for years and nearly worn out your first book! It was also great to be with so many other quilters for five days doing nothing but learning, quilting for hours and misbehaving just a little! Your inspirations will be a special part of my quilting forever. Thank you Diane!!! Ommmmmmmmmmmmmm....... Cindy Needham

Diane Gaudynski said...

Cindy, it was great having you with us in our special journey. What a fun group, as always, and the misbehaving part must have been after hours!

antique quilter said...

oh how I wish I could have been in this class, looks like a lot of fun and yes I would bring my Bernina ;)
what a beautiful place to stay, sounds so peaceful
glad you enjoyed yourself this trip as well and it was smooth trip home