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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Asilomar is only 17 days away!

Well, the multiple personality quilter is back at my doorstep! I've finished up my samples of the connecting block, star and houses for my small friendship group exchange for this year, and I've put them away for a while.

I've decided that maybe it's time to get my fabrics all ready for my trip to Empty Spools Seminar at Asilomar in March. I absolutely love going to this week long retreat! It's is in Pacific Grove, CA, and it's so very relaxing!

They provide 3 meals a day plus snacks, and a quilt shop comes for the week, right on site - the Cotton Patch. There's a program every night along with show and share. A shuttle bus that runs every afternoon to the two quilt stores downtown: The Handmaiden and Back Porch. What more could a person ask?

Well, for a kid from Kansas, the ocean is just icing on the cake, too! I always sleep with the windows open so I can hear the surf all night long!

This is my friend Wendy (from Martinez, CA) standing behind me in 2002 just before the surf got us!

A blurb from the Asilomar web-site tells a bit more:

"Nestled along the shoreline of California's famed Monterey Peninsula, Asilomar is a tranquil ocean front retreat cradled by forests and white sand beaches. Designed by acclaimed architect Julia Morgan and embracing the Arts & Crafts architectural style, Asilomar harmonizes with its natural surroundings and has played host to thousands of visitors since its founding in 1913. Rich with history, scenic beauty and serenity, Asilomar is the ideal location for group meetings, corporate retreats, weddings, family reunions and vacation getaways."

There's a short video that shares more of the sights on the grounds of the retreat.

This will be the sixth year I get to go, but if their prices get much higher, I don't know if I can do it again or not. I am in the second session this year with our favorite Gwen Marston for liberated strip quilts. Can you imagine? An entire week with one instructor! To date, it's the only quilting retreat that I have found that keeps you in one class with one instructor, and you can really soak up the flavors of the technique or process.

So far, I've been with Judy Dale (absolutely fabulous!), Lynn Kough, Jane Burch Cochran (stunningly fun and liberating!), Mary Lou Weidman, Sue Benner, and Lura Schwarz Smith (wonderful magic!). (I know this is already 6 instructors, but I got to go TWICE in one year!)

This is a picture of Judy Dale (left) and I the year after I took her class on designing and sewing curves and points. This is my original design called "Joy" that is hand quilted. I thought she would like to see a finished project!

So back to the class: The supply list says to bring 20 or more fat quarters. Most people will probably bring 1800's or 1930's reproductions. When I talked to her on the telephone (YES! She called ME!), she said to bring a border fabric that I absolutely love. So here is my selection of fabrics to take.

Not reproductions, are they? LOL! I always seem to be the kid that walks to a different beat. The bright red fabric with the yellow/turquoise and pink flowers is my border fabric. I've been saving it for something special, and I think this just might be it! I've pulled hand dyes to go with, and a few bright batiks from my scrap basket. Now, not a single one of them is a quarter cut. Most are fat quarters, and some are fat eighths. I haven't counted how many of them there are, but I'm sure I will be cutting a lot more than other people in the class!

Here's the final selection, all boxed up. Of course, there's still 17 days to go before I leave, so who knows how many other pieces might get slipped in there! The year I went for Mary Lou Weidman's class, I took 250 fat quarters. How many did I use? Only 4 of the ones I took! LOL!


Sandra said...

wow! 250 fat quarters to a class - you must have needed a wheelbarrow LOL. Very funny :-) I have a friend who is the same - she always comes to retreat with yards and yards of fabric and then goes out to the shop to buy some more on the day LOL.

Darcie said...

Your upcoming retreat sounds like a bit of heaven. This ND girl would love to listen to and smell the surf! Take some in for me, will you?

You fabs look awesome! I can't wait to see what you do with them.

Laura said...

Sounds like it will be wonderful! I have attended the Quilt Design Symposium in Ohio that you are with one teacher all week long. It was great! Your fabrics are looking good, lucky you taking a week long class with Gwen.

Finn said...

It sounds absolutely wonderful Sharon..*VBS* I wish all of us mavericks were coming with you..*G*

You know FQs don't take up much could you have too many..*VBG* And the ones you are taking look great to me..! Enjoy..those 17 days will just fly by,...honest! And then you'll be hitting the sand and surf..! YAH!!

Patti said...

I am so jealous! I want to go to Asilomar one of these days!

Your story reminded me of the one and only time I got to go to Houston. I was taking a Scrap Quilts class from Darra Duffy Williamson. I had her book on scrap quilts - which I loved - so I couldn't wait. The supply list said to bring scraps. I just couldn't figure out what to bring! So I cut an 8" piece of every fabric in my stash. My tote was SO heavy! And I think I used a total of 4 of the pieces in the class LOL!

Tonya R said...

What a delicious selection of fabrics. Love the border fabric. You need all those fabrics, darn it. Wish I could go with you. Enjoy the class with Gwen and enjoy California and the quilt shops.

Kay said...

I'm jealous. This sounds absolutely wonderful, and what great people you have taken classes with. Mary Lou Weidman is a favorite of mine.

My husband went to a meeting at Asilomar a few years ago and raved about the place, and he didn't even get to quilt!

cher said...

oh..lucky you! it sounds just too much fun and what an ideal location and set up...guess I will just have to save up for this quilty vacation one day! Can't wait to see what you bring back-and I love your fabric selections!

Holly said...

Asilomar sounds like heaven. I can't imagine anything more fun than a quilt shop on site plus shuttle buses to 2 more each day and three meals plus snacks. I sleep with the door open to hear the surf, too. I like the fabrics you're taking along with you. Have a great time.