Sunday, April 6, 2008

Empty Spools Seminar - 2008

It was a week in Paradise, or more specifically, Quilter's Heaven. the As a teaching experience, the Empty Spools Seminars, held at the Asilomar Conference Center on the spectacular Monterrey Peninsula in California, cannot be topped. My students and I worked together for five consecutive days. This gave me time to present new information in a way that could be more easily absorbed and retained, rather than trying to cram as much teaching as possible into one six-hour class. Students were able to take the time to develop their designs, as well as time to stitch. As the projects progressed, we were able to trouble-shoot technical stitching problems relative to individual designs, and everyone learned from this experience.

Plus, I got to meet and get to know eleven new quilting friends. We often dined together, and sometimes I even went back to the classroom after dinner to chat with them while they sewed. It was an incredible experience, and the three women, Diana McClun, Gayle Wells, and Suzanne Cox, that run these seminars are organized, take care of every detail, and are remarkably gracious. I can't even think of a better teaching venue. As a student, the ability to study with one teacher for five days must create a wonderful, interactive learning medium, one in which the teacher actually has enough time to give individual attention to each student.

The above photos show the view from the beach, a curvaceous strand of kelp washed up on the beach, my classroom, and two student projects, "Olivia Octopus" by Marsha Cardwell, and a sunset in progress by Mary McLaughlin.

Check out the Empty Spools website! The 2009 teachers will be posted on May 21, 2008.