Saturday, June 2, 2012

Empty Spools at Asilomar, California

My experience as Artist in Residence at the Empty Spools seminar at Asilomar, California utterly surpassed my expectations--it was a sublime week.  I was inspired by the beautiful environment, my fellow quilters, the great faculty of teachers, the flawless organization of the conference....and the chance to share my work was really fulfilling.
If you ever have the chance to attend Empty Spools, do it!

It was a beautiful morning when my friend KT dropped me off.

I love that girl...

Then it was time to hang my show and set up my Artist in Residence "station".  Each session of Empty Spools features an A.in.R.--he or she shows her quilts, gives the opening night presentation, and then works away where people can come by and view the process, ask questions, and in my case, give very helpful suggestions too!

All set up for the evening presentation.  That group of people up front is Gwen Marston and her students; their class was conducted up in Merrill Hall where I was and I loved hearing all the laughter coming from them throughout the week, in their "Liberated Quiltmaking" class.

You will notice that the architecture of the hall is spectacular, as is the whole conference center.

It was designed by the famous Bay Area architect, Julia Morgan.  She also designed Hearst Castle.
Asilomar is a classic example of the Crafstman style.

I would start my day by the fireplace in the Social Hall...

 ....then walk along the beach before breakfast....

...this is where we ate every meal....

....then I would ascend the steps up to Merrill Hall where I went to work.  It was all so beautiful!

My presentation Sunday night was fun to give and my audience seemed interested...I could tell because they came up to examine the quilts afterward!

 What quilter doesn't love having others really look at her work?  It was pretty neat.

I set up and began work on the Moon Over Hood project, using all Japanese fabrics, in homage to the lovely imagery of Mt. Fuji found in all the Japanese arts.

 After assembling the central image, I pieced a whole cloth surrounding border from kimono silks.

There was a lot of traffic by my table, as the Cotton Patch had their store set up right across from me.  It was very convenient for students and they do this for every session of Empty Spools.

Everyone loves the Cotton Patch ladies...

Also right across from me were Gayle and Suzanne, the owners and administrators of Empty Spools.

I quickly grew to respect them immensely and developed great affection for them too.

I made some new friends, which is one of the best parts of attending quilt gatherings.

Here I am out for dinner "off campus" with Susan Carlson and Gwen Marston, two very, very fine teachers and quilt artists.
Joyce Becker and Anna VanDemark, two more astounding teachers, were at that dinner too...

Joyce is in blue, Anna on the right.  We were looking for the phone number for our ride back to Asilomar!

I think the teachers at Empty Spools really enjoy exchanging ideas.  Anna and Susan here were deeply into it...

I'm sorry I can't give an overview of all the great classwork that was done by the over 200 attendees last week, but I stayed close to my table and worked!

This is how far I got...  Using Karen Miller's indigo, and the antique cotton shibori, ikat, and other Japanese fabrics in the outer border, along with the lovely kimono silks in the inner one...it was just uplifting to work with these fabrics, products as they are of such a deep tradition.

Thanks to everyone who was so gracious to me last week...






10 comments :

Debra Spincic said...

Sounds like a great week!

Judy S. said...

Sounds like a fun and productive week. I love the way your project is coming along.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe said...

Beautiful Allie! I love your piece! I just learned about Empty Spools yesterday from Anita Grossman Solomon, and I would love ot go there one day, as I do have a friend who lives in Pacific grove... (She's obviously not a quilter or I would have known about this sooner! LOL!) Looks like an amazing place

Susan Elliott said...

Wonderful for YOU and for them!!

Anna said...

You've related the magic that a week at Asilomar holds in this beautiful post! It was so nice to finally meet you:)

Unknown said...

Is it not amazing there?!!!!!

I am so happy for you that you got to go there. I think it is one of the most amazing places I have been. I wish I could have gone!

Kerri said...

That message was from me. Don't know why it didn't say me!

Kerri Murphy

cq4fun said...

What a wonderful report with pictures. I love the work you did as you sat in Merrill Hall, too. It's a beautiful piece already.

Suzanne Kistler said...

Love your post. Empty Spools is so inspiring! I just wish I could have been part of it this year.

And love your new piece. You are quite the inspiration! Thank you!

Barbara C said...

What a wonderful opportunity, it looks like a very stimulating environment. I love the cranes flying in the border of your quilt.