September has been a month of travel for me and also a month of firsts. Artistic Alchemy held their fifth annual retreat at Zephyr Point at Lake Tahoe and it was my first year as one of the teachers. I then traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to record three segments for Quilting Arts TV with Susan Brubaker Knapp. As a long time subscriber to the Quilting Arts magazine it was amazing to be hanging out with the staff and other quilt artists.
The Artistic Alchemy Retreat started on Labor Day. As all the traffic was heading home from Lake Tahoe we were driving east which was perfect. About 40 students attended the four classes, and the open studio option, spread fairly equally between the four teachers. Sandra Bruce had very eager students learning her Material Matrix technique, Mary Boalt inspired us all with the wonderful painted and stamped canvases her students made and Heidi Emmett encouraged her ladies to make numerous wearables in the upcycling part of the workshop. I was teaching Fabric Collage Addiction and my students created a varied collection of collages from patterns they made from their own photographs they brought to class.
Having three and a half days was the perfect amount of time to work on one project continuously. I did a couple of demos each day, shared a selection of my work, answered many questions and encouraged students to try free motion quilting. After dinner every evening students gathered to hear the teachers spotlight whilst sharing of some of their work, student show and tell and raffle prizes. Luckily this year I was able to collect some giveaways from various individuals and companies that generously donated fabric etc for us to share.
I want to thank…. Windham Fabrics, Marcia Derse, Uppercase magazine, Moda fabrics, Turtle Hand Batiks, The Warm Company, Terial Magic, Dharma Trading, Nancy’s Notions for generously sending gifts for our lucky attendees.
One of my favorite parts of this retreat was the location and the perfect weather. Early in the morning I would take a stroll to the dock to enjoy the lake and give myself a chance to wake up. Then a walk before dinner was a good opportunity to get some fresh air and stretch my legs after a day in class. The fact that all your meals were provided, food was good, plentiful and varied and you did not have to worry about washing up, was a great boost.
My workshop this year was Fabric Collage Addiction and I just want to share some of the work of my eight students. At the retreat we can have up to 12 students, so these small class numbers allow for plenty of one-on-one time.
We arrived at the studio on Tuesday to get the lay of the land and meet the quilt artists recording that day. I took the opportunity to work with Jeanine from Bernina and set up the sewing machine for my 3 segments the following day. I was first on the line-up and so organized my first project, making upcycled tote bags from food wrappers, in the studio.
Working with Susan Brubaker Knapp was like a dream come true and I surprised myself by not feeling nervous when recording began. I think figuring out the timing was the hardest thing but plenty of practicing at home helped me out there. I was pleasantly surprised when the segment filming wound up and I had covered everything I intended to.
After my first taping I had a short break while Enid Gjelten Weichselbaum recorded her two segments, then I was back on. My second project was making travel journal quilts and finally fabric collage pet portraits. Having plenty of samples to talk about helped fill the time after I demonstrated my collage and did some free motion quilting. Finally it was lunchtime and I was able to relax. I throughly enjoyed my time and experience at QATV. What an amazing oppurtunity.