I just came home from a great week at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California, on the Monterey Peninsula. It is located in a state park, and the grounds are just beautiful. Lots of acres of walks, as well as a beach to walk on and explore tidepools. Deer, squirrels, and raccoons were abundant.
This was my third year going to Empty Spools Quilt Seminars. It is such a great experience for a quilter. I arrived on Sunday, had a short class that afternoon (and actually sewed an incredible sample during that time!). For the next four days, we had class from 9:00-noon, and again from 1:00-4:00. All meals were served in the dining hall, and we had private or double rooms. Empty Spools gets some awesome, world-famous teachers to teach at their seminars. I chose to take a class from Dale Fleming this year, so my entire week was spent in her classroom. She is an awesome person, a fabulous quilter, and a great teacher. It was a most enjoyable week for me.
Dale specializes in curved seam piecing. On that first afternoon of class introduction, we all sewed a circle into a square of fabric! It was amazing! And we used no pins. Dale's method uses freezer paper patterns and glue to stabilize it until it's sewn. It's such a great technique.
One thing that Dale does is to sew leaf shapes into squares. I thought they were just beautiful, so that is what I chose to work on. Below is one of the leaves I made. It's really awesome to be able to set this leaf into the fabric, and to add the stem down the middle of it. All sewn, no applique or fusing.
Below is another leaf in this sneak preview of my project. I am so pleased with them. My project involves five squares with various-sized leaves. I was able to complete four of my five leaf blocks at Asilomar.
The first two years, I went to Asilomar alone. Which is ok, because I made tons of friends, and never felt alone or left out. This time, however, I went with my good friend, Barbara, and it was really enjoyable to have a friend there. One of the benefits was that Barbara forced me to walk for 30 minutes every morning after breakfast and before class! I really appreciated those morning walks.
Below is the boardwalk that led out to the beautiful beach. I could hear the surf all the way to my room.