It’s 9 am and I’m sitting in Syrcuse Airport waiting to board a 12 o’clock flight, the first of two flights to get me back home to my family. It has been a long three weeks traveling but I would not have missed it for the world.
This past week has been wonderful and I feel as if my creativity got a kick-start, a big nudge from a very genourous intructor, Bill Kerr of FUN QUILTS. He and his wife, Weeks Ringle, usually teach classes together but my classmates and I got a rare chance to work just with Bill at the Quilting by the Lake Conference. The staff of QBL and the staff at Morrisville College (part of the SUNY University system) were fantastic at making each participant feel right at home.
QBL started 26 years ago and there are actual participants who have attended all 26 years, if you can belive that! One of the longtimers was Sally Davis, a former quilt shop owner and friend from my NJ days, with whom I had the chance to renew a friendship when we bumped into each other on the grounds of the campus. It really was like old home week for me because a few of the members of the the fantastic guild I belonged to in NJ were there as well and it was good seeing them as well.
Bill’s class, “Idea to Quilt” really helped me see that the process to a finished piece does not have to be full of details. His suggestion to distillate an idea to it’s barest essentials was so key for me. I realized I didn’t have to put the whole cow in the cereal just to get a bit of milk. One of his tools I think I will use from now on…maybe not for every quilt… is to create a maquette. Having never heard the term before I was intrigued. A maquette is a small version (say 8 x 10) of an idea that might just be a colour study or a function study to see if what I envision will work. I came away with all sorts of ideas and different techniques, not to mention a whole lot of valuable information, resources and germinations of ideas for the next few quilts.
I cannot finish without mentioning my quad mates. We we housed in one of the dorms on campus that had four bedrooms, a kitchen and a sitting room or common area as it is referred to. Me and my friend DeLane, who I convinced to come on the trip with me, made two new friends, Sandy and Eva from Toronto, Canada. The evening activities were over by 8/8:30 so we were were usually back in our rooms soon after that. I can’t tell you the amount of nights we just stayed up talking and laughing with them. They are a hoot and I miss them already. We promised to try and bunk up together again if we attend QBL at the same time but in the meantime we will definitely keep in touch. Here are the four quad sisters themselves: Sandy, Eva, DeLane, me.
I am exhausted from traveling and I haven’t even begun this leg of the journey yet. I have some good memories and made some new life-long friends (especially all my classmates) and will definitely be back at QBL again…maybe not next year but certainly the following year. QBL is an experience you shouldn’t miss, think about coming with me next time. It has been a fantstic, fun, brain swamped week and I am eager to get back into my studio and play.