Empty Spools, Asilomar, 2018

19 04 2018

One of the Empty Spools quilt retreat weeks locked in nicely with my conference in the US, so I booked in for Cindy Needham’s class on free-motion quilting, her style (see https://www.cindyneedham.com/).

And what a class it was! Cindy is a delightful teacher, extremely willing to share her knowledge and her magnificent body of work, and it was just a fantastic week with a lovely group of 15 woman from all over the US and Canada, and with me as a ring-in from Australia. We laughed, we shared stories, we helped each other, and we had fun. I even taught them how to eat Vegemite!

Each day started with Cindy talking about a particular aspect of quilting (we started with some basics of needles, threads, tension, batting, etc. and by the end of the 5 days, she was talking about quilting vintage linens, whole cloth quilts, and how she blocks a quilt; along the way we learned how to use stencils and design grids, and how to design the quilting on a quilt, using examples the students brought along). The afternoons were our own to either work on our own projects, or to put into practice some of the techniques she talked about. This was purely a techniques class, not a project class, and it was our sandbox to play in, make mistakes, learn, and enjoy each others company.

Cindy is an early riser, so she had the classroom open by 6 am each day (class officially started at 9, but we could get help from Cindy beforehand), and some of the women worked into the night as well. I was very grateful for the early start — first, I had jet lag the first few days, so it was better to be working than twiddling my thumbs in my room waiting for 9 am, and second I’m an early riser too, so being able to get in an extra hour or two of practice time each day was just wonderful. And we were in the BEST classroom at Asilomar — the Surf and Sand room, which has floor to ceiling windows on three sides and just has the most wonderful light.

Enough talk — let’s get on to the work I created over the 5 days. Remember, these are practice pieces and will likely never see the light of day.


Update January 2020: This doily is now finished: https://rhondabracey.com/2020/01/27/finishing-a-vintage-doily-art-quilt/

Some other photos from the week:



3 responses

19 04 2018

Your practice pieces are stunning

6 08 2018
What a difference a frame makes | Rhonda Bracey: At Random

[…] in April, I attended a 5-day ‘Empty Spools’ workshop with Cindy Needham, at Asilomar, Pacific Grove, California. She’d asked us to bring along a large-print fabric, and she also provided us with plenty to […]

27 01 2020
Finishing a vintage doily art quilt | Rhonda Bracey: At Random

[…] in April 2018, I attended Empty Spools at Asilomar (Pacific Grove, California), and was part of the 5-day class run by Cindy Needham. One of the small pieces I worked on in that class was a vintage doily on a soft taupe background. […]

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