Monday, July 25, 2011

Why I Enjoy Workshops

Sarah is studying her sketchbook.

I returned Saturday from a week teaching at Quilting By the Lake on the campus of Onondaugh Community College in Syracuse New York. As I reflect over the week I jotted down a few notes about my experience.

Penny is exploring how to create texture.

I attended QBL two years ago as a student and had a great time. I enjoy the workshop format and I love being a student. It is an opportunity to pack a lot of exposure to new information and new people into a short amount of time. I also have enjoyed being in the position of instructor and I have spent a huge amount of time during the past two years in preparation for my teaching assignments this year. My preparation took the form of reading, writing, experimenting and more writing and rewriting. This supports my idea that teachers often learn more than the students because you can never share all that you prepare.

Suzanne works on her black and white shape study.

Carol is now ready to sew.

Being in New York state is always fun. I feel a special affinity for NYC as well as the Auburn/Syracuse area. My husband and I lived in NYC when we were first married and our son was born there. Since becoming involved in the "quilt world" I have made many friends who live in NY state and it's always fun to touch base with them. There is much interest in that area in quilts and fiber in general.

Mary is just starting on the work utilizing interpretation as a source.

I have always been impressed with the women I meet at these workshops. Smart, educated, accomplished and talented. The members of my class were all of this and there was a wonderful age range of 40ish to 80ish. Both the youngest and most senior were delightful and fun.

Julia is exploring line in black and white.

Debbie is just finishing up this colorful study in line.

While I revisited old friends I also met friends face to face for the first time. These are people I have interacted with online. I am always struck by the doors that the world wide web has opened.

Melanie is pictured working on a piece which investigates
slicing through many layers of fabric.

I also had the opportunity of meeting internationally know faculty and seeing a beautiful exhibition by Jane Dunnewold. I won't try to describe the work from her Sacred Planet series but it was excellent and I can't wait to see where she goes next.

Carol constructed a grid to help her in the placement of elements in a new composition.

There were lectures, vendors, a participant exhibition, show and tell, and an apron auction to raise money for scholarship! My apron sold for $200.00! I was very pleased.

Stephanie is pictured adding some final touches to her composition.

This was the second time I had taught: Ask: What If? so I was able to refine the program and will refine it even more. I came home with several ideas for new classes.

Pat working on some design concepts.

I thought this week in NY would give me a break from the heat but things didn't work out that way. They too have been having a heat wave and one day it was 100 degrees which was only 1 degree less than the all-time hight of 101. Heat is heat and I was happy for the AC.

Linda at the design wall.

I'd also like to give a little nod to the staff of OCC and to Donna Lamb, Executive Director of the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center and her staff. The facilities were beautiful and well cared for. The campus is a little jewel and very pleasant. Donna and her staff are great organizers and I appreciate all the work they invest to make this event one that has lasted for 31 years!!!


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  1. Thanks for the views into your workshop thoughts, Terry. I enjoyed seeing all the people so deeply involved in their creations. and nice too to have you back home.

  2. Thank you Tom. I had a great week but it's always good to be home.

  3. great student photos! I haven't been up there for at least 7-8 years so I am glad to hear they have good a/c - as well as continuing to have a motivated bunch of serious students! I am sure your 2nd "what if" was a hit!

  4. Ohhh I love how you took pictures of your class working - what a treat! Its nice to hear the thoughts of a teacher after a class too!

  5. Thank you! It was great to meet you and have an opportunity to visit. My class was great fun!