In mid-November, I finished up my 2016 teaching schedule with a trip to Nevada to teach at Art Quilt Tahoe. I flew there directly from Houston where I had been attending the International Quilt Festival with my Specimens exhibit.

It was my first trip to Lake Tahoe and the scenery was stunning. I’m drawn to dramatic landscapes and the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background certainly are dramatic. Art Quilt Tahoe, organized by Judy Bernard, takes place at Zephyr Point, at a retreat center on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe. Sunsets over water are striking, and the one on the second night was gorgeous with the mountains in the distance.

Sunset over Lake Tahoe.

Two of my fellow teachers at this event were Sue Benner (one of my favorite walking partners) and the delightful Katie Pasquini Masopust. As I think I’ve said before, renewing and continuing my friendships with quilting colleagues is one of the things that makes the effort of travel worthwhile. Other teaching friendships renewed were with Jane Sassaman, David Taylor, and Velda Newman, plus I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time, Jane Dunnewold.

Three amigas: Sue Benner, me, and Katie Pasquini Masopust
Sunrise on our morning walk.
My Art Quilt Tahoe 2016 students.

I had 22 students in this class, more than usual. It seems to have all worked out okay in the end, at least if my students’ work is any indication (see side show below). They were excited, attentive, and seemed to have done their homework: reading the blog posts I had assigned them. I might have caught a couple of them reverting to using templates, but after I talked them down they saw the light. A unique aspect of Art Quilt Tahoe, is that some classes have an optional extra two days added to the normal 4-day workshop. Ten of my students continued for those extra two days and made even more progress. I look forward to the pictures of finished quilts they all promised to send.

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The classroom was bright and spacious with good light, ample space to spread out, big pinning boards (thank you, Judy!), and windows that overlooked the lake. Work space is important. It’s not critical that it be as nice as this one was, but it certainly adds to the overall creative ambiance.

My wonderfully messy classroom in full swing at Art Quilt Tahoe.

As always, I took my obligatory photographs of the area and my trip as a whole. I look for beauty everywhere and I usually find it. (And once I find it I want to preserve it, which means my iPhone is constantly on the verge of running out of memory—it drives Tom nuts.) I can’t help it. Of course, I didn’t have to look too hard to find beauty at Tahoe: lake, trees, mountains, rocks, leaves, pinecones, moss….

In the slideshow below I share a few of those (edited) photos for those of you who may like a little more of the Art Quilt Tahoe 2016 experience. Best thing? I get to repeat and enjoy again in November 2017! Maybe I can reduce my photo archives by a couple thousand by then. Waddaya think, Tom? (Doubtful. —Tom)

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    • Susan …I’ve been able to enjoy Zepher Point several times and twice in the last two years. I get so inspired from the beautiful scenery. The accommodations of the Hubbard Lodge are lovely which makes our stay enjoyable. I hope you were introduced to Hubbard Kitty. He seems to own the place. I’ll see you in March at Asilomar and we can share our Tahoe experiences.

  • Whoo-hoo! Thank you for the glorious time-lapse photography on the participants’ work! That was completely inspiring and actually gave me shivers of delight a couple times! The participants must have been so filled with delight and achievement, what a fabulous workshop in a beautiful setting.

  • Susan, I’m so glad you had the opportunity to enjoy the magical beauty and serenity that we Westerners get to experience who live near Lake Tahoe. Too bad you missed the last couple of winter storms that we received … There are few sights that can compete with the snow covered Sierra Nevada mountain range ringing the azure blue waters of Lake Tahoe, with the robins egg sky above. I live outside of Carson City Nevada, and I get up to the lake At least 2x a month, & even MY iPhone is maxed out with photos (my hubby bought me a portable thumb drive to download to, yet still have my pics handy).

    OK enough sounding like a tourist brochure … 😄 The real meat of my comment is this; I would absolutely love to take a class with you at next years ArtTahoe retreat. However I have to admit I am intimidated by yours and your students talents! While I have been quilting for at least 20 years (I lean towards scrap quilts the most), in the realm of art quilting I have never even put a toe in the water. Is this quilting retreat something that a novice art quilter could attend, or is there other classes that I should probably pursue first?

    • Please do take the class. My classes are geared toward beginning and even non-quilters. The quilts you see on my blog in the “On the Road” teaching series of posts are mostly from people who are traditional quilters looking to expand into the art quilt world. You won’t be alone if you take the class.

      • I really appreciate your reply & your encouragement! I’ve ordered your book & can’t wait to read it & possibly try a small project during the time off I have from work after Xmas. I will definitely be there next year! Thank you so much!

  • @Kim : i am most definitely a novice. I fell into art quilting without ANY PREVIOUS QUILTING experience. Susan’s class was fantastic for me. Very inspiring – but i encourage you to go to the Art Quilt Tahoe website right away or her class will be sold out.

    • Pavana, you sold me! 😄 However, I can’t seem to access their registration page, nor can I get through their contact page, either. Ill try again tomorrow morning, & if that still doesn’t work, I guess I’ll have to break down & actually telephone them. 😆

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