While chronicling the step-by-step process of creating my quilt “Kissin’ Cousins” in four consecutive blog posts in September, I was also busy teaching. And now it’s time to share those classes and the work created by my students. Last week I talked about the California classes and this week I’ll return to Maine.

My Harpswell retreat at the end of September was held as usual at the iconic Harpswell Inn. Students were greeted with some unseasonably warm weather, allowing them to go so far as to dip their toes in the equally unusually warm (often frigid) Casco Bay waters. The weather turned more autumnal by the end of the week, but what a treat it was while it lasted.

The intimate classroom of the Harpswell Inn, small but workable for my twelve students. Would you believe I once put twenty students in this room?
Knee deep. Cooling off before the weather did it for us. Lookout Point is the destination for our after-lunch ramble down the hill from the Inn.
Back row: Bonnie Bizzaro, Dana Haldeman, Brigitte Schoen, Jory Agate. Middle row: Darlene Determan, Ann Gonzalez, Sharon DeGarimore, Susan Carlson,. Front row: Margie Sorenson, Karla Kakaria, Sarah Jordan, Carla Henry, and Marilyn Axsom.

These gals were lovely to have at the retreat. One of the benefits that I won’t be able to recreate in an online version of my class is the laughter and friendships that we all enjoyed. It was fun getting to know them a little better on our night out for dinner at Morse’s Cribstone Grill (below).

In class the students put me through my paces with a variety of subject matter. Fabric collage as a technique is flexible. You can use it to create almost anything you can dream up. And that’s a challenge sometimes. I have had students ask me, “How do I make a tractor?” or “What do a quail’s feathers look like?” and I have to say, “I don’t know, let’s figure it out.” Check out what my students were up to in the slide show below.

September 2017 Harpswell Maine Quilt Retreat Student Work

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Another traditional evening out for this Harpswell retreat is a visit to my studio, where students get to see my quilts in their natural habitat. They also get to sample my husband Tom’s world famous blueberry pie. Kali and Felix pups usually make an appearance as well to bum for the crusts.

I think four or five days is the right length for my classes. (Anyway it feels right to me!) It’s long enough to spread out the major aspects of fabric collage and to get far enough along where I feel my students can proceed on their own. Usually, after four or five days, most students feel like they’ve put in a good week’s work and are ready for a break. Some are packing up by mid-afternoon on the last day. This particular group, however, stayed right up to the last minute. When Tom arrived to help pack up my own materials, there they were, still absorbed in their work. Staying at the Inn allowed several of them to work right into that last evening before packing to leave the next day. Always bittersweet to see this special time end.

September 2017 Harpswell Maine Quilt Retreat Classroom Walkthrough

Next week I’ll cover my advanced student retreat held in Portland, Maine the first week of October.

“Kaloli Moondance” on Display in New York State

“Kaloli Moondance” will be on display at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York. Starting October 28 with an artists’ reception (which unfortunately, I’m not sure I’ll make it to) and running through January 7, 2018. My quilt joins others from 65 artists across the US and around the world. The exhibition is called Quilts=Art=Quilts. If you’re nearby, stop in and say hello to Chloe the Marabou Stork for me!

Kaloli Moondance, by Susan Carlson, 2016, 63 x 72 inches


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