Quilting by the Lake 2017

East coast adventures always start with a red eye. If I am lucky, I will have just one stop and about twelve hours of travel. Each time I do it, I get a little more organized and a little more focused on using that time wisely. I used to knit and read Maisie Dobbs novels but that is all over now. I have been using these hours in the air to work, and I can feel the difference it is making in my productivity.

I arrived at Quilting by the Lake (QBL) to find a suite full of roommates. Quilting royalty!


We immediately dove into engaging conversations and witty antics. Well, maybe that was only according to us—but it was very fun.

Teachers and students stay in student housing on the Onondaga Community College campus in Syracuse, NY. We each have our own bedroom and share a bath with one other person. The commons area has a full kitchen and living room. I was quite comfortable. Those who drive bring extra things—cooking pots and decorated Christmas trees. Yes. Really.

Classes run for a full five days with entertainment in the evenings. Everything is located on campus. I love it. I could walk everywhere. And it was nice and hot.

Lunches and dinners are at the campus cantina. This can be terrible for desert fiends, but I kept things under control. After the first day, I had found my options and stuck with them.

This week of extreme quilting fun starts with a banquet dinner and then a lecture. This year’s lecturer was Kathy Doughty—quilt teacher, writer, fabric designer, and shop owner from down under. You folks think I am busy—she even does yoga on a regular basis. Meeting Kathy was one of those, dang I know I am on my right path because I just met you moments. That sounds weird, but true. Kathy is kind, generous, an full of awesomeness.

My students were focused sponges.

There were some design wall disasters (this is inevitable and part of the process), but everyone just kept plodding through the hard labor of composition. They did the work!

The first two days of the workshops were Abstraction through Color, Pattern, & Repetition.

This is my hardest workshop.

You really need to have taken one of my other workshops before hand.

After trudging along together, I now know this.

The final three days were Making Prints out of Solids.

The students who attended all five days could take their work from the first two days and keep going, OR they could say, “Enough of that—I’m starting with a clean design wall.”

We concluded the week with individual walking consults for each student who wanted one.

I really liked meeting individually with each student away from the classroom.

Some students are looking for critiques of their work, some wanted to discuss their practice, some wanted to learn more about showing their work.

It was all good.

With the last bit of class time, we did a sharing of the work made during our five days together.

Some where in the middle of all this, we went to see Circular Abstractions. WOWZA.

If you get a chance to see this show, make it happen. The originality of each design, connected to the central theme of BULLS EYE, plus the largess of the pieces make for one DYNAMIC, THAT’S A BEAUTY, KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF,  SHOW.

The entire experience was joy. My students were awesome.

If you are a quilter on the east coast,–well, really anywhere, but if you live on the east coast you have no excuse for not attending. You deserve this experience. It is  summer camp, maker space, and therapy all rolled into one. Check it out here.

This entry was published on September 22, 2017 at 2:29 PM. It’s filed under About Teaching, News And Events, Quilt Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “Quilting by the Lake 2017

  1. Christmas Cowell on said:


    I so enjoyed this posting and appreciate the time you take to share, encourage and inspire. Thank you!

    Cheers, Christmas

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Lisa Breit on said:

    Maria, you forgot to say how much YOUR presence and lecture added to the wonderful ness of QBL this year. My annual 2weeks at “Quilt Camp” are my lifeline as a quilter partly because I get to meet and work with innovative quilters and teachers like you.

    • Lisa, that is incredibly nice of you to say. Thank you. It was such a great experience. I totally agree about the QuiltCamp and the energy boost it gives the quilters who attend.

  3. Robin Strauss on said:

    QBL with you was a fantastic experience and opened my eyes to so many new ideas and possibilities. Thanks for all the feedback and sharing so generously.

  4. It looks like all of you had a great time!
    Thanks for the post and all the lovely pictures.

  5. Carrie- It was really good. The students that had five days really went to town. Looking forward to Berkeley in November!

  6. I really enjoyed meeting you! I am impressed with your work, your spirit, and your energy. And you were a fun roomie!

    • Cynthia- I have been thinking about you every day since I started reading Fool’s Crow, and I love it! What a great read. I also hope your travels will lead you north. It would be great to share a bit of Alaska with you!

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