Empty Spools/Asilomar

Empty Spools has been hosting quilting seminars for ages. I think many think of Empty Spools as Asilomar.   I’ve never been able to attend, but have always admired the creations that I’ve seen quilters make as a result of attending seminars at Asilomar.  And hearing about their experiences at Asilomar has almost appeared as a quilting right of passage, for the lucky few that get to attend each year.

Empty Spools holds their seminars at the Asilomar conference grounds, in Pacific Grove, California.{photo below  by Gregory Case, http://www.gregorycase.com/}.

The majority of the workshops for Asilomar sell out within a few hours or days from the time that registration is open, months before the workshops are held.  Prices have increased significantly over the years, participants complain of food quality, but still there are so many quilters willing to take spots, that this seminar continues to be successful, with many years of a track record of being well organized and offering the best of the best of quilting instructors. 

While I’ve dreamed of attending Asilomar for years, until recently I never thought it would be an event I’d ever be able to attend.  Then, during my research on ways one could learn to create beautiful free motion quilting, I came across Diane Gaudynski, a master at free motion quilting.  Definnitely one of the top instructors of free motion quilting.  When I learned that Diane was teaching at Asilomar I stopped focusing on all the things that kept giving me excuses for not attending Asilomar, and how lock in a spot in her class. 

I am excited to share that I have been able to lock in a spot for Diane’s class at Asilomar, session V, 2011.  My approach, to signing up, ignored the fact that I do not view myself to be a talented free-motion quilter, worthy of Diane’s instruction.  But, I have focused on the fact that I have months to practice and prepare.  Plus I’ve been encouraged by others, as well as Diane Gaudynski, to not be intimidated, and that she is able to teach quilters of all levels. 

Needless to say I’m very excited.  I’m looking forward to Asilomar in 2011.  And, I’m committed to spending as much time as I can, practicing and challenging myself to build on my free-motion quilting skills before I make it to Diane’s class at Asilomar in 2011.  I share this, but want to encourage others to not worry about it and simply go forth and sign up for Diane’s workshops, if you are interested in free motion quilting.  Or, sign up for any workshop offered by Empty Spools.  These workshops are designed to challenge you.  And, as I’ve been quilting for many years and have made more quilts with “quilting in the ditch” than I’d like to acknowledge, I’m really looking forward to my first Asilomar experience, and delighted that it will be with Diane Gaudynski. 

{above} This quilt made by Diane is what I aspire to be able to create someday!  Isn’t it beautiful?  Love it.
And, I hope I’ll be able to inspire others to pursue steps to challenge your quilting skills, as well as encourage and support others to challenge their skills.  Quilting is a vast world.  For me, I simply wanted to test the waters to see if anyone could become a great free motion quilter. And I’ve been investigating ways this can be accomplished, as well as trying to take steps to achieve this.  Asilomar and Diane Gaudynski is a big step for me, but an exciting step. 

If you have been to Asilomar before, have taken any classes from Diane, or any recommendations for my desire to challenge myself to build on my free motion quilting skills, I’d love to hear your insights.  In the meantime, I hope you’ll understand why I may be sharing various insights on free motion quilting, over the coming months, as I continue to research this aspect of quilting.

Did I say I was excited? 




8 thoughts on “Empty Spools/Asilomar”

  1. I am sooooo excited for you, and jealous. I just love the quilt you showed…it is amazing what a machine can do with the right skills. makes me want to practice more and I will…soon (I say that about everything)…


  2. What a great opportunity this will be for you! (Of course, your skills already look pretty good to me from what you showed us here today!)


  3. To clarify, the quilt shown in this post is by Diane Gaudynski. I’m far from being that talented, but have been dreaming of being able to make something so beautiful. Thus, why I’ve signed up for her workshop at Asilomar and why I’m research about free-motion quilting. Can anyone get that good at FMQ, or does it require special talent to start with? Hymm. Inquiring minds want to know. SewCalGalwww.sewcalgal.blogspot.com


  4. That is so great, I look forward to any insights you have. I’ve been really working on my free motion, so I’m excited to see and hear what you learn. Keep us all in the loop.


  5. So excited for you. I was able to go last year and although I wasn’t impressed with my teacher, I sure loved the place and what the other classes were teaching. (And I thought the food was great.)


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