|Sunset from my Classroom window
Because I've decided to keep my progress on The Curves under wraps for a bit, I thought I would do a review of my week at Quilt Surface and Design Symposium in Columbus, Ohio.
Although this was my first time at QSDS, I've been going to quilt conferences for 15 years. As in most things in life, this one had some things I really liked and some things that I really didn't.
The Things I Liked
- The City - Columbus is gorgeous. The conference is held downtown at the Columbus College of Art and Design. All the classrooms and campus suites are pretty much in the same block and its easy to get around. The parking is plentiful, free and close. The Campus is close to the interstate.
- My Classroom - We had this huge - very huge - space. In the master's class they gave us 2- ft tables and two design boards. There was also a conference room for our use and a huge set of tables to lay out quilts if you needed too. Electricity and light were adequate.
- My teacher - Sue Benner - was great. She knew how to offer advice when needed and back off when not. She facilitated great discussions each day and kept some kind of structured to this non structured class. I would recommend anybody take her.
- Opening Lecture by Michael Mrowka of Batik fame was excellent - probably the best I've heard in 15 yrs. He told the story of how he and his wife, Debra Lunn work directly with a batik factory in Java Indonesia where they strive to make a difference in the factory's community. Amazing! (I really didn't realize that all batiks are STILL made by hand!)
- My Suite - I really loved where we stayed. The suite had 4 very small bedrooms and two baths, a complete kitchenette (with a nice table) and modern decor. The living room wall was completely glass and you could look out over the city. The elevators and big bins made moving in and out a snap!
View From My Living Room
- 7 Day structure - Classes run 2, 3, 5 or 7 days. I love that. The 7 days was plenty to get something done!
The Things I Didn't
|CCAD Campus is Pretty and Convient
- The Food - Now let me preface this with, I'm not a fussy eater but I do expect to get fed. This unlike other conferences leave meals up to the quilter. You can buy a meal ticket and eat in the college dining hall. The food was horrible. Deep Fried food (sometimes cold), little to no staff, little variety (menus repeated). You could go to the near by grocery which was Amazing but expensive and who wants to eat take out 3 meals a day? You could cook in the kitchenette - UGH! or eat out at restaurants. With all these choices, everyone seemed to go their separate ways for meals and you didn't have a big chance to meet anybody in other classes. All of this added up that too much time was spent trying to decide what I was going to do about eating.
- The Organization - Before the conference emails went unanswered, payments and due dates not done on time, inaccurate website. During the conference, the communication is lacking and programs started late.
- Wednesday Afternoon Off - On Wednesday classes only go to lunch time. After that the conference offers a nice bus tour of local venues that might be of interest to a quilter (at an additional fee). You could work in your classroom instead but there was no teacher at that time.
- The Size - this conference is small. Many classes were cancelled this year because they did not fill and there didn't seemed to be a huge amount of quilters around. Also I didn't meet anybody younger than me all week (I'm 48).
- The Vendors - there wasn't a big number of vendors so you'll want to make sure you have what you need with you or expect to go looking for the closest Joann's or LQS.
In all fairness, I talked briefly with a lady in the elevator (the one place I did chat with other quilters) who loved the food - hated the suites! And my friend, Pam, LOVED eating alone (or with her roomies) up in the suite each meal. She liked the quiet beak away from her stressful job. But even she was tired of take out food by the end of the week.
What you been up to creatively this week?