Artistic Alchemy Retreat, and on to Snohomish

by Sandra Bruce


Christine and Heidi have written posts about our wonderful 2015 Artistic Alchemy Retreat from last month, my turn to share photos! I had a 2-day break after the retreat, and after unpacking and packing again I headed up to Snohomish, WA to visit the Busy Bees Quilt Guild to do my presentation and workshop. I have friends along the way so decided to make a road trip out of it, visiting friends and hitting quilt shops, of course.

Here are some of my favorite pictures….first from the Zephyr Retreat, then from my trip north. At the very end is a surprise photo!

I hope these pictures will inspire you to join us next year! We already have several signups and can’t wait to start planning the 2016 retreat.

Waking up with coffee and this view of Lake Tahoe is a great way to start any day!


Our assistant, Debbie, helped make things run smoothly.



IMG_9612Here’s Mary Boalt, our Artist-In-Residence, in Heidi’s class project, the “Off the Grid Vest”. So cute!!!


IMG_9606Heidi, in her Whisper Blouse, giving her trunk show!


IMG_9635Christine’s trunk show, including quilts and vests!



Jennifer, all the way from Ontario, Canada, working on her Matrix piece in my class, from a picture of her dog, Soda. I had 10 students and I enjoyed them all! Such a diversity of quilt subjects!


IMG_9576Joey working on her Matrix quilt, an industrious undertaking of the “world”, from a map.



Ellen, with a beautiful image of a succulent plant, working across the width of her piece.



Jan tackled the hardest parts of her image first, the eyes, in black and white.



Debi worked on an image from her past, a Volkswagen Bug.



Liz returned from last year to work on Jimmy, her dog. It was a pleasure to have her and Cheri back this year! Liz’s koi, coming along:





Gina also did a face for her Matrix project, her daughter.



Caryn’s kitty cat has 2 different colored eyes! Fun to piece!



Rosemary’s bear…he came to life before our eyes!


IMG_9725During my evening presentation Trish showed her Matrix Self-portrait, inspired by mine. This is a fun picture of her, and the quilt.


IMG_9714A big thanks to everyone who came and helped make the 2015 retreat such a success! THANK YOU!

Moving north….


A very quick stop at the Portland Art Museum…my favorite from all the exhibits was a collection of woodblock prints by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi from 1887. I loved them.



Breakfast in Portland, at the Milk Glass Market. Look at this array of bread….



Snohomish is a very sweet little town, northeast of Seattle. This quilt shop was a must see!



Darlene, my very gracious hostess there, took my workshop and made sure everything went smoothly. She took very good care of me, and I very much enjoyed being with her book group one evening!



Darlene and I took the ferry over to this charming town, Poulsbo, which boasted 2 quilt shops.



At the end of my visit in Washington I visited another friend near Seattle, and we dined one special night in this restaurant in downtown Seattle, “Purple”. Check out the tower of wine being displayed!



Nearby is Puyallup, WA, (which I can never pronounce correctly!) where this amazing quilt shop is. Thousands of bolts of batiks! Unbelievable!

Thanks to Kathy (both Kathys!), Darlene, and the ladies of Snohmish, WA for giving me a wonderful experience. Once home, I returned to the project that has consumed me all summer. Below is a photo of “Chuck Close One” which I have just completed. I will be showing more photos of it on this blog in the future, in addition to my Sandra Bruce Creative Facebook page, and my Flickr and Instagram accounts. But I wanted to show him here first, here he is! (60″ by 70″)

Chuck Close 1 full crop

I have many customer quilts in the queue to do, better get busy! Happy Fall!

🙂 Sandra


12 thoughts on “Artistic Alchemy Retreat, and on to Snohomish

  1. That Chuck Close quilt is absolutely stunning. One of my favourites. I really enjoyed the workshop with Christine Batnes. As I mentioned before, we might go back for the 2016 retreat. I keep that in mind as I try to comre up with a good picture for your workshop. Hope you had a chance to see the Smilebox.

    • Hi, Rejeanne, I sent you an email a couple of days ago, I hope you got it! Your photos are so wonderful to have,
      thanks again to you, and hubby! Hope to see you next year, yes keep your eyes out for a good photo. You have plenty of good material to pick from 🙂

  2. Wow Sandra, it is fabulous!!! You had just started it when you came to us at DVQ…or was it the polymer class at my house? Anyway, what a work of art! I’ve heard wonderful things about retreat…will put that on my calendar for 2016! Let me know when you have the dates!!! Thanks so much,
    Laurie Parry

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