What a great week at Madeline Island School of the Arts teaching Piecing Perspectives with Sarah Bond and Maria Shell!

Piecing Perspectives Class Photo MISA 2023

It was a team teaching experience–each one of us presented our perspectives on color, line, curve, shape, and design over the first two days, and students were free to choose one, two, or all three approaches to create their own work. We did both slide presentations and live demos.


Sarah Bond presenting MISA MEGA Workshop 2023

We had 17 dedicated, motivated students who came in early and worked late to get their quilt tops made in a beautiful, well-lit studio.

Creativity Happening


Fabric to Go

Each student brought a range of fabrics to work with and part of the challenge was seeing how creative they could be with what they had on hand. They all rose to that challenge!

It was a lot of fun working with Maria and Sarah–we all have slightly different approaches to our work. Sarah is a modern quilter who often uses paper piecing to achieve the lines and shapes she wants and Maria is an Improv artist with a fairly structured design aesthetic. I was the wonky one in the group. The picture below tells that story well–Maria’s work is in the upper left, Sarah’s in the lower left, and mine on the lower right.

The students spent the first two days making units–blocks, curves, triangle shapes, stripes. Then they had to figure out how to put everything together. That’s the puzzle part that I really look forward to. So Sarah, Maria and I took a stab at putting the units we had made or brought on a table and making a composition out of some of them.

Cindy’s Mashup Composition

This one is what I came up with–using some of Sarah’s elements, some of mine, and some of Maria’s. The beautiful swirl block in the center is Sarah’s. It was a challenge to use elements that I don’t normally work with, and I think it gave the students some food for thought to see the three of us trying to make it work.

The collages below will give a sense of the amazing work these students did in 5 days!

Laura, Terry, Jean, Kristin, Joan, Angela


Peggy, Linda, Jana, Terry, Kate, Sherrill


Barbara, Page, Susanna, Katie, Carolyn, Joan

I couldn’t be prouder of them!

The Madeline Island School is located in northern Wisconsin. It’s the largest of the Apostle Islands located in Lake Superior. I went for long walks every morning and most evenings–you could walk up the road to a state park right on the water. The sunrises were amazing.

Madeline Island Sunrise 2023


We even got a beautiful moonrise a couple of nights.

Moonrise over MISA 2023

It was truly a wonderful place to spend a week–peaceful and inspiring, with good food prepared on site and good creative energy!



  1. Elsie Montgomery on October 7, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    Just found this blog and am delighted. My design wall has a wonky improv Cindy-style on it — mostly because I think like a jazz jam session. Your work encourages me to keep doing this, as if the fun/love were not enough!

    • Cindy on October 8, 2023 at 8:27 pm

      Thank you Elsie–I’m so glad you found me!