Monday, February 22, 2010

The Applique Academy 2010

I have been home for a little more than a week now. I have finished unpacking, the laundry is finished and I have moved on to the more mundane details of life. I caught up with the bills, had an interview with the Housing Authority representing our disabled son, justified his expenses with Social Security. Now I have time to think about my week at the Applique Academy. My sixth year, it was a time bittersweet in its implications for me. But first, my classes. I taught hand quilting for the first time in perhaps ten years. I was nervous, but unnecessarily. The day was a great success from my perspective. Everyone of the twelve students was devoted to learning to quilt or polishing what they already knew. As the day progressed so did they. My main conference class was so much fun. Twenty one students minus one who could not get to the conference due to bad weather. I missed her though we have yet to meet. The dedication of the remaining students was amazing. Many of them were already at work when I arrived each morning. They came early and stayed late. The name badge above contains a pin with 6 bars attached representing the six years I have taught in Williamsburg. I will not be back next year as the faculty has been chosen and I am not on the list. This is in a sense my choice. The new contract contains a clause I cannot sign off on. Was I angry? Absolutely! Hurt feelings? Oh yes. However, for all of that, this was the right decision for me personally, based on my own sense of what is the right thing for me to do. For all the support and all the hugs and expressions of disbelief, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart! This whole thing made me feel lonely and I was so honored to find out I was far from alone. If minds are changed and I am asked back will I go? You bet! This is a wonderful venue for applique.

I thought you would enjoy seeing the above pin. "Friends stitching the past to the future" Each person who made a block for the following project has or will receive one. I think they are for sale as well. Some of the attendees felt this was wrong, that we should be the only ones to have one as they represent our work on these quilts. I am undecided. There is going to be a wonderful exhibit at Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas this fall. I hope to see you there. Stitchers from all over the US and Canada came together in small groups and made album quilts. My TAS group made a special quilt dedicated to Elly Sienkievicz and her history. I made the four applique setting triangles on the left side of that one. I also made a pretty cool 8 inch block for the Williamsburg quilt. I believe there are 12 of these quilts. I hope you trust me on this when I say that each and every one of these quilts is unique and wonderfully created. In addition, there will be many other albums. How can you even consider not going?

The honored quilter at the Academy this year is Kathryn Tennyson. The above quilt is the first of six, yes six album quilts she has created!! It reflects in the color scheme the years in which she made it. Mauve and green. I believe all the blocks are designs from Elly's books, but think she may have designed her own border. Lovely don't you think. The following pictures speak for themselves, though I will comment when I have something to say, which will be most of the time.

This one is so pretty. Subtle colors, but beginning to look more traditional in the color scheme. I love the change in the border with that great small container at the top and oh so many flowers and vines spilling out. So typical of the ladies of Baltimore.

Okay, so which ones of you are going to applique a feathered vine border next? I want to, but am a little afraid. Those background fabrics tend to fray a lot and if I decided to do this reverse applique? Hmmmmmm.

There were so many bodies around this quilt all evening I thought I would never, ever get a picture, let alone a good picture. So from the side and still a shoulder on the right. This is absolutely gorgeous. Once again I am a little obsessed with the border. Almost every inch covered with leaves and flowers. I have seen this border in at least two vintage quilts and think I will have to try this for sure. You definitely want to check out the loops that edge this wonderful quilt. The blocks, wow. I love every one of them form the Goose girl to the eagle to the basket, well you get the idea.

This one is simply a confection. great traditional blocks, beautiful fabric choices.

This a special personal quilt with family silouettes in the heart centers.great borders too. The vine and flowers provide space for initials and chronicle the year of completion. That is a very traditional addition to album quilts.

This is just a closer look at the bottom border and the pretty amazing applique numbers. They definitely look flawless.

And finally a close up of the center and a reminder that even when we are re-creating images of the past, it is important to tie our designs to the now as well. Just in case you want to use sillouettes in your work but think you do not have the expertise to draw them, let me just say. Go to Disney World/ Disney Land! Seriously, my own attempt at this in my album quilt has it's roots in just such sillouette. Kathryn also shared with us that her first quilt took over three years to complete. She wanted to make one and was intimidated about the possibility of not being able to finish. her husband suggested that she not put a time limit on the quilt, that she simply enjoy the journey. Great advice. My own quilt took three years, nine months and eleven days, yikes! So I am hoping this will encourage all of you to enjoy your journey, no matter the destination.


Anonymous said...

Mom - Sometimes it is just time. Time to be good to yourself. Time to take the high road while others do business - no matter how unethical, no matter how unthinking, no matter how cold. This is your time. Look at you with your kids and your grandkids, your beautiful home, your amazing spirit. What now? What will they do? They will go on to do the business of making others feel small and pass on traditions as if they own them. Too bad. No? I thought the quilting spirit was one to pass on, not one to hoard in one's own name, in one's own books and academies. This is how knowledge dies. This is how it is killed. You are not one of those. Others learn from you and are better for your generosity. Young women, for generations beyond your own, will be influenced by your fine handwork and your sense of tradition. I love you. ~Kelly

unDeniably Domestic

Purple Pam said...

Thank you so much for sharing all the pictures of those beautiful Baltimore Album quilts. They are fantastic!

I am sorry that you will not be teaching at the Academy next year as I know how much you enjoy it. I am proud of you for sticking by your decision. You are a wonderful teacher. I know that because I have been your student and benefitted from your skills.

Anonymous said...

The Applique Academy was way to expensive for me. I look forward to catching a class with you at another event. Just don't stop teaching. Thank you for sharing through you internet blog.
Tennessee said...

In addition to seeing the amazing quilts you share, I must say that I totally understand your decision. You stated it so well and are and have always been above that type of behavior. This is what makes you who you are -- kind, caring, compassionate, dedicated, and a true friend. You influence others, not only with your work, but with your actions (and non-actions). It even makes me sad to see your pins lined up like that. Your have always stood by your convictions. I admire you. More should follow suit.

I just returned from Art & Soul and have had an amazing experience from some great teachers. Will share more later.


Anonymous said...

This is my first visit to your blog. Wow!! what gorgeous quilts! My passion is applique and my hope is one day to make one close to those you've shown/done. Keep up the good work and keep sharing your knowledge - that is what keeps our art thriving!

ChristineMB said...

Thank you for sharing Kathy's wonderful quilts with us. I missed the presentation while I was at the Orthopos's office. I feel I missed one of the best presentations ever. Hopefully it will be presented again in Houston. I admire your digninty and desermination regarding your decision not to sign the Academy contract. The Academy will suffer in the long run with a drop in quality of teaching staff. Can't wait for your class at BOTP!

*El Rincon de Sandy* said...

I love all your quilt!
what a beautiful work!
Please excuse my English as this is not my first language.

I Really want to go to Houston. but I live in England... and hotels are very expensive..
I am praying for a miracle!
God bless your hands

Anonymous said...

thank u........................................

Nadine Thompson said...

Sandy I am not sure how to get in touch with you so am sending you a message on my own blog. I hope you get to go to Houston. You will love it! I promise. Please let me know if you get to go. I think it would be great fun to meet you in such a place! Nadine