Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Favorite Event

The hiatus from major - such as blog writing -  conference activities is now over and it's time to ramp up preparations for the 2014 conference, 2015 and 2016 too!  Contracts will be going out soon to the teachers for 2015.  Someone who has increasingly been requested by attendees to be part of our faculty has a scheduling conflict with us for 2015 but we are on her calendar for 2016!  Yep, that was a teaser and you'll have to wait to find out!
While we've talked about the future, let's visit the past - to the 2013 conference's Show & Tell.  It is  is one of my favorite events during the conference.  Each quilt, top or block is a surprise with some being simple and some complex while showcasing the immense talent among the group.  So sit back and enjoy Show and Tell as we did in September.

Pam Geiser starts us off with a beautiful quilt.  Don't you love the filigree in the borders?
"Baltimore Autumn", a Pearl Periera design is exquisitely done by Leanne Hurley.

Unfortunately I don't have the name of the designer of this lovely rose quilt created by Donna Derstadt.

On a whimsical note, Rosalie Divelbiss shows a Halloween work in progress.
This is Nancy Kerns' adaptation of the Australian "Auntie Green" quilt with the quilt's medallion surrounded by oodles of hexagons.
Nadine Thompson took her Auntie Green quilt one step further with the next set of borders.
Roseann Cocherell completed a block from Rita Verroca's rose quilt.
Applique doesn't have to be done on a white or off-white background.  The peaceful blue background is perfect for an album of Baltimore blocks by Rita O'Connor.
Rita's quilting is superb!
Diane Wilson shows a lovely urn quilt.
For Broderie Perse fans, Delores Miller has created a masterpiece.
Tiny applique by Dorothy Roderick.
You can't tell it from the photo but all the circular flowers are yo-yo's by Joan McKinley.
Linda Noble arranged her blocks in a diagonal set which is very eye-catching.
Dawn Vandentoorn used various Sue Garman blocks to create a wonderful red/green sampler quilt.
We don't discriminate against piecing!  Kathleen Ronnebaum, who is my extremely valued assistant, doesn't applique but is a piecer extraordinare.
More Broderie Perse with piecing in this outstanding quilt by Marilyn Murphy.
Unfortunately the photo is a bit fuzzy with Linda Scheer's jacket of embroidered Baltimore Album blocks.  There were more blocks on the back of the jacket.
Attendees are always encouraged to bring finished blocks from previous years' classes.
Becky Higgins shows "A Flowering of Friendship" from a Nadine Thompson class and "Blue Urn" from Nancy Kerns.
Pam Steele brought 3 finished blocks:  "Magical Spring" from Nancy Kerns, one of Rita Verroca's Roses and "Hugs and Kisses" by Jeanne Sullivan.
And last but not least, Kathy Pease with "Green Cornucopia" from Nancy Kerns' class.
From large to small, blocks to completed quilts, piecing and applique, Show and Tell at the conference is breath-taking, motivating and inspirational.  We all just want to get back to our stitching!  I can't wait to see what 2014 brings us!
Until next time,
Take care,


Monday, September 16, 2013


It's always very exciting to announce the line up of teachers and their projects for the next conference.  The dates for the 6th annual conference are September 10-13, 2014.  The schedule and some terminology have been tweaked a bit as per suggestions of past attendees.
The Plus One class is now termed the 1 Day Class and the Conference Class has become the 3 Day Class.  It's interesting that the 3 Day Class will actually have 1 hour more teaching time than the Conference class which was held over 4 days!
Since you really want to see the classes and read about the faculty. without further delay, here they are!

Cynthia Collier

Cynthia believes her strengths lie in fabric and pattern selection and pairing both to create a quilt that “reads” traditional while incorporating today’s beautiful, more contemporary fabrics, such as batiks. Her classroom is structured for learning new techniques, quilt history of the subject at hand, and developing the student’s individual creative stamp on their own work. She wants a quilter who takes her class to go home realizing they are an artist! 
Her quilts have been exhibited in the Houston International Quilt Festival for the last several years as well as IQF shows in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and now Chicago. Her quilt, “Grace’s Wedding Quilt”, traveled with the Special Exhibit “Baltimore Album Revival ll” and in 2010 was exhibited in the Open European Quilt Championship in Konengshof in Veldhoven, The Netherlands. More recently her quilts have had the privilege of being exhibited in the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, Texas.  Her first love of teaching is broderie perse and papercut blocks for Baltimore Album quilts and those are showcased in her classes.
1 Day Class
"Baltimore Childhood"
  Baltimore Childhood is a papercut block with a toile inset designed especially for this Baltimore On The Prairie class. The versatile 20” size of the block will allow you to use it in the center of your own medallion style Baltimore Album quilt, finish it as a table topper, or simply border the block and finish it as a wall quilt. There will be several examples in class to inspire you and help you make your own choices. However you choose to finish Baltimore Childhood you will enjoy learning the process of choosing the right combination of chintz florals and toiles to insure success with scale and subject matter while honing your needleturn skills. Classroom time will be divided into time spent looking at the history of toiles, discussion of successful fabric choices, examining the class samples that will be available for inspiration, directions on how to construct the block, and techniques for perfecting your needleturn stitch while working on your own block.

It is always fascinating to see how the same block looks so different when changing backgrounds.
3 Day Class
"Baltimore Garden"
Barbara Burnham, author of “Baltimore Garden Quilt,” has graciously given her permission for us to use her pattern designs in our class.  Broderie perse, a French appliqué term meaning Persian embroidery, was used frequently on chintz appliqué quilts being made in the first decades of the nineteenth century.  You will be using Block A3, “Amelia’s Rose Bush” to learn the technique of adapting a traditional Baltimore Album block design to broderie perse using some of today’s more contemporary fabrics while still maintaining a very traditional look to a design uniquely your own. You will be surprised and delighted at how quickly your block develops using template free techniques combined with some templates and your own individual design choices. I will also show you time saving ways to prepare your block for stitching without using overlays and marking your block before hand.  Classroom time will be divided between discussing a bit of the history of chintz (broderie perse) quilts, examining several modern day examples of quilts and fabrics, learning how to make successful design choices when chosing and pairing fabrics and patterns, as well as preparing and stitching your own Baltimore Garden block.

Again, same block but different fabrics.

The block (upper right hand corner) used in a 4 block setting.
This is Cynthia's "Baltimore Garden" quilt with the class block in the upper left hand corner. 
Sue Garman
Taught by her grandmother as soon as she could thread a needle, Sue has been making quilts for as long as she can remember.  She is the author of two books and innumerable patterns, and has designed fabric for a major manufacturer.  While Sue favors appliqued quilts, she also has a fondness for intricately pieced quilts.  She has won many quilt awards throughout the years and her quilts have been featured in several magazines.  She is well-known for her folk art whimsy, and has earned a reputation as an accomplished designer and an outstanding teacher who provides students with both the knowledge and the confidence to tackle any aspect of quilt making. 
Before turning full-time to designing and making quilts, Sue, who is a Certified Public Accountant, worked in the aerospace industry where she served as NASA’s Deputy Chief of Staff and the Associate Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. 
Sue’s students love that she freely shares all of her techniques for designing, making, and finishing quilts – and everyone leaves her classes inspired and happy!  

1 Day Class
"Rose Fans"
One of the most common questions that Sue is asked when she lectures or teaches, is “how do you get so much done?!”  She is well-known for her productivity – but she knows that she isn’t necessarily the swiftest worker amongst a group of quilters.  She’s just... well, take the class and learn the lessons she has gathered in over forty years of quilting. In this class, you will work on a 15-inch (finished size) “Rose Fan” block and learn how Sue does basic needle-turn applique, off-unit applique, reverse applique, layering, marking, and more.  As you watch how Sue approaches her work, you will see how she masters projects in simple steps, leading to finished sub-units that can easily be assembled into beautiful finished blocks... and you just might learn how she gets so much done so effortlessly!  You will learn a variety of techniques and skills and will leave, confident that you can complete this pleasantly portable project on your own, whether it is a single block or a multi-block quilt. 
What a stunning quilt this becomes when stitching 4 of the "Rose Fan"  blocks!
3 Day Class 
"Baltimore Glory - the Rose and Daisy Vase"
This beautiful block and technique-filled class is one that everyone will love!  A lovely bouquet of springtime flowers in an old-fashioned urn draped with applique beads is the centerpiece of Sue’s class, where you will work in a no-pressure environment of learning, inspiration, and joy.  The Rose and Daisy Vase block is a 15-inch (finished size) block that is set on point, but for those who are not ready to tackle an on-point block, Sue will offer a modified version of this block that is not on point. 

Sue’s extraordinary organizational skills will take you, step-by-step through the making of this block.  You will learn Sue’s style of basic needle-turn applique, reverse applique, layered applique, off-unit applique, making smooth curves and “pointy points”, embellishment, and more.  Sue’s easy techniques will amaze you as you see how she breaks applique down into small steps that are each easily achievable skill-builders that lead to relaxing sewing.

This is the same bouquet of flowers with a slightly different vase in a straight setting.
Nancy Kerns
Nancy's classroom time is structured and organized She has many things to share and wants to be sure to get them all covered. She is prepared with supplies the students will need, samples to demonstrate the techniques and other needs (like chocolate!!) Even though she tries to fit a lot of content into the class, there will be plenty time to sew. She likes the atmosphere to be encouraging and supportive and gets great pleasure out of students understanding a new process.
Her quilt, Mary Simon Rediscovered, received The Founder's Award at the International Quilt Association Festival in Houston, TX in 2010 and the Best Hand Workmanship Award at the American Quilt Society Show in Lancaster, PA in 2011.

1 Day Class
"On Lotus Pond"

Join Nancy as she guides you through the color-shading and stitching of this enchanting lotus flower designed by Ellen Heck. Learn the tricks of making a realistic dragonfly, lotus seed heads and buds.
Batiks are recommended for a natural look. We will use window templates, clear transparency overlays, embroidery stitches, off-block construction, and fine stitching to create a work of art!
3 Day Class
"Homage to William Morris"
Ellen Heck has drawn a lovely pattern, based on motifs in her home furnishings. There is a definite Arts and Crafts feel to the block, which is why it is named “Homage to William Morris”.  Each student is encouraged to select a palette she prefers.  The design area is 22” square, large enough to be a lovely wall quilt on its own, or as a center medallion for a larger quilt. Ellen has designed companion blocks that can be used to surround this central block. Nancy hopes to have some completed in 2014 to show you.  Class focus will be on accurate placement using an overlay, off block construction for flower and vase units, perfect circles, appliqué with ultrasuede, and shaping the intricate leaves. Embroidery is used to accent the flowers and delineate the veins on the leaves.

Enjoy the closeups of "Homage to William Morris".
Rita Verroca
Rita is an award-winning quilter whose quilts have been exhibited in the USA, Europe and Japan. Her quilts have been on the cover of magazines and featured in calendars and quilt books. She has won awards in international competitions and shows.
Rita is a passionate teacher with great skill and contagious enthusiasm. In her quilts she combines old heritage quilt patterns with delightful and playful arrangements. Her choice of color is artfully chosen and arranged to give the overall design a stimulating balance of a harmonious picture.
1 Day Class
"Yellow Basket"
A little applique can go a long way. It can turn an ordinary basket into a work of art. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of working on a smaller project while stitching buds, layered flowers and reverse appliqué centers.  This block is one of several which form a border surrounding an exquisitely appliqued medallion and will be available during class.  Rita will help you to coordinate your favorite colors and improve your sewing skills. The basic stitch, sharp points, skinny stems, smooth curves and frayless inverted shapes will be a breeze to sew so you can have fun stitching basket after basket.
3 Day Class
"Betsey Ross"
Legend has it that as the American colonies hurdled towards independence, George Washington, Robert Morris and George Ross, representatives of the Colonial Congress, appeared unannounced at Betsey Rossʼs upholstery shop and requested her help in creating a new standard for Britainʼs colonies recently united in rebellion. The group retreated into the parlor where the ingenious needlewoman noted that the six-pointed stars the general had in mind were more difficult to construct than five pointed stars. As seen in this block, Betsey Ross taking a piece of paper in hand and folding it demonstrated the fact with a quick snip of her scissors. Enjoy recreating this scene in Ritaʼs class. Afraid or timid to draw the faces? No problem, Rita will draw them for you and they will be available in the kit she provides.
"Betsey Ross" is just one of a group of blocks for Rita's next quilt.  This block is "Independence Hall".
This is "On the Wings of Butterflies".
And, "Soaring the Heavens".  These patterns will also be available in Rita's class.
So there you have the entire line-up for 2014.  What an immensely talented group of teachers who teach in a relaxed manner and are so very giving of their time and knowledge! 
More information for the 2014 conference can be found on the website:  http://www.baltimoreontheprairie.tresajones.com/index.html.
Take care,

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thank You, Thank You

There are so many people who help make Baltimore on the Prairie successful.  Some of those people are the sponsors who have donated gifts for door prizes.  Some sponsors have even sent a gift for each attendee!  We are very appreciative of the donations they send.  For those of you who are attending in 2013, this will be a sneak preview of some of the door prizes and for everyone else, this is a sampling of what is donated.  This is also a shout out to the businesses and individuals who so graciously support the conference.
After the door prizes, you will be introduced to Lyn Bourne-Weick whose shop "More Sew For You - a Quilt Shop" will be the vendor at Baltimore on the Prairie this year.

Who doesn't like gift certificates?  Calico House (http://thecalicohouse.blogspot.com/) from Lincoln, NE donated 2 of them.  Sunshine Stitches (http://www.sunshinestitches.com/ from Omaha, NE  is providing a Moda jelly roll and 2 Moda patterns books with fabric samples along with a 20% discount coupon to all attendees.  The commemortative tin purse, which would make a wonderful project caddy is a gift from Coats & Clark (http://www.coatsandclark.com/).

And there are more gift certificates from Quilted Kitty (http://www.quiltedkitty.com/) in Lincoln, NE and Sew Creative (http://www.sewcreative-ne.com/)  in Omaha, NE.  Sew Creative also donated the Bloc-Loc ruler   The Cosmic Cow, also from Lincoln, (http://www.cosmiccowfabricsandquilting.com/) donated 2 sets of fat quarters.  Those who are traveling on the bus trip to the International Quilt Study Center will also get to shop at the Cosmic Cow.  

What is the next best thing to fabric?  Why, chocolate, of course!  Just 5 miles down the road from the conference is a wonderful candy shop called Baker's Chocolates (http://www.bakerscandies.com/) where not only do they sell chocolates and candy but also make them there.  It has been known of people making several trips to Baker's during the week of the conference! 


Blank Quilting (http://www.blankquilting.com/) donated 6 gift bags with fat quarters, template plastic and a pattern along with several yards of their fabric.  Two "Quilter's Hangup's" which are premade quilt sleeves are from Teri Cowan (http://www.quiltershangup.com/)

It was like Christmas when opening the package sent by Melissa Mattz of Honeybee Fabrics.  What a wonderful selection of gifts!  First a beautiful ribbon embroidery book by Helen Gibb, patterns by Quilter's Paradise, a very interesting embroider book by Gailen Runge..........and more.

The gifts continue with a book of patterns from the Sara Rhodes Dillow collection, Flags of the American Revolution by Jan Patek, a collection of Pigma pens and several assorted patterns.

A quilter can't be without batting and we thank Fairfield for their gift of 3 different quilt batts.  Quilter's Delight of Holdrege, NE also donated a gift certificate.  There are no worries if the gift certificate winners aren't able to visit the shops as they all are very happy to mail order anything from their shops.

From time to time we receive gifts from anonymous donors.  The above and below are complete wool applique kits.

The same donor also sent a wonder array of patterns, including one of Lori Smith's patterns.

YLI donated a gift certificate which can be sent in for 4 spools of their quilting thread or silk 100 thread.  Other items will be arriving and of course, the teachers are very generous with their patterns.

Each year at Baltimore on the Prairie at least one vendor is on site for the attendees' shopping pleasure.  The vendors are always very helpful in providing supplies that attendees may have forgotton or couldn't find at their local quilt shop along with lots of goodies from their shops.  We are happy to invite Lyn Bourne-Weick of "More Sew For You - A Quilt Shop" from Omaha as the vendor for 2013. 
The shop is now in a new location:  14440 F Street in Omaha, NE  ( http://www.moresewforyou.com/).  As the shop is now located in the western part of Omaha, it will be easier and quicker to shop there over the lunch break!  The following photos were taken the day before the new location was officially open.  Along with having the knack of choosing beautiful fabrics, Lyn and her staff are excellent decorators and now that they've had time to get acclimated to the new space, it is more charming than ever.



And that's just a sampling of what awaits at "More Sew For You"!
As this is being written, the conference is only 3 weeks away! Final preparations are being made and we are so much looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
Be on the lookout for the next blog which will be posted September 16. It will showcase the faculty and their projects for 2014.  They'll knock your socks off!  Also on the 16th, registration for 2014 begins that day and the website: www.baltimoreontheprairie.tresajones.com will be updated with the registration form and lots of conference information.   
Take care,