Monday, January 14, 2013


Welcome to the debut of the Baltimore on the Prairie - And More blog.  This blog will be a work in progress for a while as I navigate through all the options available.  Stay tuned!

Baltimore on the Prairie is a hand applique conference held each September at beautiful Mahoney State Park in Ashland, NE.  It's located midway between Lincoln and Omaha, NE right off I-80.  Each year 4 of the finest applique teachers gather with students who travel not only from across the United States but travel internationally to spend from 1 to 5 days sharing their love of applique.  The 5th annual conference will be held September 11-15, 2013.  For more detailed information please visit the website at

Four very talented women make up the faculty for 2013 and I'd like to introduce them to you.  First is Nancy Kerns, center front showing the 4 day class project from the 2012 conference, "Magical Spring" - an Ellen Heck design, along with her class participants.  Nancy describes herself in this manner:  "As I am a problem solver by nature, I have discovered many ways to do things in appliqué to simplify the techniques or to achieve specific results. I am very eager to share these tips and tricks with my students.   My classroom time is structured, organized and usually on schedule. I have many things to share and want to be sure to get them all covered. I am prepared with supplies the students will need, samples to demonstrate the techniques and other needs (like chocolate!!) Even though I try to fit a lot of content into the class, we will have time to sew. I like the atmosphere to be encouraging and supportive and I get great pleasure out of students understanding a new process.  Nancy's quilt "Mary Simon Rediscovered, shown below, won the Founder's Award at the IQA show in Houston, TX in 2010 and the Best Handworkmanship Award at the AQS show in Lancaster, PA in 2011. 


"I would have to say that I get most of my inspiration from the quilt makers of long ago. I so admire the wonderful work accomplished under conditions many times severe by today’s standards. I am excited by their undying dedication to the best work possible. So when I need ideas I immerse myself in my books and clippings, go to quilt exhibits online and ask myself why a certain quilt works for me, what there is about the appliqué placement or color choices, the quilting designs, even the finishing that makes my heart sing. I then apply the essence of what I see to my project."  That is the philosophy of our next teacher, Nadine Thompson of Springfield, MO.  Nadine's calm, quiet personality gives all students the confidence to succeed in any applique project.  Her quilt "In My Garden" won Best Handworkmanship at Pacific International Quilt Festival in 2009 and also won First Place and Best Applique at the Vermont Quilt Festival in 2010.
Rita Verroca of Thousand Oaks, CA is relatively new to the national teaching circuit but with each new teaching venue, her calendar fills up!  Here she is demonstrating during class surrounded by students and her amazing quilts.   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.  "Album of Roses" was featured on the cover of  in the Aug/Sept 2012 issue "Quilter's Newsletter Magazine"

Last but certainly not least is Jeanne Sullivan of Annapolis, MD.  "Simply Successful Applique" is Jeanne's 1st book that premiered at the Internation Quilt Market in Houston, TX in 2012.  Recognized for her beautiful appliqué designs and outstanding needle skills, Jeanne Sullivan has been the recipient of Best of Show and Heirloom Quilter awards and has secured top honors for her appliqué in the international Northcott Quest for a Cure Challenge for three consecutive years. Her unique blend of traditional and dimensional appliqué along with Broderie Perse and embroidery embellishment give her work distinctive, classical appeal. Jeanne delights in teaching hand and machine appliqué using her simplified, success-oriented methods.  Jeanne (back row, 3rd from the right) is shown with her 1 day class at the 2012 conference with some of the gallery samples from her book in the background.

So there is the faculty lineup for the 2013 conference and the end of this first post.  I plan to post around the middle of each month so come back around the middle of February to see what's next!

Take care until next time,

Tresa Jones