Sunday, March 17, 2013

Visual Impact, Technique and Variety

One of the most enjoyable but also challenging aspects of planning for Baltimore on the Prairie is in the choosing of class projects suggested by the very talented faculty.  Visual impact, techniques taught and variety amid the classes are just three of the criteria taken under consideration.  The faculty for the 2013 conference were introduced in the January post and here in March we will introduce you to their class projects.  Baltimore on the Prairie offers a one day class on Wednesday September  11 and a four day class, beginning at 4:00 pm Thursday September 12 which ends at noon Sunday September 15.  As you read through this post, you will notice a variety of techniques and style in the classes and be wowed by the visual impact.

Nancy Kerns' One Day class - Millennium Rose - is an opportunity not to be missed!  Ellen Heck has given permission to use her pattern for this class, a rare occurrence.

Learn how to shade a realistic rose using window templates, handle tiny details like finely shaped stems and naturally shaped calyxes and add embroidered accents that bring the design to life.  Please don't be intimidated by the little pieces.  If you are not up to the challenge of making the whole block, you can still take the class and learn the shading technique.  Just bring background and practice for the day!
Nancy's Four Day Class - Graceful Urn - is a classic Baltimore urn.

Modern tips, tools and techniques make this effort easier and results crisp and elegant.  But wait - you don't care for traditional?  Make it in your own preferred colors!  Techniques include reverse applique for vase details, flowers and buds.  Off block construction makes handling tiny details like the butterfly wing tip easy.  Lining thin or transparent fabrics is quick.  Learn perfect circles for flower centers and vase details, precise placement using the clear transparency overlay and finish with the crowning glory - a needle turned bird's eyeball!
Jeanne Sullivan's first book - Simply Successful Applique - is now in it's 2nd printing and both of her class projects are in the book.  Simply Successful Applique Lettering is Jeanne's One Day class offering.
Learn to transform stylized manuscript and cursive alphabet letters into applique elements.  With Jeanne's explicit instructions and demonstrations, you'll work hands-on to complete sample applique letters with fanciful flourishes.  Easily master all techniques in class including perfect pre-turned applique letters, truly invisible hand applique stitches and beautiful, enviable embroidery embellishments.  Count on precision techniques for getting great results!
Springtime's Promise, which is also the cover of Jeanne's book, is her Four Day Class.
 She has masterfully woven enticing detail into a rich and vibrant color plan for this stunning, nostalgic piece.  Within the basket layered foliage and spectacular florals herald "Springtime's Promise".  Traditional, layered, Broderie Perse, Trapunto, padded, fussy-cut and surprise cut applique methods are among the choices to dress your block in vintage charm.  Count on leaving class with your bag stuffed with new tricks, problem-solving strategies and precision needle skills.
Moving to an era slightly before the Baltimore Albums, Rita Verroca brings us John Hewson Chintz for her One Day class.
John Hewson, a protege of Benjamin Franklin, was an American expert textile printer in the 18th century.  Part of this celebrated printer's works are fabrics designed specifically for use in making quilts and it is believed that he printed some chintz squares especially for his wife using different blocks he owned.  Join Rita to learn the decorative technique of Broderie Perse.  Applique these beautiful motifs, the slender vase with flowers, the birds and butterflies to create this elegant chintz applique quilt.
Next on the chintz parade from Rita is Ann Daggs Chintz for her Four Day class. 
Take advantage of the elegant John Hewson border fabric in this central medallion which was inspired by a quilt made in 1818 by Ann Daggs of Rochester, New York. Pieced from a John Hewson border print, the vase is the focal point of this multi-faceted floral arrangement incorporating patchwork, Broderie Perse and applique. Using needle turn applique, Rita will focus on cut out chintz applique as well as all aspects of regular applique. This class will give you the opportunity to work with a multitude of fabrics and designs while strengthening your sense for color and color coordination.
In a quick time travel, Nadine Thompson brings us to the 1930's and 40's with her One Day class The Way We Were which has its roots with kitchen towels.
This was a time when Moms went to church on Sunday, washed on Monday, ironed on Tuesday, well you get the idea.  Each student will receive patterns for all 9 blocks but will work on 1 during class.  Time will be spent on embroidery as well as applique.  Each block has a little of both.  As these are simple blocks, students should be able to nearly finish an entire block during class!
And to round out the class offerings for Baltimore on the Prairie 2013, Nadine brings us back to the Baltimore Album era with A Bird in the Hand for her Four Day class.
This is for the most part a lesson in needle turn applique.  There are two different roses, uncounted leaves (Nadine mentions this as she often can't stand knowing how many) and the usual quirky bird.  Nadine wants you to know that for the most part everything in this design is composed of basic skills which encompasses needle turn, perfect circles, reverse applique, a folded rose, stuffed roses, embroidery and so much more.
So there you have the 2013 lineup and it is our hope that we have succeeded in presenting you with visual impact, techniques and variety.
One of the perks, so to speak, for attendees of the conference is the opportunity for a head start on registering for the next year's conference.  Saturday evening September 14, 2013 the faculty will be announced and their class projects displayed for the 2014 conference.  After the announcement registration begins for the attendees with general registration beginning Monday September 16, 2013. 
Yes, the faculty and their projects have been selected for 2014 and I guarantee that you will be very impressed with not only the composition of the faculty but wowed again with their classes.
For more information on the 2013 conference, visit the website at
Until next time,