Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My applique class with Elly Sienkiewicz

I have just returned home from my trip to Houston and the International Quilt Festival.  I took a wonderful  applique class with Elly Sienkiewicz.  This was a two day class called Peahen in a Crescent Wreath.  The focus of the class was to learn some advanced techniques for off block construction of applique elements.  We worked on the peahen and one of the flowers on a gridded interfacing type material that Elly called gossamer. 

We worked on embellishing our rather plain peahen (you know the female bird is always the duller less colorful of a pair of birds).  Elly had lots of her beautiful album blocks in plastic sleeves

 that she would pass around the class room for us to get embroidery and embellishing ideas.  The rose was a padded technique where we would layer quilt batting under each section of the rose using just one fabric and quilting the different petals of the rose to give it dimension. When the peahen and rose are completed I will then trim the gossamer to 1/8 inch around the applique and because it is so thin, it will easily be tucked under the applique as I sew it onto the background.  We also worked on adding inking to our blocks.  Elly has beautiful lettering skills and she wrote on each of our blocks. 

 This little bandoleer on my block is only about one and a half inches long and she wrote my name in the banner of the design and then dated it and wrote her name and the words "scripts it" which means she did the lettering.    She also wrote beautiful comments in our books if we had brought any of her books for signatures.

  She is the most gracious person, it was just a joy to listen and learn from her.  She has so much knowledge about Baltimore album quilts and the women of 1850s Baltimore, Maryland.  I could have just listened to her for days. 

The rest of the quilt show was also wonderful, always so much inspiration and new ideas and products.  This post is getting rather long so I will share just this picture of  this quilt featuring wind turbines.

 I think the wind turbines are so graceful turning in the wind and I love to watch them if we drive by a wind turbine field.    I come from a Dutch heritage and I love windmills,

 I though it was clever that this quilter added an image of an old fashioned type of windmill in her quilt-gold half square tirangle in the upper right corner of this photo.   I am sorry to say that I did not get the name of this quilter.

I picked up a great new book by Jeanne Sullivan called Simply Successful Applique. This is a technique book more than a pattern book, but there is a DVD and patterns included.  

She has a great technique for preparation of her applique pieces that I am going to have to try and good illustrations of each step of her process.  There is good  review of all the basic steps of applique from the starting and ending knots, to the applique stitch, to properly cutting your applique background fabric.

The rest of our trip to Texas was spent with family.  A few days at a beach house in Galveston with the cutest grand child  in the world.

We did some flounder fishing, spent lots of hammock time and played in the sand.   We are back home now and the short sleeved and warm weather  cloths have been unpacked and sadly hung in the back of the closet. 

I am appliqueing with new passion and am anxious to start a Baltimore Album quilt. I will have to figure out a way to include the peahen block with it's very special signature.

Happy Stitching All,


  1. Hi Cheri It looks like you had a wonderful trip, and you are so lucky to have taken a class with Elly S. The wind turbine quilt is neat. Sounds like you had a great trip.

  2. How delightful. A class with Elly is on my bucket list and thanks for the reminder about the book.

  3. That sounds like a wonderful way to spend your week! Quilting and family!

  4. OH, you lucky girl getting to take a class with Elly.

  5. oh I dream of taking a class with her.
    someday I hope soon. Looks like a book I need to have
    glad you had a great week.
    sounds perfect to me