Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fleurs & Blumen: 2018 Academy Classes

Do you have a passion for appliqué, or perhaps embroidery? Do you enjoy creating lovely pieces of handwork with fibers and fabric? Have you wished there were a place where you could sit and stitch with others who share your love of hand-stitching, forming a bond with "sisters" from around the world? (Indeed, there are a number of attendants each year from around the U.S., Canada, Ireland, even Australia!) And finally, when you get to the end of a long winter, don't you feel like you could really benefit from a bit of "me" time? Well, this is your opportunity! 

Kara and I (Teri) were delighted when Barbara Blanton, proprietress of the Academy of Appliqué in Williamsburg, Virginia, invited us to return in 2018 to teach. Our creative sides kicked in immediately to determine what we would be stitching in our classes. We both were inspired by vintage/antique pieces, and flowers are always part of the mix. Take a closer look and see what we will be creating. We'd love to meet you!

Oiseau et Panier (Bird and Basket)

Class: February 26-28, 2018

Some time ago, Kara purchased this panel from someone on eBay. She wasn't sure of the age of the block, but the seller indicated that she had sourced it from France, and it clearly had some age to it. We are hoping to dig up some more information about the history of the piece, but that will be a future blog post. Kara began to design a block pattern based on the birds and basket, and we searched for just the right materials. That is always one of the most enjoyable parts of the process for us. Kara always loves to put on bird on things, so you can see why she'd be drawn to this design; she opted for one bird, however, rather than two.

Let's explore some of the details.

L'Oiseau (The Bird)

The sweet bird has a rather coy look, don't you think?
The embroidered accents add much to the bird's body,... well as some frilly tail feathers! 

Le Panier (The Basket)

The basket has a bit of woven dimension.

Lace and pearl blooms at the basket's base

Les Fleurs (The Flowers)

Hand-dyed silk creates this lovely bloom,... well as this elegant rose.

Gathered velvet posies

A fussy-cut fabric flower

A wired-ribbon rose

Some dainty blossoms


This class will be held from Monday through Wednesday, February 26–28, 2018. Registration opens on Labor Day.

Zierblumen (Bouquet of Flowers)

Class: March 1-3, 2018

Originally, we had a whole different plan for our second block. We had a particular block from an antique Baltimore Album quilt that we had seen and adored, and from the time we saw it, we knew we wanted to recreate it in our own style. But of all the Baltimore Album blocks there are, wouldn't you know that the very one we had chosen to teach had already been selected—and stitched—by another teacher! What are the odds?! Since we had only gotten as far as selecting the materials, we looked to other inspiration. When I stumbled upon this German print from 1894, it seemed to scream at me to stitch it. And what better way to celebrate our international stitching relationship than to recreate some German blumen (flowers)! 

Zierblumen means ornamental flowers, and each flower is listed in German at the bottom of this chromolithograph print. It was quite the challenge to decipher the lettering in the old font, but I finally succeeded. (Thank you, Google Translate!)  

Let's study some of the blumen in detail.

Rosa Rose: Pink Rose

Gelbe Rose: Yellow Rose

Rote Nelke: Red Carnation

Gelbe Nelke: Yellow Carnation

Fuchsie: Fuchsia

Heckenrose: Wild Rose

Stiefmütterchen: Pansies

Pelargonie: Geranium

Vergißmeinnicht: Forget Me Nots

This class will be held from Thursday through Saturday, March 1–3, 2018. Registration opens on Labor Day.

To see a complete listing of the offerings at the 2018 Academy of Appliqué, click here for the full Class Catalog. We hope to meet you there!!

If you'd like to read about our past Academy experiences, check out these posts:
Williamsburg's 2017 Academy of Appliqué: A Photo Journal
Our Quilting Road Trip Continues


  1. hi ladies, I am coming to the Academy Feb-March and will be taking this class. I was so happy to see the details of all the lovely blooms. Looking forward to meeting both of you and enjoying this class.

    1. Hello, Cathy! We are looking forward to meeting you, too, and having lots of fun!!