Thursday, March 16, 2017

Williamsburg's 2017 Academy of Appliqué: A Photo Journal

This functional colonial doll, with her sewing apron,  was as ready as we all were to spend a week with our stitching friends, enjoying the art of appliqué. This lovely lady was found in one of the gift shops in Colonial Williamsburg.
Aren't those hand-dyed ribbons behind her just screaming to be turned in to flowers?!

Kara and I (Teri) spent the day on Monday setting up our classroom in the Resort Center at Kingsmill Resort. Our first class was the Floral Wreath, above left, and the second class was the center block of The Secret Garden quilt, above right.

Our display tables were filled with samples of our appliqué work and a few wares:
threads by The Gentle Art, French wired ribbons, Hanah hand-dyed, silk bias ribbon for pansies,
an assortment of silk ribbons by River Silks, needles, pens, and our patterns and kits.

Fairy tale stitching on display, above left. Our Fairy Tale Album will be in the
Chicago Quilt Festival,  so a notebook of block photos had to take its place.

All ready! Kits, schedule, and goody bags—with chocolate, of course!—are all in place.
(Many thanks to Kristy for helping us set up our classroom!)

When we returned to our room, we were greeted by this welcoming committee,
who just looked at us calmly when we got out of the car to go inside.

We awoke to this spectacular view of the sunrise from our balcony!
The birds were singing, and we were ready for a great day.

On our walk to the Resort Center, we spotted this rainbow;
how could this day be anything but perfect?
(In fact, our whole week was perfect!!)

Such a focused group of stitchers! We started back-basting leaves, before moving on to wired-ribbon boat leaves.
Don't let the serious stares fool you: we had plenty of laughter interspersed with those quiet stitching moments.

Ann is appliquéing her rose leaves.

Gayle, Rosa, and Nancy are busy creating pansies with bias silk ribbon.

Joanne and Ann are gathering wired-ribbon roses.

Joanne's rose and pansy

Janet and Phyliss are stitching clematis petals.

Progress! Phyliss did a lot of "homework" the previous night;
look at all those blooms!

Mila is stitching a jasmine bloom next to her rose.

Rosa is working on the turkey work center of her clematis. 

The first day of the Secret Garden class required lots of appliqué to build the garden wall,
in preparation for "planting" our wisteria trees.

Everyone was excited to start the wisteria, which is made with twisted sari silk, appliquéd to the wall.

Susan, Heather, Sandy, and Kate look on as Kara demonstrates rolling a wired-ribbon rose.
And I can assure you that this class also knew how to have fun; this deep concentration had the propensity to turn to raucous  laughter at the drop of a pin. At times I wondered if the staff would peek in to see how stitching could be so funny.

Our collective bouquet of roses, with a few buds

Breakfast and lunch were served daily, included with our registration.
Each day, one or two teachers would give a short presentation, sharing a few pieces of their work. Pictured above is Rita Verroca, who spoke the last day—the only day I was settled enough to remember to take some photos! After lunch, I took a little tour into the other classrooms and took a few photos.

Kerry Burke, of Simple Bird Studio, teaches prepared-edge appliqué. To read about her Academy experience, click here.

Barbara Carper, from Williamsburg, taught the stunning urn of flowers, far left.

I decided to make one last stop in the Huzzah Quilt Shoppe, owned by Barbara Blanton,
who is also the proprietor of the Academy of Appliqué.
She had some amazing fabrics available that just flew off the bolts!

Barbara Blanton and a friend packing up the shop.
Those big smiles reflect the fabulous week we had all had!

Kathy Richardson of the Suffolk Shaker Shop with her amazing wood items, ...

... including Shaker baskets... 
...and a lovely assortment of stitching tools.

Rita's class chose one of two blocks to stitch, and they worked hard until the very end! 

Judy Severson's class is busy working on their broderie perse projects.
Such creative designing goes on in this room!

Alas! Sunday arrived and it was time to go home. We did get to sleep in a bit, so the sun was up and shining brightly as we left the room and packed the van. We had one more stop to make before heading back to Maryland.

We enjoyed a brisk walk through Colonial Williamsburg, enjoying the sights of yesteryear, ...

... as well as a few sights of spring!

Since my head was more in teaching this year than taking pictures, I didn't even get around to the other rooms during the first half of the week. Therefore, I've only given you a glimpse of half the week. Wonderful classes were also taught by Andi Perejda, Nancy Chong, Marylou McDonald, and Barbara Burnham. (I'm so sorry I missed their rooms!) 

If you have ever attended the Academy of Appliqué, then you know how special the week is: an opportunity to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones. (Rather, long-time friends—many of them are quite young!😊) As Barbara reminded us each day: "There are no strangers; only friends we have not met yet." And what a wonderful place to find friends who share the same passion! If you have never attended, consider putting this on your bucket list. You will not regret it. Hope to see you next year! 

Check it out! It's never too soon to start planning for next year.


  1. What a fabulous post! How lucky you are that you work so well together. I love to teach, but it would be oh so much more fun with a great partner. I am so envious of your wonderful time. I would love to see Judy Severson again too. I served on the board of AQSG with her in the late 80's and early 90's and she is such a dear person. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure.

    1. Thanks, Wendy! We do have a great time teaching together. Hope you can make it to the Academy sometime!

  2. Thank you for sharing your week- I really missed the friends and experience this year. Already planning on 2018!

  3. Great recap of the week and the other teachers! It was nice to see your beautiful work in person! Until next year...

  4. I enjoy all your posts, tough to pick just one! Probably my favorite ONES are from the Acadrmy of Appliqué since I wasn't able to attend this year. You are a success because you love what you do! And so do I!

    1. Thanks, Charli! We DO love what we do...and we are glad you do, too! :-)