Royal School of Needlework-- 2015 Courses

Monday, February 16, 2009


I am a semi-retired New Englander with a passion for travel and applique. In September of 1989, I had joined a local quilt guild at the insistence of a co-worker. For years, I attended meetings and enjoyed watching as others created quilt masterpieces. I marvelled at the lady who pieced one quilt top every week. I was inspired by the elderly woman who showed off a finished wall hanging at every monthly meeting, in addition to hand quilting large quilts every month for other ladies. I decided to make a Rail Fence patterned quilt, but once I saw the actual design come to life with the odd browns and greens I had chosen, I folded it up and put it in a dresser drawer, where it remains to this day.

See example of Rail Fence at

Shortly after carpal tunnel surgery on both hands in 1999, I realized that I would no longer be restricted to machine work, but could do hand applique as well. I learned that several ladies from the guild would be offering instruction on Baltimore Album Applique, and I decided to attend. I envisioned the beautiful designs on a black background, and while the other ladies were searching for just the right off-white for a background fabric, I had begun my black beauty. The experienced BAQ (Baltimore Applique Quilt) ladies were shocked to think that I would forge ahead with such an unorthodox background. Eventually, I decided to add an off-white BAQ to my work, so that I could compare the differences in using the equivalent fabrics on different backgrounds. By 2004 I had the Baltimore Album twins finished. I had originally planned to place 25 blocks in each quilt but decided to go with just 20 blocks each.

In this five year period I had learned about other special BAQ projects I wanted to work on, so I decided it was time to wrap up these 2 projects. Photos will be posted later.

My husband and I travel a lot. He does historical re-enactments. Most of the time he is a Topographical Engineer with the New England Brigade (Civil War). He also does some Revolutionary War and Roman Legion re-enactments. I help him pack the car, drive him to the events, and help with unpacking the car and setting up the Topographical Engineers' fly. With the various weekend events and one day workshops, he easily attends 35-40 events a year. While he is educating the public about historical things, I find a quiet place to do applique. As time progresses, I will include some photos of the historical events as well.

When we are not involved with his re-enactment schedule, we love to travel by way of cruising. In the future, I plan to tell you about our travel adventures and include photos of some of the places we visit. My applique goes with me on these cruises, and I make a lot of friends with the ladies doing handwork. We frequently work together onboard.

I am part of a group of ladies who meet to do applique together. Every October we meet to enjoy a three-day Applique Retreat at a popular Connecticut retreat location. I will be telling you about these applique get-togethers and show photos of these applique times together, too.

I will be happy to welcome comments by all of you who are interested in Applique, Travel, and Historical Re-enactments.

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