Wednesday, February 26, 2014


My Artist Studio space at TESAA

TESAA Tuition - $975
Lodging - $1850
Travel - $475
One Perfect Berry - Priceless
One Perfect Experience - Beyond Priceless

Closeup of Santa Maria block
drafted and stitched by Mercy Savage
I just returned from the19th Annual Elly Sienkiewicz Applique Academy in Williamsburg, VA where I was honored to serve as Guest Artist.  This honor included the privilege of teaching a one day class for a large group of enthusiastic needle artist.

Me teaching on 2/20/2014
My Aqua Album in progress in the background
I was also given a beautiful space in the center of all the activities to display my work and chat with Academy attendees as they strolled from class to class and vendor to vendor.

My perfect berry in Sandra Leichner's class

As if this honor was not special enough, I also had another dream come true when took a 3 day class from Sandra Leichner.  That is where I was able to stitch my PERFECT BERRY.  I loved Sandra's class.  It is just you, the fabric, the needle, and the thread.  Yes, there are freezer paper templates and an overlay but no glue, no starch, no burned finger tips, no kindergarten craft-type work, etc.  My favorite prep method is still Template Free (Back Basting) but we share the love of needle turn and her instructions and generosity of spirit were, again, priceless!

My Main Conference Class was with Elly Sienkiewicz. As always, Elly was delightful. In a few minutes, as she lectured on the class topic, she twisted a yard of silk ribbon into this beautiful rose.  Elly wrote the book - both literally and figuratively - on manipulating silk and cotton into gorgeous bouquets and is responsible for this Golden Age of high style applique that we are now enjoying.  She is currently working on book number 21.

From left to right, Faye Labanaris, Elly Sienkiewicz, Mercy Savage
A chance meeting in Faye's room and captured by my husband on his iPhone.
Here I am on the right, Elly is in the center, and Faye Labanaris is on the left.  Faye, a vendor and teacher at the event, is a talented, award-winning needle artist known for 3-D flowers fashioned from silk and Ultrasuede that can be applied to quilted projects or clothing. The fact that she has been my dear friend for many years, is once more, priceless.

I was able to spend one afternoon at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum visiting the Quilts in the Baltimore Manner show.  I feel a powerful connection to these quilts and they has invaded by artistic sensibilities.  I can see their influence in everything I am currently stitching and sketching.  Here are a few of my favorites from the show.

Stay tuned for more quilts and photos in coming blog entries.

Until next time,
best stitches from sunny, warm Miami, Florida