I choose to write about Elly Sienkiewicz. Through her series of books on Baltimore Album quilting, I learned most of what I know about both regular applique and cutwork applique. I have completed 21 blocks from her books. I also appreciate that she incorporates hand stitching on the blocks as they did in Baltimore. She studied American quiltmaking, specifically the type made in Baltimore in the 1840’s. In her first book, Spoken Without a Word, she not only teaches hand applique but she also talks about the symbolism of the images.
Elly learned to quilt from her relatives in West Virginia. She attended Wellesley College and the University of Pennsylvania and then become a teacher. While staying home with her children, she not only began to teach quilt making but started a mail-order quilt supply business. She took a break from teaching to become a tour guide of historic Washington, D.C. It has from this period, that she really began researching and writing about this historical type of handwork.
She is the other of twenty-three books on applique and has received the Silver Star
Award for significant influence on the contemporary quilt world. She has lectured at the Smithsonian Institute as well as the Rockefeller Museum. Her work has been shown at numerous shows as well as at Glen Echo-The National Art Park, The Textile Museum, The Decatur House, The Art Barn in Rock Creek National Par, and The Decorators Showcase in Chevy Chase, Maryland.