Hello Friends & Welcome to the New Site!
Come on in! This is our Happy Hive! A fun, happy place where we just forget about the outside world and create our own reality, projects and good times! As all of you know, quilting is my love but applique, traditional quilting and all things hand stitching are my true passions in life! I will never forget when I saw for the first time a Baltimore Album quilt hanging at a quilt show that my first quilting teacher took a group of us too. I literally stopped in my tracks and I said, "Oh how I want to make one of those one day!" That quilt took my breath away! Well it was many years later that I finally was brave enough to try applique. When I did, I was hooked! My first class was a whimsical, little chicken with Pearl Pereira. I was so excited I completed it that day! Then I went home and dug out a pattern that I had been saving. One that I "thought" was too hard...one of those ones you take out and dream and pet! It wasn't hard after all!! With the prepared edge method, it was easy, simple and a whole lot of fun! When I was making this quilt called "Robert's Floral Garden," I started experimenting with all different kinds of embroidery threads and then seed beads for embellishment! Ahhh another love was born! Embellishing!! I was telling everyone I knew!
Robert's Floral Garden took me 2 years to make and those sure were happy years! I would take my blocks with me everywhere. I started reading every book I could get my hands on about embroidery stitches and beading. I truly had found what made me happy! Then, while I was on the computer one night googling applique, The Elly Sienkiewicz Applique Academy came up. I read all about it and decided to go. When I went I had only 5 of the blocks done of my quilt. The ladies there were so nice and supportive. They encouraged me to get up during show and share. (Goodness I am not good at all in getting up in front of people but I am working on getting better!) Everyone was so supportive that I was inspired to come home and get the rest of the quilt done in time for show and share the next year! I did and after that, I decided it was time! Armed with several of Elly Sienkiewicz's books, I began my journey making my first Baltimore Album quilt. I can proudly say it is one of my happiest achievements. Not because I am proud of myself but because I have been able to reach so many people and encourage them to applique, embroider and bead and to keep this amazing tradition that I am so passionate about alive. Many of these blocks came from Elly's books but several of them were designed by me and have a lot of meaning.
With applique you can be as simple or as complex as you want. You don't have to match up points precisely and you can use leaves and flowers to cover up a mistake! There are so many methods out there, it is just a matter of finding what is right for you and taking from as many teachers as you can! I find that I sometimes use several methods in one pattern. It is always great to have as many skills as you can in your "applique arsenal" when tackling a project!
Now, I can't believe that I have the great honor of getting to teach at the Kathy Dunigan Academy of Applique. I still sometimes find myself asking, "Really? I get to go back and do this again this year! Fantastic they want me back?! Oh wow!! I am so excited! Thank the Lord!" Teaching for me has never gotten old. I love it! I taught traditional quilting for many years at my shop before I closed it, went on line only and moved to Virginia, a life-long dream of mine. Teaching was one of the things that I missed the most.
As for me personally, many of you know I moved back from my beloved state of Virginia to take care of my Mother who is battling Alzheimers. We make the best of it and call on the Lord all the time. I am fortunate I can be with her and make sure she is taken care of properly and I have the support of dear friends as well. But one of the biggest sources of happiness for both Mom and I come from our little chihuahua, Grace who is the center of our world. She keeps my Mom and I smiling and laughing. For that I am eternally grateful! Dog is God spelled backwards for a reason....it is a source of unconditional love and support that is for sure!
In closing, I wanted to write my own little history and thank you for reading it. The lady that was helping me with the PR was very kind and glowing in what she said and I am thankful. She told me that I needed on how I write about myself and getting myself out there. Well I am sure that is true but I like to be more humble about it. I want to be approachable. I want you to feel and know I am here for you! Just as I want all of you to know applique, embroidery and embellishing is easy!! You make it as simple or as complex as you want....find Your method...do what you like to do! In the immortal words of Elly Sienkiewicz who I love and admire so dearly, "Your way is the right way!"
Honeybee Fabrics was founded in 2006 by Melissa Simross, a lady who has quilted for 23 years and applique´ing for 15. Applique´, embroidery & teaching are Melissa’s true passions in life as well as the love of Baltimore Album quilts which she learned during the 9 years she attended The Applique´ Academy in Williamsburg, VA. She loves all of the symbolism and beauty that these old quilts have and loves to design her own patterns as well.
Melissa currently teaches classes at the Kathy Dunigan Academy of Applique in Dallas, Texas held each year in February. Her work has been published in Elly Sienkiewicz’s book, Beloved Baltimore Album Quilts and also hung at the 2010 Houston Quilt Convention, in the Netherlands and other exhibitions. Melissa’s work was also published in Elly Sienkiewiczs’ Spoken Without A Word – 30th Anniversary Revised Edition. Before this, she has also designed and done work for Jan Vaine for her book, The Art of Elegant Hand Embroidery, Embellishment and Applique´.
Here at Honeybee Fabrics, it is important to Melissa that you feel this is your home away from home…your safe place to get away and be inspired! Her goal is for this to be your go-to site for all your applique´ needs. To be able to fill up your sewing basket with the latest, the essentials, to restock on necessary items and also the luxury items that make your valuable time spent stitching extra special. She also carries new and exciting items that are coming out on the market as well! You can find out every week what is available through the newsletter, The Weekly Buzz. I hope you will sign up today and stay tuned!