I've been taking a class to learn the hand applique techniques for a Baltimore Album-style quilt and I am only just finishing my first square while my fellow classmates are on squares 3, 4 or 5. I did, however, miss class #2 in which they learned important techniques for piecing layered designs and making rosebuds and such. My instructor has been gracious enough to extend to me the opportunity for a one-on-one make-up lesson at her home which I am very happy to take her up on. Class #3 was this weekend and I learned to make rouched roses and form small applique pieces by heavily starching them around a form.
The square above is 13x13 inches. It is entirely hand-stitched with the needle turning method, whereby the design is drawn on the gold fabric, the entire gold square is basted over the dark background square, and then you begin snipping your way around the drawn design, an inch or so at a time, then turning that edge under with your needle and using very tiny stitches, you sew it in place. While that may sound like a boring or frustrating task, I actually found it very meditative and relaxing. I put it right up there with knitting. Now I have to decide on Square #2 (which needs to incorporate a rouched rose) and get it done before Easter weekend.
Now if I can stay healthy, find some time in the evenings, and get it in gear, maybe I could surprise the teacher and get 2 squares done before our class is over!