This is how I first met Sharon Boggon.
When I walked into my first workshop at the CQ Adventure, her band sampler stretched completely around the tables of the room and doubled back on itself.
It is 6 inches wide and almost 75 feet long and still growing.
To say I'm a fan of Sharon Boggon is an understatement.
Over the years, I have taken her online courses (Her Encrusted CQ class changed my life!), studied her quilts, and marveled at her acumen in organizing the All that Jazz fundraiser after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
But I think it's the generosity of her online stitch dictionary that is most over-the-top, amazing of all. It's monumental.
That stitch dictionary is a gift to mankind...right up there with Google and the Internet. I can't tell you how often I access her stitch references and am so grateful that she has chronicled all of those stitches and made them available...for free!
I find it wonderful that Sharon introduced herself to us by showing us her band sampler.
At first glance, you might be tempted to regard it as an extension of her stitch dictionary, chronicling the many different variations for a particular stitch or technique.
But it is so much more than that.
Sharon's band sampler is a physical representation of her many selves -- as Expert Embroiderer, Scribe of Stitches, Art Professor, Historian, Storyteller, Australian, Wife, Mother, and Daughter...
And the use of her band sampler to introduce herself, to chronicle her life, to document her stitches...couldn't be more apropos.
Sharon speaks volumes through her band sampler.
At one point in the workshop, Allie leaned over to me and whispered, "This thing [the band sampler] is a historical document!"
And in that moment, it all clicked. On her blog Pin Tangle, Sharon has been posting about each band of her sampler and giving the details for each one.
In her posts, she references and re-tells each band of her sampler...each detail of her story...
And by combining them all into one large roll, she has taken what was heretofore fragments...and placed them into one contiguous chronicle...an anthology of her life.
You can read about Sharon's history of her band sampler here and see all the posts she's written to date here.
And it's interesting to note that her chronicle continues to grow. It makes me wonder about how to chronicle my own life and my own work.
I learned so much more from Sharon than I have time to express here.
We learned many unique methods for making flowers...I loved this one titled "Margaret's Flower" named after the friend who taught it to her...and demonstrated by my workshop neighbor Lauri...
And we played with sequin waste...something none of us had ever done before...
It looked marvelous under the expert hands of Cathy Kizerian on the beautiful bird block she was working on. LOVE this block...
And here's another great sequin-waste example underway by my new French friend, Jocelyne Ausseil...
And here's Diane Matheson demonstrating a woven chain seam treatment on another lovely block...
[Author's Random Aside: Did you notice that all these ladies' outfits matched the blocks they were working on? It's a phenomenon I've noticed but that's a post for another day...]
And here's what Sharon was working on while we were stitching...
**Sigh** So lovely. She taught us those fun little knots bursting out of her flower poufs by using gimp. So much fun.
I most enjoyed discussing the methods for designing a block, for adding interest and movement to a block, and for fixing problems within a block.
My favorite day was when we all presented our blocks for Sharon's review and discussed potential pitfalls and/or strengths of each composition.
Here's one of my favorite examples of the day...It's a block by fellow workshopper Renee Gray and it shows a block she pieced using all prints. We all loved it, including Sharon.
I'm sure I'll be able to share more Sharon details over time as I work out her lessons in my own work. Thank you to Maureen for hosting her...
And thank you, Sharon. To you and your band.