Wednesday, April 27, 2011

She Traveled with The Band

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At one point in the workshop, Allie leaned over to me and whispered, "This thing [the band sampler] is a historical document!"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.


And it was the perfect setting for one of Gerry K's handpainted bluebird buttons.

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.

You rocked!

19 comments:

Allison Ann Aller said...

You captured SO much in this post...thank you, Susan!

verobirdie said...

What can I say? That I'm green with envy? That is not even true,I would be green if you did not know how lucky you are, but I know you are quite aware of that :-) and I enjoy this adventure through your reports, and it is already a great "bonheur".
Thank you

MosaicMagpie said...

What a great post, I throughly enjoyed it. From the humorous title to the breath taking photos. Sharon's block did take my breath away. Stunning! And the block pieced using print fabrics....never would I have pieced an entire block from prints and here it is looking beautiful. Gerry's button is right at home on that block as well as all the lovely colorful stitching. Thank you for all your wonderful photos I will study them and try to learn something from them. Sharon's band certainly does rock! What a testament to her lovely work.
Thank you again for a great post!
Deb

Maureen said...

You sure make photographs tell a story all their own. I love this post and thank you so much for covering this class so thoroughly.

flyingbeader said...

Wow she does have amazing work. I don't do traditional needlework, but I love following her blog to get ideas on how to come up with new bead embroidery ideas.
luck you
dot

shirley said...

This was so interesting to read your words, and the pictures told a vivid story of your experience at the workshop.

Rachel said...

Sharon does do wonderful work, and her band sampler has been a great inspiration to a good many of us..

Anonymous said...

Susan, there's something about your blog that imparts a feeling of excitement and makes my heart beat faster. I read every word and had to leave a comment before I go back and follow each link. I love seeing Gerry K's name now and then on your blog...we live in the same town. My fingers stay busy with all kinds of needlework, but I will make time to try some of the tempting work you have shown here. I adore the layers of yummy ribbons and lace.
Andrea

Lorraine @ creativedaily said...

I've been waiting in anticipation for your photos of this event and once again Susan, you do not disappoint! Seeing Sharon's sampler through your eyes is incredible. Thanks so much for sharing these - will look forward to MORE!!!!

Ingrid Mida said...

What a treasure trove of inspiration!! Thank you so much for sharing this us. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with what you learned.

lifemyway said...

Sharon truly is an inspiration. It must have been incredible to see her band sampler in person. I would love to see it myself.

black bear cabin said...

That must have been one fabulous gathering! soooo much talent in one room! wonderful photos, thanks for sharing :)

Marty52 said...

You take such grand pictures and have such great insight. Thanks for both of them. ;0)

C in DC said...

Wow. That's amazing. I sure hope she (or her family) donates the sampler and its story/blog to a museum some day. A historical record, indeed!

Evelyn and Lise said...

Thank you for all the pictures and comments. I would of loved to had gone to this class. What a great experience!!!!!

crazyQstitcher said...

Thank you Susan for a wonderful post.
I was hoping someone would show photos and you have added descriptions
to make my mouth water.

What a great gathering.

FlowerLady said...

What a wonderfully inspiring post about an awesome artist. WOW! This makes me look at PinTangle and her band in a whole new light. Thank you for sharing this. I'm doing the TAST 2012 stitches and am having a hard time keeping up. Sigh!

The loveliness of all this work by so many ladies just makes me want to cry for some reason.

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Anonymous said...

Show one's gratitude you entirely much in regard to the take forum. I well-trained a luck and got to be acquainted with the lucid with spellbinding people. I'll be a iterative visitor.

annecaroline said...

Thank you for sharing the wonderful Sharon,I am in absolute awe of this marvellous artist ,one day I hope to attend a workshop,Annie,Australia.

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