Schamber Made

Sharon The Love Opener

Hi Everyone! I’m SO glad to see that you enjoyed my exclusive Sharon Schamber quilt preview. I knew you would like seeing these amazing blocks as much as I did. Aren’t you glad we’re BFFs and that I know you so well? 

After I made the last post, I was left with trying to decide what to share with you next. I had other things from the trip that I planned to talk about, but I kept coming back to the images that didn’t make it into the first post. You see, I couldn’t get them off my mind. I was having this internal debate over what to share next and I wasn’t able to make a decision. I thought and I thought, and then I thought some more. I was looking for a sign that would tell me what I should talk about next. Then something special happened . . .

Ahhhhhhh . . . (Visualize a shaft light streaming down from the heavens and my hands lifted up in praise. If you’ve been to one of my programs, you know what I’m talking about—if not—visualize, like I said.)

The sign I had been waiting for arrived early this morning. This morning I received was my 10,000th blog hit. I couldn’t believe it. My blog says I’ve had 10,000 hits—and I have only been blogging since March 6th—SWEET!!! I thought it would take months to get to this point. I’m thrilled and surprised—and more importantly—I know that Sharon’s work is a major contributor to helping me get to this important milestone so quickly.

Mr. 10,000 To celebrate my 10,000th blog hit and to say thank you for your wonderful support, I thought I’d share a few more photos and details from that wonderful day.  There are lots of pictures and supporting commentary in honor of this occasion. I hope enjoy the show.

Sharon, Gene and Tom discussing applique blocks

Sharon, Gene (her husband) and I discussing the blocks as she unveils each one.

I couldn’t get over how beautiful these block were. Can you see my mouth hanging open? I was truly in awe. Beyond their beauty, did you notice her color choices? Most Baltimore Album-style quilts are done in red and green. Sharon’s color palette takes this style of quilt into a refreshing and new direction without sacrificing tradition.

Sharon Schamber, two birds block #2

Love birds block with finished border.

What you didn’t see in the previous post, is that each of the blocks will be framed by this beautiful and elaborate border. The border is a combination of Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles. I love that it reads as both square and circular at the same time. As elaborate as the border is, it doesn’t detract from the central applique motif. As I said, she is a master.

Sharon Schamber, two bird block, bird closeup.

Detail from love birds block.

Here is a close up photo from the love birds block. Notice how the quilting lines (light blue) in the center of the block radiate out forming a star. The quilting design is very dense and linear in the center of the block before it moves out to the surrounding feathers. Beyond the flowing feathers, a quarter-inch beadboard treatment is used.

Sharon Schamber, two bird block border detail closeup

Closeup of love birds border and quilting design.

The border is created using bias strips appliqued in a semi-geometric Celtic-style knot. I love this new twist on a traditional idea. Look at the variety of textures Sharon has incorporated into the quilting design. There is a lot of variation in scale, texture and patterning. She moves effortlessly between linear and organic shapes, creating a dynamic, yet harmonious design.

There are so many levels of interest within each and every component of this quilt’s design. The same level of diversity can also be found in the quilting designs that support each block. I wish I could envision my quilts to this level of detail. Simply amazing to see and to study up close.

Sharon Schamber, two bird block, flower and quilting closeup

Closeup of flower applique details and quilting design.

Really . . . What can you say other than WOW! I mean it. WOW!

Sharon Schamber, peacock block with borders

Peacock on branch with borders almost complete

Here’s a look at the peacock block. I LOVE this block. The berries are very small and PERFECTLY round. Look at the detail in the peacock’s face. The next photo will give you a sense of the scale of these tiny tiny features. Look at Sharon’s finger in relation to the peacock’s head. They are almost the same size. This is CRAZY good. 

Sharon Schamber, peacock block showing size of applique

Sharon is pointing out the details as we discuss the block.

Now you see why I went on and on about the berries and the details in the peacock’s head. It will take me years of practice to do applique this small. Check out the stitching on the back of the blocks the photo above. The stitches are so clean and perfect—and small. Let’s not forget small. No wonder her applique is so spectacular.

Sharon Schamber, peacock block closeup

Details from peacock block.

Here’s a tight shot of the peacock block—which I LOVE! Have I mentioned that? Can you believe these elements are needleturned? I know. I’m in awe too.

Along with the elaborate applique, border and quilting designs, Sharon plans to add a great deal of hand embroidery to each block for additional interest. If you look closely at the quilting design in the background you can see additional lines for stems, vines and itty bitty berries. The level of detail in these blocks just doesn’t stop—THANK GOD!

Sharon Schamber

Sharon patiently showing off her latest creation while I take pictures.

Look at how much more dramatic the blocks are with the borders added.

Sharon Schamber, flower swag block with borders added

Flower sway block with borders added

This is the block on the far left in the previous photo. The detail in the border treatment is stunning—and if you look closely—you will see that the borders within each block change slightly based on the central motif. This approach to the border maintains design continuity, but still gives Sharon the flexibility she needs to enhance the applique in any manner she chooses.

Since the applique designs are not repeated, Sharon can use the border elements to visually balance each block design. Using this approach guarantees that the overall quilt design will be balanced.  This is a marvelous design solution. I looked at these blocks numerous times and didn’t notice this unique treatment until I started writing the post.

Sharon, Gene, Kathy and Tom discussing Sharon's applique block

Sharon explains to Kathy, Gene and I her plans to embroider the blocks.

I know I mentioned this previously, but Sharon not only dyes her own fabric, she has started dyeing her own floss. This gives her tremendous flexibility in her designs. She can coordinate every element of her quilt, down to the tiniest detail. It is inspiring to hear her talk about it. Like any professional, she makes it sound so easy.

When you spend time with someone like Sharon, you really start to believe you can do what they do. It only takes time and that’s what they will tell you. Sharon spends a great deal of time quilting, because it is what she loves and is passionate about. She also teaches a lot, so she spends hours sitting on a plane or in an airport, and she makes the most of that down time. Me, I’d be reading or sleeping, but not Sharon.

When you see results like this, there is no doubt that it’s time well spent. We are all blessed that she is so passionate and willing to share everything she knows and creates with people like you and me.

Sharon Schamber, topiary block waiting for borders

Topiary block awaiting the border applique.

I included this photo, so that you can get a sense of the scale of these blocks. I didn’t ask, but I think the finished blocks are around 16 or 18 inches square. If that’s the case, this is going to be a very big quilt. Can you imagine what the outer borders are going to look like. Oh yeah, you can imagine that . . . It’s gonna be something.

Sharon, Tom and Kathy discussing embroidery details

I'm asking about how she got such perfect color changes in her embroidery thread

Don’t you love my glasses? They aren’t mine. They are my friend DeNiece’s. She let me borrow them while Kathy and I looked at Sharon’s work. They make me look very smart and stylish, don’t you think? DeNiece was also acting as the photographer so I could be in some of the shots with Sharon.

Sharon Schamber, angel in topiary block closeup

Details of topiary block showing hand dyed floss and embroidery details

Look at those beautiful embroidered details. See how wonderfully the color changes along the berry vines? It’s this type, and level of detail that makes my heart sing. It’s magnificent and so beautifully executed. Again, she didn’t earn the right to be called a Master Quilter for just one aspect of her work. Master Quilters are judged on every aspect of the quilt’s execution.

Sharon Schamber and my friend DeNeice

Sharon and DeNiece, smiling for me as I take their picture.

Look! There’s Sharon and DeNiece. YEA! Look at those beautiful smiles. Thanks DeNiece for all the laughs, support and encouragement while we were in Paducah.

Oh Yeah . . . One More Thing I have to show this again—because it makes me smile—and because I can. 🙂

Gene, Sharon and Tom

Gene (Sharon's husband), Sharon and I are all smiles after looking at her beautiful work.

I really hope you have enjoyed another look at Sharon’s work and my wonderful day with her. I thought about celebrating the 10,000th hit with cheesecake, but I think this occasion calls for ice cream instead. When I reach 50,000 hits there will be cheesecake. Oh yeah . . . I’m looking forward to that. Thanks for stopping by!

Hey You . . . Yes, YOU I’ve still got more to share, so come back soon.

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26 Responses to “Schamber Made”

  1. Mike Kelley Says:

    Great pix. There better be more when she’s done.

    Congrats, Mr. 10,000.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi there! It’s so good to hear from you, and on such a special occasion too. I appreciate you help in making this event so special.

      I hope to show more pictures when the quilt is done, but I have no idea when that will be. Sharon does a lot of things at one time, so this quilt may sit for years partially made. The only one to know when it’ll be time to finish it, is Sharon.

      I’ll keep you posted if I have updates. Thanks again for stopping by!

  2. Karen E Overton Says:

    Keep writing Tom, I’ll be back EVERY time you post just as soon as my hot little hands can hit a keyboard to connect to your link. I just love the creative reporter in you! Your artist eye sees things that some of us don’t, and you have a fabulous way of narration that is both entertaining and educational. I’ve learned sooooo much from you my friend! Better than any art school (and no, I’m not paying tuition unless you’ll take it in heartfelt hugs). Thanks sooo much for sharing this about Sharon, and thank you Sharon for being a thoughtful sharing Master Quilter.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey there, Glad you are enjoying my reports. I have enjoyed doing them. Responses like yours makes it worth all the effort. I’m glad you have enjoyed my narratives as well as the photos. I debated a lot about adding my comments, but I thought you should know what I found interesting in the work. I’m glad you found my commentary interesting.

      In regards to payment. Yes, I accept hugs for tuition. They are my favorite currency.

  3. Margo Says:

    Yep! I’m droolin’!!! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!! Looking forward to more!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Margo, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the show so far. I have a bit more to talk about and show you, so I recommend keeping a box of tissues next to your keyboard—just in case.

  4. Robin Says:

    You made the right decision about what photos to show!! Oh my I’m drooling, and it’s not because of the ice cream 😉 !! Thank you for sharing this!!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Robin, I’m glad you confirmed my decision. There was just too much to cover in the initial post, but I couldn’t keep these extra photos to myself.

      Being aware of the border treatment changes the way you look at each block’s design. I think it helps you better visualize the intricacies of this quilt and what is involved in creating it. Couple that information with the detail shots, and you really start to appreciate the complexity of this quilt.

      I know this level of work is intimidating to some, but it is inspiring to me, so I can’t help but share it. Glad you enjoyed the show.

  5. Funky's Mama Says:

    There’s not much I love better than cheesecake, but these photos win out no contest! Thanks so much for a great post with the gorgeous photos!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      I know what you mean. Cheesecake is hard to compete with, but this is no ordinary quilt.

      I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished. I’m sure we will all be blown away by its beauty.

  6. Carol Anderson Says:

    Tom, every time I read your posts I just have to smile — you entertain and educate at the same time. No wonder you’re such a great teacher. And tell Sharon thank you for the preview of her newest masterpiece. I am totally in awe of her and her work.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Oh Carol, you are so sweet. Thank you for the compliment. It means a lot coming from someone who has taught so many, so well. I really appreciate it.

      I will let Sharon know that you—and everyone else who has left comments— appreciate her efforts and generosity. I know she will be pleased by your enthusiastic and heartfelt responses.

      Thanks again for your kind words. Here’s a big (((( hug )))).

  7. jayardi Says:

    • • • Personally, I think you made the right decision. Her work is astounding and the depth of her quilting is truly spectacular. I will never tire of seeing her visions. Only wish I could incorporate it into my pieces.

    Congratulations on your 10,000 hits! I know you can blame me for quite a few of them. ; )

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Blame you? Are you kidding me? I’m thrilled that you keep coming back!

      I can easily see you incorporating Sharon’s construction and quilting techniques into your work. Sharon doesn’t want you to replicate her work. She uses her quilts as example for what you can do.

      I know you have the ability to do this, so I’m not even going there, but I urge you to pick one element you like in her work and try it in your own. I promise you that if you try it, you will like it.

      That’s the way I got started. I was skeptical at first, but once I starting exploring the she techniques she uses, it changed the way I look at creating quilts. This applies to all aspects of her work, from creating the top to quilting it. Her techniques are solid and very user friendly. I know you will love them once you give them a whirl.

      I have faith in you and your ability, so give it a try.

      Trust me. I’m a professional.

  8. Dreamz Happen Quiltz Says:

    Congrats! AND thanks for all the pictures! Beautiful!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hello there, I’m glad you stopped by and have enjoyed the show. I’ve got lots more to share, so I hope you come back and visit again.

  9. Barb Says:

    Thank you, thank you for including your comments with the pictures. I would never have been able to appreciate her work and design in the same way without your narrative. If you missed it, I NEVER would have seen it! My experience is really limited and a lot would fly right by me without your help. A lot flies by anyway, but you are so good at sharing your knowledge and insight. Thanks again!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Oh Barb, You are too sweet. I’m glad my tour helped you see what I see when I look at Sharon’s work.

      Sharon is thoughtful and deliberate in her approach to quilting.This makes her work easy to write about because it’s easy to see the relationships she is creating across the surface of the quilt.

      When she designs a show quilt, everything is designed before the first piece of fabric is chosen. This is how she is able to make her quilting so integral to the overall quilt design. For most quilters, the quilting is a filler or texture to accentuate the motifs. Sharon on the other-hand makes quilting an equal partner in her designs.

      See there I go again. I get all excited about talking about her work. Thanks Barb. You are the best. I’d give you a big hug if you were within arms reach.

      One more thing. I know you—and NOTHING—I MEAN NOTHING—gets by you. Thanks for posting. I always love hearing from you.

      How’s your mom’s quilt coming? I can’t wait to see it.

  10. Eileen Keane Says:

    Oh my!! Just when I thought there couldn’t be any more eye candy, you come along and just sweep me away again. I so wish I lived close enough to be able to see her thought processes in person.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Eileen, so nice of you to drop by again. I know what you mean. I actually considered moving to Payson, just so I could be near her. If you want to know more about her thought processes, then I HIGHLY recommend watching her videos.

      She has a few that focus on her design process and how she approaches things. If you watch her videos often enough you can get a sense of how she approaches her work. You have to listen to her, more than watch the lesson. That’s the reason I have watched all of her videos at least a dozen times.

      Her videos provide a lot of insight into her methodology. You also get to see glimpses of show quilts in progress. They are little peeks that if you aren’t watching carefully you will miss them. She doesn’t hide them, but she doesn’t tell you they are competition pieces either. She clever like that.

      Thanks again for stopping by. It’s always good to hear from other Sharon fans.

  11. Lynn Says:

    Wow, those are truly some of the most amazing, artistic applique blocks I’ve ever seen. Just stunning!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Lynn, Aren’t they though. Simply amazing and she is only getting started. I will be looking forward to the day this quilt shows up in the winners circle. I think we will all be standing around it spellbound.

      It’s easy to share when I receive responses like yours.

  12. Eileen Keane Says:

    I am so glad my friend gave me your url! You can be sure I will be a frequent visitor.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Elieen, I’m glad she did too. This blogging thing is a lot more fun, when you know people are reading what you have to say.

  13. Kathleen Dombi Says:

    Tom,
    Thanks soooooooooo much for these wonderful pictures of what Sharon has created for us to enjoy. She is such a creative person and I am another one that loves her videos. Please continue sharing this beauty with us Tom.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Kathleen, You are very welcome. It’s always a pleasure to share amazing things, and Sharon’s work is simply amazing. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll come back again soon.

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