Yesterday I received a gift in the mail that just about brought me to tears. My Husband, a.k.a. the sweetest man on the face of the planet, bought me two very special books for Christmas. One was by Sharon Schamber, and another by Karen McTavish. Because he is a collector of baseball cards and sports memorabillia, his immediate thought to make it even more special was to ask if he might get an autograph to go with the book. Well Karen's book was out of print, so he didn't get to order it directly from her - so he couldn't get an autographed copy. Instead he asked if maybe she could send a Christmas card...and she did! He once before had asked her for an autographed photo which she obliged and I have saved with all of my quilting books - I was a little afraid she was going to think I was "one of those" fans what with all the photos and autograph requests!!! But I have to say, I was tickled and honored that someone of her talent and level would take a moment to do somthing special for me - twice! - and that meant so much.
Now my Husband had also emailed Sharon Schamber and from what I understand her son runs her website. Christmas day had come and gone and he told me that he had tried to get ahold of Sharon but never heard back. I told my Husband not to be offended, she is really top of the crop and really, I don't think I know a quilter who's been quilting long who isn't lusting after her quilts!! :) So I really didn't expect to hear anything, and I was content with that. Well low and behold about a week after Christmas my husband recieved an email from Sharon's son. He apologized for the delayed response and said that Sharon wanted to send more than an autograph, but something "special". My Husband shared the email with me and I about lept out of my chair in excitement wondering what it could be! He had sent a small photo attachment along with the email and I looked at it carefully - like any good obsessed quilter fan I had remembered a similar photo from Sharon's Instagram feed...and I immediately recognized that it was a snippet of one of her embroidery designs!!!
Needless to say I have been virtually stalking the mail man for my little surprise...and yesterday was the day!
This is what I received from Sharon...
I mean, is that unbelieveable or what?! I know lesser known artists who sell PRINTS of their works with an autograph for a pretty penny...so I can only imagine the monetary value a signed piece of work directly from Sharon would go for...not that I would ever part with it. Truly, it just meant so very much to me, I can't even express it. Just now I want to cry!! LOL!
Here is the reverse side...it is autographed! :) My Husband said to me, "WOW! That is the equivalent of Derek Jeter sending me a signed cleat!" It is very exciting and so beautiful...
...and that shiny gold thread is to die for! Something that surprised me was the stiffness and flatness of the little piece. I think much of that is from the thin batting and the heavy stitching, but I kind of think Sharon is known for her heavy use of starch. You could definitely tell a bit of starch and pressing happened here! LOL! :) So fascinating to have this real life little quilt in my hands and to be able to study Sharon's design up close and how she attached her binding and all the little details that can be missed in a photograph.
Even the packaging was special - I mean I think the package was about as exciting to recieve as the little quilt! I won't show the whole envelope as it has addresses on it, but this was the little message written on the back...you can not tell me you wouldn't squeel a little with excitment and anticipation if you found this in your mail box!! :)
I may sound a little dramatic, but those of you who are absolutely crazy passionate about quilting will understand where I come from. These two women really changed my life. I don't think I really found my niche in quilting until I started machine quilting. From the start I tried to emulate Sharon Schamber's work even way back when I was quilting on my little Simplicity Quilter's Classic!!! When I saw the amazing creations by both Sharon and Karen, I knew this was for me. I knew that I wanted to spend my life creating quilted works of art. I had known I loved quilting right from the get go, but it took me a while to find my true place and passion. These two ladies really lead me there.
When you share and create you just don't know who you will influence, who you will inspire, how you change people. I'm a real believer in that things are "meant to be" and people who are supposed to touch your life. I am so honored and touched and thrilled to have received such special gifts from both Sharon and Karen...and more than anything to be given their TIME. Because time is so very precious!!!
So last night was just sweet, I went to bed feeling very lucky and very blessed. I don't know if I deserve to be so lucky, to have such a wonderful Husband and beautiful family and the ability to spend my days doing what I love...but somehow I am. Life is so very good! :)