A Journey with Sue Spargo

July 8, 2011 § 9 Comments

My Journal Quilt

Taking classes in Sisters, Oregon this week has been just fabulous!  And the weather has been awesome too!  I am totally soaking up the sun before we head back to the land of rain.  One of the classes I took was with Sue Spargo.  She is so sweet and so talented!

Many of you know that last year I made a decision to overcome my fear and intimidation of hand work and started hand piecing my Dear Jane quilt.  Well, this is just another piece in my handwork journey.  Some of the stitches we learned were not easy for me and took a lot of concentration. My head felt like it was going to explode by the end of the day.  I have noticed that over the last year my attitude towards handwork has been changing. I don’t hate it or avoid it anymore. But it still doesn’t feel completely comfortable.  There may still be hope for me yet.  What I do love is that I am building a base of knowledge that I hope will enable me to use both hand and machine together at the same time.  Like in my 4-Letter Words quilt.

My Leaves

Our assignment was to make a Journal Quilt.  We all started with a kit that included the tree and the 3 pieces of wool in the center of the background. Then each of us could add any number of borders of our choosing.  This was to be completed before we came to class.  In class we started adding elements that would tell the story we chose. Some chose to document their travels around the world. Others chose to document their family tree or aspects of their family story.  As I was trying to decide whether to add a root to the tree or not, I was thinking about my own roots. Maybe my tree will include aspects of my heritage and childhood as well as things from my life at the moment.

Sue Spargo's Journal Quilt

This is Sue Spargo’s Journal Quilt.  Hers includes 50 birds for 50 years of life and 4 butterflies for her 4 children. It also includes elements from many of the places she has lived.  Her stitching is AMAZING!!  There is just no way to capture in photos the detail of the embroidery stitches she uses to embellish her wool applique.

Sue Spargo's Journal Quilt

A few of the embroidery books that she recommends for reference are the Left Handed Embroiderers Companion & the Right Handed Embroiderers Companion as well as The Embroidery Stitch Bible.  They are all fabulous!

Sue Spargo's Leaves

This is one of Sue’s Leaf Study pieces.  I am in awe!

Today I had class with Kathy Doughty from Material Obsession. And tomorrow is the famous Outdoor Quilt Show.  What a week!  More to come…

§ 9 Responses to A Journey with Sue Spargo

  • Mary Jo Larson says:

    Thanks for a peek into your fun week. Amazing handwork. Someday you will be doing this too. K Doughty is one of my idols. Have fun!!

  • I love to embroider. Learning all those stitches has got to be fun! Sue’s quilt is amazing~ and yours has a great start! Have fun enjoying the show!

  • nicolette says:

    What a wonderful week! I’m sure you are going to love the hand work and embroideries!

  • Susan says:

    I was struck by Sue Spargo’s Tree of Life! I don’t think I have seen it before. You have a project to continue on yours….

    Now be sure and blog about Kathy’s class….. Another teacher to stretch your quilting….

  • Blue.Ridge.Girl says:

    Thanks for sharing this Anita, I love it! I’ve never seen a journal quilt…I think I would like to do one of these. I really enjoy working with wool and hand stitching (although I only know basic stitches like the blanket stitch and how to make a few different kinds of flowers.) You’ve given me something new to look into…exciting :o) I like the stitches you chose to sew the leaves on, some of them I’ve never seen before. I’m going to look into that left handed book!

  • Viv says:

    Wow, that hand stitching is AWESOME !! How as your class with Kathy? I had a class with her recently and had the BEST time. She’s fabulous! I hope you enjoyed her calss as much as I did.

  • Pratima says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Anita! Your journal quilt has a great start! I can only imagine how beautiful it will be after you stitched your memories into it. Sue’s quilt is stunning! Taking a class with Kathy is on my bucket list… hehe… Have fun!!

  • QuiltingCyclist says:

    Aren’t you so happy that you went. Thank for sharing. I have never failed to learn something at these events.

  • Trisha says:

    Looks like a wonderful class. I love that you took something you are not totally comfortable with and you have worked towards getting more comfortable with it. Someday I am sure you will be able to say you are confident in hand work/applique. Sue’s quilt is incredible. Yours is looking wonderful and I hope you will show us the progress as you work on it. So glad you got to go and have a retreat experience. Are you addicted yet? Looking for your next fix?

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