Saturday, September 27, 2014

I have a DISEASE!!!

Cheryl Westlake was the guest speaker at the Brampton Guild meeting the other night. She started her talk by saying that she was sick!  Oh NO!  Then she proceeded to tell us what she had - OH THANK GOD - she told us she had the QUILTING DISEASE!   PHEW!!!!!  

Well I must confess that I have the same sickness.  I remember about 14 or 15 years ago - that I contracted this disease.  I remember telling DH that I was going to take a year off work (to be a good Mom for M) and to beat this disease. I was a good Mom (I think I was) and I sewed my heart out for one year.  I haven't looked back. The worst part - the disease has spread and is running through my entire body - not just my head.

I am having a hard time some nights getting to sleep because my brain is just running with new ideas. And I am starting those projects!  These aren't really projects - they are more experimenting. I just love that. First it was the stripes of which I am still working on - now it is a new workshop that I am planning on transforming 4-patches into 9 patches and vice-versa.  The ideas are coming on fast and furious!!!!

So much that when I got home from my road trip (the car is a  DANGEROUS place with LOADS of time to think and come up with new ideas), I ran upstairs and pulled out all my 5 inch squares from exchanges and they are now ready to be made into something.  I just couldn't help myself.

Box with a bunch of pre-cut 5 inch squares - half of them are light and half of them are dark. Threw in some yardage for making some sample blocks (you have to take the workshop to see what I mean) and yep - there is a good couple days of sewing prepped in NO TIME!!!!

I did some more trimming and prepping and cutting and oh my - I am in big trouble................

More cutting

And this is now the ACTIVE sewing basket.  It started out as ONE laundry basket - I may need to add a second one. OR on the morning of the sewing day - I could just be selective and take TWO, perhaps THREE projects to work on.  That would make the most sense, but I like to have it all with me.  Let's just say that there is NO (or not much) prep required for the upcoming retreat. 

Oh - so let me tell you about my road trip - first off when I left the house early in the morning - the sun was blazing away. It was a glorious day. As I headed down the QEW - the sun was so bright that you could not read the road signs along the highway.  I knew where I was going so that wasn't going to be a problem but for those NOT knowing where they were going - it was hard to see.

As I got closer to my destination -  BAM - look what happened....................

The fog was so thick you could barely see ahead.  Don't worry - the car was stopped when I took this photo

I arrived at The Quilting Bee in Fonthill. The moment I went up the escarpment to the store - the fog was gone. This is one of my favourite stores. I do not get there that often (which is probably a good thing), but I could spend hours just browsing all the stuff.  Kelly is an amazing machine quilter and you could just study her samples for hours coming up with new ideas.  There is so much inspiration in that store - it is hard to take it all in at one time. But I was spending the ENTIRE day there - so I got to wander out from time to time which was good.

I sat in on two lectures by Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple.   OH MY GOD - I am so inspired - I am so in awe of Linda's talents.   Linda is just the warmest, nicest, willing to share person that I have ever met. She shared many tips, ideas and her quilting adventures - I felt like I had known her forever.

Although she has been a long arm quilter for a short time (less than 4 years), her work is winning BIG awards all over and her work is just GORGEOUS.  Check out her web site above and also check out Linda Hrcka on Pinterest.  Her work will blow you away. I took some pictures in the class - but really  - you must see the pictures she posts of her work.

Linda (in black and white) and Patti holding up a quilt that Linda quilted for Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings fame (sorry - I couldn't get the Primitive Gatherings web site to load this morning so I linked to Lisa's blog)
 Linda does a LOT of work for Lisa and together they make a formidable pair.  Although Linda's quilting is show worthy - she is NOT a show quilter.  She is a working girl! and quilts to earn money - therefore she tries to keep the hours she works on one quilt to a doable amount of time, but can still spend 50 - 60 hours on one quilt. I believe she said the most was 100 hours which she said she would never do again. She doesn't come cheap in case you were thinking of getting her to quilt a quilt for her!!!

I don't there is a picture of Portland Rose - this is one of the winning quilts this year (2014) at Paducah  (I copied these two lines  from the AQS web site: - in case you want to read the entire list of winners - there is NO picture of this quilt on the page)

BED QUILTS: Longarm/Midarm Machine Quilted sponsored by Hobbs Bonded Fibers
1ST      #3-308 PORTLAND ROSE, Linda Hrcka and Lisa Bongean, Homer, Michigan

It was so worthy of winning - it is not just the workmanship - but the creativity of VERY simple lines and curves that makes Linda's quilting so amazing. The use of negative space - the designing outside the traditional lines.  So creative!  I was blown away!

Here are a couple of feather stitch-outs that Linda did in class today.  Beautiful and took mere minutes for her to stitch

Feather design number one

Feather design number two

Linda and Patti (her friend and assistant - who did a fabulous job with the camera) - thank you so much for a fabulous day!!!   I learned a LOT and it was so worth the day!!  Just wish I could be there again today, but I have a class to teach!!!!

For those of you taking my table runner class at Ruti's - you are going to be SHOCKED at some of the stuff I learned yesterday.   Oh yes - those simple simple designs that I am teaching you  - those are some of the COMMON elements in Linda's quilting!!!!!  I just never took them to the limit that Linda did!!!  But now? - well the sky is the limit!!!!

Since this was a lecture and I didn't think we would be taking copious notes - I took my knitting. I am determined to get these blocks done - even if it kills me!!!!  I had finished one block at the guild meeting on Thursday night and started another one.  Got that block finished at the lecture.  LAST SKEIN of wool is used up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two more blocks complete
There they are - my 21 blocks from the 21 skeins of wool

Now I have 21 balls of left overs

I grabbed one and started to knit another block. Finished that ball so just grabbed another one - tied a knot and kept knitting. I will almost get a complete block from TWO balls of leftovers.  That means I should get about 8 from the leftovers????   Got to keep knitting!!!!

Then I pressed my jelly roll quilt seam - yep - all 800 inches of it

Rolled it up and it is ready for the next seam

That was such an exciting day!  I really did have a hard time getting to sleep. And I was up and cutting early this morning. Now it is time to get ready for my class today.

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  1. Hi Elaine! I apologize for me taking so long to get here to leave a comment!! For some reason your email only came through to me tonight!! How weird! It was such a pleasure to meet you. I think you were far too kind to me in your blog post. :-) I sat here blushing. I am at a loss for words...which does not happen often. LOL!!! It warms my heart that you found the classes to helpful and informative. I could not ask for anything more. I look forward to keeping up with you here on your blog. Your friend, Linda

  2. Hi Elaine, what a great post. Thank you so much for all your compliments. It was a pleasure meeting everyone in class and you all made us feel like family.

  3. Thank-you Elaine for the kind words regarding The Quilting Bee. I appreciate it so much. I totally agree with you about Linda. Talk about inspiration ... crazy! Patti is a hoot and how lucky we would all be with a friend like her.