Showing Off the Red, White and Blue

May 30, 2013

Have I been on vacation??  Nope!  As of yesterday, my machine is BACK!!!!  Woo-hoo!!!!  Spent 10 hours with my dear friend Jamie Wallen here and she's back!!!  It was crazy yesterday!!!  Having A-1 on the speaker phone, new parts, timing and RE-TIMING my machine, laughter through frustrations AND tons of good stories. That is a whole lot of time together...thank goodness we are such good friends!!!

I have so much I want to share, I just do not know where to begin.  I learned quilting is in my soul.  I always thought I could walk away from it tomorrow if I ever wanted, but not being on my machine for two weeks was difficult.  I longed for it.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my "free" time....I use that term loosely because I kept myself more than busy. :-)  My time away cemented that I LOVE quilting,  BUT I need to make sure I have balance too.  I tend to loose sight of that. :-)

I enjoy this time of year so much.  Kicks off with Memorial Day Weekend.  It is so nice to have a day of reflection and to thank those that Serve our Country past and present.  My love for The Red, White and Blue spills over into...allover my house too. :-)  Thought I would share a little of that with all of you.
 A nice patriotic greeting on the front porch.  My friend Patti and I were discussing how nice a quilt would look above the bench.  I thought " I HAVE the perfect quilt already!!"  That quilt might look familiar to those that have been following me for a while.  It is not the same one as the one here.   I made the original and then made another right after!!!  LOL!!!  I had the binding on, but never finished.   It was a buried treasure in my stash.
 Scooter always thinks there is something for him under my quilts!! LOL!  ADDED:  The School house quilt is called "Good Morning America" Wall Quilt.  It is from the book Stars and Stripes Sampler by Liz Porter and Marianne Fons. 
Speck Little Bites by Carrie Nelson with mostly Old Glory fabric.  Pieced and Quilted last year but again JUST finished the binding.

I love to decorate with little quilts too!
Little Red from a book by Lisa Bongean and Carole Charles.  Available here.
 There is the twin to the quilt on the front porch!  You can see I have the binding on my mini tumbler quilt too. :-)  Lots of bindings being finished!!
Hmmm, no quilts on the entertainment center.
Quilts, table runners and accents.
I think you all get the idea!!!  :-)

Tree of Life Quilt

May 16, 2013

Life being the operative word in my post title.  Life happens.  I cannot believe it has been a month since I posted!  Actually, I CAN believe it because I have been so busy that in order to stay as focused as possible, I avoided the computer as much as I could.  So much has been going on, not to mention MAJOR quilting.  So much quilting that my machine is mad at me.  Oh yes, she is!!!  No joke.  I barely finished my last quilt for Market in time because I was having so many issues.  Very frustrating.  New bobbin winders, parts, hours on the phone, $$$, new gray hair and still not running properly.  Soooooo, Annie, aka my machine will be on sick leave for a few weeks.  Like I said, life happens.  Naturally, I was really stressed out about the down time, but now I am looking at it as a sign.  Everything happens for a reason. :-)

Looks like I can start sharing some of what has been keeping me so busy, since Lisa Bongean's recent post here.  Lisa's post cracked me up because she phonetically spelled the correct way to pronounce my last name.  Not at all pronounced how it is spelled.  Hrcka...pronounced HERSH-KA.  It is Czech, which should explain the lack of vowels. :-) What cracks me up about it her post is when someone knows the proper pronunciation, they become very protective over saying it correctly.  I never correct anyone, but I have been places where someone says my name and then I hear someone else immediately correct them.  The girls have commented when they have a substitute at school, the sub understandably pronounces their name wrong, their classmates are very quick to say "IT'S HERSHKA!" LOL!!! Anyways, on with the show...

Let me introduce "Tree of Life" designed by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.  This absolutely gorgeous quilt is all in flannel!!!!!  Beautiful.  Flannel Gatherings II is a brand new line coming out in  July.  The quilt is one of many featured in her new book, Flannel Gatherings.  Also to be released in July...I think. :-)  I will keep the conversation at a minimum and let the photos do the talking.

It is a nice size quilt at about 100x100.  
 Feathered delight. :-)
I quilted different styles of feathers throughout the quilt.  In the outer green border, they are hilly feathers.  Up and down the hilly spine.  A nice way to fill those 10-12" borders.  I knew feathers would really pop in all the light fabric areas and would contrast beautifully with those 1" pumpkin seed quilting in the the big green triangles.  YES, 1"!!!!!  Crazy but worth it!!! :-) 
Straight lines in the HSTs to create contrast and dimension between the feathers.
I took lots of pics of the back because you all know what I am going to say next...I LOVE it!!!
Looks so cool!!!  Now some specifics...all the quilting is freehand.  So NOOO, its not perfect, but looks pretty good. :-)  I used my straight ruler and curved rulers. Thread is all So Fine by Superior.  I think 4 thread colors.  Batting...Dream Orient (silk, bamboo and cotton blend).  A new personal favorite.  Quilts up beautifully!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I will have more follow-up on batting soon.  I don't know how many hours it took to quilt because it took forever.  Pretty sure the hours quilting are about even with the hours I spent crying.  Lol.  Not really funny, though. :-)  I could not have completed this quilt without the help of Scott and my BFF Patti.  Not only did Scott take care of everything so I could quilt but he helped with the design.  He didn't even know I took this pic...
While I was still quilting another quilt, he chalked out the 1" grid, so I could quilt the pumpkin seed quilting.  Took him 2 nights after work and he did a perfect job!!!  I cannot tell you how much I love this man!!!  My friend Patti helped in the end.  She is a binding master, so she came over and attached the binding by machine, so I could overnight it to Portland for Market.  She worked until 11:30 PM helping.  Best Friend EVER!!

 I wanted to share some as I was quilting pics.  Many of my readers enjoy those pics.  Kind of shows that I don't just wave a magic wand over it....I WISH!!! 
I did chalk the spine for the outer border before I loaded it.  That way the spine turned out pretty even and I could continuously quilt while advancing the top on my machine.
 Just starting the pumpkin seed quilting. 
 I pretty much just eyeball things.  So technical...I know.  If I like it on one side, then I try to recreate it as close as possible on the other.
I quilted as I advanced.  I try to do that whenever possible.  It just is easier than rolling back and forth and just the thought of turning a quilting this size is entirely daunting.

Oh and my lights completely quit working as well.  I had to use my Ott Floor lamp, which was cumbersome and useless.  The majority of that pumpkin seed quilting was done without the aid of light!!!!  Until I taped my bendable sewing light on my machine.
Whew!!!!  Now that is a post!!!  Making up for the last month!!  Oh and before I forget...are any of you on Instagram???  I posted being on Instagram last year.  I detest social media...yet I blog and love Instagram. LOL.  It is so easy and fun AND FAST.  It is not FB.  I tend to post peeks at what I am working on.  A lot of quilters are getting on the bandwagon.  There have been ton of Market posts.  You might want to join in on the fun!!  You can find me as hrckal.  That is hrcka with a lowercase L on the end.  Hope to see you there!