September 24 – Classes

It’s fun to take new classes. I was in Suzi Parron’s class and made the  barn quilt shown on the left below. See some of the other barn quilts done by other students below on the right. Mine is a maple leaf 24″ x 24″ for my friends, the Withingtons, who own Silver Lake Syrups.  Check out their website, http://www.silverlakesyrups.com. They won Best of Show for their Spruce Tip Syrup at the Tunbridge World’s Fair! They are a talented pair!

I started a class with SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) on Visual Design. Every Monday for 8 weeks I am introduced to an artist and how they use color, line, form, texture, value, space or form. It is exciting to learn about new resources and how quilts are created from strips of recycled saris, silk watercolor clean up rags, and more. I keep getting inspired to start new projects, knowing I really should finish a half dozen ready for quilting right now…

I gave my 28″ square Zinnia to my friend who hosted me in Gloucester Massachusetts for a few days. We relaxed and kept busy at the same time. I look forward to our next gathering in Vermont! It will be a SEW creative time.

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If you haven’t taken a new class in a while, I recommend that you do. Invest in your creative juices. It good for you and those who live with you too! (Heehee) There are loads of online classes. I am doing both online and in person classes right now. I find chatting while creating is fun and educational. I think it is a necessary, networking tool that all women should participate in.

I’ve also been involved in teaching and organizing Humorous Speech contests over the past two weeks. Humor is very important too. Attend a Toastmasters Fall Humorous Speech contest. You won’t be disappointed. The Area contest is coming up on October 18th at 6:30 pm. at the Hannah Grimes Center, 25 Roxbury St., Keene, NH 03431.

See you in two weeks! I’ll show you the 5 quilts I finished over the past two weeks too!

Linda

 

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September 10, 2018 -Let’s Celebrate~

These past two weeks have been full of family fun and finishing some projects. Let’s start with the family fun! Labor Day weekend was so much fun for me. My niece came to Vermont from MA and we enjoyed a musical, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” in a small theater in Pomfret, VT. Not a bad seat in the house! We laughed and enjoyed the show.  We also went to Billings Farm, where I volunteered in the Quilt Show Exhibit. I was hand quilting on a large frame and chatted with visitors. The next day we enjoyed paddle boarding on Silver Lake. We were on the lake for 3 hours! We walked up Tower Hill too! Yes, my Fitbit was clocking over 16,000 steps each day!

After my niece left, our children and their significant others came for a fun tournament of cornhole, a fire and BBQ. It was so much fun, I look forward to our next gathering…..Maybe to an escape room! Oh my, that would be fun!

I finished quilting and binding 3 cuddle quilts for a friend whose husband passed away last year. I used his clothing to make corduroy trees and mountains, jeans for lakes, t-shirts for a house and a mountain, ties for flowers and stems, khakis for stones, and lots of shirts for skies and trails. I cannot show you the quilts until I show my friend first. Sorry!

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I can show you the Block of the Month which I designed for the Heart of the Land quilters in Hartland, Vermont. Here are the two tops. One done with the scrappy choice and one with a medium to large print. It was a mystery for 8 months. I will quilt them next and donate them.

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I also picked many potatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, tomatoes, kale and lettuce from our garden. It was a good year for our garden. We celebrated good times with friends and family sharing the bounty of our harvest!

Happy Quilting!

Linda

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August 27th -Putting on the Brakes

Hi Everyone,

Rob and I enjoyed a lovely ride on our electric assist bicycles on Pomphret, East Barnard and Barnard dirt roads. The electric assist made the ride so much more enjoyable, not busting a gusset on the hills. We also did not come home totally exhausted. It was so much fun!

My gallery show, “Finding Zen in a Line” has been a great success! I’ve met local people and people vacationing in Vermont this summer from all over the US. Watching how my quilts surprise some of the visitors has been quite interesting.

My new focus is to seek opportunities in SAQA. I’m mounting my quilts on stretcher bars now and learning how to make professional corners and hanging systems. I’ve also signed up for a Visual Design online class. This will take 2 months (September and October).

I’ve decided to put the brakes on “Inspired Layers.” I’ve already taken down my website. My next newsletter will explain this decision a bit further.

Here’s a photo of my latest quilt, “Pink Zinnia”. The pattern is by Melinda Bula. I failed to follow her directions. I used Mistyfuse instead of Steam a Seam. I used cotton and wool battings. I freely cut many pattern pieces rather than using her template pieces provided in the pattern. It was a fun project.

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I’ve also been working on 3 memory quilts for a friend. I’m excited about the progress. I don’t feel that I should share them with you yet. I think the recipients should see them first. Stay tuned…

My blog will continue every two weeks.

Happy Quilting!

Linda Ramrath

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August 13 – NH Craftsmen Fair and more

I continue to meet interesting people at the Bridgewater Mill at my gallery show. There will be a cocktail reception on August 23rd at 4p.m. I am willing to part with some of my quilts. If you are interested in purchasing any of them, please let me know so I can put a sold sign on them before the reception.

I enjoy going to the NH Craftsmen Fair in Sunapee, NH with my friend. Although it was steamy hot, they provided lots of fans to pause in front of when looking at the magnificent art. This is the second year I purchased stationary with moose photos. I just can’t get enough of these creatures. Their facial expressions are intriguing.

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On the way north, we avoid the short cut so that we can stop at Dor Mill. I picked up some green flannel for my wool project and a hand died green/white piece to make someone a Christmas gift. I left that piece out of the photo so as not to spoil any upcoming surprises. If you get a chance to go to Dor Mill, make sure you look at the hand dyed pieces.  I’m thinking mountains and snow scenes…MY wheels are churning…

I also gave a talk to the Loaned Employees for United Way. My talk was on Persuasive Speeches. I learned quite a bit about the United Way and all their services in the Monadnock region. I’m glad I could volunteer my time to help the volunteers to prepare authentic and impactful talks.

Keene Toastmasters is organizing a free  6-part speaking series on the first Thursday evening of the month from 5:30-6:00 p.m. Starting in October. Here’s a link to learn more about this great opportunity. Click here:keene toastmasters

After many hours at the gallery show “Finding Zen in a Line,” I really felt the need to sew. I made this floor mat by covering clothesline with FreeSpirit 2 1/2″ wide fabric strips.

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I decided to finish the binding on this quilt too!  What fun to finish projects!

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This is a free pattern from Blank Quilting. I purchased the fabric from Charlton Sewing Center years ago. When I moved to Vermont, I found the finished quilt top and rotated it 90 degrees and then decided to quilt it and finish it! It started as planets and ended and musical notes. I can imagine doing this with green columns and making a hungry caterpillar out of the dots with some free motion stitching lines.

 

Happy Quilting!

Linda

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July 30th -Time to Share Some Quilts

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I returned from Alaska on July 16th. After a day of rest and laundry, I was off to Bridgewater, VT to set up my gallery show, “Finding Zen in a Line” with my young and very talented assistant, Britney. She helped me set up for 2 days. I really could not have done this without her. Thanks Britney!!!!!!!!!

 

My talk defines “Zen”, a state of being. It’s the total togetherness of body and soul. I find myself in this state when I’m free motion quilting. I describe how I thread the sewing machine, the light emanates from above the needle. As I step on the accelerator (foot controller), I find a quiet, peaceful, yet excited state of being, drawing with thread on my quilt sandwich. I liken it to an amusement ride. We often start with quiet anticipation, then buckle in and enjoy some loops and wiggles and find ourselves flying around until (needle down) we come to the end. I hope you will try the rides again, especially if your first experience wasn’t fearless.

My gallery show is on the second floor of the Bridgewater Mill. I will be there:

August 5 – 1-4

August 6 – 10-1

August 9 – 10-1

August 11 – 10-1

August 12 – 1-3

August 15 – 10-1

August 18 – 10-1

August 19 – 1-3

August 23 – 10-4

August 29 – 10-1 SAQA pod meeting in this room. Please join us!

If you would like to come and bring some friends, I can schedule other times to meet you at the gallery for a talk. Call me at 508-769-7881 to set up a convenient time.

On July 27th, I attended the Billings Farm Quilt Show Reception where they announced the three judge’s choice and one staff choice winners.

“Almost Midnight at the Oasis” won Judge’s choice and Staff Choice. I was inspired to make this quilt at the Connections Quilt show November 2017. I purchased the pattern at the Vintage and Vogue booth. I could hardly sleep that entire weekend just dreaming about making this quilt with my basket of Kaffe Fassett scraps. In January I went to a get away at Lake Morey and started the challenge.  At the end of three long days of stitching, I had lots of little tiny blocks. I was determined to finish this project. I was fairly consumed for three more weeks. I love my design wall which my hubby made for me. I watched the project grow. I changed several pieces of the quilt along the way. I rotated the baskets in the four corners. I changed the checkerboard border because I found it too busy with the fabrics I was using. The appliques are bit different too. All in all, this quilt brings me joy! I was so humbled that the same message was seen by the staff at Billings.  They announced that 17 or 29 employees voted for this quilt because it made them smile. WOW! That’s why I quilt. This world needs reasons to smile! I’m glad I could help.

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I took this photo on my porch on a cloudy day. I think it’s the best photo of this quilt that I have. If you would like to see the quilt in person, go to the Billings Farm Quilt Show now until mid September…and SMILE!

One Judge’s Choice winner include Lynne Croswell’s “100 days” of improvisational piecing is simply amazing!

“Aboriginal Kaleidoscope” by Diane Holme received a Judge’s choice ribbon too! The quilting on this quilt is really something to see first-hand!

The Challenge quilts are displayed on the far wall. Unfortunately, you don’t see the three fabrics that each quilter started with. It really was a challenge! Two fabrics seem to make sense and then a totally off fabric was thrown in and the design element became very important.

That’s the news for these past two weeks. It’s been busy and a blessing. Thanks for reading this blog. Sorry that it is 2 days late, but my DSL in VT just couldn’t get the photos uploaded. I needed to wait until I returned to NH for my high speed internet.

Happy Quilting,

Linda Ramrath

 

 

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July 16 – Returned from Alaska

These past two weeks have been a whirl wind! I was fortunate enough to go on an adventure to Alaska. My hubby and I decided to cruise on the Holland America Line. It was smooth sailing. The weather was very nice. NO HEAT AND HUMIDITY as we were experiencing in NH and Vermont before we left. We had one rainy day in Juneau on Tuesday. Here are a few photos of the beautiful Alaskan landscape and some quilt shops I found in Ketchican, Juneau and Skagway.

I bought some goodies at each shop and will share them with you in my next blog. The red eye flight and time change has prevented me from being witty enough to type a proper blog.

During the extreme heat and humidity before the trip, I worked in my basement, mounting titles and descriptions of 30 of my quilts for my upcoming gallery show in Bridgewater Mill Vermont. Below is a pile of quilts to find room to display.

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There is a lot that goes into hanging a show. Every gallery which I have been to has a unique hanging system. I like the system used at the Norfolk Library in Norfolk, MA. This room does not have a system yet. I hope to help other artist’s work to be shown at this facility in the future. My show will be hanging at the same time as the Billings Farm show. If you know someone going to the Billings Farm and Quilt Exhibit, please let them know about my show. Even if I am not there, the door can be opened by the people in the Thrift store.

I’ve got lots of new inspiration from my trip to Alaska. I’m anxious to some new art quilts.

I almost forgot to mention that I finished the last block in my wool sampler. Here is the block and a photo of all the blocks and some bulls eyes I made for the border strips. I’m thinking of framing the blocks with a colored flannel…not sure what color yet. I brought lots of circles and stitched them together in my down time aboard the Holland America.

Happy Quilting!

Linda Ramrath

Inspiredlayers.com

inspiredlayerslinda.wordpress.com

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July 2 – New Beginnings

Since my last post we celebrated Father’s Day! We celebrated in Vermont with my Father-in-law, Frank, my husband, Rob, our son, Tyler, and our daughter’s first dog pick, Rocky.  We consider that 4 generations of Ramrath men!

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We also enjoyed having Auntie Eleanor from California, Astrida, Frank’s wife, our daughter, Bethany, and our friends Sonja and Eric with us! Eleanor

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This is the first time in many years we have all been together! Praise God! What a nice change, and hopefully a new beginning!

On June 18-19th I volunteered at the Vermont Quilt Festival. I met some amazingly kind people. There are lots of jobs to be done before the show even opens. It was nice to meet some helpers who were very familiar with the process and it was nice that they welcomed newbies like me! I was fortunate to do several different jobs. I will definitely volunteer again next year!

On June 21st I was installed as President of Keene Toastmasters for the 2018-2019 year. My Toastmasters journey has been a great learning experience. I learn and mentor others to communicate with confidence and humor. This directly ties to my quilting passion.  Sharing my quilts with others is more fun when I learn to connect with audiences of any kind. Quilters are easier to connect with, but other audiences, especially senior citizens enjoy seeing my quilts too! It’s fun to tailor my talks to audiences. I’ve learned to bring note cards with photos of my quilts for non quilting audiences and patterns for quilters. If you would like to enjoy public speaking, I cannot endorse an organization more than Toastmasters for that. You may want to start a New Beginning with a Toastmasters club near you today! www.toastmasters.org

I also volunteered to be the Area Director for southern NH and southern VT. This is a great way to meet other Toastmasters and connect with others who may want to learn more about quilting or even hire me to speak! I look forward to New Beginnings as Area 15 Director.

I also performed an installation at Toast of the Valley Toastmasters club in Lebanon, NH. This was a first for me. It was a great opportunity to educate the newer Toastmasters about the roles and responsibilities of the officer positions.

On the artistic front, I finally fused my Zinnia together based on Malinda Bula’s pattern. I did not follow all her directions to the “T.” I am happy with how the flower came out. I’m really struggling on the background though.  I think it’s time to pull out my paper and colored pencils. I’m transitioning to art quilting so I’m thinking the background should reflect some sunlight in a new and different way. I’m thinking of piecing a background and then apliquick turn the edges and hand stitch down and then free motion quilt all over the piece. Still thinking.

Finished one more wool block too! One more to go and then to design the border.

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See you in two weeks!

Happy Quilting!!!

Linda Ramrath

http://www.inspiredlayers.com

 

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