Inspired Layers – Linda's Blog

Linda's quilting adventures

Curvalicious Part 2 June 12, 2017

 

This second Curvalicious quilt started with warm weather, a quilting meeting at a friend’s home, and some lemon slices in water. After a very cold and rainy spring, the warm day and thirst quenching lemon infused water was perfect!

Have you ever sliced a lemon, used two slices and left the rest of the slices in your refrigerator to ultimately be forgotten?  My friend shared a valuable trick.  Chuck-slice the lemon and squeeze some into the water today and freeze the remaining chuncks. Next time you reach for ice in the freezer, take a few pieces of lemon for your water too!

 

In the “Country Dozen” collection of Island Batik fabric, there is a blue batik with yellow lemons.  That’s the fabric I started with to make this June challenge table runner.

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I love the drunkard’s path block and I found a new (to me) tool with pattern called QCR Mini by Sew Kind of Wonderfil. The tool was easy to use and my blocks were easy to square up so they all match when sewn together.

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I followed the directions for this QCR Mini Runner and it was fast and fun! To stitch the curves, I used my Martelli Notions 1/4″ Curvemaster foot. No stress, No pins, and no puckers.

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I think the key is to put the “smile” curve down first and the “frown” on top.  Also, move the bottom piece with your right hand, left and the top piece with your left hand, right. Here’s how I laid out my design and stitch four patches.

I pressed the 4-patch units and wiggled the back to make the little 4-patch so it would lay flat for quilting.

I used a scrap of Quilters’ Dream cotton batting and backed it with more Island Batik fabric, yellow with eggs on it. Here is my “thinking” on Quilter’s Preview Paper for the quilting.  I used  Fantastico Thread and it quilted like a dream.

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I used the same lemon fabric for the binding.  This is a fast and fun project.  Let your fabric speak to you!

One more Curvalicious challenge quilt to show you next week! (Am I having too much fun with this job?)

Happy Stitching!

Linda Ramrath

Inspired Layers

p.s. If you would like to invite me to speak at your guild next year and show you all the fabulous quilts I made to go along with each challenge, book me today! 508-769-7881!

 

Curvilious – Part 1 June 9, 2017

June is the month for an Island Batik quilt with curves. I have made two projects for this month’s challenge.  The first  project was inspired by a pattern by Caroline Reardon which I read about in the May / June 2017 issue of the McCall’s Quilting magazine. Caroline called it “Vino Row.” She mixed prints and batiks.

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I used Island Batik stash builder fabrics (which I always wash with a Color Catcher) and scanned the pattern from the magazine and printed it out. Then I used pins (My grandmother taught me to pin perpendicular to the cutting line for stability.) to attach my pattern to the fabrics and my rotary cutter to cut several layers out at one time. (I love to save time!) The directions in the magazine are easy to follow and accurate! Yippie!

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I chain piece all the bottle tops (or corks) on first.  Then press and stitch the curves.  If you have heard my talk, “10 Tips from a Rebel Quilter, you know that I do not use pins very often, and especially with curves.

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The curve is so graceful that there was no pinning, no stress and no puckers! I thought the number of bottles made for a very long table runner, so I made two shorter table runners.

The binding is made from 1 1/4″ bias cut strips for the curved short ends and 1 1/4″ straight cut strips for the longer edges.

This is a very fun and easy table runner to make. I hope you will want to give it a try.

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Here are the links to all the other Island Batik Ambassador’s blogs to see what curvy treasures they made with Island Batik fabrics.

Nan from Purrfect Spots Designs
Turid from Den Syende Himmel
Stephanie from Quilt’n Party
Pamela from Pamela Quilts
Anna from Ark Angel Creations
Kathy from Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Jessica from Desert Bloom Quilting
Connie from Freemotion by the River
Kate from Seams Like a Dream
Sharon from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Tina from Quilting Affection Designs
Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter
Barb from Bejeweled Quilts
Sally from Sally’s Quilting Corner
Jeanette from Inch Worm Fabrics
Connie from Kauffman Designs
Joan from Moosestash Quilting
Bernadine from Needle and Foot
Bea from Beaquilter
Cheryl from Cheryl Lynch Quilts
Maryellen from Mary Mack’s Blog
Joyce from Hearts Creations
Marlene from Kissed Quilts
Karen from The Quilt Rambler
Marian from Seams to be Sew
Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts
Linda from Inspired Layers
Vicki from Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Nancy from Masterpiece Quilting
Carol from FunThreads Designs
Terri from Meanderings Along Lizard Creek
Alison from Little Bunny Quilts
Suzy from Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Jean-Sophie from Sophie Junction
Janet from Whispers of Yore

Next week I will share my second project.

Happy Stitching!

Linda

 

Shazam! New Modern Pattern May 10, 2017

Do you love a challenge? I do. Being an Island Batik Ambassador, I receive a monthly challenge. May’s challenge is to design a Modern Quilt using the fabrics from our January box delivery.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “modern?”

I think of bold contrast.  I also think of simplicity. This block is easy to make and just like my 50/50 Mix pattern, half the blocks mirror the other half. I had so much fun stitching this one up!

This new quilt pattern is called “Shazam”.  That’s a powerful word for a very bold statement. I think that the fabric selected for this pattern can dictate the quilting. My first dream was of a navy blue and snowflake white fabric.  I dreamed of quilting a horse running through the snow. I will make that quilt some day soon. It will be called “Blizzard.”   Since those fabrics were not in my box, I selected the blue-green chicken eggs fabric and egg white neutral Island Batik fabric.  Then my brain quickly saw chickens dancing.  Hence, this new quilt is called “Chicken Dance.”

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I quilted 5 dancing chickens with Fantastico #5144 thread and then stitched straight lines with Fantastico #5090 thread. I had Aurifil thread in the bobbin.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment and I will put your name in a basket to win some Island Batik fabric from their new line (It’s got chickens, eggs, and silverware!) I will pick the winner on May 31st.

You could even create this quilt with solid fabrics and then apply an applique or three. See how my brain continues to push further and further outside the box? I hope to have the pattern available next month for sale. Stay tuned!

 

Be sure to visit all the Island Batik Ambassadors and see what they’ve got going for
♥Modern Batik Challenge♥

Nan from Purrfect Spots Designs
Turid from Den Syende Himmel
Stephanie from Quilt’n Party
Pamela from Pamela Quilts
Anna from Ark Angel Creations
Kathy from Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Jessica from Desert Bloom Quilting
Connie from Freemotion by the River
Kate from Seams Like a Dream
Sharon from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Tina from Quilting Affection Designs
Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter
Barb from Bejeweled Quilts
Sally from Sally’s Quilting Corner
Jeanette from Inch Worm Fabrics
Connie from Kauffman Designs
Joan from Moosestash Quilting
Bernadine from Needle and Foot
Bea from Beaquilter
Cheryl from Cheryl Lynch Quilts
Maryellen from Mary Mack’s Blog
Joyce from Hearts Creations
Marlene from Kissed Quilts
Karen from The Quilt Rambler
Marian from Seams to be Sew
Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts
Linda from Inspired Layers
Vicki from Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Nancy from Masterpiece Quilting
Carol from FunThreads Designs
Terri from Meanderings Along Lizard Creek
Alison from Little Bunny Quilts
Suzy from Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Jean-Sophie from Sophie Junction
Janet from Whispers of Yore

Happy quilting!

Linda

 

Furry Friday April 13, 2017

Filed under: charity quilts,Island Batik,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 11:49 am

Today I’d like to share a couple of greyhounds who are up for adoption at Fast Friends in Keene, NH.  There are a number of male and female greyhounds up for adoption at Fast Friends.

7 year old Felix is a real beauty and an incredible athlete. Watching him run with such grace and agility is a sight to behold. A lover of bum scratches, Felix is also the lead roo fest starter and regularly has the kennel singing along. Felix would…

Felix’s Profile: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22371694

Felix’s Picture: http://drpem3xzef3kf.cloudfront.net/photos/pets/22371694/1/?bust=1416390719&width=800

posie

 

 

I’m Posie and I am ready for you to adopt me! I have an outgoing personality and I’m very curious about the world around me. I’m affectionate and cheerful and I just love life and any new opportunity to explore and have fun. I prefer…

Posie’s Profile: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/31341333

Posie’s Picture: http://drpem3xzef3kf.cloudfront.net/photos/pets/31341333/3/?bust=1433158765&width=800

Felix and Posie are only 2 of many dogs up for adoption. Do you know someone who is ready to adopt a fun, loving dog?  Check out Fast Friends and adopt a pet today!

As you probably already know, we adopted Rocky 6 years ago (during our daughter’s April vacation break). It was clearly the best decision we made as a family!

Island Batik Ambassadors around the world have been stitching doggie pads for rescue organizations. Please join the fun and donate or adopt today!

 

Linda

 

Adventurous Applique April 12, 2017

This month as an Island Batik Ambassador, I was challenged to create a small quilt and be adventurous with applique. If you remember last month, I tried mini English Paper Piecing the Dresden Plate.  This month, I combined Clamshell English Paper Piecing, needle turn applique and a scrappy pieced binding.  It was an adventure.

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It all started with the box from Island Batik which I received in February. There were a lot of new fabrics which will be out this April at market for shop owners to purchase.  I used some of the new fabrics in the pineapple.  If you like those fabrics, share your enthusiasm with your local quilt shop owner. They can look for them and order them at market!

I chose the pineapple because in Vermont I have enjoyed buying and tasting such sweet pineapples this winter. It is the sign of hospitality. I feel so welcomed into the Barnard community. I enjoy local concerts with world class talent.  I enjoy quilting with two different groups of women.  I enjoy skiing right across the street along an old wood road with snowmobile trail. I hope I am as hospitable to those who venture up our long dirt driveway to our log home as this community has been to me. This quilt resides at the door of my studio.

What makes this adventurous to me is that I combined several skills.  I learned that I like the look of English Paper Piecing when I stitch with silk or fine polyester thread.  I found the silk thread stronger than the polyester thread. I must admit that I stitched part of this while I was stuck in Keene, NH due to snowstorms, with no silk thread, so I opted to continue to work on the project with the aurifil thread that I had on hand. It’s a bit thicker (40wt.).  When I quilted the quilt, the stitching began to show….Lesson learned! Below is the front and back side of the quilt.  I cut away the fabric behind the English Paper Piecing so that I could remove the papers. I left the fabric behind the needle turn applique.  I could have removed that fabric too.

I purchased a few new rulers to use when free motion quilting. As many of you know, I love to freemotion quilt! I am relaxed and thoroughly enjoy the process.  After attending the tour with Cathy Wiggins at MQX, I was encouraged to buy a few rulers.  The judges give you more points for more perfect free motion or hand guided stitching. I decided this was the perfect quilt to try one of my rulers. I did the roping in the outer border with D’Loa’s Rope a Dope 1.5″ ruler. I did look at her video and draw the rope on paper before I stitched the quilt. It’s important to draw the centerline for this rope to look best in a straight border. I felt my shoulders raise a bit.  It was more mechanical and not fluid for me.  With a bit more practice, I hope this ruler remains in my tool box.  Time will tell.  I also learned that since I stitch on a sit down Sweet 16 Handi Quilter, it’s time to purchase the mat.  I have never had trouble with smoothly moving the quilt over the machine and table area until I had a ruler in my hand.  I have already ordered the mat and look forward to trying this ruler again once the mat is in place.

Here’s the finished quilt again:

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Now I have a question for you…Would you change the slant of the rope on the bottom border to be opposite of the top border? Same question for the left and right side. Should they be opposite to one another?

One more adventurous element, the binding! After being inspired by an award winning quilt at MQX, and not having enough dark blue batik to make a binding, I knew I had to introduce some of my scraps. I cut the binding only 1 1/4″ wide and sewed a single fold binding. I chose little scraps from the 5″ squares left over from the leaf fabrics, I sewed triangles pointing in the same direction as the leaves into the dark blue strip. Then I selected a green batik from my stash builder fabrics to fill in the rest. Even if this quilt will never be judged, it’s nice to put to use some knowledge from my recent tour at MQX. It certainly made this quilt a memorable adventure for me.

I hope you with fill your April 2017 with more adventurous quilting.

Book me to speak to your guild or women’s group in 2018 to hear a new talk on my 2017 Island Batik Journey. I’m collecting stories and creating new quilts and patterns every month!

Linda

Inspiredlayers.com

 

MQX 2017 April 8, 2017

I’m still on a high from my MQX experience!  I decided to spend two nights in a hotel so that I wasn’t rushing through the quilts and vendors and flying home in time to make dinner for my hubby.  It was a great decision.  I was more relaxed and enjoyed the experience so much more.  Here are some of my favorite take aways from MQX 2017:

  1. I enjoyed seeing all the quilts and special exhibits.
  2. I enjoyed seeing friends from guilds who invited me to speak and friends from guilds I use to belong to when I lived in MA.
  3. I enjoyed introducing myself to the SAQA members who I’ve spoken to or emailed over the past few months.
  4. I enjoyed taking the tour of the Winning Quilts with Cathy Wiggins.  I learned a lot.
  5. I enjoyed seeing my new friends from Vermont and New Hampshire guilds which I joined.
  6. I enjoyed sharing some tips with a quilter who wanted more information on collage and confetti techniques.
  7. I enjoyed sharing my quilting world with a friend who isn’t a quilter, but enjoys dipping her toes into all sorts of fun activities.
  8. I enjoyed how friendly everyone was who was working at the show.
  9. I enjoyed the atmosphere from morning to late night.
  10. I enjoyed purchasing new rulers to experiment with.
  11. I enjoyed being inspired!

I used to say that I quilt for fun.  Well, now the passion has taken hold of me and I quilt daily for therapy and fun! I’m open to new ideas and always looking to break some rules.

My guild talks are constantly changing because my quilts are constantly changing.  This keep everything fresh and inspiring.

It was gratifying to learn that quilt judges appreciate quilters who take a risk, use more than one technique and perfect and reinvent techniques.

My friends at Small Pond Quilting worked together to design and construct this quilt:

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Notice the very bottom where the little triangles, squares and rectangles are tucked in and color co-ordinated too!

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On the left hand side, top and part of the right top side a multicolored flange was inserted with the binding.

This takes “binding” to a new level. This inspires me to keep pushing my quilts out of the box.

The other tip I took away from the show was that sit down quilters can manage to use rulers and that gives them better scores when quilts are judged. Thankfully my large hands will be an asset for this technique.

MQX rulers

I purchased the stencil and rulers shown above. I will experiment with roping, clamshells, and curved lattice tomorrow.  This month’s Doodle club will show a video of me using one of these rulers.

I also purchased lights which adhere under the arm of my Sweet 16 Handi Quilter. Having more light is always a good idea to save my eyes from getting old too soon.  The tips from the Handi Quilter staff at the booth at MQX was helpful too!

I’m looking forward to attending next year’s MQX show, taking some classes and volunteering too!  I hope you will make time for yourself and your creativity to bloom.

Mark your calendar for April 4-7, 2018!  See you there!

Linda

Inspired Layers

 

Celebrate with Flowers March 12, 2017

March 18 is National Quilting Day! Let’s celebrate with a mini quilt done with Island Batik fabrics!

My March challenge is to use fabric from box #1 excluding the spring/summer 2017 fabric (which is very special in an of its self) and paper piece or English paper piece something. I do not often quilt with either one of those techniques. I have done each technique however.

I chose to English paper piece a Dresden Plate with 16 mini plates. Because this is a mini English paper piecing project, my entire quilt is a very small size. 17″ x 17″

I started by choosing a background and then lots of purples from the 5″ Drizzle charm squares. Then I selected a lime green for the centers of the Dresden plates.

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I used glue stick to fold the fabric over the template. The official way to English paper piece is to baste, with thread, the fabric around the template. Sorry, I have little patience, so I found a quicker alternative.

After playing with various arrangements, I decide where to start stitching by hand, the plates together.  This is my design…

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After stitching the straight edges of each Desden plate, I appliqued the sections onto the background.

Then I cut out the background so that I could peel the templates out.  Because I used glue, I needed to use a tool to release the glue joint and then the template popped out.

Here is a photo of the back of the quilt before I popped out the template pieces…

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I love the colors. I like that the hand work is over. Now to add a popper and border.

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Do you like the popper?

Lastly, I layered the top with Dream Orient and Dream Wool batting and a backing and quilted it. I used Quilter’s Preview Paper to try out a few design ideas. Since I do not have a computer hooked up to my sewing machine, I quilt everything using free motion. The concept is to fill the space and use density of design to emphasize elements. This is a traditional setting, so I think I will cross over the popper line with my quilting.

 

This is my finished mini quilt along with a close up view.  I like the way the Superior Silk Thread stitches flawlessly through the double batting.  I like the puff of the double curved lines and how you can really see the beautiful Island Batik background fabric with the minute stippling.

This quilt makes me think of my grandmother who loved purple so much! It also gets me ready for Spring, which is right around the corner (or should I say after one more snowstorm).

Worldwide Quilting Day - Ambassadors

Linda Ramrath