June 18- Creativity in Volunteering

Time for another update on some of the fun I’m having intertwining quilting, Toastmasters and volunteering.

Toastmasters is a non-profit organization which started over 90 years ago. It’s main mission is to teach communication and leadership skills. In May a new program, Pathways, began in the Northeast region. The new curriculum incorporates technology, which has changed considerably over the past 90 years. I’m excited to give more talks, incorporating the basics of organizing a talk and using hand gestures and pauses appropriately. The added fun is to share stories and add humor along the journey. Capturing your audience with a eye candy like a quilt is my unique specialty. This is what makes my guild lectures so entertaining. I’ve sat through enough boring educational session to know the value of sharing tips and techniques in a fun and humorous way.

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My latest talks have been about Dandelions. I titled my talk, “Dandelion: a Blessing or a Curse.” It was fun to share my stories from childhood and beyond thinking dandelions were a curse. Then I googled “Dandelion syrup” and was awakened to all the health benefits of dandelion syrup. Nothing short of amazing! This delicious syrup, which I introduced in my last blog post, is even more precious to me now that I am aware of all the health benefits.

Did you know that dandelion syrup can bring relief from liver disorder, diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice, and anemia? It also helps in maintaining bone health, skin care and weight loss.

Dandelion juice can help diabetics by stimulating the production of insulin from the pancreas, thereby keeping the blood sugar level low. Since dandelions are diuretic in nature, they increase urination in diabetic patients, which helps remove excess sugar from the body. Who knew?

Dandelion sap, also know as dandelion milk, is useful in treating skin diseases which are caused by microbial and fungal infections.

Dandelion juice is a good detoxifier, diuretic, stimulant, and antioxidant.  These four properties make it a great treatment for acne.

High levels of dietary fiber in the leaves make dandelion a beneficial aid for digestion and intestinal health.

Dandelions have relatively good levels of iron, vitamins A and C and protein content. This is helpful to people with anemia.

I made some dandelion meringues this week to share with my quilting friends, Toastmasters, and even my hair dresser. They are made with 2 egg whites, cream of tartar and dandelion syrup.

 

This syrup is only available for a very short time while supplies last. Here is the new website address www.silverlakesyrup.com.

There are wonderful recipes and photos of delicious cocktails and cookies on this website. If you buy this as a gift, make sure you tell the recipient about the website.

In Vermont this past week, I was asked to quilt a “cow quilt” for the Ayrshire Group. Ayrshire is a cow from the southeast part of Scotland. Here’s what I had fun quilting…

 

I also was asked to quilt a small quilt for the new Scotland House. Here’s a photo of the front and the back. This was tons of fun! Two Scottish assignments in one week. How funny is that?

 

Thanks to Rosiland Beck, the Digitizing Diva, I have learned to make embroidered labels! Lining them up is still a mystery to me, but I continue to try.

Finally, my wool quilt is coming along…One more block completed. Two more blocks to go!

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The last piece of news is a very fun ride on my new bicycle to Woodstock Vermont from Barnard. This is an electric assist bicycle. The hills in Vermont are truly beautiful. I am however getting older, and this assistance helps me to enjoy riding. The farmers I passed all waved. The cows got up and mooed at me. I had to stop and say “hello.”

Today I am off to volunteer at Vermont Quilt Festival. I’ll blog about that next time.

Happy quilting and more!

Linda

http://www.inspiredlayers.com

http://www.inspiredlayerslinda.wordpress.com

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June 4th – Time is Flying!

It’s June already! In the past, I have tried blogging every week, then once a month, then just when I thought I stepped out and learned something to share. This year I’m blogging every two weeks. I think this makes the year fly by quicker! (not that that is a good thing)  I turned the calendar from May to June and there it is, my reminder to blog again. Looking back over the past two weeks and thinking about how time flies, I’m going to share some of my quilting/sewing activities first. I had fun with non-quilty stuff too. I think balance is important. Here’s the update:

I finished (well all but the hems) 8 drapes for my daughter’s home. received_1881710685184544 (1)The hems are pinned, but I want them hung before stitching, to make sure they are the right length. Putting in the grommets were the hardest part! My hand was so sore (because I followed the directions). I put in 48 grommets and went to bed.  The next morning I asked my hubby to help. His hands are slightly bigger than mine and surely more muscular. I demonstrated how to do it.  He said, “Okay.” Then he went to his workshop, returned with a small piece of 2 x 4 and laid that over the grommet set and pressed down to hear the click and moved on to the next one. In minutes 48 more grommets were secured in place.

LESSON LEARNED AGAIN! Don’t struggle until your hand hurts so much and then ask for help. Walk away. Ask for help. Learn a better way.  Should I write to Dritz to tell them the easy way? Or would most people not have a spare piece of 2 x 4 in their home?

After attending a meeting of the Small Pond Quilters in Chester, Vermont, I learned that it wasn’t too late to enter the Sew Batik challenge, “Happiness Is…” so I started to design a quilt after journaling for a bit. It was fun. It could have been more fun, had I started a few months earlier. The problem was, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to make the quilt a few months earlier.  Once I started, it was a three day mission. I enjoyed making the little challenge piece. 20″ x 20″. I’d love to show you what the result was, but I should wait until after the Vermont Quilt Festival. I hope you are planning on attending, June 21-23rd. I just heard that there will be several new vendors there! Yippie! I always buy new items and push myself further outside my box after this show. Inspiration is always there to greet me!

I also made time to finish my digitally printed “Dream Big” panel, a Hoffman spectrum print by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero 2017. Here’s how mine came out.  I used Aurifil 80 weight thread in four colors, gold, yellow, light blue and medium blue. I quilted it using my Sweet 16 HandiQuilter. It took 3 sittings.IMG_20180601_141244

There are several on pinterest. I even saw a video of someone quilting their panel in 7 days and now selling kits. I think I’d like to purchase another panel and quilt it differently in each quarter to use as a tool for my free motion quilting classes.

Do you remember my wool project?  I did finish one more block…I have 9 blocks done so far…3 more to create.

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Now for some non quilty things I did these past 2 weeks…

  • Attended a wonderful Memorial Day parade and service in Woodstock, Vermont.  The best Memorial Day speaker I have ever heard!
  • Volunteered to be the Area G Director for Toastmasters International, starting July 1, 2018 through June 30th, 2019.
  • baked some healthy zucchini/ bran muffins with molasses and honey instead of sugar.
  • baked some gluten free, dairy free cookies to bring to a baby shower.
  • picked dandelions and prepared them for syrup.IMG_2164 (1)
  • tried a new cocktail, rhubarb syrup (from Silverlakesyrups.wixsite.com), Club Soda, and a splash of gin or vodka. Yum!FB_IMG_1528076453024
  • served vanilla gelatto, slice of peach and drizzle of Dandelion syrup to relatives visiting from New Mexico. Super Yummy!IMG_20180603_202519458

If you would like to taste some really yummy syrups made in Vermont, go to Silver Lake Syrups here and order now, before they are sold out.  Dandelions are only plentiful and ready to pick for a short couple of weeks in the spring.  Once they turn to seed, the season is over until next year! It takes a lot of dandelions to produce some syrup.  Here is what I prepared in 4 hours!

I’m off to quilt some more interesting quilts, organize great talks for SAQA, and put my Gallery Show together for this summer.  Never a dull moment!

Happy Quilting!

Linda Ramrath

Inspiredlayers.com

Posted in free motion quilting, guild talks, quilt shows, Uncategorized, Vermont Quilt Festival | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

May 21, 2018 – Love is Power

Mother’s Day was sunny and a beautiful day to call Mom and chat. I hope you enjoyed sharing time in person or in prayer with your Mom. I enjoyed time with my daughter and her fiance. Good times…Good food!

The weather was picture perfect for a drive to Moultonborough, NH to share my “Stranded on Island Batik” talk with Ladies of the Lake, Country Village Quilters and three representatives from Keepsake Quilting! I learned a lot about the new owners of Keepsake Quilting.  It is now own by a family from Pennsylvania. They are going to try to bring the shop back to a destination shop for quilters and non-quilters. There will be a gift shop there.  The kits will be limited to make more space for fabric cut off the bolts.  They will also try to keep collections together.  They have already re-hired many of the workers who were let go when the previous merger took place.  The sentiment in the room was of relief and joy!  Thank you Keepsake Quilting for coming to this luncheon and sharing all the great news! ( I had so much fun, I forgot to take out my phone and shoot some photos! Sorry!)

My nephew’s wife, Minerva and my niece, Lizzy are due to give birth this summer! I finished their baby quilts.

The pattern is “Cathedral Window in My Log Cabin” which I designed for my Block of the Month in 2016.

I finished a few more small versions of my Shazam pattern. I hope to have the pattern out soon for table squares, runners and baby lap quilt size.

shazam runners

I also attended a meeting in which quilters shared what they learned at MQX this year. It sounds like the classes were fabulous! I especially liked seeing the samples of covered beads on a binding.  I took that concept and added it to my Challenge quilt (not on the binding) for Vermont Quilt Festival.  The deadline is May 20th to 30th for the quilt to be received.  I thought I had missed the deadline, but since I hadn’t, I decided to create a quilt…As you know, I love challenges!  The theme is “Happiness Is…” I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so I won’t put a photo in this blog.  I’d just like to encourage you to take part in challenges, especially those in larger shows such as MQX and Vermont Quilt Festival. Many kits are sold, but many people put the packet down and forget about it, or let too many other quilts get in the way. Sometimes, even having just 4 days to make a challenge, you can learn a lot about yourself and your skills.

I’ve decided to volunteer on Monday and Tuesday before the Vermont Quilt Festival opens this year. It does take a lot of volunteers to set up and run a show.  I think that by volunteering, I can meet people and learn how to help other shows such as Connections in MA this year run smoothly. I’m sure there are still open spots to volunteer. Just go to the VQF.org site and click on volunteers. Sign up and join the helpers who give of their time to make this show a success!

Did you see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married in England? The sermon, “Love is Power” was inspiring!

How do you show love? By quilting? By calling your mom? By inviting a friend to go to a quilt show with you? By treating yourself to a class at a quilt show? by volunteering? By walking your dog? Love is Power!

Finally, I have 8 drapes to finish and family from New Mexico visiting this week. It’s going to be another busy two weeks. See you June 4th.

Happy Quilting!

Linda

http://www.inspiredlayers.com

http://www.inspiredlayerslinda.wordpress.com

508-769-7881

Posted in #MQX, connections quilt festival, guild talks, Island Batik, ohbabyquilts, Uncategorized, Vermont Quilt Festival | Leave a comment

May 7th – Sharing Talents

On April 25th I shared Clue #2 for a Mystery Quilt I designed using EQ8 with Heart of the Land Quilters. November/December meeting will be the reveal meeting.  I will post all the variations quilters sewed in their Mystery projects. I’m encouraging various ways to design you own quilt or quilted pillows, table runners, or wall hangings along the way. 21 quilters have started this journey. I’m excited to see how many are inspired to follow the Mystery to completion.

On April 26th I went to the Palace Theatre with my daughter, sister, and niece to see Mamma Mia. It was a fabulous night to enjoy the talented singers and performers.

On April 28th I taught the free motion class for completing the collage quilts. It was fun and educational. Here’s a few photos of collage quilts ready for free motion quilting.

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My hubby and I are taking “social dance” classes in Sharon, Vermont. We enjoyed learning a new talent on April 29th.

On May 3rd I taught another collage quilting class with the Squanicook Quilters in Pepperell, MA. Once again, it was fun and educational.  Learning to work with Mistyfuse, choosing the right batting for your quilt and learning to free hand cut and free motion quilt is fun when done with friends.

Two questions arose…

#1 Does starching fabric affect how Mistyfuse clings to the fabric when applied? I’m not sure, because I haven’t starched my fabric before fusing the Mistyfuse to the wrong side of my fabric.  Have you? I’d love to hear from you, an expert with experience fusing starched fabric.

#2 Does the new Non-stick needle from Schmetzneedles.com make any difference when stitching Mistyfused fabric?  I found that the “gum” ball didn’t appear on my needle once I changed over from Steam a Seam light to Mistyfuse.

I made two twin-sized quilts. Here’s a photo of them folded on my couch. One is for a boy and one for a girl.  Both with a buck theme.

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I ended this two-week period with attending a conference by Dr. Allen Hunt from Dynamic Catholic. It was called, “Passion and Purpose for Marriage.” If Dr. Hunt ever offers this conference anywhere near you, please go. You will not regret it.  My hubby and I listened to 3 talks with great connecting stories and principles to take our marriage to the next level. There were engaged couples there, lots of couples married for several years and two couples married over 50 years. Praise God!

If you know anyone getting married, share this link to a Marriage Preparation Inventory tool.CLICK HERE

I was awarded a Triple Crown Award in Toastmasters in April.  This requires completing three awards in 1 year.  This is the second time I’ve achieved this award. Toastmasters had been helping people to become better communicators and leaders for over 90 years. In May of 2018 a new program called, Pathways is starting.  This will help communicators learn to produce webinars, podcasts and much more.  The technology portion of communicating effectively is the main difference from the original projects to this new approach. If you would like to improve your communication skills, go to Toastmasters.org and look for a club near you. I believe it is the safest place to fail and get back up with even better ideas.

I hope you will share your talents with me, too! I love to be inspired by others.

See you in two weeks…lots in process.

Linda

InspiredLayers.com

Posted in adhesives, charity quilts, classes, finished project, free motion quilting, guild talks, non profit organizations, toastmasters, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April 23rd- A Little of This and That

It’s time for another update on my quilting projects…

  1. I taught a Collage Quilting class at New England Fabrics on April 14th. It was loads of fun to teach quilters how to use Mistyfuse and why I think it’s the best fusible for collage quilting. There is a frog, cat and two collage moose being developed. Here’s a sneak peek..

    In case your are wondering why I like Mistyfuse, here are a few reasons:

    • Quilts do not crease as much when folded and put away and then brought back out.
    • I do not get a gummy glue ball on my needle when stitching through it.
    • It doesn’t come with paper that sometimes sticks to the fusible.
    • I don’t have to reverse the design to cut out a particular shape.
    • It comes in white, ultraviolet and black.
  2. I finished quilting “Almost Midnight at the Oasis” quilt. It was a challenge and took patience to stitch in the ditch on the outer round. IMG_20180420_135812
  3. I finished (still have to add beads) 3 more wool blocks for my Summertime Sampler quilt. This was fun.  As you know by now I cannot follow a pattern. I changed the teapot and tea cups from a tea leaf design to Kaffe Fasset design. IMG_20180420_134443
  4. I wrote a blog post as part of the Island Batik Ambassador Alumni Use it Up! blog hop. I showed how I used the Northern Woods strip set to make a collage “Cool Bull Moose” and a large bowl for my wool fabrics. I certainly bought to much wool, so I will have to start another wool project soon! IMG_20180306_092634IMG_20180404_131232
  5. The program chair from the Modern Quilt Guild in Westminster, Vermont called and asked me to give my “Stranded on Island Batik” talk at their meeting yesterday.  It was tons of fun! The show and tell was inspiring!IMG_20180423_103125

Well that’s a rap of these past two weeks of quilting fun! I also fit in a visit to my in-laws and to my daughter’s home. We had fun unpacking boxes and even painted one room already. Her mind is racing with DIY projects she would like to tackle.

Enjoy life! It’s a precious gift, each and every day!

Linda Ramrath

Inspired Layers

Posted in finished project, free motion quilting, guild talks, Island Batik, modern quilt, Uncategorized, wool applique | Leave a comment

Spring Fling Blog Hop – Use it Up!

blog hop logo

I really enjoyed the monthly challenges given to me as a 2017 Island Batik Ambassador.  I loved them so  much, I’m traveling around now with a new talk, “Stranded on Island Batik.” I share how I accomplished each challenge and give the audience a handout with lots of challenge ideas to bring to their quilting friends and guild members. If you would like to see this unique trunk show and learn a bit about Island Batik fabrics, send an email to ramrath63@hotmail.com and we will find a date that works! Feel free to call New England Fabrics in Keene, NH to ask how well the first talk was received. (603-352-8683)

Fortunately or unfortunately, I didn’t use all the fabric that I was given.  I had a 40 piece strip set entitled, “Northern Woods” which I didn’t use.  Once this challenge came out, I used it up in rather un-traditional ways.  I washed and then fused Mistyfuse onto the back of half of the strips. Then I free hand cut rounded squares and rectangles. I decided to have fun and make a humorous quilt using my NEW Cool Bull Moose II pattern (available here). I followed the instructions until I decided to have the moose track the human.  I quilted the sole imprint in various sizes on the background.  Then I looked at my hubby’s hunting rifle, and free hand cut fabrics and fused a gun for the Moose.  The moose’s name is HUNTER which I embroidered on a pocket bulging with ammunition. I put empty shells in it.

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I still had 20 strips left, and a little clothesline from another project…so I decided to piece the fabric strips together on the diagonal with my Sew Easy guide to make one long strip.

I trimmed the corners off, pressed the seam allowances open and then pressed the entire length in half the long way.

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Next step is to cover the clothesline.  I used a number 12 foot for my Bernina.  It has a large chunk taken out of it so the clothesline can run in that channel. I used Aurifil thread and folded the raw edges over from right to left and then the fold over from the left to the right. With a straight stitch, jeans needle and 2.5 length stitch, I covered the clothesline.

The next step is to form the bottom of the bowl. I pinched about and inch or so of the end of the covered clothesline and bent the so that it laid flat. I switched to a zig zag stitch as wide as possible.  I have a 9mm machine so I used an open toe foot so that I could see that my stitches were catching both the cording and the new row of cording I was adding as it turned around. It’s very important to have the project rotating counter clockwise and the strip you are adding is on your right.

I made the base about 12″ round and then held it up with my left hand created a bowl shape as I continued to add around the sides. I used all 20 strips! Yippie! I used it up!

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Here’s a photo of my wool pieces and thread for my next project.  It is coming along…It was supposed to be my winter project, but it’s already spring.  The colors are bright and cheery. I keep modifying the pattern. You will have to keep visiting my blog to see how that project turns out.  I update my followers every two weeks with my quilting exploits.

I hope you might think to make a fabric bowl with some left over strips. You control the size. You could make business card holders, paper clip holders, or even bowl big enough for knitting supplies.

Here’s the complete list of Spring Fling Blog Hop just in case you missed any of the projects and want to go back and look at them.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Lemon Tree Snippets

Beaquilter

 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Seams To Be Sew

Mary Macks Blog

 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

One Quilting Circle

Seams Like a Dream

 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tamarinis

Kathy’s Kwilts and More

 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Inspired Layers

Masterpiece Quilting

 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Purrfect Spots

Patchwork Breeze

 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

For Quilts Sake

 

Thanks for joining me today on this blog hop!  I hope you have been inspired by all the alumni projects.  We may not be ambassadors anymore, but we sure do love thinking up new ways to use fabric!

 

Enjoy!

Linda Ramrath

http://www.inspiredlayers.com

Posted in Island Batik, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 7 Comments

April 9th – Learning is Fun!

Learning is fun, even as I get older and older…

On March 25th I took a class on how to make  butter, ricotta cheese, and yogurt. It was tasty and informative.  I learned a lot about using raw milk, local coops and farms that sell raw milk and more!

 

Then I learned what would happen if you trimmed the Shazam block incorrectly. Sometimes it created a new pattern, but this time it took the drama out of the Shazam pattern. I am working on refining the directions to my pattern, Shazam.  Here’s my first two quilts done without a pattern…

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Here’s my table runners I made while writing the pattern…

 

Now to finish quilting them with interest and variety.  I’ll show them to you in the next update.

I learned how a sugar house operates. I even filled some bottles with syrup made from sap from trees on our Vermont property. If you would like to buy some real maple syrup, you can click here.

syrup bottles for sale

I learned to color eggs with magic markers and the Egg-mazing  device.

easter eggs 2018

I worked on my Spring Fling blog hop…Use it up, throw it out, or make it do challenge.  I hope you will follow along with Island Batik Ambassadors Alumni and all their creative ideas from April 16-22nd. Here’s where it will begin…

Monday, April 16, 2018

Lemon Tree Snippets

Beaquilter

Here’s the Northern Woods strips I used up.

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My postcards came for my upcoming Art Show at the Bridgewater Mill in Bridgewater, VT July 15th -August 30th.

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I made a basket for an Epilepsy Foundation Auction. Here’s a link where you can support this effort.click here

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I made a few more bowls.

I took my first dance lesson in 23 years! It was tons of fun!  I cannot wait until the next one. WE learned the two step, waltz and box step all with twists and turns. Yes, I did have to follow the lesson with ibuprofen. I’m not as young and limber as I once was.

Here’s the update on my “Almost Midnight at the Oasis” quilt:

Unfortunately, my time in Vermont for the rest of April is very limited. I may not finish this one until May, but it’s coming along…

Happy Quilting,

Linda

 

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