Progess on 2018 – Quilt #1

I’ve just returned from get away at Lake Morey in Fairlee, Vermont. On Friday, I drove through pouring rain, got my wagon out and started to load it up.  It was an icy mess, but a guild member ventured out in the rain to help me slip my wagon to safety in the huge quilting room.  Thanks, Sandy! I brought an empty plastic CD case to hold the little blocks I was about to make. I did spend a few hours cutting pieces before I left for the retreat, so I could make as much progress as possible during the weekend.

There are so many things that I love about this retreat.

  1. The people!  There are lots of quilters from Heart of the Land quilters guild. There are lots on non guild members who are friends of guild members there too. I dare say that everyone is nice and gets along famously!
  2. The food is fresh, delicious, and filling.  I even indulged in desserts that I never make myself. YUM! I didn’t prepare any food or clean any dishes.
  3. The space is well lit and each quilter is given a very long table, maybe 8-10′ long.
  4. There is so much creativity in the air.  I love walking around to see all the different projects.  This retreat had a mystery quilt going on, demo on how to make a little free motion quilted baskets, a stamping up quilty card to make, and charity quilting too!
  5. The dates for next year were announced and I’ve already blocked off my calendar for 2019.
  6. There is a quilt shop, Barnyard Quilting within a mile of the retreat.  Yes, I stopped in on my way home and bought another yard of fabric which I may use to separate each round of blocks. Decisions, Decisions!

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Here’s my progress of 2018 Quilt #1…

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I got 14 of the 20 applique blocks done.

35 of the 52 Churn Dash blocks done.

44 of the Courthouse steps blocks done.

The pattern is called, “Midnight at the Oasis”.  I saw this quilt done at he Connections Quilt Show in November of 2017. I was inspired and bought the pattern at the show. I’m using my basket of Kaffe Fassett fabrics to make this quilt.  I purchased an grey background fabric and some of the printed background fabrics in the blocks.

I believe my quilt will look very different from the photo on the cover of the pattern. That is just what I do. I like patterns, but often picture my own fabrics in the quilt. Do you look at patterns that way? I hope you do, even if it’s my pattern.  I guess I like to teach techniques and see that they work with whatever fabric you like to work with.

I can imagine this quilt in reproduction fabrics. I gave my reproduction fabrics away to someone who is having fun using them.  The fabrics didn’t resonate with me, so I found someone who they do resonate with.

One more thing I like about retreats is that I always come home and feel inspired. It takes about an hour to applique each little block.  I only have 6 left to make.  Today I will tackle at least two.

I’ll post again in two weeks with my progress.

Happy quilting!

Linda Ramrath

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New Challenges for 2018!

I have had so much fun designing 12+ quilts and quilted items as an Island Batik Ambassador. Here are a few of my fun projects:

I received an email announcing that I was selected to be a 2018 Island Batik Ambassador. First I jumped out of my seat and did a happy dance. Then got back to work on my calendar for 2018. Within minutes all I could see was a jam packed year of commitments. I’m excited to be having a gallery show in Bridgewater, Vermont. I also have several custom quilt orders. I have 6 patterns which I started last year and really feel compelled to finish and publish.

Being an Island Batik Ambassador has been an honor.  I have met some very smart, talented and helpful quilt pattern designers. I have learned a lot and most importantly, I have found my unique voice again through quilting.

I’ve decided to let someone else take my place as an Island Batik Ambassador so that I can finish projects I started last year, write more humorous talks and teach in new, exciting venues.

I really want to thank Island Batik and all the supportive women I’ve met over the past year. It’s been an amazing journey.

I will continue to quilt, blog twice a month in 2018, release my monthly newsletter, release my new 2018 Doodle of the Month program, and give as many talks as I can spreading my joy of working with Island Batik fabrics.  I will continue to read other Ambassador blogs and follow the new Island Batik fabric collections.

Thanks for following my Island Batik journey. Stay tuned for some new opportunities for 2018. My final blog for  Island Batik was published this morning, Jan. 15th. There will be a big give away so please comment on that blog and you may win some amazing fabric!

Happy quilting!

Linda Ramrath

http://www.inspiredlayers.com

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Springtime Migration

We are enjoying a very white winter here in New England. Rest assured Spring is coming! I have been working with the Island Batik Elementz Collection. This collection is very bright and cheerful.  There are modern elements such as triangles, bar lines, and arrows too! Here’s a peek at the fat quarters I received to create a quilt larger than 36″ x 36″. The colors range from black, grey, pinks, oranges, lime green, blues, yellows and combinations that are very cool! I used a blender for the background fabric. It’s the light fabric on the right in the photo below.

IMG_20171216_092006676 My quilt and table runner are simple to make and “sew” much fun too! This is my first 2-sided quilt with all Island Batik fabrics! The idea popped into my head probably because I attended a guild meeting last year in which people showed 2-sided quilts. One quilter made a much larger scale design on the back side as the design from the front. Thanks for sharing that idea, whoever you are. It certainly inspired me. This is a 2-sided quilt with a similar concept.

Here’s the front:

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and here’s the back:

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I started with cutting the fat quarters efficiently, so I could maximize the usage.

I love my Martelli cutter with a new blade in it.  It can accurately cut several layers at once. Below is a photo of the strips I cut to make squares for the migrating geese and strips for the bars.

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This pattern requires 6 1/4″ squares for the migrating geese, 2 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ fabric bars for the front and 9 1/4″ squares and 3 3/4″ x 15″ fabric bars for the back.

The complete pattern is available on craftsy.com, click here:

I purchased a Studio 180 Design Migrating Geese Technique Sheet from Bonny Peters, owner of Catdenmountainquilts.com. If you would like to purchase this technique sheet, which I highly recommend, Click Here.

There are 3 reasons I really like this technique sheet:

  1. It is laminated and has 3 holes in it so I can hang it from my hook on a curtain rod in my studio. It hangs with my rulers so it is easy to find and use. You could put it into a 3-ring binder, but a binder would surely get moved several times and eventually lost in my studio. (true confession!)
  2. It has cutting instructions for 7 different size migrating geese.
  3. The photos and sewing instructions are very easy to read,understand and follow.

Thank you Studio 180 Design!

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This is a scrappy quilt. I wanted to show as many of the fabrics and designs as possible. This quilt has 5 columns, 2 columns with fabrics bars 2″ x 7″ finished and 3 columns of migrating geese.

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Remember that you could design your quilt with 3 columns of fabric bars and 2 columns of migrating geese if you like the geese bound by the bars.

I chose 3 columns of migrating geese because geese often migrate in a v-shape.

The back side is made from 2 columns of fabric bars 3 1/4″ x 14 1/2″ with 4″ high migrating geese along the center. This is my version of enlarging the basic design from the front of the quilt.

I had so much fun making migrating geese and using the leftover fabric bars I cut, that I made a table runner too!

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Quilting these fun quilts:

This is my favorite part of the process! I reached for my Leaves Galore ruler by Sue Pelland Designs. I traced a curve and mirrored it on the top.  That was all the marking I did. Then I stitched along the curve, echoed the curve, and added some free motion feathers (because migrating birds have feathers, right?) along the outer curves.

I cut the binding for the quilt 2″ wide and used leftover fabric bars sewn on the diagonal. I folded the strip in half and machine stitched it onto the front and hand sewed the fold on the back.

For the table runner I cut my binding 1 3/8″ and stitched in onto the front and hand stitched a single fold binding onto the back. This makes the table runner lay flatter in my drawer.

This blog hop continues to Feb. 1st.  Check out all the other blogs, Island Batik fabric collections, quilts and helpful hints from all the other 2017 Island Batik Ambassadors. It’s a month of inspiration to get 2018 off to an amazingly good start!

Don’t forget to leave me a comment and perhaps a title for the table runner I made with the Island Batik Elementz collection. I will randomly pick a winner from the people who leave comments and send you all the leftover fabric I have from this collection. It’s all been washed so it will be ready to cut and sew!

Week 1 – Winter

Week of January 8

Week 2 – Spring

Week of January 15

Week 3 – Summer

Week of January 22

Week 4 – Fall

Week of January 29

‘Thanks for reading to the end.  Island Batik has a give away at the end of the blog hop too!  Here is the link: Island Batik raffle entry .

 

Happy Inspiring Quilting!

Linda Ramrath

 

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12 Days of Christmas

How many days do you celebrate Christmas?  Some of my friends start of Dec. 1st. and really celebrate all through Advent. Some celebrate from Christmas Eve through New Years Day. My European friends often celebrate little Christmas, 12 Days after Dec. 25th with more pomp and circumstance than Christmas Day.

This year Christmas was miraculous for me.  I hope to celebrate God’s blessings for at least 12 days!  This Christmas I met me grand nephew, JJ who is 5 months old.

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JJ had such fun watching my nephew, Robbie unite in marriage with Minerva on Christmas Eve.

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We are thrilled to welcome Minerva into our family.

On Christmas Day we drove through a beautiful snow storm to our daughter’s apartment. It was so festive! She bought a tree and decorated it.

img_20171225_121243573.jpgShe and her boyfriend (who hunted a deer this fall) made venison, mashed potatoes and butternut squash for dinner. I brought some appetizers to munch on as we opened presents. Then there was a knock on the door and our son, Tyler, who we haven’t seen in 7 years, walked into our festivities! He is a captain in the Army National Guard. He has travel to Kenya and many other places I’ve never been to.  He looks tall, handsome, and still has a wonderful sense of humor.  We all played a card game after dinner, like many years ago.  All you mothers out there can understand how full of love my heart is.  It’s still about to bust! Our children have really grown up, 29 and 22 years old. I love them so much!

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I promised to share some gifts that I made in December, but couldn’t show before Christmas.  Here’s Bethany’s Radiant Star made from 60 diamond shapes.  Bethany is a high school geometry teacher.

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I made a T-shirt quilt for a friend of our family, Kimberly with 14 years of memories.

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I also finished a Quilt A Long and gave it to a family in Vermont we met over the past year.

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I stitched some doodles…

I donated two quilts that I quilted in December.  One is going to a local Vermont hospital for a newborn boy.  The other quilt will go to someone in need as a result of a fire, illness or accident.  It is resting in our guild’s “Comfort Cupboard” awaiting it’s recipient.

I also joined a celebration of my parent’s 85th birthdays along with all of my siblings and spouses and many grandchildren too!

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The Wassail Weekend in Woodstock , VT was amazing too!  The band was fabulous!  The parade was full of beautiful animals. The concert in the Library after the parade was just what I needed to get into the Christmas spirit.  It was free! and Inspiring! After the concert, we walked outside and it started to snow!  I LOVE SNOW!!! This has simply been a miraculous Christmas season so far!

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Don’t forget to watch my patterns on craftsy.com. In the search field, type “Inspired Layers”. I have 6 new patterns in the works and I’ll  be releasing them for free for a month, and then setting a price after that.  If you follow my blog, you will have an opportunity to try the quilts I design for free! YIPPEE!

Thanks for a wonderful year of quilting fun! I hope you feel the blessings God showers you with all year long. I’m so thankful for my family – included you, my quilting family too!

Blessing,

Linda Ramrath

Inspired Layers

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Scrappy Table topper

Table Top

At our Thanksgiving meal, I was seated next to someone who was born and raised in Austria. She was telling me about how she has started knitting again. I was thinking about the Island Batik Winter line of fabrics I received, Alpine Ice. I knew just then what I wanted to make for this challenge. I’ve been thinking about the diamond shape for a while…

Here are the two diamond shapes I decided to use from my Martelli Notions Templates.

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Diamonds make me think of stars…so here’s what I imagined, combining Austrian mittens and stars. This pattern will be available on Craftsy.com soon!

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I think the Alpine Ice collection works very well with this design. The mittens were just the thought I needed to move forward on this challenge. Please help me to name this quilt.  If you leave a suggestion below, I will pick a name to send some Alpine Ice fabric.

To make this quilt fit the scrappy theme, I went to my Island Batik bucket of fabric and decided to make the stars scrappy! How fun! I can imagine a whole quilt with these fun scrappy stars….hold on…the challenge is table topper. I had to constrain myself and just make a Table topper.  Here’s what I came up with using the same concept as the quilt above.

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I started with 3 stars made from the diamond templates and 30 degree cuts to the background strips.  Then I pieced the sections together and free hand cut some leaves from scraps with Mistyfuse adhesive on the back.  I ironed them on and then had fun quilting this table runner.

If I finish my Christmas shopping, baking and wrapping soon….I will start a bed size scrappy project with stars and more! Working with these Island Batik fabrics is like giving me a shot of Adrenalin.

Please comment on a name for the Alpine Ice table topper above!

Thanks!

Linda

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So Thankful!

Every Thanksgiving our family talks about the current year.  We remember fun times and new adventures.  Rocky is the writer of our family Christmas letter.  He takes copious notes and then writes the letter from his perspective. This is his 9th year with our family and his 5th year writing the letter.

As I stop to think about what I am going to share with him. Being and Island Batik Ambassador has been a new and exciting adventure. I received two boxes over the year full of fabric (cotton and rayon), threads from Superior and Auriful,  and small rolls of fabric to give away throughout the year! How exciting!

If you missed any of my blog posts, here’s some snapshots of the quilts and toy I made.  These will all be shown up close and personal in my new talk, “Stranded on Island Batik.” This is a fun talk about challenges and a variety of ideas for you or your guild. Call me and fill out my contract from my website, http://www.inspiredlayers.com to schedule a talk! I will go to women’s groups, church groups, quilting guilds, and quilt shops too! FUN!FUN!FUN!

Wow! My heart is racing just thinking about how much fun I have had.  I have a few more quilts designed for the rest of this year….stay tuned!

If you would like to fill out the Island Batik Ambassador application, click here .

Thanks for following my blog and commenting.  There is still fabric to give away….

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fingers crossed that I will be selected again next year to share more Island Batik fabrics and new pattern designs too!

Linda Ramrath

Inspired Layers

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Volunteering

I learn a lot by volunteering. I volunteered to co-lead an ARISE group at my church. This program was designed  to get to know parishioners a bit better, share our faith walk and reinvigorate our faith. When the program was over, our group had bonded so much that we decided to continue to meet in my home to discuss Catholic books that we read twice a year.  This lasted 5 years. I learned a great deal about myself, my faith walk and about my fellow parishioners.

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I volunteered to be Program chair when I was a member of Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild.  This was fun and challenging.  I did get nervous before each meeting, hoping that many of the guild members would enjoy and learn something from each speaker.  I learn to be flexible.  I also learned how to deal with speakers and their requests. Sometimes I asked a speaker to modify their talk and design a new talk which would benefit our guild. I remember when Pat Harrison came to our guild.  We decided to have 4 or 5 guild members bring quilt tops.  Because Pat was a judge and a longarm quilter, we talked about many options to quilting each quilt. Knowing the speakers’ strengths and the guilds desire to learn helps when designing a great program. The guild meeting was fun and educational.

I volunteered at Holliston Cable Access Television too. First, I learned how to white balance a camera.  Then how to write a script for the teleprompter for a show. I produced “A Quilter’s Touch” for 6 years.  You can watch and listen to my shows on http://www.hcattv.org. Click on “Video on demand” and then All folders will pop up.  My show is near the top of the alphabetical list. I even learned to edit my show, myself.  The staff was very helpful.  Eventually, I was voted onto the Board of Directors.  I volunteered as Secretary and then President of the Board. I learned to work with others, how to design a strategic plan.  We wrote a new mission statement, designed a survey to find out what demographic we were missing in our viewers.  This information was critical when deciding what shows to add to the schedule. It was a challenging and rewarding job.

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Recently, I volunteered to assist Linda Pearl and Marianne Schewers at the Connections Quilt Festival. I learned how to hang a quilt show.  I learned how to write posts to help boost attendance and sales for the vendors.  I learned how to take down a show too.  There are so many aspects running a quilt show. I hope you will volunteer to help out with an activity.  You will make new friends, learn a lot and have fun too! Here’s a photo of me with Island Batik Ambassador, Sally Johnson and quilting teacher, Melinda Bula.

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One more area in which I volunteer to help is as an Island Batik Ambassador.  A box of fabric arrives at my doorstep twice a year.  Challenges are sent for each month. It is fun and challenging to satisfy each challenge, post photos and a story or directions all with each challenge.  I’ve learned a lot this year.  For example, now I know how to submit patterns on Craftsy.com.  So far I have two patterns on their site.  The first is “Back to School Chickies” and the second is “Mango Re-Mix”.

 

For the past 5 years, I have heard and read articles stating that volunteers are getting more and more scarce. I hope to encourage you to volunteer to help your guild, cable tv station, or local chapter of a hobby of yours. It will be a win win for both you and the organization you volunteer to help.

 

Linda Ramrath

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