Weighted Blanket – March 4,201

Have you ever made a weighted blanket? I made my first one yesterday. It took all day. The Cheshire Quilt Guild gets together now and then to make these blankets to donate to people with autism and other conditions in which feeling cozy under these blankets helps to quiet their minds and body.

There are Youtube videos to watch to see how to make them. Basically there is a backing fabric, batting and a top fabric. During the quilting process, poly beads are weighed and poured into sections before the next section is sewn. I borrowed a scale from my friend who is an amazing baker. It made the measuring much easier. Thank You!

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The beads should be 5-10% of the person’s weight.

I decided to make one with rows of black, grey, and white with print fabric squares. This takes a lot more time.

I pinned the batting to the flannel backing.

Then I sewed the first row of 4″ squares on and also stitched up between each square to make pockets. I measured the beads and poured them into the pocket. I used a safety pin to try to keep the beads in the pocket while I filled the entire row of 10 pockets with beads. Then I pinned the next row on and stitched along the top edge of all the pockets. Unpinning as I went, I then flipped the new row up and pinned it smoothly down and stitched between each pocket. Fill pockets and repeat. It gets heavier and heavier with each row. The blanket I made have 8 pounds of bead in it and 140 pockets. That means it has 0.9 oz. of beads in each pocket. To finish the edges I simply cut the batting along the edge of the top fabric and cut the backing fabric about an inch bigger and rolled and over and stitched it with a zipper foot.

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Now I’m off to read a chapter of Walk in Her Sandals by Kelly Wahlquist. Happy Lent everyone!

Linda Ramrath

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Quilted Polynomials – Feb 19, 2019

I LOVE math. Now don’t hate on me…There are lots of math lovers turned quilters in this world. I find it so exciting when math from my past coincides with a quilting project! Let me share the most recent story.

Last week, my daughter, Ms. Ramrath, invited me into her classroom at a local high school to help with a math/quilting project. I love a very varied schedule, so of course I jumped at the opportunity. She was teaching polynomials. She asked if I remembered how to identify them and solve them. It is truly amazing to me that after 35+ years since my college graduation, I do remember all this simple algebra. I  LOVED learning it and now I love adapting it to quilting.

Ms. Ramrath taught the class to recognize a polynominal. She talked about two methods for solving them; FOIL and BOX. F.O.I.L. stands for First, Outside, Inside and Last. Here’s an example:

(x + y) ( x + y)

multiply the first parts of each binomial (x* x)= x ²

multiply the outside parts of each binomial (x * y)=xy

multiply the inside parts of each binomial (y* x)= xy

multiply the last parts of each binomial (y * y) = y²

x² + 2xy + y²

Solving the same polynomial using the box method and three papers or fabrics would look like this:

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The first day I joined the class they were learning about binomials and polynomials.

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The second day each student chose 2 binomials and cut paper representing (x), (y) and (xy). They drew lines on a 8″ square based on their binomials. Each student chose a value for x and a value for y. The examples below are the same expression with different x and y values:

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x=5 and y=2

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x=2 and y=5

The third day I returned to class with all  of their polynomials solved using the BOX method in fabric.

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They had a gallery walk and tried to write down the two binomials multiplied together to result in each quilted block. It was really fun to watch the students apply what they learned the previous two days. Although some of the expressions were similar, each student picked different values for x and y. SEW MUCH FUN!

Now I will transform these blocks into a pillow for each student. VOILA!

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Who knows, maybe someday a student will dream of equations while at the beach; listening to the wind; as an astronaut in space. Let’s give the students something new to dream about! Math is FUN!

If you volunteer to do a similar exercise with your local high school, let me know. I can see a whole unit of quilted math expressions or lots of mini units to drive home a math concept with a physical quilted item.

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Do you remember my post on making a radiant star out of 60 diamond English paper piecing pieces for my daughter’s geometry class last year? That was noT so much fun in the making, but I love to see it in her classroom. I made it with Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

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Here’s an update on My New Years new habits; taking my new vitamins regularly and egoscue exercising. I went back to my over 55 vitamins because all my nails were breaking due to less b vitamins in the isotonix vitamins. I started taking a probiotic every morning too.

As far as my Egoscue exercises, I haven’t missed but a day or two since January 1st. My exercise routine changes every 2-3 weeks. I do feel my left shoulder rising and getting stronger.  I fell on the ice last year and knocked it out of shape. I am also working on more flexibility in my hips. More dancing and egoscue exercises are helping with that. I do feel better. I will continue to do these exercises because they are realigning my spine. There will be less compensation made by nerves and muscles as a result of aligning my spine. A strong core will help with everything from balance to strength.

I hope your New Year habits are going well. Feel free to tweak the goals as needed. Don’t get off track. We are all here to support one another in having a colorful and healthy life!

Calculate some quilting into your schedule today!

Linda Ramrath

p.s. It was fun to catch up with some quilters from MA at the Fabric Extravaganza in Nashua, NH last week!

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“Poppies” Quilt Give Away

It’s already February. Yes, every year flies by quicker than the year before. I’ve had lots of fun creating my “Poppies” quilt. I started with 1 yard of an ombre blue fabric for the background. I cut a pattern from some brown packing paper. I cut out the pieces and hand stitched the fabric back together.

Next, I ordered 1 yard of ombre red hand dyed fabric online. I drew a poppy flower with several petals. Then I simplified it. I thought about cutting freezer paper templates, but decided to free hand cut petals. I needle turn appliqued them onto the background. When it was all done, I think I could have used more lighter shades in some of the petals. If I try this again, I will definitely cut from all shades of the fabric.

When all the needle turn applique was done, the real fun began…free motion quilting. I used some of my favorite fillers using the different sections as transitioning lines. I used lighter blue thread on darker blue sections and darker blue thread on lighter blue background sections.

My hairdresser asked if I had ever stitched a poppy after she saw my Zinnia quilt. That was all the inspiration I needed. I hoped to finish it before Christmas, but that didn’t happen. No worries! I brought it to her shop, Mia Capelli Salon on West St. in Keene, NH last week. Her reaction was priceless! I asked her if she liked my label…That’s when her smile grew even bigger, realizing I made it for her.

Sue Wilbur is more than a hair dresser. She is a counselor, friend, business owner and talented dancer. She brings smiles and sunshine, even when the water heater bursts just before Christmas, with 16 customers ready to be transformed inside and out for the holidays. Sue has helped me find a dentist, a new car inspection station and tire supplier, and granite countertops too! We share books that we read, and lots of stories about ordinary life with extraordinary twists. She is very involved in the community, always giving back to those in need. I hope she finds a place to hang this quilt where she can relax and look at it.

IMG_20190131_130229060_TOPI made 4 little 8″ pillows for breast cancer survivors this month. We have several members of our Delectable Mountain Quilters in Vermont who have survived breast cancer. One of our members, Sally brings these pillows to a local hospital to be given to every patient. It’s a great way to transform blocks you find as you clean out your studio every year.

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Here’s my latest donation to the Gifford Hospital in Randolph, Vermont. It’s a baby quilt from my Kaffe Fassett 2 1/2″ strips and some white fabrics from my stash. I was inspired by a quilt I saw on Facebook. I started with a 6 1/2″ strip in the center and then added strips around alternating between the white and the colored fabrics. Once the center was complete, I made the two side sections with 12 ” strips alternating colored and white, ending with colored.

I stitched them to the center and then made top and bottom strip sets alternating color and white, ending with white next to the center section. I backed it with a floral fabric I found on sale and bound it with left overs. I quilted it with variegated thread and a ribbon design.

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My next baby quilt will be the same design with blues and greens.

February 4th is my father-in-law’s birthday. This year we celebrated his 90th birthday with him. His legacy is a wonderfully loving family. There were 4 generations at the party. His life has been full of adventures. He survived the war in Germany. He is “Frank” in his sister’s book, Eleanor’s Story by Eleanor Ramrath Garner. This book is available on Amazon.com in paperback now. It’s a great read for all ages! He settled in MA and raised 3 kids. He hiked and fished and enjoyed camping at Silver Lake in Barnard, Vermont.  Rob and I had our log home built on property across the street from Silver Lake in 2015 and moved in January 18th, 2016. We are making our own memories in Vermont.

The final bit of updating news is that Keene Toastmasters has been sharing a free 6-part public speaking series with members of the community. I’m the final speaker on March 7th. When I think about how I got involved with Toastmasters, it is because of quilting. I didn’t want to try to share my quilts and not relate a good message. Toastmasters is a great way to learn the skills needed to be an effective public speaker. I found my voice and learned how to share my message.

Look for a Toastmasters club near you at http://www.toastmasters.org. It’s a great place to grow your communication and leadership skills.

Happy quilting!

Linda

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New Years Resolutions

Does anyone really make New Year’s resolutions anymore? Do you? Do you keep any of them? This year, 2019 I decided to do the following:

  1. Continue to put my health first. Egoscue Method exercise every morning. Take  Isotonix vitamin drink every morning.
  2. Never, yes I said it, Never order anything from the following three businesses:
    1. 1-800-FLOWERS
    2. StitchFix
    3. Shutterfly

I need to honor the lessons I learned in 2018 and not relearn these lessons. Thankfully there are alternatives to all three of these businesses.

3. Continue to share many of the positive experiences I’ve encountered as a result of joining Toastmasters over the past 9 years. I also have two new Toastmaster goals:

  • use power point with images in new talks
  • learn to initiate gotomeeting.com meeting calls

There you have it. Those are my 2019 Resolutions. I’d love to hear about yours. In the past I’ve joined a business book club for a year, focused on designing patterns for a year, and even learned to use EQ8. I have learned something from each of those goals that I set for myself. They were worth while. When I started to get overwhelmed, I purchased audioBooks so I could hand sew and listen to a book. I still enjoy reading, but I must say that business books are a bit different from what I usually read.

I’ve decided to share my progress on these goals every month, on this blog. I find that having to report on my progress keeps my goals in focus. It helps clarify what I should be doing with my time too. Let’s support one another and share our goals and progress. Is anyone else interested? Please send me an email with your goals for 2019. If I can help you, I will do so. You can also simply leave a comment at the end of this blog post.

Now back to my quilting machine..Oh pure joy!

Linda Ramrath

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Happy New Year!

2019 Starts with lots of Celebrations! I enjoyed the entire 12 Days of Christmas visiting with family and friends. We traveled to Massachusetts to see friends and family on Dec. 23rd. Then celebrated Christmas brunch with our son and his girlfriend in NH. Then we were of to visit our daughter and her fiance for dinner and games in Vermont. The next day we traveled to Vermont and celebrated Christmas with some Vermont friends. More of my Massachusetts friends came to Vermont and celebrations continued. Here a peek of some New Years Eve fun at the Barnard Inn in Vermont.

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On January 2nd I traveled back to NH to get ready for the 4th part of Keene Toastmasters 6-part Public Speaking series. This is a community awareness and membership building effort. There are only 2 more free lessons, the first Thursday of Feb. and March. Let’s try to pack the room! I’m the finale speaker. I’ll be sharing stories of how to write and give a great introduction for your talk and how to Conclude with power! My presentation is at the Hannah Grimes Center, 25 Roxbury St., Keene, NH 03431 from 5:30-6:00p.m. Please share this with all your friends and family.

On January 7th I joined 80+ people in celebrating the life of Ruta Straumanis in Cambridge, MA. Ruta loved artists and supported many during her long life.

I’m also celebrating the Egoscue Method of exercise which I have been doing since the end of October. These exercises are geared to straighten and strengthen your spine and all the connections to muscles and movement. As a truly addicted quilter, it’s been hard for me to walk away from my sewing machine and computer with creative ideas, even though I stopped to walk my dog twice a day. My posture was failing and it was time to put more effort on the correct exercises to correct this before I was in real danger. I am happy to report that I am continuing with these exercises and seeing improvement! YIPPIE! There are several books about this method. I recommend reading one or two if you have noticed a decline in your posture.

Here are some photos of the gifts I made in December, which I couldn’t show you for fear of spoiling a surprise or two.

Here’s the wool pillow I made with Silver Lake Syrups new Logo…

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Here’s a great photo of my parents. Mom is recovering from her broken collar bone. No sling in this photo.

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I decided to donate these quilts to the Giraffe closet of the Cheshire Quilt Guild.

I’m working on my BOM wool project and a new Poppies quilt. You will have to wait until next blog post to see how those are coming along.

Thanks for giving me so much to be thankful for and to celebrate!

Happy New Year!

Linda Ramrath

Posted in charity quilts, finished project, free motion quilting, non profit organizations, toastmasters, Uncategorized, wool applique | Leave a comment

December 17th – Warm Ending to the Year

Quilts bring warmth to many, especially over the holidays. In my last Blog post, I showed my mother and father’s quilt all laid out on my floor, ready to be pieced. Here is the photo of the finished quilt on their bed. Mom reports that it is warm and she and dad sleep much better since receiving the quilt.

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The Heart of the Land quilters shared their Fall Mystery Block of the Month quilts! This is so fun! I designed 9 blocks and two setting options. Many people participated in this Block of the Month. Here are the two I made:

And here are some of the Heart of the Land Quilters quilt!

 

Thank you so much for designing your own quilts based on the various tips and techniques I described in my directions! I love to see the individual interpretations and design enhancements made to each quilt! I hope they make someone’s heart warm this winter!

I finished Rocky’s rug with 300 feet of cotton cording! I’ll send a photo after Christmas.

I made a mermaid tail and a great white tail with minkee linings for two little ones I know. Here’s a sneak peak. The pattern, “Snuggle Tails” is by Debbie Wendt.

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Here’s a photo of an icon I stitched onto a doilie and sewed pearl beads on by hand. I made it into a pillow. I will give this to our priest’s mother, Eliane, who’s tumor has enlarged and she has a big decision to make. Maybe this artwork will give her peace and warmth.

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Here’s my wool moose piece. He looks a bit drunk after eating so many daisies. Do you think moose really eat daisies?

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I’ve learned a lot about working with wool and about mixing wool and flannel. Interface your wool before you start working with it! This is a lesson I wish not have to learn again. My Block of the Month which I start in March during the snow storms, it giving me fits! I will find a solution and finish this piece in 2019.

Finally, a finished a pillow for my friend at Silver Lake Syrups. That will have to wait until after Christmas too! I promise to post a photo in two weeks!

I hope family visits warm your life. I’m so excited to see both of my adult children this Christmas day with their significant others! YIPPIE! My heart is warm!

I wish you much warmth is making and giving your quilted treasures.

Linda Ramrath

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December 3rd – Thank you

Since my last blog post, we celebrated Thanksgiving. It was great to have friends and family around our table in Vermont. After a snowy start to the week, a yummy celebration, more visits from other family members, some cooking and sewing, I get to rest.

Yesterday was my mother’s 86th birthday! She really needed a lift me up, so I drove 3 hours south to bring her a HUGE quilt for her birthday. Mom made 80 divided 9-patch blocks. I squared them up for her and put them together. The quilt ended up 102″ x 126″. It was machine quilted on a Gammill longarm machine by Janice Roy of Winchester, NH. She did a lovely job and then I bound the quilt with the tiny bit of left over fabric I had after trimming the quilt. Guess what? I helped my Dad put it on their bed and forgot to take a photo. Sorry!

Here’s a photo of the blocks before I spent 6 hours trimming them up to the same size. This is a very important step to make the joining of the rows line up nice and square.

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This quilt certainly cheered mom up. Earlier this week, she tripped in the hallway of the senior living home and her head shattered the glass door over the fire hose. She broke her left collar bone. Sometimes God sends “bricks” into our lives to get us to slow down. Maybe this was a “brick” of sorts to slow Mom down to enjoy the holiday season.

After Thanksgiving, I’ve spent a lot of time in NH, picking up my new glasses, going to the dentist, and sewing some new projects. I’m trying to quilt on silk and freehand stitch a religious icon. I’m also trying my hand at hand sewing beads using silamide (waxed nylon) thread. I’ll show photos next time. I keep changing my mind on the construction.

My wool moose quilt is coming along too. It is ready for quilting on my HQ16. Once I find the right threads, I’ll enjoy quilting that piece up. IMG_20181202_211711

I also made some doggie tag bags for some dogs on our Christmas list.IMG_20181202_212047

I did stitch up a rug for Rocky, but it is too small. I need to add another 100 feet. It’s easy to make, just getting a bit big to handle. It’s about 3′ x 4′ right now. Rocky is a very long dog. I need to make it long enough and wide enough so when he’s dreaming, his toenails don’t click on the hard wood floor.IMG_20181202_211913

I also had the pleasure of watching our daughter select a wedding dress for her upcoming nuptials. Along with two of her bridesmaids, we had champagne to celebrate Bethany saying, “Yes to the dress!” I really cannot share any photos until after the wedding. Sorry! It was such a fun time. After selecting the dress, we all walked down the street and enjoyed lunch at The Sunflower Café.

Another busy two weeks. The balance of stitching and chores continues….along with my new exercise routine.

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving break from your usual schedule to enjoy time with your friends and family.

Thanks for reading this post!

Enjoy!

Linda

Posted in clothesline rug, finished project, free motion quilting, Uncategorized, wool applique | 2 Comments