Island Batik Back to School Blog Hop

Welcome to my blog! This is my first blog hop. I will be hopping along with you to all the other Island Batik Blogs this month. This is sure to be fun and educational too! Please read all the way to the end to find out how to participate in my GIVE AWAY. Don’t forget to tell your friends about these blogs too. One can never have too much inspiration. In February of 2017 I received my first box of fabric from Island Batik. There was a large bundle of fabrics from the Country Dozen Fabric Line. To see the whole line click here: Country Dozen Fabric Line . There are browns and blues and some teals and blacks too.  What was so fun, was to see chickens, eggs, kitchen utensils, eggs, lemons, silverware and did I mention eggs? As many of you know, my biggest supporter for my quilting business is my grandmother, Esther. I call her, “Grammie.” She raised chickens.  I have a favorite photo imprinted in my mind of “Grammie and her girls.” She was feeding her chickens and thanking them for the eggs she harvested every morning. When Grammie would visit our home to celebrate Easter, she would bring a dozen eggs for each of us. I have two older brothers with families and a younger sister with a family, so 5 dozen eggs came to Westwood, MA where my folks used to live. grammie These eggs were so fresh and tasted so much more flavorful than the ones from the grocery stores. They were such a treat! Before I digress too much, remember the theme this month is “Back to School.” Grammie was homeschooled in Vermont with her sister, Pearl.  Grammie then traveled to Boston to get a nursing degree at Mass General. She was the youngest girl in her class. Her sister, my Aunt Pearl went on to teachers college and became a school teacher in a one room school house in Vermont. Two generations later, I find myself homeschooling our son, Tyler. We transformed every day into teachable moments. I learned so much about how children learn, had fun going on fabulous field trips, learned how to write a myth, and even how to make chain mail from wire and needle nose pliers.  Our field trips were all year long including a Baseball Bat company on Cape Cod which made bats for the Boston Red Sox, Amish country in Pennsylvania, and Hebert Candy in Massachusetts.  Tyler learned to build conveyor belts from k’nex, formed boxes in which he placed homemade chocolates and handed them out to the ladies at St. John’s Bible Study. He learned about farming, different eggs, colors, sizes, cows, stomachs, black-smithing, and so much more. Our daughter did attend public school in a French Immersion program.  She learned to read and write in French before English. Bethany is now a high school Math teacher in NH. What does “Back to School” mean to me?

  1. A fresh start on a new quilt!
  2. Getting organized!
  3. A love for learning and experimenting!

For this challenge, I took some graph paper and looked at my fabrics which I sorted by lights and darks. I started with the drunkard’s path block….Then decided not to choose one of my favorites… I decided that since chickens and especially the roosters wake us up in the morning, whether we slept at Grammie’s house, or living in the suburb of Holliston, I was going to find a way to make squares and half square triangles into chicken coop wire. Then looking through the wire, I’d fussy cut some of the chickens. IMG_20170831_092450 For those of you who know that I love collage quilting technique, rest assured that a collaged rooster is in the works with the left overs….stay tuned! Whether you are studying engineering courses or English courses or quilting courses, on the first day, the teacher usually reviews the basics. Here’s my chicken scratch on paper. IMG_20170830_125812 The size requirement for this challenge was, “bigger than 36″ x 36″.” Since I had used some of this collection in previous challenges, I had to be a little creative where figuring out the border. Do you remember my Chicken Dance quilt? There is some egg fabric in that one.  The pineapple quilt has some of the tan fabrics from this collection too. I just couldn’t wait to start cutting it up. If you would like to know how to make this quilt, step-by-step, go to craftsy.com for FREE pattern instructions, “Back to School Chickies.” I used the small Sew Easy Guide to make half square triangles.  It’s fast, fun and accurate. IMG_20170814_125401751 I quilted it with Superior Threads Fantastico thread #5090. I used my HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen. The thread did not break once! IMG_20170830_124304558

“Back to School Chickies”

I used my floor for a design wall because my wall was full of my Row by Row quilt. That quilt must be done by Sept. 5th too! Yikes! I best get back to work. Simply follow my blog, leave me a comment on this blog post and you will be entered in a drawing to win the fabrics pictured below. I made 6 1/2″ squares for you to get started on making this project. I’ve added some extra 3″ squares too! IMG_20170830_132926 The winner will be announced on September 30th. Now don’t forget to hop along to tomorrow’s “Back to School” blogger,  Alison Vermilya at http://www.littlebunnyquilts.blogspot.com. Different fabrics are shipped to various ambassadors. It’s so exciting to see all the solutions to the monthly challenges. Welcome Back to School! Enjoy learning something new. Linda Ramrath

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Quilt As You Go Challenge

After opening my new box of goodies from Island Batik, I dreamed up a new quilt for this challenge. I just couldn’t wait to use the Leah Day designed medallions.  I cut a large square, about 20 inches for the backing, 2 battings, cotton and wool, and centered each medallion and secured with pins in the corners. I chose some purple Bottom Line (shiny) thread and a size 12 needle to free motion quilt around the designs.  I just love the double bat combo! It quilts like a dream and makes the design pop!

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Since this is a Quilt as you go challenge, I added 2 1/2″ strips from the Restful Raindrops collection.  I added the strips in the courthouse steps order as opposed to the log cabin. This is by adding a strip to both sides using a 1/4″ seam allowance and then pressing the strips open.

IMG_20170809_140457983 Then adding to the top and bottom and pressing them open. After 3 strips added in each direction, I trimmed the block down to 19″. In order to stitch the blocks together, I cut one strip of batik 1 1/4″ and the backing fabric 1 3/4″ wide and pressed in half lengthwise. I stitched the batik to the top, right sides together and the folded strip to the back.  Then sew the batik to the next block. This is what it looks like.

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Now to hand sew the back side along the fold.

IMG_20170810_180918178The back looks as neat as the front when you are done.

I cut triangles for the corner pieces and stitched strips through all the layers (flip and sew). Then I attached the corners so the Lea Day medallions are set on point.

This is not the quilt I thought I was going to create, but I like the colors and LOVE the medallion print!

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Check out the other Island Batik Ambassador blogs to see what they are stitching for QAYG 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

Inspired Layers

Posted in Island Batik, quilt as you go, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Island Batik Box 2 Reveal!

This is truly a “Christmas in August” for me. I must admit that I was just as excited to open this package as I was every Christmas to find the one special present under the tree for me.  It was unique.  My brothers and sister didn’t receive a similar package.  It was as unique as I am. Thanks Mom, for starting my stitching career off with so much excitement!

If you watch my video link on the true reveal of Island Batik Box #2, you will find out why I was so excited.

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I did run to the washing machine and dryer with my rayon fabric.  Luckily I read about rayon and how to treat it. I learned a lot.  I didn’t know rayon shrunk so much! I used a color catcher. I drafter two patterns that very same day…..Then I went to JoAnn’s (my least favorite store) for some material to test my new pattern.  By the end of the day, mission accomplished.

I’m waiting to used my rayon fabric for the pattern….or the other pattern….You see I cannot decide which one to make. I’ll probably run to New England Fabrics in Keene, NH where they sell Island Batik rayon fabric and make both designs….One from the fabric from my box and one from some other luscious Island Batik rayon. Stay tuned…

What was in my box?….besides rayon? lots of new fabrics that will be in your quilt shops in December/January.

What happened to my plans for my Quilt As You Go project for August? They changed.  I couldn’t sleep after seeing Lea Day’s fabric.  There were four medallions…They are in my Quilt As You Go project.  I’m writing that blog next….stay tuned!

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Do you see the rayon?  It’s the 2.5 yards of navy blue with a wavy design on it.  Lea Day’s fabric is the purple fabric.

I’m really excited to be writing a new talk to give next year, “Stranded on Island Batik.” If your guild  would like some challenge ideas or a night of funny stories and lots of hints on how to approach a challenge, give me a call.  Book a fun night with my Island Batik trunk show! Call 508-769-7881 today!

Did you buy yourself some special fabric in July or August as a present to yourself? I’d love to see how you reacted to that purchase. Make something, tell a story and post it!

Happy Quilting,

Linda Ramrath

Inspired Layers

Inspiredlayers.com

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Oh Baby!

How exciting for me to have July challenge from Island Batik, a baby challenge.  My niece, Maria gave birth to her first child, JJ on 7/22/2017! I had already made a quilt for JJ and sent it along to the baby shower earlier this summer.  I was so inspired to make another in anticipation of his birth! Everyone is doing well and I am relieved that I finished this blog post before turning the calendar page to August!

Here is my baby quilt, inspired and created by a layer cake, “Spoolin’ Around” and the background fabric is a Batik cotton Blender BE22-C1.

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I started with a simple 9-patch block idea…

Then I decided to put half square triangle sections in the four corners…

I wanted a 4 1/2″ square in the middle…

Then I remembered a block I had seen on Pinterest…off I went to search for the block…knowing that I liked the way it looked folded over in the corners…

Voila, my block with very simple units:

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The cutting directions are very simple:

Center fabric: 4 1/2″ square and 8, 2 1/2″ squares

Light fabric: 4, 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles

Dark fabric: 2, 4 7/8″ squares cut diagonally

Background fabric: 2, 4 7/8″ squares cut diagonally and 4, 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles.

I did cut some lattice strips so that each block was floating.

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Make the half square triangles from the two large squares.

IMG_20170714_200623957My favorite way to make flying geese sections is by using my Sew Easy Guide!

I stitch one square onto the rectangle background piece from corner to corner. No pins!….Trim and press to corner.

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Next, Stitch other squares to the other side, corner to corner.

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Trim a quarter of an inch away from the stitching line and press.

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Stitch each row together and then stitch the three rows together to make the block. I nested the seam allowances to make a nice smooth block for quilting.

My quilting design included stitch in the ditch, some curves in the flying geese triangle sections and a feather in the center sections.  Then I used a stencil to make curvy lines in the background.  I washed the mark’n trace off with cold water.

Then I bound the quilt with scraps which I pieced together on the diagonal.

This was such a fun project! I finished it the day JJ was born!

Here are the links to all the other Island Batik Ambassador’s blogs to see what Oh Baby! 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

 

Linda Ramrath

Inspired Layers

Posted in finished project, free motion quilting, guild talks, Island Batik, ohbabyquilts, quilt bindings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Curvalicious Baby Toy

Have you ever purchased a ruler and decided to use it in a unique way? Not the way the pattern was written?  It happens to me all the time.  Does the designer mind? Of course not! Inspiring you by a pattern or a ruler is what a designer is trying to do.

Last month, June 2017, Island Batik Ambassadors were challenged to design a “curvalicious” quilt.  I love curves!  I designed two which I already blogged about.  Then, at the end of June, I finally purchased a curvalicious ruler from the designer, Cheryl Lynch at the Vermont Quilt Festival.

Below is link with my directions on how to construct the baby toy.

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Curvalicious Baby Toy

 

Enjoy!

Linda Ramrath

508-769-7881

p.s. Call today to schedule a date in 2018 to see all my Island Batik Challenge quilts from 2017.  My talk is filled with stories and tips for all quilters!

 

Posted in batik confections, curved quilts, finished project, Island Batik, quilt shows, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Curvalicious Part 2

 

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!

Posted in curved quilts, finished project, free motion quilting, guild talks, Island Batik, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Curvilious – Part 1

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

Posted in batik confections, classes, finished project, Island Batik, quilt bindings, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments