August 13 – NH Craftsmen Fair and more

I continue to meet interesting people at the Bridgewater Mill at my gallery show. There will be a cocktail reception on August 23rd at 4p.m. I am willing to part with some of my quilts. If you are interested in purchasing any of them, please let me know so I can put a sold sign on them before the reception.

I enjoy going to the NH Craftsmen Fair in Sunapee, NH with my friend. Although it was steamy hot, they provided lots of fans to pause in front of when looking at the magnificent art. This is the second year I purchased stationary with moose photos. I just can’t get enough of these creatures. Their facial expressions are intriguing.

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On the way north, we avoid the short cut so that we can stop at Dor Mill. I picked up some green flannel for my wool project and a hand died green/white piece to make someone a Christmas gift. I left that piece out of the photo so as not to spoil any upcoming surprises. If you get a chance to go to Dor Mill, make sure you look at the hand dyed pieces.  I’m thinking mountains and snow scenes…MY wheels are churning…

I also gave a talk to the Loaned Employees for United Way. My talk was on Persuasive Speeches. I learned quite a bit about the United Way and all their services in the Monadnock region. I’m glad I could volunteer my time to help the volunteers to prepare authentic and impactful talks.

Keene Toastmasters is organizing a free  6-part speaking series on the first Thursday evening of the month from 5:30-6:00 p.m. Starting in October. Here’s a link to learn more about this great opportunity. Click here:keene toastmasters

After many hours at the gallery show “Finding Zen in a Line,” I really felt the need to sew. I made this floor mat by covering clothesline with FreeSpirit 2 1/2″ wide fabric strips.

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I decided to finish the binding on this quilt too!  What fun to finish projects!

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This is a free pattern from Blank Quilting. I purchased the fabric from Charlton Sewing Center years ago. When I moved to Vermont, I found the finished quilt top and rotated it 90 degrees and then decided to quilt it and finish it! It started as planets and ended and musical notes. I can imagine doing this with green columns and making a hungry caterpillar out of the dots with some free motion stitching lines.

 

Happy Quilting!

Linda

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Posted in charity quilts, finished project, guild talks, quilt bindings, toastmasters, Uncategorized, wool applique | Tagged | Leave a comment

July 30th -Time to Share Some Quilts

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I returned from Alaska on July 16th. After a day of rest and laundry, I was off to Bridgewater, VT to set up my gallery show, “Finding Zen in a Line” with my young and very talented assistant, Britney. She helped me set up for 2 days. I really could not have done this without her. Thanks Britney!!!!!!!!!

 

My talk defines “Zen”, a state of being. It’s the total togetherness of body and soul. I find myself in this state when I’m free motion quilting. I describe how I thread the sewing machine, the light emanates from above the needle. As I step on the accelerator (foot controller), I find a quiet, peaceful, yet excited state of being, drawing with thread on my quilt sandwich. I liken it to an amusement ride. We often start with quiet anticipation, then buckle in and enjoy some loops and wiggles and find ourselves flying around until (needle down) we come to the end. I hope you will try the rides again, especially if your first experience wasn’t fearless.

My gallery show is on the second floor of the Bridgewater Mill. I will be there:

August 5 – 1-4

August 6 – 10-1

August 9 – 10-1

August 11 – 10-1

August 12 – 1-3

August 15 – 10-1

August 18 – 10-1

August 19 – 1-3

August 23 – 10-4

August 29 – 10-1 SAQA pod meeting in this room. Please join us!

If you would like to come and bring some friends, I can schedule other times to meet you at the gallery for a talk. Call me at 508-769-7881 to set up a convenient time.

On July 27th, I attended the Billings Farm Quilt Show Reception where they announced the three judge’s choice and one staff choice winners.

“Almost Midnight at the Oasis” won Judge’s choice and Staff Choice. I was inspired to make this quilt at the Connections Quilt show November 2017. I purchased the pattern at the Vintage and Vogue booth. I could hardly sleep that entire weekend just dreaming about making this quilt with my basket of Kaffe Fassett scraps. In January I went to a get away at Lake Morey and started the challenge.  At the end of three long days of stitching, I had lots of little tiny blocks. I was determined to finish this project. I was fairly consumed for three more weeks. I love my design wall which my hubby made for me. I watched the project grow. I changed several pieces of the quilt along the way. I rotated the baskets in the four corners. I changed the checkerboard border because I found it too busy with the fabrics I was using. The appliques are bit different too. All in all, this quilt brings me joy! I was so humbled that the same message was seen by the staff at Billings.  They announced that 17 or 29 employees voted for this quilt because it made them smile. WOW! That’s why I quilt. This world needs reasons to smile! I’m glad I could help.

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I took this photo on my porch on a cloudy day. I think it’s the best photo of this quilt that I have. If you would like to see the quilt in person, go to the Billings Farm Quilt Show now until mid September…and SMILE!

One Judge’s Choice winner include Lynne Croswell’s “100 days” of improvisational piecing is simply amazing!

“Aboriginal Kaleidoscope” by Diane Holme received a Judge’s choice ribbon too! The quilting on this quilt is really something to see first-hand!

The Challenge quilts are displayed on the far wall. Unfortunately, you don’t see the three fabrics that each quilter started with. It really was a challenge! Two fabrics seem to make sense and then a totally off fabric was thrown in and the design element became very important.

That’s the news for these past two weeks. It’s been busy and a blessing. Thanks for reading this blog. Sorry that it is 2 days late, but my DSL in VT just couldn’t get the photos uploaded. I needed to wait until I returned to NH for my high speed internet.

Happy Quilting,

Linda Ramrath

 

 

Posted in connections quilt festival, finished project, free motion quilting, guild talks, kaffe fassett fabrics, modern quilt, quilt shows, travel, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

July 16 – Returned from Alaska

These past two weeks have been a whirl wind! I was fortunate enough to go on an adventure to Alaska. My hubby and I decided to cruise on the Holland America Line. It was smooth sailing. The weather was very nice. NO HEAT AND HUMIDITY as we were experiencing in NH and Vermont before we left. We had one rainy day in Juneau on Tuesday. Here are a few photos of the beautiful Alaskan landscape and some quilt shops I found in Ketchican, Juneau and Skagway.

I bought some goodies at each shop and will share them with you in my next blog. The red eye flight and time change has prevented me from being witty enough to type a proper blog.

During the extreme heat and humidity before the trip, I worked in my basement, mounting titles and descriptions of 30 of my quilts for my upcoming gallery show in Bridgewater Mill Vermont. Below is a pile of quilts to find room to display.

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There is a lot that goes into hanging a show. Every gallery which I have been to has a unique hanging system. I like the system used at the Norfolk Library in Norfolk, MA. This room does not have a system yet. I hope to help other artist’s work to be shown at this facility in the future. My show will be hanging at the same time as the Billings Farm show. If you know someone going to the Billings Farm and Quilt Exhibit, please let them know about my show. Even if I am not there, the door can be opened by the people in the Thrift store.

I’ve got lots of new inspiration from my trip to Alaska. I’m anxious to some new art quilts.

I almost forgot to mention that I finished the last block in my wool sampler. Here is the block and a photo of all the blocks and some bulls eyes I made for the border strips. I’m thinking of framing the blocks with a colored flannel…not sure what color yet. I brought lots of circles and stitched them together in my down time aboard the Holland America.

Happy Quilting!

Linda Ramrath

Inspiredlayers.com

inspiredlayerslinda.wordpress.com

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July 2 – New Beginnings

Since my last post we celebrated Father’s Day! We celebrated in Vermont with my Father-in-law, Frank, my husband, Rob, our son, Tyler, and our daughter’s first dog pick, Rocky.  We consider that 4 generations of Ramrath men!

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We also enjoyed having Auntie Eleanor from California, Astrida, Frank’s wife, our daughter, Bethany, and our friends Sonja and Eric with us! Eleanor

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This is the first time in many years we have all been together! Praise God! What a nice change, and hopefully a new beginning!

On June 18-19th I volunteered at the Vermont Quilt Festival. I met some amazingly kind people. There are lots of jobs to be done before the show even opens. It was nice to meet some helpers who were very familiar with the process and it was nice that they welcomed newbies like me! I was fortunate to do several different jobs. I will definitely volunteer again next year!

On June 21st I was installed as President of Keene Toastmasters for the 2018-2019 year. My Toastmasters journey has been a great learning experience. I learn and mentor others to communicate with confidence and humor. This directly ties to my quilting passion.  Sharing my quilts with others is more fun when I learn to connect with audiences of any kind. Quilters are easier to connect with, but other audiences, especially senior citizens enjoy seeing my quilts too! It’s fun to tailor my talks to audiences. I’ve learned to bring note cards with photos of my quilts for non quilting audiences and patterns for quilters. If you would like to enjoy public speaking, I cannot endorse an organization more than Toastmasters for that. You may want to start a New Beginning with a Toastmasters club near you today! www.toastmasters.org

I also volunteered to be the Area Director for southern NH and southern VT. This is a great way to meet other Toastmasters and connect with others who may want to learn more about quilting or even hire me to speak! I look forward to New Beginnings as Area 15 Director.

I also performed an installation at Toast of the Valley Toastmasters club in Lebanon, NH. This was a first for me. It was a great opportunity to educate the newer Toastmasters about the roles and responsibilities of the officer positions.

On the artistic front, I finally fused my Zinnia together based on Malinda Bula’s pattern. I did not follow all her directions to the “T.” I am happy with how the flower came out. I’m really struggling on the background though.  I think it’s time to pull out my paper and colored pencils. I’m transitioning to art quilting so I’m thinking the background should reflect some sunlight in a new and different way. I’m thinking of piecing a background and then apliquick turn the edges and hand stitch down and then free motion quilt all over the piece. Still thinking.

Finished one more wool block too! One more to go and then to design the border.

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See you in two weeks!

Happy Quilting!!!

Linda Ramrath

http://www.inspiredlayers.com

 

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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.

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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