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

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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

November 19 -Looking to brighter days

On November 7th I facilitated a SAQA POD meeting in Bridgewater, Vermont. As always it was inspiring! Betty Warner shared her knowledge on Best Press, Heavy Duty Starch, and Terial Magic. The mantra of the day was, “I know a lot. I have a lot. Just do it!” Betty also brought samples of quilts with 10 different binding techniques. If you would like to learn out to make art quilts, think about joining us at our next SAQA POD meeting on April 3, 2019 at the Bridgewater Mill, Bridgewater, Vermont from 10-1pm.

I was going to  whine about the car issues I had this week, the dental issue I had, the eye doctor appointment and glasses that came in with the wrong lenses, banking issues and the doctor appointment with disappointing news, but decided after all the ashes that fell in Paradise, California and in southern California too, that I have no reason to whine.

Cindy Needham has organized an army of kind quilters ready to help those who lost their quilting studios to the wild fires, rebuild. I remember hearing Ricky Tims talk about a tornado and fire at his family home years ago. I was attending his Super Seminar years ago in New York. I met David Taylor who now lives in Hennicker, NH after a fire burned his studio down in Colorado. Now Melinda Bula’s home has been reduced to ashes. Her new home and beautiful studio is rubble. My heart aches for these tragedies. It is simply inspiring to see how each of these people use their art to heal themselves.

I much prefer sewing to dealing with car issues, teeth issues, eye issues, female aging and banking issues. How about you?

On a much brighter note, our Keene Toastmasters club meeting was all about being thankful. We had impromptu speaking about a favorite dish, sweet potato with marshmallows, favorite Thanksgiving trip to Plimoth Plantation, favorite cousins coming to visit, favorite new thing learned about Thanksgiving and Native America 3 sister casserole, and favorite activity -moving back to New England. The meeting also had a humorous prepared speech, “The Tale of 2 Soaps” and an awesome evaluation. Another bonus was that we all got home before the snow started.

Below is a photo of my 2nd Dream Big panel. This was certainly the highlight of my week. I used 4 threads, gold, light blue, variegated blue and darker blue for the edges. I’m looking forward to stapling this piece on stretcher bars as a piece of art. IMG_20181116_103258

I also went to the hair dresser this week. Thank you Sue, for another great color and cut! I think she is booked through Christmas. I’m so lucky to be a regular customer at Mia Capella Salon, who books several appointments ahead!

I do hope that if adversity hits you this week, you can take some time to de-stress at your sewing machine or with some hand work.  I’m working on my newest wool moose quilt. As my father-in-law is in hospice care, I’m enjoying working on this piece. I’m already thinking about quilting martini glasses in the border. Frank has been characterize in drawings as a moose for years! He also likes gin martinis. I’m partial to vodka martinis. There are so many new recipes on Pinterest these days! Cheers to a new quilt I’ll dedicate to Frank Ramrath.

I’ve always wanted to do a line of cocktail quilts. I think I’m getting closer.

Thanksgiving is coming this week. I do hope you find someone to enjoy a meal and some time with this thanksgiving. Over the years, we’ve delivered meals to shut ins, cooked for family and friends, and enjoyed traditional New England style meals at country inns. Whatever you do, hunting, cooking, sewing, watching football, calling relatives, sending quilting supplies to those who lost all their belongings in the California fires, I hope you feel as blessed as I do knowing this community is kind and loving. Quilters are some of the most generous people I have ever met. I share many quilting stories through Toastmasters with non-quilters or possibly future quilters.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

Linda

 

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

November 5 – Helping Others

Toastmasters International is an organization that helps thousands of people improve their communication and leadership skills. The fall is a very busy time of year. I’ve helped Toast of the Valley Toastmasters by giving a 5-7 minute talk at their recent Open House. I gave a talk at Keene Toastmasters about my “supportive” communication style. Whether I’m teaching free motion quilting class, organizing fundraisers for HCAT or any quilt guild, I love to work with others in a supportive style. Reflecting back on my days as high school student sewing costumes for theater productions, a Reliability and Safety Engineer, Homeschooling mom, Solo Entrepreneur, and Volunteer, I have always communicated in a supportive style. It interesting to look back and see how this skill has helped shape me into the woman I am today! Toastmasters new Pathways program is a great way to discover more about yourself and how to communicate with others.

On October 27th I joined Cheshire quilters in making a star garland, and many Christmas ornaments to donate on a pre-lit tree that will be auctioned off at a local bank in early December.

It was lots of fun on a very rainy day.

On Sat. November 3rd I attended a Toastmasters International Workshop. I learned 3 lessons from Starbucks: 1. they know how to grow business 2. one cup at a time 3. with consistent quality. Think about that…That’s how we grow our small businesses and quilting guilds and Toastmasters clubs, one member at a time. I think having organized and exciting meetings is key. I see a new speech ahead!

I’m also enjoying learning evangelizing techniques via wordonfire.org. There are a lot of tips and techniques about sharing our faith with others and the communication tips and techniques I’ve learned from Toastmasters works hand in hand. It’s rather exciting to see how these two efforts help each other. Beauty is the hook for the Catholic church. The Rose Window at Notre Dame lured me in when I was only 15 years old (1976). I was an exchange student. I’ve been studying the faith ever since. I joined the Catholic church in 1984 at the Easter Vigil.

I’m looking forward to helping to form new Toastmasters clubs in southern Vermont. If you are looking for a unique and exciting way to improve your public speaking skills, contact me. I’m looking for 20 people to start a new club. The first two areas are Ludlow Vermont and Bridgewater, Vermont. If these areas are ideal for your new Toastmasters adventure, please call your friends and invite them to explore this opportunity. Together we can help each other start a new venture.

Blessings,

Linda

p.s. I hope you are joining me on a healthy new journey. I’m trying Egoscue exercises. These exercises help align the spine and strengthen the tissue and muscles to maintain proper spine curvature to support the entire body. Then when we adventurous people exercise in exciting ways, jumping out of planes (maybe not me), running 5k races, cross country skiing, etc. we won’t get hurt making a simple turn or fall.

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October 24th- Family Celebrations

This has been a very busy time for the Ramrath and Randall family. Since my last post my parents celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on October 11th. My daughter celebrated her birthday on the 12th. My hubby celebrated his birthday on the 13th. My mother-in-law celebrated her birthday on the 14th. We attended my niece’s wedding on the 14th. I danced with my brother and it was as if we were teenagers again! Wow, can he dance! I just needed to follow. We danced the “Swing.” Thanks Peter! Dancing and sewing are two of my favorite things!

I was the Contest Master at the Area 15 Humorous Speech contest on the 18th. Chris Estes was the winner. He will compete at the Division Contests on November 10th at 10am. at the Kilton Library in West Lebanon, NH.

I jogged the Heddy Trotter 4 mile route in Stowe, VT on Sunday the 21st in the snow/ cold weather. It was fun!

While hubby and I were in Stowe, Carolyn stayed with Rocky and enjoyed some walks. I made two Doodle “Minnee” pillows for her.

Minnee big and small

The first one was difficult to turn and stuff. I started with an 8″ x 10″ quilted doodle of Minnee. Then I enlarged it and made a 14″ tall doodle Minnee. When you make doodle dolls, they seem to shrink as you stuff them. WARNING! Always start larger than you think you want. If I were to do a cat again, I would try to curl the tail a bit, even if it is not curled in the photo.

I also finished quilting a t-shirt quilt for a friend. It will be raffled off next September. The gentleman’s t-shirts that were in the quilt owned donkeys and gave lots of kids rides on them. He was an extraordinary volunteer.

I also fixed an art piece that received some good critique from my new SAQA Crit group. Below shows the before and after photos.

The three dancing pigs on the green fabric was removed and the same three pigs were done again in red work on the muddy batik fabric.  The art piece seems more cohesive now.

Lesson learned – If something doesn’t seem right. Keep asking friends and look at the principles of design. You will figure it out and take the time to fix it. The fix will put your heart to rest.

Sorry for the delay in this post. I had some computer issues. The next post is scheduled for November 5th! How can that be possible? Time is flying by. One quilt at a time.

Happy quilting,

Linda

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October 8 -visiting

This has been a busy two weeks. I’m having fun helping out Area 15 Toastmaster clubs with Humorous Speech contests. The Area 15 finalists commpete on October 18th at 6:30pm at the Hannah Grimes Center, 25 Roxbury St., Keene, NH 03431.

I also visited Keepsake Quilting with 12 DMQ members on October 2nd. We also visited the Pineapple Shop right next door. There are pre-cuts and wide backs at really super prices in that shop. Next, we were off to Hart’s Turkey Farm for lunch. The portions were so large, most of us got a doggie bag filled with food for dinner.

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Rob and I visited the Fort No. 4 in Charlestown, NH too. Here are a few photos.

It was interesting to see the colors that they dyed wool pieces with plants and trees. They use, dandelions, elderberries, poke berries, walnut shells, gooseberries, sumac blossoms, and more! There is a beautiful wool rug there for a raffle prize. The tickets are only $5.00 each. I would highly recommend going to the gift shop to purchase one. The drawing is October 27th, so don’t delay!

I did deliver the 3 memory quilts, but 2 are Christmas gifts, so I cannot show them to you yet!

I went to the Monadnock Quilters show in Peterborough, NH on Sat. It was nice to see David Taylor there at the Boutique table. He also sat at the HandiQuilter machine and stitched a bit. I really love that Sweet 16! The quilts on display, the quilts for sale, the special exhibits, and the auction quilts were all worth seeing. What a wonderful show!

I’m still working on beading my flannel and wool project. I am machine quilting a t-shirt quilt for a friend.

October is a very busy month for our family. We celebrate my brother’s birthday on the 4th, my parent’s 65th wedding anniversary on the 11th, my daughter’s birthday on the 12th, my husband’s birthday on the 13th, my mother-in-law’s birthday on the 14th and my niece’c wedding on the 14th. It’s a beautiful time of the year here in New England. I’m so thankful for so many reasons to celebrate!

Keep exercising!

Linda

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