Inspired Layers – Linda's Blog

Linda's quilting adventures

It Takes a Village March 19, 2016

I belong to two villages….Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild and Bose Speakers Toastmasters.

Last weekend a quilt that I made won a blue ribbon.  How did that happen?  It all started with a field trip with the Holliston Senior Center to Quilted Crow Store in Bolton, MA.  I saw this quilt, “Oriental Baltimore” pattern by Leesa Chandler Designs. I was intrigued by the three dimensional flowers and leaves.  Thank you to Sue, owner of the Qulited Crow for introducing me to this pattern. I changed the color palette. I used batik fabrics for the flowers. After many hours of using Sulky thread instead of DMC floss and “request” batting adhered to the back of each block, I embroidered as much as I could.  Then the project stopped.  I was stumped.  I have large hands and there was no way I could turn the tiny petals right side out. I was stuck!

Several months pass.  Then in September, I was at a get away with some members of our guild.  Rita had made this quilt before and she came over to me and helped me on the 5 blocks where I was stuck.  It all seemed so simple now.

I finished the quilt in my own unique way.  I put it in the Thimble Pleasures Quilt Show.  I guess a lot of my fellow Thimble Pleasures Guild members appreciated the time and creativity that went into this quilt, for they voted and gave me a Blue Ribbon.  That would have never happened without Sue, my seniors, Rita, Leesa, and the guild members. Thanks you all so much!  I love this village.


Two weeks ago I received a Triple Crown Award at the Bose Speakers Toastmasters meeting. If it weren’t for my husband, encouraging me to join a club, my mentor, Peter, always evaluating with encouraging words, the opportunity that presented itself to me through Toastmasters, Lori, my new mentor, and all the clubs I visited and learned new, exciting tips and techniques for public speaking, I would not have earned this award.


Both of these villages gave me opportunities to be active.  If you are looking for a village to join.  Be active.  The more you give, the more you learn. I’ve also met very creative people in both of these villages.

I do give talks to women’s groups and quilting guilds.  Thank you Toastmasters for listening to so many quilt-related talks. The courage and confidence I have gained over that past few years is nothing short of amazing.  I wish the same for you.  Look for a village to highlight your talents. You will be amazed.



Christmas in July August 3, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 9:12 pm

Yes, this year I finally got around to quilting a Christmas Table Runner for a customer.  Now to tackle a charity Chrisstmas quilt for the Holliston Senior Center.

Here’s the Table runner…


I started by stitching in the ditch with red thread on all the red points.  Then I stippled in the off white area.  Finally, I used my 1/2″ line tamer ruler and stitched straight lines in the red paisley fabric.WP_20150803_12_18_35_Pro WP_20150803_12_19_08_Pro

My customer needs to bind this project and enjoy it at Christmas time. She took the paper piecing class twice in order to finish this beautiful quilted runner.  Great job!

Next quilt, ready to go….


2 Babies join Juniper Road

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 9:02 pm

The population of Juniper Road in Holliston just increased by 2! That is a good excuse to go to a quilt shop, buy 10 fat quarters and a few yards of fabric.  Here’s what I came up with…


Two Flannel receiving blankets.

Then I cut a 6 1/2″ squares and 4 1/2″ squares.  I quilted an elephant, monkey, baby carriage and lollipop on a few squares.  Then I sewed the squares together to make 2 big blocks and two little blocks.WP_20150728_16_51_58_Pro WP_20150728_16_54_09_Pro WP_20150728_16_58_18_Pro WP_20150728_16_58_24_Pro

Stuff with polyester fiber fill.WP_20150728_20_26_40_Pro 1 WP_20150729_10_40_01_Pro 1 WP_20150729_10_41_09_Pro 1                                                            With the rest of the fat quarters I made a quilt. I put the 6 1/2″ squares in the center, stripe fabric around and 4 1/2″ squares on the outside.  Fun to design a baby quilt!WP_20150729_19_56_05_Pro WP_20150730_14_39_53_Pro 1

Then I quilted it with fun designs in the center, straight lines in the border and feathers in the outer border. FUN!WP_20150730_14_39_53_Pro WP_20150731_08_52_20_Pro 1

Bound with the left overs and ready to wrap and deliver!


T-shirt memory quilt July 7, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 4:36 pm

Every year I make about 6 t-shirt quilts.  They are each unique.  I love to puzzle the t-shirts and other memorabilia together to create a keepsake.  Last December I made one in memory of a young man who died.  It was a gift from two grieving parents to their other son.  The entire experience was a blessing to me.  I felt honored to be chosen by this couple to cut up and create a quilt.  I have not have the unfortunate experience of losing a child.  I don’t know how I would feel, first going through the t-shirts, ties, photos, memorabilia and selecting items to honor his memory.

I received many items.  I am so thankful to my husband for helping me to build a design wall in my studio. This really helps when designing a memory quilt.

I start by laying out the items on the floor.

WP_20141120_16_13_58_Pro Next step is to iron on an interfacing to the back of each item.

WP_20141120_13_57_45_ProI printed out some photos on to Printed Treasurers paper.

Next is to trim items and put them on my design wall.

WP_20141124_10_38_48_ProI found fabric with musical notes and trumpets and clarinets on it.  What a lucky find!

Here’s the final quilt…

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I have some pretty remarkable customers. Thanks for the opportunity to share this with so many!

Enjoy every moment!



Introductions January 13, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 1:31 pm
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I attended a lecture at the Arsenal for the Arts last night.  The speaker was a nationally known quilter with works of unique art in very prestigious shows. I felt her pain as her laptop was not cooperating with the electronics in the facility.  One very kind, giving quilter in the audience loaned her computer to the speaker and the crisis was averted.  This type of kindness always surprises, but I don’t think it should.

When the Introducer got up in front of an audience of about 150 people, she said, “Our speaker tonight is _____________and she hates introductions.”  Then the speaker started her talk with justifying why she hates introductions.  She said that the audience really doesn’t need to know if she is married, has children or pets.

As a Toastmaster, I felt sad for the speaker.  I see an introduction as an important part of any speech.  It is the opportunity to connect with the audience.

As the night went on, I learned that this speaker loves words.  Her career, before retirement and quilting was as a journalist.  She spent many years with words.  He talk was fascinating in how she connected her love of words with her quilting.  She journals about the quilt she is about to make.  Then she makes a quilt.  Then she asks herself 4 questions and journals her answers.  She makes the next quilt in her series by reflecting on her answers and making a new choice.  I don’t want to give away her talk, so I’ll stop there.

If she could just read my blog, she may change her tune about introductions and use just the right words to entice people beyond the quilted eye candy slide that stayed up way too long.  She had to hit the refresh button several times.

I guess this was so intriguing to me because tomorrow I am giving a talk on the importance of a good introduction. I see an introduction as a way of getting the audience into the right mindset.  It can have a statement or two which add to the speakers authority on the subject matter.  Written properly, it can start the talk off with audience members at the edge of their seats and hanging on every word.

A good introduction shouldn’t steal thunder from your speech, but connect with the audience so you both can enjoy the ride.

Please think about writing a good introduction next time you invite a speaker to your function.



This Week (52) I… December 29, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 7:41 pm
Tags: , ,

…sewed three curtain toppers for the Holliston Senior Center Activities room. I hope they are installed before our first quilting class of 2015.

I attended a Christmas Eve party at my brother-in-law’s home.  It was so nice to see Rob’s Dad and his wife looking so healthy! Our nieces and nephews were there along with Bethany!  We sang songs, enjoyed a delicious meal and had a wonderful evening.

Christmas Day we started with Mass at St. Mary’s Church in Holliston.  It was beautiful!  Happy Birthday, Jesus!  It’s so nice that so many people celebrate His birth and love.  Then I cooked a crown roast and all the fixings too!  We had friends over for dinner.  In the afternoon, my sister and her husband and daughter stopped by.  It was a very nice, social day.

I started cleaning up my sewing room.  First I resorted fabric that was pulled out for various projects.  Then I made a new ironing surface.

I peeled off the old cover.  Cut batting to pad the top.  Covered the batting with Bo-Nash Giant Ironslide Ironing Board cover.  I love this product.  I just cut it to fit and use the extra for portable ironing surfaces.  This is so great because it reflects the heat of the iron.  It takes less time to make great bonds if you use Bo-Nash bonding agent or Mistyfuse, which I use a quite a bit!

WP_20141228_15_26_58_Pro WP_20141228_15_27_06_ProA new ironing board! WP_20141228_15_30_28_ProWP_20141228_16_24_40_Pro


This Week (51) I… December 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 8:33 pm

…celebrated a year of fun quilting and socializing with the Holliston Senior Center quilters. I made “A-door-ables” for each quilter using a button which each quilter gave me the week before.  We had fun playing Yankee swap and Left, Right, Center with 3 fat quarters each.  In the end, Carolyn won all the fat quarters.  It was so much fun!

WP_20141223_15_25_13_Pro (1) WP_20141223_15_24_00_Pro (1) WP_20141223_15_24_41_Pro

WP_20141219_10_50_58_Pro WP_20141219_11_07_00_ProWe have quilted many projects, donated many to the Holliston Senior Center Harvest Fair in September, and shared many laughs.  We are looking forward to another year of fun, learning quilting tips and techniques, and sharing our lives.  Our group has grown to 12-14 regular attendees.  Our quilting day is changing from Fridays to Wednesdays, but our friendship will only grow stronger.  Our next project is mittens.  Some made with linings and others appliqued onto table toppers.

I also set up our Christmas tree at home with Bethany, who returned from college for a nice winter break.  She’ll be off to France in May, and then to Wyoming for her summer job after that.  Wow, I never expected her to travel so much. She’s growing up!

On Saturday my sister and I went to tea at “Fancy That” in Walpole, MA. It was a very nice birthday celebration for our Mom.

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My last stop was to pick up my sewing machine from the Charlton Sewing Center.  I always get my machines serviced in December and buy lots of thread to start off the next year’s sewing projects.  I took a photo of all my large spools of thread for my Mid arm machine.  Then I purchased colors which were missing from my supply.  I purchased a few more quilting books too.  I love to be inspired for the New Year.  While I was there, I also fell in love with some fabric which I purchased for a 2015 quilt.  It will be bright and beautiful!

Happy quilting!




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