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

 

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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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September 24 – Classes

It’s fun to take new classes. I was in Suzi Parron’s class and made the  barn quilt shown on the left below. See some of the other barn quilts done by other students below on the right. Mine is a maple leaf 24″ x 24″ for my friends, the Withingtons, who own Silver Lake Syrups.  Check out their website, http://www.silverlakesyrups.com. They won Best of Show for their Spruce Tip Syrup at the Tunbridge World’s Fair! They are a talented pair!

I started a class with SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) on Visual Design. Every Monday for 8 weeks I am introduced to an artist and how they use color, line, form, texture, value, space or form. It is exciting to learn about new resources and how quilts are created from strips of recycled saris, silk watercolor clean up rags, and more. I keep getting inspired to start new projects, knowing I really should finish a half dozen ready for quilting right now…

I gave my 28″ square Zinnia to my friend who hosted me in Gloucester Massachusetts for a few days. We relaxed and kept busy at the same time. I look forward to our next gathering in Vermont! It will be a SEW creative time.

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If you haven’t taken a new class in a while, I recommend that you do. Invest in your creative juices. It good for you and those who live with you too! (Heehee) There are loads of online classes. I am doing both online and in person classes right now. I find chatting while creating is fun and educational. I think it is a necessary, networking tool that all women should participate in.

I’ve also been involved in teaching and organizing Humorous Speech contests over the past two weeks. Humor is very important too. Attend a Toastmasters Fall Humorous Speech contest. You won’t be disappointed. The Area contest is coming up on October 18th at 6:30 pm. at the Hannah Grimes Center, 25 Roxbury St., Keene, NH 03431.

See you in two weeks! I’ll show you the 5 quilts I finished over the past two weeks too!

Linda

 

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September 10, 2018 -Let’s Celebrate~

These past two weeks have been full of family fun and finishing some projects. Let’s start with the family fun! Labor Day weekend was so much fun for me. My niece came to Vermont from MA and we enjoyed a musical, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” in a small theater in Pomfret, VT. Not a bad seat in the house! We laughed and enjoyed the show.  We also went to Billings Farm, where I volunteered in the Quilt Show Exhibit. I was hand quilting on a large frame and chatted with visitors. The next day we enjoyed paddle boarding on Silver Lake. We were on the lake for 3 hours! We walked up Tower Hill too! Yes, my Fitbit was clocking over 16,000 steps each day!

After my niece left, our children and their significant others came for a fun tournament of cornhole, a fire and BBQ. It was so much fun, I look forward to our next gathering…..Maybe to an escape room! Oh my, that would be fun!

I finished quilting and binding 3 cuddle quilts for a friend whose husband passed away last year. I used his clothing to make corduroy trees and mountains, jeans for lakes, t-shirts for a house and a mountain, ties for flowers and stems, khakis for stones, and lots of shirts for skies and trails. I cannot show you the quilts until I show my friend first. Sorry!

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I can show you the Block of the Month which I designed for the Heart of the Land quilters in Hartland, Vermont. Here are the two tops. One done with the scrappy choice and one with a medium to large print. It was a mystery for 8 months. I will quilt them next and donate them.

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I also picked many potatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, tomatoes, kale and lettuce from our garden. It was a good year for our garden. We celebrated good times with friends and family sharing the bounty of our harvest!

Happy Quilting!

Linda

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August 27th -Putting on the Brakes

Hi Everyone,

Rob and I enjoyed a lovely ride on our electric assist bicycles on Pomphret, East Barnard and Barnard dirt roads. The electric assist made the ride so much more enjoyable, not busting a gusset on the hills. We also did not come home totally exhausted. It was so much fun!

My gallery show, “Finding Zen in a Line” has been a great success! I’ve met local people and people vacationing in Vermont this summer from all over the US. Watching how my quilts surprise some of the visitors has been quite interesting.

My new focus is to seek opportunities in SAQA. I’m mounting my quilts on stretcher bars now and learning how to make professional corners and hanging systems. I’ve also signed up for a Visual Design online class. This will take 2 months (September and October).

I’ve decided to put the brakes on “Inspired Layers.” I’ve already taken down my website. My next newsletter will explain this decision a bit further.

Here’s a photo of my latest quilt, “Pink Zinnia”. The pattern is by Melinda Bula. I failed to follow her directions. I used Mistyfuse instead of Steam a Seam. I used cotton and wool battings. I freely cut many pattern pieces rather than using her template pieces provided in the pattern. It was a fun project.

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I’ve also been working on 3 memory quilts for a friend. I’m excited about the progress. I don’t feel that I should share them with you yet. I think the recipients should see them first. Stay tuned…

My blog will continue every two weeks.

Happy Quilting!

Linda Ramrath

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