Volunteering

I learn a lot by volunteering. I volunteered to co-lead an ARISE group at my church. This program was designed  to get to know parishioners a bit better, share our faith walk and reinvigorate our faith. When the program was over, our group had bonded so much that we decided to continue to meet in my home to discuss Catholic books that we read twice a year.  This lasted 5 years. I learned a great deal about myself, my faith walk and about my fellow parishioners.

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I volunteered to be Program chair when I was a member of Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild.  This was fun and challenging.  I did get nervous before each meeting, hoping that many of the guild members would enjoy and learn something from each speaker.  I learn to be flexible.  I also learned how to deal with speakers and their requests. Sometimes I asked a speaker to modify their talk and design a new talk which would benefit our guild. I remember when Pat Harrison came to our guild.  We decided to have 4 or 5 guild members bring quilt tops.  Because Pat was a judge and a longarm quilter, we talked about many options to quilting each quilt. Knowing the speakers’ strengths and the guilds desire to learn helps when designing a great program. The guild meeting was fun and educational.

I volunteered at Holliston Cable Access Television too. First, I learned how to white balance a camera.  Then how to write a script for the teleprompter for a show. I produced “A Quilter’s Touch” for 6 years.  You can watch and listen to my shows on http://www.hcattv.org. Click on “Video on demand” and then All folders will pop up.  My show is near the top of the alphabetical list. I even learned to edit my show, myself.  The staff was very helpful.  Eventually, I was voted onto the Board of Directors.  I volunteered as Secretary and then President of the Board. I learned to work with others, how to design a strategic plan.  We wrote a new mission statement, designed a survey to find out what demographic we were missing in our viewers.  This information was critical when deciding what shows to add to the schedule. It was a challenging and rewarding job.

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Recently, I volunteered to assist Linda Pearl and Marianne Schewers at the Connections Quilt Festival. I learned how to hang a quilt show.  I learned how to write posts to help boost attendance and sales for the vendors.  I learned how to take down a show too.  There are so many aspects running a quilt show. I hope you will volunteer to help out with an activity.  You will make new friends, learn a lot and have fun too! Here’s a photo of me with Island Batik Ambassador, Sally Johnson and quilting teacher, Melinda Bula.

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One more area in which I volunteer to help is as an Island Batik Ambassador.  A box of fabric arrives at my doorstep twice a year.  Challenges are sent for each month. It is fun and challenging to satisfy each challenge, post photos and a story or directions all with each challenge.  I’ve learned a lot this year.  For example, now I know how to submit patterns on Craftsy.com.  So far I have two patterns on their site.  The first is “Back to School Chickies” and the second is “Mango Re-Mix”.

 

For the past 5 years, I have heard and read articles stating that volunteers are getting more and more scarce. I hope to encourage you to volunteer to help your guild, cable tv station, or local chapter of a hobby of yours. It will be a win win for both you and the organization you volunteer to help.

 

Linda Ramrath

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Borders and Bindings

This month’s Island Batik challenge is to make a quilt with interesting borders and / or bindings. If you have been following my Island Batik journey from the beginning, February 2017, you may remember my reaction when I pulled the Dotalicious Fire Island Batik strips with yellow and purple coordinating fabrics out…I knew right away I wanted to make my Mango Mix pattern.  I was hoping it would work for one of the challenges.  This is it! Here is a photo of the fabric I was given in my first Island Batik box and my original Mango Mix pattern….

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I have the seniors who quilted with me in Holliston, MA to thank for this design.  They challenged me to design a quilt that used all 40 strips from a pre-cut strip set. Challenge accepted, and I was determined to effectively and efficiently use all 40 strips. I did it! What was so exciting about this pattern is there is very little matching. The secret to success with this pattern is bold contrasting borders.

Here’s the first step…Stitch 10 sets of four fabrics together.

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Make the blocks and lay them out…

 

Now the interesting thing about this pattern is that the borders are easy and effective.  The first border has six triangles stitched in.

The second border has 4 1/2″ sections left over from cutting the blocks from each strip set. Sometimes I add a flange around these sections before creating the border strips.

Here’s what it looked like before quilting.

Here’s the after quilting photo…

If I had just a bit more fabric, I would have added an eyelash binding.  It would have had a small strip of yellow peeking out between the purple border fabric and the purple binding. Sometimes there is enough going on in your quilt and a simple, plain binding looks best.

After Making the Mango Mix pattern several times, I decided to reinvent it.  Although I have always liked it, I felt that it needed to be wider to look better on beds. I widened the inner border to 8″ and the out border to 10 “. I call the new pattern, “Mango Re-Mix”. It is available HERE.

Here’s photo of a Mango Re-Mix quilt done with some green batiks I had in my stash.

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This pattern is fast and fun and makes a beginner quilter look more advanced. There are so many ways to quilt this quilt. I’ve seen pantographs, all over designs, and intricate lines and feathers.  This green one has three fish hooks with worms, 5 fish, and lots of curves quilted in.  I hope you have fun stitching a Mango Mix or Mango Re-Mix sometime soon!

Don’t forget to read about all the other Island Batik Ambassadors adventures with borders and bindings this month.  Here’s the list below:

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

Posted in #creativebordersandbinding, classes, finished project, free motion quilting, Island Batik, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in #backtoschoolwithisland, Island Batik, Uncategorized | 36 Comments

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

Posted in guild talks, Island Batik, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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