Inspired Layers – Linda's Blog

Linda's quilting adventures

“Gal”entines Day! February 13, 2017

Filed under: batik confections,Island Batik,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 3:59 pm
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This is not a typo! I’ve been informed that Feb. 13th is “Gal”entine’s Day.  It’s a day to celebrate our girlfriends! In celebration this year I was challenged to make a mug rug from specific fabrics in my Island Batik box. Because I haven’t received my box yet and the day has arrived, I used some Island Batik fabrics from my stash along with some other fabrics to create something to celebrate with the rest of the world!

My new friends and those who stay connected from Massachusetts keep meet inspired to create almost every day! Thank you! I celebrate all of you!

I mailed a few postcards.img_20170211_094754

I added a little bling to the elephants and hearts. Elephants seem to be very popular this year. I’ve seen lots of quilts with elephants. Elephants are big and strong and have a friendly smile. They remind me of the big, strong and friendly ideas we share as girlfriends. Thank you for making a better version of myself!

I also designed a mug rug with a contemporary flare. This idea came from learning to add “poppers” to quilts at a retreat I attended in January. This can be made with 3/4″ strips OR any size scrap at least 3/4″ side or more and the Popper technique. I described this technique in my last Inspired Layers Newsletter.  You can sign up for my newsletter on my website,

I also changed the size by adding a few more inches to the top and bottom pieces to turn this into a mouse pad.  My hubby uses a cordless mouse, but is concerned about scratches that may be left in the table top. As a result, he’s getting a new mouse pad for Valentine’s day tomorrow so I can have my mug rug he is currently using for a mouse pad.

I think  of my Grammie and how she would laugh as I describe what our table would look like with all the use that darn mouse has gotten over the years.  Can you imagine living to 99, as my grandmother did and using the mouse as much as my husband does?  I think the next generation’s kids would see a deep cup carved out of our table! (HaHa) Quilted mouse pad to the rescue!






I will remake this mug rug with the  Island Batik fabrics as soon as they arrive.  I think the snow we’ve been having this past week has hindered the shipment. It’s all good!  The snow is needed to quench the thirst of the land after a very dry summer last year.  It is really beautiful in New England. I feel so happy for the mountain resorts full of snow boarders, skiers and snowshoers too! Our coal stove is keeping us warm.








Happy  “Gal”entine’s Day,

Linda Ramrath

Ialand Batik Ambassador

Inspired Layers, owner


Adhesives: A Sticky Situation December 7, 2016

Filed under: adhesives,batik confections,finished project,free motion quilting,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 3:01 pm


According to the

Did you know that Birch -bark – tar was used to bind rocks together?

Did you know that one square inch of superglue can hold one ton?

Glues and adhesives is an 11 billion dollar industry.

The first commercial glue plant was established in Holland in 1690.

The first British glue patent was granted in 1750.

The first US glue patent was granted in 1876.

Economists are forecasting that adhesive industry will reach a yearly turnover of almost $50 billion around 2020.

What’s the difference between glues and adhesives?

Glues have a natural origin.

Adhesives are synthetic.


Have you ever made homemade paste?  I have a couple of recipes for you:

Homemade Paste 1


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Small saucepan
  • Small bowl
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup cold water


  1. Mix water, corn syrup, and vinegar in saucepan.
  2. Bring to a full, rolling boil.
  3. In bowl, mix cornstarch with cold water.
  4. Add this mixture slowly to the hot mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture returns to a boil.
  5. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  6. When cooled, pour into another container and let stand overnight before using.

Homemade Paste 2


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Cold water
  • Saucepan
  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. Add cold water to flour until mixture is as thick as cream.
  2. Simmer and stir in saucepan for 5 minutes.
  3. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired.
  4. This wet, messy paste takes a while to dry.


Growing up I used Elmer’s glue and rubber cement. Elmer’s glue was used in most home craft projects. Rubber cement was used to glue leather seams open on my leather coat that I constructed in high school home ec. class.

My children used glue sticks and scotch tape, for the most part.

Here are my three most common adhesives and examples of when I would use them…

  1. Scotch tape.
    1. Making a paper larger
    2. Put on drywall before tapping a nail in place to hang a little quilt or photo.
  2. Mistyfuse
    1. Use iron and BoNash Amazing pressing sheet to bond fabric to fabricimg_20161128_151852
  3. Bonash Fuse It Powder
    1.  Confetti quilting technique: Spritz with water and heat using an amazing pressing sheet


      confetti quilt

All adhesives are not created equally.

Think about your project and buy the appropriate adhesive. Think about the end use and how the glue or adhesive will dry.

Will the piece be folded?

Will the piece be stitched?

Will the piece be exposed to the sun?

With pieces that will be folded, do not use heat and bond, unless you want the creased to stay. I used Heat ‘n Bond light here to make this bag.  I wanted the creases to remain.


Do not use glues that dry hard if you are going to stitch over it. I have made many quilts for churches.  The blocks were created in a CCD class and delivered to me.  When hot glue is used, you cannot stitch through it. BEWARE!

Use ultraviolet adhesive to prevent yellowing due to sunlight. I once made my Red Barn confetti pattern and used white Mistyfuse. behind the snowman.  Over time it yellowed.  There is a fix!!!!!!!! Mistyfuse now sells a ultraviolet Mistyfuse adhesive. It does not turn yellow with time. I use it behind all my light fabrics. LOVE THIS PRODUCT.  THAT’S WHY I SELL IT ON MY WEBSITE.

Did you know there were so many glues? And adhesives?

Find the right one and stick to it.

Linda Ramrath


Country Village Quilters Guild May 16, 2013




Country Valley Quilt Guild social

Yesterday I drove to Moultonborough, NH to share my quilting  journey with 75 ladies from two quilting guilds.  These two guilds are only two towns away from each other.  One makes hundreds of quilts for Veterans and the other makes hundreds of quilts for David’s Place, for children.  Every spring one guild invites the other to a luncheon with all kinds of homemade sandwiches, salads, and desserts.  In the fall, the other guild is the hostess and provides homemade soups and desserts.

I was the speaker yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many talented (even nationally award winning) quilters and judges.  I was thankful that they laughed at the right time! It was a day of sharing, fun, and sunshine.

There were about 20 challenge quilts which the guest guild voted on various categories.  It was so nice to hear that every quilt got a vote for a category.  The challenge was: create a quilt based on a song and it had to have a heart somewhere on it and there was a size requirement.  Fabulous job!

It rained almost my entire ride home, but the sun was trying to peek out as I exited the highway.  Dinner was moments from the table (Still amazed) and the lawn edged in preparation of prom photos tomorrow night.

If your guild would like to hear a fun and hopefully entertaining talk on quilting, check out my website calendar at If I’m not already booked, fill out a contract and send it to me.  I enjoy tailoring my talk to the needs of your group.  I have sewn over 400 quilts to date, so I have lots of stories to share!



Vending in NH May 1, 2013

Filed under: batik confections,quilt shows,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 12:25 pm
Merrimack Valley Quilters Guild Show 2013

Merrimack Valley Quilters Guild Show 2013

The Merrimack Valley Quilters Guild invited me to vend at their show this past week.  It was a beautiful drive to southern NH where I use to live.  I enjoyed every moment.  I must say that the vendor committee was especially nice.  I needed a street address for my GPS and called early Wednesday morning to a very cheery voice.  She not only gave me the address, but quick directions too!  She was looking forward to meeting me and wish me safe travel….Yes, this was in New England!  When I arrived, guild members were welcoming vendors and checking to see if we needed anything.  Just as I rolled my array of items into my space, a dear friend and former neighbor from Auburn, NH gave me a big hug!  We worked together very well, making decisions and keeping a list (on my phone) of items to borrow from her home to make the space inviting.  We are both hard workers and enjoyed working together.  Although Peggy doesn’t quilt, she has office skills and a huge heart!  I think she is my angel from NH and quite a cheerleader.

The next two days, I demonstrated covering cotton cording to make “Linda’s Clothesline Tote” and stitched up some curves with no pins, no stress, and no puckers! as described in “Just Around the Curve”  pattern.  I also demonstrated the use of BoNash Fuse it and bits of batik confetti.

When the two days were over, I was out of Fuse It powder and pressing sheets. I placed another order and will be updating my website with Fuse It powder which replaces the 007 bonding agent. It is the same product with new packaging.  They both work!

Miracles continued to occur….as I entered my driveway on Saturday, I was noticing the lawn…It was green, and mowed, and edged! It’s a good thing I didn’t faint and crash into my stone wall. Although I was looking forward to mowing the lawn for the first time this year, I was in heaven knowing I could cross that off my to do list for tomorrow. I was simply amazed!  I made my way up the stairs to my kitchen and dinner (roasted chicken from the market and fresh carrots) was being served. I almost checked the numbers on the front of my house.  What has happened to my family?  I think everyone is growing up! Rob and I will have an empty nest next month, maybe that’s why every meal spent together is so special.

The Merrimack Valley Quilters Guild not only made every vendor feel special with free yummy lunches, a gift with candy and a heartfelt thank you card; they shopped and shared their beautiful quilts with us and many visitors.  If you missed their show, take a drive next year to Plaistow, NH and meet some of the nicest people on earth!

Thank you Merrimack Valley Quilters Guild!


Worcester Sewing Expo April 12, 2010

Filed under: batik confections — inspiredlayerslinda @ 6:39 pm

     I just returned from the Worcester Sewing Expo where I was an invited guest, demonstrating the “confetti” technique and selling patterns and kits, at the the Bo-Nash Booth #213.  I also tried to entertain a few sewing enthusiasts with the stories behind each Imagination Quilt.  It was fun for me to reminicse about the inspiration for each quilt including the family travels and adoption of Rocky, our dog.

I demonstrated how to make a flower out of a confetti blob.  Then there was the red cardinal resting on a branch.  Finally, I was inspired by Vincent VanGogh’s “Pear Tree in Blossom” painting.  I created a quick confetti interpretation.  I continue to believe we are only limited by our imagination.

Several people who stopped by the booth asked me to teach a class next year.  I’m filling out the papers to teach next year.  Stay tuned……

I did come home with some special new tools….the “fasturn” and the iron sock.  I’ll post photos and comments on each item very soon!

I’m off to MQX next to teach a couple of classes, thursday 8a.m.-12:00 noon and saturday 8a.m.-12:00 noon.


Imagination Quilt – “Red Barn” January 5, 2010

Filed under: batik confections,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 1:50 am

Deborah Pellegrino and I have released another pattern using our new quilted batik confection technique.  This small quilt measures approximately 11.5″ x 11.5″.  It is so fun to create and embellish with beads and a button on the snowman’s hat.  It is fun to dream up stories to go along with this quilt.  I think of Christmastime in New England.  It looks like a place decorated for a party.  The children were bored and went outside to build a snowman to welcome the party goers.  How many people came to this party?  Who was the last to leave?  How many dances were danced?  What were the stories of the year’s blessings shared?  Were the birds singing along in the spruce tree?  Until next year…..

Check my website for patterns and classes.


Imagination Quilt – “Rocky”

Filed under: batik confections,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 1:14 am

Should we rescue a dog?  Sounds like an easy question.  For our family, it’s not that easy.

You see, my husband and I were both raised in families without dogs.  We felt free to take off anytime and go skiing, hiking, or visiting friends.  Thinking back to our thoughts about adding a dog to our family, I have to laugh.  Imagine this….

  • dogs are dirty
  • they don’t walk well
  • they chew up your house and house contents
  • they jump on people
  • they sniff crotches
  • they shed
  • my brother was bitten by a dog on his paper route
  • they bark all the time
  • our house will smell
  • my customers might be afraid
  • they cost a lot of money

Why would even consider getting a dog with all these negative aspects?….

….Because we had two children who kept asking for a dog.  Was it fair to share our fears and trepidation with our children?  Were these facts or fiction?

Since we are very logical, analytical people, we developed a new game plan.  As a family, we tuned in to the National Geographic channel to view Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer.”  We taped and watched several shows together.  We all learned quite a bit about breeds of dogs and how Cesar is always called into rehabilitate dogs and train people.  Our entire family was on the common ground, learning about dog psychology and how Cesar trains the owners to benefit not only the living situation at home, but helping the dog to enjoy every moment of his life too.

My husband, Rob, bought two books, A Member of the Family by Cesar Millan and The Loved Dog by Tamar Geller.  We both read both books.  The philosophy of positive reinforcement was clearly shown in both books.

Now here’s our list of things we learned…

  • Each family has a certain energy.  We need to look for a dog with a similar energy.
  • Dogs live in packs.  When people adopt a dog, the dog joins the family pack.  It’s important not to let the dog lead the pack, but find his or her place within the pack.
  • We learned that a happy dog has a calm, submissive behavior.
  • One member of the family cannot adopt a dog.  It must be a family decision.  If not, it will only lead to problems.
  • Our body language is interpreted by the dogs.
  • We learned to read a dog’s tail.
  • Every dog needs exercise, discipline and affection every day and in that order.


Armed with new knowledge of dog psychology, we investigate the dogs at Baypath Humane Society online.  The guys in our family want a “manly” dog.  The ladies want a Sheltie-size dog.  We venture to the Baypath facility in Hopkinton.  It was April school vacation 2009.  It was a beautiful, Thursday afternoon.  All the dogs are barking.  The place smells like “dog.”  There’s one dog just looking at me.  His ankles are a little crooked, but his face is so cute.  I ask if he has a birth defect in his legs.  The worker smiles and tells me he is a mix between a shepherd and a basset hound.  His legs are basset legs and his ears, tail and body are shepherd-like.  We take “Rocky” out for a walk and he is sweet.  Now I’m worried that this may become a reality.  We may convert from a dog-less household to dog owners. My husband meets us at Baypath Humane Society and greets Rocky.  We put the two of them in the back of my SUV to see if Rob has an allergic reaction.  Thankfully he does not.

        We welcomed Rocky into our family eight months ago.  Now, not only have our long list of fears been debunked, but I have discovered a new growth of my heart.  I now mow the lawn and garden with a four-legged companion at my side.  I sit at my sewing machine with my new friend at my feet.  I do not feel confined to our home.  I am welcomed home several times a day with a helicopter tail. I have walked almost every day in my neighborhood.  Since I now walk with Rocky, I have met lots of new people.  Rocky looks so unique and behaves so well, people inquire as to his pedigree.

        Should we have rescued a dog?  It’s still early, but so far so good.  Here’s a quilted image of Rocky.

If your children are hounding you to rescue a dog, due to clever tv commercials or peer pressure, whatever the reason, I recommend watching “The Dog Whisperer” and perhaps dispelling some negative perspectives.  Education and training of people can lead to a successful adoption of a new member of the family.