Inspired Layers – Linda's Blog

Linda's quilting adventures

Oh Baby! July 24, 2017

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.

img_20170724_164538.jpg

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:

img_20170714_201618721.jpg

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.

IMG_20170714_155840

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.

IMG_20170714_200956616

IMG_20170714_200721086

 

 

 

 

 

Next, Stitch other squares to the other side, corner to corner.

IMG_20170714_201026496

Trim a quarter of an inch away from the stitching line and press.

IMG_20170714_201235390

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

 

Curvalicious Baby Toy July 17, 2017

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.

IMG_20170714_145800

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!

 

 

Curvalicious Part 2 June 12, 2017

 

This second Curvalicious quilt started with warm weather, a quilting meeting at a friend’s home, and some lemon slices in water. After a very cold and rainy spring, the warm day and thirst quenching lemon infused water was perfect!

Have you ever sliced a lemon, used two slices and left the rest of the slices in your refrigerator to ultimately be forgotten?  My friend shared a valuable trick.  Chuck-slice the lemon and squeeze some into the water today and freeze the remaining chuncks. Next time you reach for ice in the freezer, take a few pieces of lemon for your water too!

 

In the “Country Dozen” collection of Island Batik fabric, there is a blue batik with yellow lemons.  That’s the fabric I started with to make this June challenge table runner.

IMG_20170516_202902557

I love the drunkard’s path block and I found a new (to me) tool with pattern called QCR Mini by Sew Kind of Wonderfil. The tool was easy to use and my blocks were easy to square up so they all match when sewn together.

IMG_20170515_204551176

I followed the directions for this QCR Mini Runner and it was fast and fun! To stitch the curves, I used my Martelli Notions 1/4″ Curvemaster foot. No stress, No pins, and no puckers.

IMG_20170516_205253754_HDR

I think the key is to put the “smile” curve down first and the “frown” on top.  Also, move the bottom piece with your right hand, left and the top piece with your left hand, right. Here’s how I laid out my design and stitch four patches.

I pressed the 4-patch units and wiggled the back to make the little 4-patch so it would lay flat for quilting.

I used a scrap of Quilters’ Dream cotton batting and backed it with more Island Batik fabric, yellow with eggs on it. Here is my “thinking” on Quilter’s Preview Paper for the quilting.  I used  Fantastico Thread and it quilted like a dream.

IMG_20170517_103746

I used the same lemon fabric for the binding.  This is a fast and fun project.  Let your fabric speak to you!

One more Curvalicious challenge quilt to show you next week! (Am I having too much fun with this job?)

Happy Stitching!

Linda Ramrath

Inspired Layers

p.s. If you would like to invite me to speak at your guild next year and show you all the fabulous quilts I made to go along with each challenge, book me today! 508-769-7881!

 

Curvilious – Part 1 June 9, 2017

June is the month for an Island Batik quilt with curves. I have made two projects for this month’s challenge.  The first  project was inspired by a pattern by Caroline Reardon which I read about in the May / June 2017 issue of the McCall’s Quilting magazine. Caroline called it “Vino Row.” She mixed prints and batiks.

IMG_20170608_211110232

I used Island Batik stash builder fabrics (which I always wash with a Color Catcher) and scanned the pattern from the magazine and printed it out. Then I used pins (My grandmother taught me to pin perpendicular to the cutting line for stability.) to attach my pattern to the fabrics and my rotary cutter to cut several layers out at one time. (I love to save time!) The directions in the magazine are easy to follow and accurate! Yippie!

IMG_20170609_160455

 

I chain piece all the bottle tops (or corks) on first.  Then press and stitch the curves.  If you have heard my talk, “10 Tips from a Rebel Quilter, you know that I do not use pins very often, and especially with curves.

IMG_20170609_155547459_HDR

 

The curve is so graceful that there was no pinning, no stress and no puckers! I thought the number of bottles made for a very long table runner, so I made two shorter table runners.

The binding is made from 1 1/4″ bias cut strips for the curved short ends and 1 1/4″ straight cut strips for the longer edges.

This is a very fun and easy table runner to make. I hope you will want to give it a try.

IMG_20170609_161349397

Here are the links to all the other Island Batik Ambassador’s blogs to see what curvy 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

Next week I will share my second project.

Happy Stitching!

Linda

 

Shazam! New Modern Pattern May 10, 2017

Do you love a challenge? I do. Being an Island Batik Ambassador, I receive a monthly challenge. May’s challenge is to design a Modern Quilt using the fabrics from our January box delivery.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “modern?”

I think of bold contrast.  I also think of simplicity. This block is easy to make and just like my 50/50 Mix pattern, half the blocks mirror the other half. I had so much fun stitching this one up!

This new quilt pattern is called “Shazam”.  That’s a powerful word for a very bold statement. I think that the fabric selected for this pattern can dictate the quilting. My first dream was of a navy blue and snowflake white fabric.  I dreamed of quilting a horse running through the snow. I will make that quilt some day soon. It will be called “Blizzard.”   Since those fabrics were not in my box, I selected the blue-green chicken eggs fabric and egg white neutral Island Batik fabric.  Then my brain quickly saw chickens dancing.  Hence, this new quilt is called “Chicken Dance.”

IMG_20170509_171739

I quilted 5 dancing chickens with Fantastico #5144 thread and then stitched straight lines with Fantastico #5090 thread. I had Aurifil thread in the bobbin.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment and I will put your name in a basket to win some Island Batik fabric from their new line (It’s got chickens, eggs, and silverware!) I will pick the winner on May 31st.

You could even create this quilt with solid fabrics and then apply an applique or three. See how my brain continues to push further and further outside the box? I hope to have the pattern available next month for sale. Stay tuned!

 

Be sure to visit all the Island Batik Ambassadors and see what they’ve got going for
♥Modern Batik 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

 

Adventurous Applique April 12, 2017

This month as an Island Batik Ambassador, I was challenged to create a small quilt and be adventurous with applique. If you remember last month, I tried mini English Paper Piecing the Dresden Plate.  This month, I combined Clamshell English Paper Piecing, needle turn applique and a scrappy pieced binding.  It was an adventure.

IMG_20170411_111014

It all started with the box from Island Batik which I received in February. There were a lot of new fabrics which will be out this April at market for shop owners to purchase.  I used some of the new fabrics in the pineapple.  If you like those fabrics, share your enthusiasm with your local quilt shop owner. They can look for them and order them at market!

I chose the pineapple because in Vermont I have enjoyed buying and tasting such sweet pineapples this winter. It is the sign of hospitality. I feel so welcomed into the Barnard community. I enjoy local concerts with world class talent.  I enjoy quilting with two different groups of women.  I enjoy skiing right across the street along an old wood road with snowmobile trail. I hope I am as hospitable to those who venture up our long dirt driveway to our log home as this community has been to me. This quilt resides at the door of my studio.

What makes this adventurous to me is that I combined several skills.  I learned that I like the look of English Paper Piecing when I stitch with silk or fine polyester thread.  I found the silk thread stronger than the polyester thread. I must admit that I stitched part of this while I was stuck in Keene, NH due to snowstorms, with no silk thread, so I opted to continue to work on the project with the aurifil thread that I had on hand. It’s a bit thicker (40wt.).  When I quilted the quilt, the stitching began to show….Lesson learned! Below is the front and back side of the quilt.  I cut away the fabric behind the English Paper Piecing so that I could remove the papers. I left the fabric behind the needle turn applique.  I could have removed that fabric too.

I purchased a few new rulers to use when free motion quilting. As many of you know, I love to freemotion quilt! I am relaxed and thoroughly enjoy the process.  After attending the tour with Cathy Wiggins at MQX, I was encouraged to buy a few rulers.  The judges give you more points for more perfect free motion or hand guided stitching. I decided this was the perfect quilt to try one of my rulers. I did the roping in the outer border with D’Loa’s Rope a Dope 1.5″ ruler. I did look at her video and draw the rope on paper before I stitched the quilt. It’s important to draw the centerline for this rope to look best in a straight border. I felt my shoulders raise a bit.  It was more mechanical and not fluid for me.  With a bit more practice, I hope this ruler remains in my tool box.  Time will tell.  I also learned that since I stitch on a sit down Sweet 16 Handi Quilter, it’s time to purchase the mat.  I have never had trouble with smoothly moving the quilt over the machine and table area until I had a ruler in my hand.  I have already ordered the mat and look forward to trying this ruler again once the mat is in place.

Here’s the finished quilt again:

IMG_20170411_111014

Now I have a question for you…Would you change the slant of the rope on the bottom border to be opposite of the top border? Same question for the left and right side. Should they be opposite to one another?

One more adventurous element, the binding! After being inspired by an award winning quilt at MQX, and not having enough dark blue batik to make a binding, I knew I had to introduce some of my scraps. I cut the binding only 1 1/4″ wide and sewed a single fold binding. I chose little scraps from the 5″ squares left over from the leaf fabrics, I sewed triangles pointing in the same direction as the leaves into the dark blue strip. Then I selected a green batik from my stash builder fabrics to fill in the rest. Even if this quilt will never be judged, it’s nice to put to use some knowledge from my recent tour at MQX. It certainly made this quilt a memorable adventure for me.

I hope you with fill your April 2017 with more adventurous quilting.

Book me to speak to your guild or women’s group in 2018 to hear a new talk on my 2017 Island Batik Journey. I’m collecting stories and creating new quilts and patterns every month!

Linda

Inspiredlayers.com

 

Celebrate with Flowers March 12, 2017

March 18 is National Quilting Day! Let’s celebrate with a mini quilt done with Island Batik fabrics!

My March challenge is to use fabric from box #1 excluding the spring/summer 2017 fabric (which is very special in an of its self) and paper piece or English paper piece something. I do not often quilt with either one of those techniques. I have done each technique however.

I chose to English paper piece a Dresden Plate with 16 mini plates. Because this is a mini English paper piecing project, my entire quilt is a very small size. 17″ x 17″

I started by choosing a background and then lots of purples from the 5″ Drizzle charm squares. Then I selected a lime green for the centers of the Dresden plates.

img_20170218_170115122

I used glue stick to fold the fabric over the template. The official way to English paper piece is to baste, with thread, the fabric around the template. Sorry, I have little patience, so I found a quicker alternative.

After playing with various arrangements, I decide where to start stitching by hand, the plates together.  This is my design…

img_20170219_151904

After stitching the straight edges of each Desden plate, I appliqued the sections onto the background.

Then I cut out the background so that I could peel the templates out.  Because I used glue, I needed to use a tool to release the glue joint and then the template popped out.

Here is a photo of the back of the quilt before I popped out the template pieces…

img_20170304_170953

I love the colors. I like that the hand work is over. Now to add a popper and border.

IMG_20170311_105931

Do you like the popper?

Lastly, I layered the top with Dream Orient and Dream Wool batting and a backing and quilted it. I used Quilter’s Preview Paper to try out a few design ideas. Since I do not have a computer hooked up to my sewing machine, I quilt everything using free motion. The concept is to fill the space and use density of design to emphasize elements. This is a traditional setting, so I think I will cross over the popper line with my quilting.

 

This is my finished mini quilt along with a close up view.  I like the way the Superior Silk Thread stitches flawlessly through the double batting.  I like the puff of the double curved lines and how you can really see the beautiful Island Batik background fabric with the minute stippling.

This quilt makes me think of my grandmother who loved purple so much! It also gets me ready for Spring, which is right around the corner (or should I say after one more snowstorm).

Worldwide Quilting Day - Ambassadors

Linda Ramrath