Inspired Layers – Linda's Blog

Linda's quilting adventures

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.

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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:

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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

 

MQX 2017 April 8, 2017

I’m still on a high from my MQX experience!  I decided to spend two nights in a hotel so that I wasn’t rushing through the quilts and vendors and flying home in time to make dinner for my hubby.  It was a great decision.  I was more relaxed and enjoyed the experience so much more.  Here are some of my favorite take aways from MQX 2017:

  1. I enjoyed seeing all the quilts and special exhibits.
  2. I enjoyed seeing friends from guilds who invited me to speak and friends from guilds I use to belong to when I lived in MA.
  3. I enjoyed introducing myself to the SAQA members who I’ve spoken to or emailed over the past few months.
  4. I enjoyed taking the tour of the Winning Quilts with Cathy Wiggins.  I learned a lot.
  5. I enjoyed seeing my new friends from Vermont and New Hampshire guilds which I joined.
  6. I enjoyed sharing some tips with a quilter who wanted more information on collage and confetti techniques.
  7. I enjoyed sharing my quilting world with a friend who isn’t a quilter, but enjoys dipping her toes into all sorts of fun activities.
  8. I enjoyed how friendly everyone was who was working at the show.
  9. I enjoyed the atmosphere from morning to late night.
  10. I enjoyed purchasing new rulers to experiment with.
  11. I enjoyed being inspired!

I used to say that I quilt for fun.  Well, now the passion has taken hold of me and I quilt daily for therapy and fun! I’m open to new ideas and always looking to break some rules.

My guild talks are constantly changing because my quilts are constantly changing.  This keep everything fresh and inspiring.

It was gratifying to learn that quilt judges appreciate quilters who take a risk, use more than one technique and perfect and reinvent techniques.

My friends at Small Pond Quilting worked together to design and construct this quilt:

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Notice the very bottom where the little triangles, squares and rectangles are tucked in and color co-ordinated too!

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On the left hand side, top and part of the right top side a multicolored flange was inserted with the binding.

This takes “binding” to a new level. This inspires me to keep pushing my quilts out of the box.

The other tip I took away from the show was that sit down quilters can manage to use rulers and that gives them better scores when quilts are judged. Thankfully my large hands will be an asset for this technique.

MQX rulers

I purchased the stencil and rulers shown above. I will experiment with roping, clamshells, and curved lattice tomorrow.  This month’s Doodle club will show a video of me using one of these rulers.

I also purchased lights which adhere under the arm of my Sweet 16 Handi Quilter. Having more light is always a good idea to save my eyes from getting old too soon.  The tips from the Handi Quilter staff at the booth at MQX was helpful too!

I’m looking forward to attending next year’s MQX show, taking some classes and volunteering too!  I hope you will make time for yourself and your creativity to bloom.

Mark your calendar for April 4-7, 2018!  See you there!

Linda

Inspired Layers

 

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.

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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…

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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…

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

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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

 

Mom learns to Free motion Quilt! March 7, 2017

Filed under: free motion quilting,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 1:25 am

I just received a phone call from my mom. She is still sewing on the green Viking sewing machine she taught me to sew on in the 1960’s. She bought a free motion foot a few months ago….

The excitement in her voice was palpable!  My mom found the courage to free motion quilt on a table square around some shamrocks.

She said it wasn’t perfect. I could tell she was proud of herself for trying. AND it was good enough! I am bursting with pride!  I accomplished something I never dreamed of….or maybe dreamed of but kept telling myself to let that dream die.

Here’s Mom’s quilted table runner:

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It’s hard to be the daughter of two perfectionists and be so imperfect.  It’s fabulous to know that my mom conquered a fear at age 80+ (she would not like me to share her age).

I cannot tell you how good that phone call made me feel.  Sometimes I think I should have moved an hour and a half or more away many years ago.

Great job Mom!

Linda

 

Mistyfuse to Collage Quilt January 22, 2017

Last fall I attended a quilting get away in Kennebunkport, ME. I brought lots of Kaffe Fassett fabric scraps and some Mistyfuse – white and Ultraviolet. I also packed my BoNash Amazing Pressing Sheet. These are three of my favorite quilting supplies.

I started by applying the Mistyfuse to the fabric scraps with the use of my Amazing Pressing Sheet and the heat of an iron.

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The next step was to trace my moose outline to the background fabric.

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The fun begins! Free hand cut shapes to fill in the moose.  I decided to use hot colors and cool colors to differentiate the front of the antlers from the back.

I ironed on each antler after I was happy with the fabric choices.  Then I proceeded to collage the face and then the body.

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Next I layered the backing, two layers of batting (cotton request and then wool on top) and then the top.  I secured it with a few safety pins and raw edge appliqued the pieces down with a purple thread.  I like the dark color thread.

More fun continues when I put white thread in my HandiQuilter and a pre-wound white Fil-tec size M bobbin. I didn’t plan any stitches.  I wanted to sew lots of different “doodles” in the background. I like how the shiney thread catches the light. Although this is background stitching, I didn’t want the background to disappear.  Hidden in the stitching are some moose tracks wandering through the quilt.

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I self faced this quilt because I didn’t want a frame around it.

I have already done this pattern using very different fabrics.  It’s fun and easy.  I like my playful quilt so much that I made greeting cards for friends and family this past holiday season.

I’ve also added a workshop on how to collage quilt. My website will be updated and I am taking bookings for workshops starting in April.

Linda Ramrath

Inspired Layers

508-769-7881

 

 

 

 

 

Adhesives: A Sticky Situation December 7, 2016

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

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According to the gluehistory.com:

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.

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

Homemade Paste 1

Materials

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

Directions

  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

Materials

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

Directions

  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.

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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

      Italy

      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.

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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

Inspiredlayers.com

 

This Week (47) I… November 25, 2014

Filed under: A Quilter's Touch,classes,free motion quilting,guild talks,HCAT,quilt shows — inspiredlayerslinda @ 3:09 pm

…shared my quilts and a few laughs with Stafford Mill Quilters in Connecticut.

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On Friday the Holliston Senior Center Quilters had lots of show and tell.  Some were working on their “Farmer’s Market” quilt with very different fabrics.  When they are all done, I will post the beautiful quilts.  I don’t think any of them will be named “Farmer’s Market” like the pattern.

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I finished my quilt from the pattern, “Living a Charmed Life” by Six Gables Designs.

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I used cotton and wool batting and quilted feathers galore!

What have you created with a charm pack? I’m thinking of all the various things I’ve made with charm packs….a new television episode of “A Quilter’s Touch?” …..stay tuned.

Hope you had a wonderful week sharing your quilting.

 

Linda