Inspired Layers – Linda's Blog

Linda's quilting adventures

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Get Away Fun 2016 September 13, 2016

Filed under: get aways,Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 2:29 pm
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47 women travel 2-3 hours to the Franciscan Retreat House in Maine with their sewing machines in tow; along with bags and buckets of fabric and supplies. The gymnasium is transformed into a creative space with design boards 10 feet tall waiting to display the talent of these women.

I just returned from 4 days at the Franciscan Retreat House. Many people ask me why I attend retreats such as this, when I can sew almost every day in my studio. The answer is simple.

  1. Quilting is about community.
  2. Quilters sew many items for charity.
  3. By quilting with others your creative juices flow in new directions.
  4. Learning tips and techniques from others can be time saving and priceless.
  5. Walking along the beach and dining with friends is a nice change of pace.

Each quilter came with several projects to work on. I came with my list:

  1. Labyrinth Quilt
  2. 2 charity blocks
  3. baby quilt for Gifford Hospital in Randolph, VT
  4. My new Moose pattern
  5. Designing a quilt with 20 bowtie 4-patch blocks
  6. Embroider on a t-shirt
  7. Gather recipes to send to my daughter who is living in a townhouse this year at college and will be cooking for herself and her suite-mates.

Yes, my list is always longer than I have time to accomplish. I like to bring a variety of projects, because I need to be in the right mood to do some of my least favorite tasks.

I did sew the Labyrinth Quilt first. It was very mechanical.  The trick to success for this pattern is to choose 4 fabrics with distinct tones. The pattern suggested black, grey and white.  Since I do not use those colors often, I choose a Stonehenge red/purple/blue as my dark fabric.  Then I chose a medium purple, light pink and pale blue for the other fabrics. In the construction, I didn’t draw a single line on any fabric. I used the Sew Easy guide designed by Sara at http://www.sewtogether.net.

img_20160909_205503649_hdr When quilting this quilt, it was important to think about your pressing plan- even if you are sending the quilt out to a longarm quilter. Also, I wanted the quilt to extend over the pillows of a queen bed, so I didn’t follow the cutting instructions precisely. I made the top border much larger than the bottom and sides.

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I did stop after the top was done.  Not the fun begins for me. I will think about how I want to quilt it and what color threads to use…..and what color backing to look for at the quilt shops I pass on the journey home.

Next was a couple of blocks for a scrappy charity quilt.  These blocks will be sewn together with others to make a twin size quilt for someone affected by fire. There are a lot of house/chimney fires in Vermont every winter. When people are displaced from their homes, they are given a quit to help comfort them.

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My mother made several blocks and ran out of lattice fabric. She passed the blocks to me. I was able to make a baby quilt top to finish at home and give to the Gifford Hospital in Vermont. Every baby born there is given a quilt. The Delectable Mountain Quilt Guild has made over 200 quilts so far.

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The week before the retreat I had a dream about a bright moose quilt made with mostly Kaffe Fassett fabrics on a Micheal Miller Fairy Frost background.  I drew the moose. I went to Staples to have them enlarge my drawing. I fused Mistyfuse to the back of several fabrics and drew the outline of my large moose on the background fabric which I found at Hen House Fabrics in White River Junction, VT on my way to the retreat. It is not Micheal Miller’s Fairy Frost, but very similar.  It will work! And it was on sale! YIPPIE!

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I also designed a quilt to use my mother’s bowtie blocks. I decided to wait until I got home to sew these blocks with my featherweight sewing machine. Many quilters came to the retreat with tiny featherweight sewing machines in Sew Ezi tables. I was inspired to get my featherweight out of it’s box and sew with it at home. I’ll let you know in my next blog post how that went.

I learned a lot at the retreat. There were no formal classes, but in just wondering around the gymnasium I saw lots of people working with wool.  Some use the whip stitch to fasten each piece to the background fabric.  Others use the buttonhole stitch. I also saw that some people sew wool onto wool backgrounds and others use drapery weight fabric. Other sew wool onto cotton flannel fabric. This is another reason I like to go to retreats. I learn to stretch the boundaries of every project.

There is a large store called, Camp Wool in Kennebunk, ME. I purchased a kit. I opened it at home, not wanting to start a new project with so many projects I brought with me. Now that I’m home, I read the directions and am writing my own directions of all the changes I am going to make along the way. I’ll blog on that project too in the near future…

I learned that fabric that is washed is easier to adhere to Mistyfuse than fabric that is not.

I also enjoyed eating lobster with friends. After all, I was in Maine! The meals were delicious. I promised myself I wouldn’t over eat, and I stuck to that promise. I must admit that I enjoyed an ice cream for lunch at 2pm on the first day.  It was too late to eat a full lunch, so I skipped the salad and stuck with dessert only.

I enjoyed walk along the ocean one morning with a friend. Inhaling the fresh sea air was invigorating. I felt happy, alive, and blessed.

I gathered some recipes to send to my daughter at school.

I enjoyed going to Mass at the chapel Sunday morning with another quilter. Praise God!

I look forward to going on retreat again next year. If you have the opportunity, go! Be open to inspiration from others.  You never know what talent you have to share with others. Being in community lifts me up and reminds me how important it is to disrupt my “normal” schedule and take time to celebrate time with my quilting friends.  I’ve often said that quilting is like breathing for me. It is a daily necessity.

Linda