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

 

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

 

 

This Week (42) I… October 22, 2014

Filed under: classes,finished project,free motion quilting,guild talks,travel — inspiredlayerslinda @ 4:47 pm

…drove to Rhode Island to share my quilts and stories with the Ninigret Quilters. I stopped by the ocean and took a few photos before the talk.

WP_20141014_16_35_53_Pro I could even see Block Island in the distance.

Here’s some show and tell …..

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WP_20141015_12_17_47_Pro (1) WP_20141015_12_19_21_Pro WP_20141015_12_19_29_Pro WP_20141015_12_19_45_Pro WP_20141015_12_19_55_Pro WP_20141015_12_20_06_Pro WP_20141015_12_20_29_Pro On Thursday, I boarded a plane to Hamburg, Germany. I was intrigued by the design lines in the Town Hall.

WP_20141020_13_12_57_Pro WP_20141020_13_13_22_Pro WP_20141020_13_15_05_Pro WP_20141020_13_10_16_ProI am sure new doodle designs will come from these!

 

This Week (38) I… September 23, 2014

Filed under: A Quilter's Touch,finished project,guild talks — inspiredlayerslinda @ 1:11 pm

….forgot to take photos with my phone.  So sorry about that!

Here are the highlights…

1. I released an episode of “A Quilter’s Touch” on http://www.hcattv.org featuring Jerry Becker.  Watch the show on http://www.hcattv.org. Click on “Programming”, then “Public” and “A Quilter’s Touch.”

Jerry is a quilter and he makes men’s ties too!  He’s also married to Millie Becker who was featured on “A Quilter’s Touch” last month.

I am a volunteer producer at Holliston Cable Access Television (HCAT).  I enjoy sharing quilting tips and techniques to viewers and introducing talented quilters too!

If you would like to be a guest on “A Quilter’s Touch,” please send me an email, send me a tool to try, or comment on this blog.

2. I shared my quilts and my “Confession of a Catholic Quilter” talk with the Plymouth County Cranberry Quilters on Thursday.  It was a perfect weather day for a drive and the setting, the Carver Library was amazing!  The guild was a very talented group.  I enjoyed watching their business meeting and “Sew and Share” time.  How I wish I had taken photos! (When will I learn?) I think I did my grandmother proud.

3. I spent my birthday teaching a class at the Holliston Senior Center where there is always amazing “show and tell”….look…

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Mary set her row by row together like this, using 9 shops, from different states too!

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Denise made a small wall hanging and quilted it herself. Awesome job!

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Diane used her embroidery machine to make this banner for her granddaughter’s 1st birthday.

Then I spent dinner with my husband and a colleague from work. On Saturday I traveled to St. Michael’s College to spend a couple of days with my daughter, Bethany.  We went apple picking…

Bethany took photos with her iphone and sent them to me……not sure how to download them and get them here….sorry!

Trust me, we had fun!  The weather in northern Vermont was picture perfect!  We picked apples on Grand Isle, just 30 minutes from college.  We had lunch at Vermont Sandwich.  We each ordered half sandwiches which were amazingly flavorful and filling.

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It was a great week!

Linda

 

This Week (21) I… May 26, 2014

Filed under: finished project,guild talks,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 8:21 pm

…started the week out by visiting the Cornerstone Quilter’s Guild in Charlton, MA.  It was so nice to meet friendly, helpful people the moment I entered the parking lot.  Friends of my parents greeted me.  Friends from teaching classes at the Charlton Sewing Center greeted me.  The newly elected Vice President, Roland was even prepared to hear “my confessions” in my new talk, “Confessions of a Catholic Quilter.”  The brought his clerical stole to the meeting.  We shared a lot of laughs as I confessed 10 quilter “rules” I knowingly violated and what I produced as a result of those decisions.  I added many names to my newsletter and Doodle list.  Thanks to everyone who made this Sunday one to remember!

The weather was beautiful outside.  My drive home was nice and then we were off to a nice dinner outside at the Oregon Club in Ashland.  Our daughter left for Utah on Thursday morning, so we wanted to have a special dinner with her before she was off on her next adventure.

As the week progressed I finished two more Linda’s Clothesline totes.  This first one is made with 20 Pacific Bali pop strips.

Pacific Tote

 

This next one is from 30 Caramel Bali Pop strips:

Caramel Tote

 

I enjoyed teaching Doodle Sea Turtle at Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, a midarm guide class, and finishing up the top of the 60+ t-shirt quilt.

I love to use the Sew Easy guide for sewing the 2 1/2″ strips together before covering the cording.  I use no pins.  This guide is very helpful.  I just love it!

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I use no pins. I just line up the strips right sides together and sew keeping the solid line on the diagonal.  I am now selling these guides in two sizes.  $5.50 small and $8.50 large.

I use this guide to make binding also!  I just love a tool with many applications.  I show how to use it when making my pattern, “Roman Villa.”

 

Hope you had a great week, quilting!

Linda

 

This Week (20) I… May 20, 2014

Filed under: finished project,free motion quilting,guild talks — inspiredlayerslinda @ 12:53 pm

started the week out celebrating Mother’s Day with my hubby and daughter!  We went boating!  The weather was unexpectedly beautiful!  Then we enjoyed conversation and BBQ on our deck.  A very relaxing and enjoyable Mother’s Day!

 

On Monday I taught a midarm sewing machine class at Emma’s Quilt Cupboard.  It was so nice to share my love of this type of machine with new and prospective owners.

Bethany was kind enough to deliver”Tea Mats”(also known as “Mug Rugs”) samples to “All About Quilts” in Walpole.  They were made from the “left overs” from the “Just Around the Curve” place mats I made which are on display at the shop.  This BONUS pattern is available for FREE on my website.  See the pattern page.  I love getting two project out of one purchase of fabric. I had fun quilting the four “Tea Mats” with four different techniques.  They are individual with four different backs, tops, bottoms, bindings, and corner pockets.  All the fabrics are available at “All About Quilts”

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I also continued to piece together 60+ t-shirts to create a memory quilt of over 20 years of riding the Pan Mass Challenge for a customer.  Photos will be release next week!

 

On Thursday I had the opportunity to share one of my humorous talks with the Hopkinton Senior Center Quilting group and friends.  It was so much fun! (I will try to edit this post after I get more help capturing the photos correctly.)

On Friday I emailed the link to the FREE May Doodle to all those who have signed up to receive the “Doodle of the Month”. My list is growing.  I hope to see some of you finished doodles soon!

It was a fun-filled week!

Linda Ramrath

Inspired Layers