Inspired Layers – Linda's Blog

Linda's quilting adventures

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.


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!



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.



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.


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!



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.


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:


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!



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:


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


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!


Inspired Layers


This Week (37) I… September 15, 2014

Filed under: finished project,free motion quilting,quilt bindings — inspiredlayerslinda @ 2:35 pm

…taught a modern quilting mid arm class and a doodle class.  I also prepared 7 projects to work on over the weekend get away to the Franciscan House in Kennebunk, ME.


The modern quilt class was fun!

The doodle class was amazing! 12 students left the class with doodles dancing in their thoughts!  I’m looking forward to the next class.  If you were there….practice, practice, practice!


Enough shouting….7 projects packed for a get away….what was I thinking?

I’ll tell you…I have along list of quilt still to quilt this year.  I have many projects started.  This get away is dedicated to finishing.

Project 1: Sew binding onto “redo” of August Doodle quilt.


Project #2: Finish quilting September Doodle and bind.



Project #3: Finish October 2014 Doodle and bind.



Project #4: Finish UFO#2 for guild challenge. Without the help from Rita, a master hand quilter, It would not have been completed.



Project #5: Make a modern quilt: “Dimensions” by Angela Walters



I will sandwich it and quilt it at home.

Project #6: Make a modified “Mango Mix” quilt for Bethany’s dorm room.



I will add moose, bear, elk and trees as appliques on top at home.


Project #7: Design a new quilt using the Sew Easy Guide to make flying geese and Kaffe Fassett large floral prints.



I made some components, but ran out of time…..

I enjoyed Lobster soup, Autumn salad and Fruiti Tutti Martini at the Hurricane Restaurant.  I can highly recommend everything!.


I walked along the ocean edge and even put my feet into the cold water.



I attended Mass, went Knight’s Quilt shop and enjoyed seeing so many different project being created.



I highly recommend treating yourself to a quilting retreat at least once a year! I return home with lots of great memories and finished, or almost finished projects!

Thank you to Christine and Donna who organized the weekend and Lindell for driving and being a super roommate!

It was a great week!



This Week (17) I… April 28, 2014

Filed under: classes,free motion quilting,quilt bindings — inspiredlayerslinda @ 11:34 pm

…Attended Easter Mass at St. Mary’s Parish in Holliston.  We enjoyed Easter baskets with gifts and dinner with Grandpa Frank and his wife, Astrida.  Lots of gluten free goodies for dessert!

On Monday, April 21st I was invited to go to see the Boston Marathon with a neighbor.  It was exciting!  God bless all the runners!

photo (81) photo (82) photo (83)











I came home and started to draw a quilt to remember this experience.  It will be continuous line and sewn horizontally. Stay tuned…..

I organized a field trip for the Holliston Senior Center Quilters.  Our faithful bus driver, Connie took us to The Quilted Crow, Daley by the Yard, and Quilter’s Way.  Each shop was unique.  We enjoyed all three!  Plus a lunch at Crossroads Cafe!

photo (89) photo (88)












This group of women are so kind and thoughtful.  The weather was perfect, the company couldn’t have been any better.  The day was very special.  I’m looking forward to seeing new quilted projects!

I also finished quilting and binding my Plum Mix Quilt.  The pattern is my Mango Mix pattern.  I quilted it on my HandiQuilter Sweet 16.

photo (90)













I ended the week by teaching a Midarm class and a Doodle Dog class in Shelburne Falls, at A Notion to Quilt on Saturday.  Look what one of my students gave me…

photo (91)












My grandmother, who enjoyed my quilting visits, also raised chickens and gave us farm fresh eggs.  What a connection.  I was fighting tears.  This student really had no idea of my quilting journey story or the significance of this gift …. immense.


That was my week.  Looking forward to next week too!


Happy quilting,

Linda Ramrath


This Week (16) I…. April 22, 2014

enjoyed Holy Week!  It started with Palm Sunday and a reading of the Passion of Christ.

I finished up vending at the Pioneer Valley Quilt Show.  This show, in Springfield,MA was wonderful.  There were coupons for many of the vendors which could be printed out and presented at the show.  The local cable station produced a show encouraging people to attend.  Even with MQX and The Worcester Sewing Expo on the same dates, the attendance was super. There were even bus loads of quilters dropped off to enjoy the show and auctions both Saturday and Sunday.  The organizers really worked hard and saw the fruits of their labor.

Pioneer Valley Quilt Show

Pioneer Valley Quilt Show

Quilted a quilt for a cancer patient.

photo (78)

On Monday I attended a lecture/trunk show from Linda Schmidt, a quilter from California now.  She has had quite the travelers journey.  Her quilts were plentiful and inspiring. The techniques she uses are interesting and effective.

Tuesday and Wednesday I finished two sets of mug rugs from the “left over fabrics” from two sets of “Just Around the Curve” place mats. This BONUS pattern is easy with the 1/4″ Martelli curvemaster foot.  FREE BONUS pattern available on my website!

Mug Rugs

Mug Rugs




Holy Thursday was another community get together for the Mass of the Last Supper; another fabulous evening!

On Good Friday I let a friend use my HandiQuilter Sweet 16 to finish a t-shirt quilt as I attened an inspirational church service. Praise God! I love to share my creative space with other creative people.

Sarah quilting a t-shirt quilt with blanket edging

Sarah quilting a t-shirt quilt with blanket edging

Holy Saturday was busy and joyful as I visited my parents with my daughter, dropped off samples at All About Quilts in Walpole, and colored eggs for the centerpiece of our Easter feasting table.

Another blessed week!








This Week (8) I… February 24, 2014

Filed under: A Quilter's Touch,quilt bindings,quilt shows,Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild — inspiredlayerslinda @ 2:33 am

…spent some time helping the non-profit group, Holliston’s Washington Street Players by mending lots of holes in lots of curtains.  They are working on their next play which will be held at the Holliston Senior Center at the end of March and first weekend in April.  I’m looking forward to seeing it!  It is amazing how thankful the actors are that I can fix their curtain back drops.  All it took was a little fabric, some Mistyfuse and some zigzag stitching to mend the many holes.  I also suggested that they put duct tape over the ends of the poles so they wouldn’t get caught on the edges and tear.  It was very humorous to see their repairs with giant safety pins and duct tape.


P1040476 P1040475

With 8 curtains done and delivered, I now have an even bigger pile of curtains to fix.  I love a challenge, so I’m looking for to figuring out how to fix the rest of these curtains with the little fabric left. Wish me luck!

It is nice to be able to use  my passion for sewing/quilting to help others.  Learning how new tools work and can be applied to jobs outside of quilting is very  satisfying.  Who knew black Mistyfuse could rescue a non-profit theater group.

I also taped a TV show, “A Quilter’s Touch” on quilt bindings.  I shared 9 different binding techniques.  When I was thinking about this show and reviewing my piles of quilts, I was surprised to find 12 different binding techniques in the first two piles of quilts.  I love to learn and try new applications for techniques.  This show was fun to tape.  It is shows like this one that connect me to my first career.  I was always pretty good at math and always loved sewing.  I graduated from Northeastern University with a Mechanical Engineering degree.  I often look at that time in my life as a time to think outside the box.  With tons of math, the approach I often took was to think about what I was looking for and which formula would get me there.  When I am approached with a new challenge, I enjoy figuring out how to solve it with all the new tools I learn about each year.


Next week I will edit and release the show to our HCAT newly designed website,  This non-profit, HCAT provides a variety of informative, educational and entertaining shows to the world, produced by  Holliston residents.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to share my quilting knowledge via “A Quilter’s Touch.”

Labels and sleeves were also sewn onto the eight quilts I will have on display at the Thimble Pleasures Quilt Show which is coming up March 8th and 9th at the Blackstone Valley Technical School from 10a.m.-4p.m. I will be there both days.  I hope you will stop by and say “hello”.  I can guarantee that this show will be worth the trip.  In addition to 200+ quilts and two years of challenge quilts, our guild has made many pillowcases for sale.  All the proceeds from the pillowcases will go to another non-profit organization which helps people of all ages deal with the loss of a loved one.

Non-profit organizations are full of good people eager to help others by entertaining them, or instructing them, or helping them with a listening ear or comfort quilt.  It is so nice when these nice people come together or overlap their efforts.  I am honored to have the connections discussed in this post.

It’s been a good week!