Inspired Layers – Linda's Blog

Linda's quilting adventures

Get Away Fun 2016 September 13, 2016

Filed under: get aways,Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 2:29 pm
Tags: , ,

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.

img_20160913_100831

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.

img_20160913_101749410

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.

img_20160913_101850

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!

img_20160910_214616107_hdr

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

 

 

It Takes a Village March 19, 2016

I belong to two villages….Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild and Bose Speakers Toastmasters.

Last weekend a quilt that I made won a blue ribbon.  How did that happen?  It all started with a field trip with the Holliston Senior Center to Quilted Crow Store in Bolton, MA.  I saw this quilt, “Oriental Baltimore” pattern by Leesa Chandler Designs. I was intrigued by the three dimensional flowers and leaves.  Thank you to Sue, owner of the Qulited Crow for introducing me to this pattern. I changed the color palette. I used batik fabrics for the flowers. After many hours of using Sulky thread instead of DMC floss and “request” batting adhered to the back of each block, I embroidered as much as I could.  Then the project stopped.  I was stumped.  I have large hands and there was no way I could turn the tiny petals right side out. I was stuck!

Several months pass.  Then in September, I was at a get away with some members of our guild.  Rita had made this quilt before and she came over to me and helped me on the 5 blocks where I was stuck.  It all seemed so simple now.

I finished the quilt in my own unique way.  I put it in the Thimble Pleasures Quilt Show.  I guess a lot of my fellow Thimble Pleasures Guild members appreciated the time and creativity that went into this quilt, for they voted and gave me a Blue Ribbon.  That would have never happened without Sue, my seniors, Rita, Leesa, and the guild members. Thanks you all so much!  I love this village.

WP_20160313_10_06_08_ProT

Two weeks ago I received a Triple Crown Award at the Bose Speakers Toastmasters meeting. If it weren’t for my husband, encouraging me to join a club, my mentor, Peter, always evaluating with encouraging words, the opportunity that presented itself to me through Toastmasters, Lori, my new mentor, and all the clubs I visited and learned new, exciting tips and techniques for public speaking, I would not have earned this award.

WP_20160309_20_23_54_Pro

Both of these villages gave me opportunities to be active.  If you are looking for a village to join.  Be active.  The more you give, the more you learn. I’ve also met very creative people in both of these villages.

I do give talks to women’s groups and quilting guilds.  Thank you Toastmasters for listening to so many quilt-related talks. The courage and confidence I have gained over that past few years is nothing short of amazing.  I wish the same for you.  Look for a village to highlight your talents. You will be amazed.

Linda

 

This Week (44) I… November 4, 2014

…taped an episode of “A Quilter’s Touch” with special guest, Joyce Gilmore, who started the Brian’s quilts effort at the Milford Hospital.  Joyce shared her story of how this effort started.  In the past 12 years many small quilts have been donated to this effort.  Thankfully, still births are declining but other mothers are in need of a warm, comfy quilt for their newborns.  The nurses give the quilts to those in need.  I enjoyed sharing this time with such an inspirational quilter.  Joyce also started the Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild in Mendon, MA.  This is one of her most rewarding endeavors.

If you are inspired to help others with your quilting skills, do it.  YOu never know how many others will be inspired by your kindness.

WP_20141029_14_45_03_Pro

I also had fun on a field trip to Bits and Pieces Quilt Shop in Pelham, NH.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at Dimitrious Restaurant just down route 38.

WP_20141031_12_56_50_Pro WP_20141031_15_20_19_Pro

Although a detour sent us on a longer journey home, we made it home safely. Thank you to Connie, our bus driver.

AnnMarie was the winner of Quilters Dream Green batting at the “Battings” class I taught at Emma’s Quilt Cupboard.  I brought 20 different battings to try with the Platinum 16 mid arm sewing machine.  There are so many great choices these days.

On Saturday, I was demonstrating on the Babylock Tiara mid arm sewing machine at A Notion to Quilt. A mid arm sewing machine is so much fun!  I love the small foot print and the ease of free motion quilting.  I have quilted up to a king size quilt on this machine.  My favorite thing to do is “Doodling” with this machine. Everyone got a chance to try the machine. It was a fun event!

a notion to quilt

 

This week was full of quilting fun and friendship!  Thanks for a great week!

Linda

 

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.

P1040477

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.

P1040496

Next week I will edit and release the show to our HCAT newly designed website, http://www.hcattv.org.  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!

 

This (Week 4) I… January 27, 2014

…had so much fun with my HandiQuilter Sweet 16. I meandered on a Hawaiian Postcard quilt…

P1040464P1040465

Then I tried a new design, inspired by one of the fabrics in this black and white with red quilt…..

P1040462 P1040460

This was so much fun that I will use it today in one of my new “Doodle” quilts.

I believe that learning comes when you least expect it.  I love it when a customer says, “Do whatever you are inspired to quilt.  I don’t want meandering on this quilt.”

Every time I sit at my HQ Sweet 16 sit down model, I remember a student, Sarah Adams who asked me to show her how to free motion quilt with a domestic machine.  With just one lesson, she quilted a baby blanket with different patterns in each 10″ square.  It was truly amazing!  This girl (16 at the time) went on to study fashion at Framingham State College and graduated last year (2013).  She was the recipient of the Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild Scholarship, and recently displayed t-shirt quilts which she designed and then quilted on my HQ16 machine.

Sarah's t-shirt quilts

Why do I tell you about Sarah? Sarah is the ideal student.  She sits at my HQ16 machine with great anticipation.   She has no fear!  She sees the potential in the time she has before her.  She sets the Bose Soundlink on her favorite Pandora station.  Then she gets lost in her work.  If you want someone to create a memory quilt for you, let Sarah Adams of Gloucester, MA create it for you.  The experience is productive joy!

Sarah is working on a website to share her talents.  For now, you may contact her at sarahadamsm33@gmail.com.

Happy Quilting!

 

Thimble Pleasures Raffle Quilt March 18, 2010

Filed under: Thimble Pleasures Quilt Guild — inspiredlayerslinda @ 12:48 pm

Thimble Pleasures Raffle Quilt

Here it is…The Thimble Pleasures Raffle Quilt on my bed!  It is always worth buying a book of tickets or two.  The stitching is world class!  I recently painted my master bedroom walls green. This quilt is white, blue, yellow and green.  I’m not Irish, but I’m feeling pretty lucky this March!