Inspired Layers – Linda's Blog

Linda's quilting adventures

“Gal”entines Day! February 13, 2017

Filed under: batik confections,Island Batik,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 3:59 pm
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This is not a typo! I’ve been informed that Feb. 13th is “Gal”entine’s Day.  It’s a day to celebrate our girlfriends! In celebration this year I was challenged to make a mug rug from specific fabrics in my Island Batik box. Because I haven’t received my box yet and the day has arrived, I used some Island Batik fabrics from my stash along with some other fabrics to create something to celebrate with the rest of the world!

My new friends and those who stay connected from Massachusetts keep meet inspired to create almost every day! Thank you! I celebrate all of you!

I mailed a few postcards.img_20170211_094754

I added a little bling to the elephants and hearts. Elephants seem to be very popular this year. I’ve seen lots of quilts with elephants. Elephants are big and strong and have a friendly smile. They remind me of the big, strong and friendly ideas we share as girlfriends. Thank you for making a better version of myself!

I also designed a mug rug with a contemporary flare. This idea came from learning to add “poppers” to quilts at a retreat I attended in January. This can be made with 3/4″ strips OR any size scrap at least 3/4″ side or more and the Popper technique. I described this technique in my last Inspired Layers Newsletter.  You can sign up for my newsletter on my website, http://www.inspiredlayers.com.

I also changed the size by adding a few more inches to the top and bottom pieces to turn this into a mouse pad.  My hubby uses a cordless mouse, but is concerned about scratches that may be left in the table top. As a result, he’s getting a new mouse pad for Valentine’s day tomorrow so I can have my mug rug he is currently using for a mouse pad.

I think  of my Grammie and how she would laugh as I describe what our table would look like with all the use that darn mouse has gotten over the years.  Can you imagine living to 99, as my grandmother did and using the mouse as much as my husband does?  I think the next generation’s kids would see a deep cup carved out of our table! (HaHa) Quilted mouse pad to the rescue!

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I will remake this mug rug with the  Island Batik fabrics as soon as they arrive.  I think the snow we’ve been having this past week has hindered the shipment. It’s all good!  The snow is needed to quench the thirst of the land after a very dry summer last year.  It is really beautiful in New England. I feel so happy for the mountain resorts full of snow boarders, skiers and snowshoers too! Our coal stove is keeping us warm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy  “Gal”entine’s Day,

Linda Ramrath

Ialand Batik Ambassador

Inspired Layers, owner

 

Island Batik Ambassador February 7, 2017

Filed under: charity quilts,Island Batik,quilt shows,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 4:00 pm
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Last November I saw an exhibit of quilts by Island Batik Ambassadors from around the world at the Connections Quilt Show in Nashua, NH. I’m so glad that I stayed for the talk that Linda Pearl shared about each quilt. I loved that although each piece was made with batik fabrics, they were so individual in design and finishing.

In December Linda Pearl shared with her Facebook friends, the opportunity to apply to be an Island Batik Ambassador i n 2017. I thought it was a long shot, but a shot none the less, so I applied.

In February I got an amazing offer to join the very talented Island Batik Ambassadors! YIPPIE! If I could still do a back flip, I would, but those days are over. I can dream of doing several though!

As I wait for a box of gold….I mean Island Batik fabric and Aurifil thread to arrive, let me share with you a little bit about Island Batik, the company. Island Batik has been a leader in the batik industry for over 14 years! They are located in Carlsbad, CA, and pride themselves on quality and outstanding customer service. Their bread and butter product is cotton batik that is mainly used in the quilting industry, however they also have a rayon line. I’ve been thinking of making some scarves and maybe tops for the summer…

Island Batik fabrics are designed by lead designer, Kathy Engle along with additional fabric artists and designers, and are handmade in Bali, Indonesia by skilled artisans.  Every yard of fabric is created using a wax resist method, a process of using wax and dye, to create patterns and give the fabric outstanding depth and range of color.  Once made, the fabrics are laid out in the sun to dry and allow the colors to set.

Island Batik launches new seasonal line two times a year, each launch corresponding to International Quilt Markets that occur in May and October. The fabric arrives in stores in July/August and January/February.

I will share with you what I create from the box of goodies on Facebook and this Blog.  Please share it with your friends!

My box is due to arrive tomorrow or Thursday.  I will take photos and share the excitement with you. In the meantime, I want to share some charity work that Island Batik is doing. There is a need for 12″ x 18″ kennel quilts. Ambassadors are asked to make some kennel quilts and share them with a local shelter in need or send them to a shelter in need such as:

Bark and Roll Rescue Companions

3105 Shadows Lake Drive

Baton Rouge, LA 70816

We adopted our dog, Rocky 8 years ago.  Rob and I were not “dog” people, but our daughter talked us into this deal. He’s one of the best additions to our family! Here’s Rocky in Vermont, looking at our mountain view…

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Rocky keeps me company in my quilting studio too! He helps me to stay fit by taking walks every day, in all types of weather. I’m not sure who rescued whom.  We are both very happy!

I made some kennel quilts and shared them on a previous post. Please join me and Island Batik and make some kennel quilts for treasured members of our community! Remember to wash all the fabrics and use only cotton, because dogs and cats can have allergies too!

Happy quilting,

Linda Ramrath

inspiredlayers.com

 

Kennel Quilts February 6, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 3:40 pm

As I wait for my Island Batik box of goodies, I made some kennel quilts 12″ x 18″ with all cotton batting and fabrics. Since it’s close to Valentine’s Day, I started with some Valentine fabric and dog paw print fabric that I had in my stash. I also used a little “pop” of black print fabric using the technique I described in my February newsletter.

Here is a close up of the “pop”.

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How did I get that 1/4″ “pop” so even? I cut a 1″ strip of back fabric (my fabric reads black even though it has a print on it).  I stitch the fabric to the paw print fabric using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Press the towards the “pop” and not the paw print.

With right sides together add border fabric which is my valentine fabric.

Turn the fabrics so you can see the 1/4″ seam facing you.

Using your 1/4″ foot, stitch using the left part of your foot along the stitching line.  The extra pop fabric can be trimmed after stitching.

I find this technique easier than the flange for adding a straight pop of color.

Let me know what you think.

 

Here’s another sample:

Then I made 2 more kennel quilts from Island Batik fabric which I could wait to stitch!

Happy quilting,

Linda Ramrath

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dresden Plate Quilts December 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 7:35 pm

I was given two Dresden Plate quilts to quilt.  They were both purchased for short money. They were both quilt tops.

The first one I tackled was stitched together by hand and by machine with thick quilting thread.  The  fabric used consisted of plaids. They were stitch to old dish towels.  The kind my grandmother had.  I often dried dishes after Sunday dinner at Grammie’s house.  My mother had several plain, white/yellowed dish drying towels too.  They were rectangular in shape. Notice in the photo below how the edges are all off…

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My customer is not a quilter and liked the irregular shape. There were however, hems in the seams and many holes in this quilt top.  I needed to take the quilt apart and square up the blocks and try to darn and mend some of the holes. Which I did. Then I stitched the top back together.

My next step was to look at my stash for plaids….none!

At my next Delectable Mountain Quilters meeting, my new quilter friends brought plaids from their stash for me to look through.  I decided to create a story of the dresden plate sections falling into place on this quilt. I covered up bigger holes with dresden plate sections.  I hand appliqued them onto the top.

Next step is to layer the quilt.  I found 108″ wide fabric with old newspaper clippings collaged with sayings of love and blessings.  I used this for the back. I used Quilter’s Dream Cotton for the batting.

The fun part was next. I quilted a spiral in the center of each Dresden Plate block and then 1/4″ away from the edge of each plate, I echoed within and then 3 times around each block. To finish, I stitched a ribbon connecting to the loose dresden template pieces.

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I stitched the binding on by hand and returned it to my customer on Thanksgiving.  The note she sent to me is priceless. Although the shape was a square, she was very pleased and amazed at the transformation.

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The second Dresden Plate quilt I received to quilt was hand appliqued with the finest of stitches.  The template pieces were curved, unlike the quilt above. This quilt was a real steal!

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I was provided a backing. I pressed it and then layers cotton batting and the quilt top.

I know this customer loves cross-hatching so I did that in the center of each block.  Then I echoed the Dresden plated inside, stitched close around them and feathered along the lattice.  It was fun and a pleasure to be a part of such a beautifully stitched quilt.

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Perhaps some more cross-hatching could be added to connect the Dresden plates with the feathers.  What do you think?

I never know what quilts will enter my studio each year.  It is fun to see similar patterns come in and go out quilted very differently.

Linda

Inspired Layers

 

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

 

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