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

 

Celebrate with Flowers March 12, 2017

March 18 is National Quilting Day! Let’s celebrate with a mini quilt done with Island Batik fabrics!

My March challenge is to use fabric from box #1 excluding the spring/summer 2017 fabric (which is very special in an of its self) and paper piece or English paper piece something. I do not often quilt with either one of those techniques. I have done each technique however.

I chose to English paper piece a Dresden Plate with 16 mini plates. Because this is a mini English paper piecing project, my entire quilt is a very small size. 17″ x 17″

I started by choosing a background and then lots of purples from the 5″ Drizzle charm squares. Then I selected a lime green for the centers of the Dresden plates.

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I used glue stick to fold the fabric over the template. The official way to English paper piece is to baste, with thread, the fabric around the template. Sorry, I have little patience, so I found a quicker alternative.

After playing with various arrangements, I decide where to start stitching by hand, the plates together.  This is my design…

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After stitching the straight edges of each Desden plate, I appliqued the sections onto the background.

Then I cut out the background so that I could peel the templates out.  Because I used glue, I needed to use a tool to release the glue joint and then the template popped out.

Here is a photo of the back of the quilt before I popped out the template pieces…

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I love the colors. I like that the hand work is over. Now to add a popper and border.

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Do you like the popper?

Lastly, I layered the top with Dream Orient and Dream Wool batting and a backing and quilted it. I used Quilter’s Preview Paper to try out a few design ideas. Since I do not have a computer hooked up to my sewing machine, I quilt everything using free motion. The concept is to fill the space and use density of design to emphasize elements. This is a traditional setting, so I think I will cross over the popper line with my quilting.

 

This is my finished mini quilt along with a close up view.  I like the way the Superior Silk Thread stitches flawlessly through the double batting.  I like the puff of the double curved lines and how you can really see the beautiful Island Batik background fabric with the minute stippling.

This quilt makes me think of my grandmother who loved purple so much! It also gets me ready for Spring, which is right around the corner (or should I say after one more snowstorm).

Worldwide Quilting Day - Ambassadors

Linda Ramrath

 

Fast Friends Animal Shelter February 17, 2017

Filed under: Island Batik,kennel quilts,Uncategorized — inspiredlayerslinda @ 2:22 am
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Today I enjoyed meeting two young ladies at the Fast Friends animal shelter.  I donated two boxes of Milk Bones and 6 kennel quilts. This was my first donation made with Island Batik fabrics.  They were very thankful. The facility was clean and inviting.  The photo below shows the kennel quilts on the counter and the happy dog photos on a slideshow on the wall.

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Our dog, Rocky enjoys playing in the yard with his doggy friends on Saturdays during the good (non snowy) weather.

This was a great way for me to give back to the Keene, NH community with my quilting skills.

 

Linda

Island Batik Ambassador 2017

 

“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