Distractions – of the Fabric Sort

Distracted by Beautiful Fabric

I should be packing. My plane leaves in a day for my Certified Instructor Training with Studio 180 Design and what am I doing? Not packing that’s for sure!

Easily Distracted

Sometimes I lose focus. Especially where there’s too much to do, instead of just shutting down I find myself wandering in areas that I shouldn’t be, non-productive areas, sometimes involving my addictions – addictions to fabric that is <grin>

Distracted by Quilt As You Go
Using scraps from my Island Batik stash and an orphan block I got distracted in the Quilt As You Go method

Such has been the case of late. I found myself thinking how nice it would be to have a new covered composition notebook for my trip, after all, I did find an orphan block, a lemoyne star to be exact, that just needed to belong….and having just finished up the August challenge of Quilt As You Go….well…here’s what happened Thursday afternoon.

 

Visit my YouTube for instructions
I love how the star ended up centered on the back…Don’t look, but I discovered why it was an orphan (sigh) not-so-perfect points (GASP!)
Perfect place to keep my notes, with graph paper lines for any design inspiration AND a place to keep my pens. Ready for Class!

But Wait – There’s More (The Distraction is Strong!)

I’ve been doing a lot of online “wishful” shopping concerning travel accessories.  I found this really nifty three zippered pouch that is supposed to fit in the seat-back-in-front-of-you-pocket…Wouldn’t that be great to have things within reach after I put up my carry-on bag? I figured it wouldn’t take much to whip one of those puppies right out, just quick as you please…only I got a little carried away…it was that Quilt As You Go thing again….

Quilt As You Go strips onto Soft & Stable, then aligning zippers
Once placement of zippers has been determined, I cut the vinyl to size to form outer pockets
More pockets – how about mesh pockets for the interior!
.I sewed right sides together to make a tube…would do this differently next time, if there’s a next time
Before midnight I had a bag, of sorts….
At least the inside is light enough to see what I put in there!
One side of my  pocket pouch will hold my snacks for the plane
The other side will hold my iPod and earbuds
The idea was for the interior to hold my travel purse and phone…will they fit?
Ta da! The travel wallet and cell phone WILL fit in my seat-back pocket pouch

I think I would like to try this again, only this time not use the soft and stable, well, maybe just on one side to give it body. I also wouldn’t do the “tube” with my lining – made things too thick to sew the side seams. Bottom line, I’ve proved I’m not a bag expert and will leave the designing up to Patterns By Annie (love love love her patterns). But I’m not too proud to use my little dorky homemade look seat-back-in-front-of-you-pocket holder! And who knows, I might even rework it at some point and actually improve upon it before my next trip….

This is Karen Overton, The Midnight Quilt Rambler, who seriously needs to go pack for my trip!

I must be crazy! All I really need is a toothbrush, right?!!?

 

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Quilt As You Go Table Runner

Using a 20+ year old pattern The Quilt Rambler has made a fresh modern table runner. using the quilt as you go method

Island Batik Ambassadors Quilt As You GoThe August challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to create a “Quilt As You Go” project. I have to admit as a longarm quilter this didn’t thrill me. But a challenge is a challenge. I was pleasantly surprised that the end results were very satisfying. Perseverance paid off!

Remembering a time BLA (before longarm), some 20+ years ago, when I discovered what was then called “All in One Piecing & Quilting,” I decided to do another “redo” and remake a quilt I made circa 1997. But I’m getting ahead of myself….

With all the wonderful stash builder bundles I received with my two fabric shipments this year from Island Batik I figured it was time to open those fabulous little rolls to see my treasures!

Beautiful Island Batik Stash Builders
So much fabric, sew little time
Colorful 5" x WOF Island Batik Stash Builder strips
A treasure trove of fabulous Island Batik fabrics, 5″ x WOF, a total of almost 10 yards!
A rainbow of fabric colors
Strips are sorted by color family

I asked my youngest son, the artist if he would sort my colors for me. Our conversation led to inquiries concerning my next project…one thing led to another and before I knew it, he was picking out “his colors” for this month’s creation.

I located my original star quilt and the book by Marti Michell, Weekend Star Quilts for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt. I was pleased to see that it is still available!

Quilt AS You Go Book and fabrics
Time to remake an old Quilt As You Go quilt with fresh new colors

Back in the day, the “all in one piecing and quilting” method was designed to combine the block construction with the quilting, or as we now call it “quilt as you go,” by piecing the block while joining the backing and batting. This pattern had a few block units that needed to be constructed prior to the all-in-one assembly.

Pre-assembly of units for this Quilt As You Go Block
This Quilt As You Go Block required the prior piecing of 5 units per block

As per the instructions in the book, the blocks were joined by stitching through all layers – block, batting, and backing. It was quick work.

Quilt As You Go technique requires careful piecing just as traditional quilting.
Center the middle unit on the layer of batting and backing, then join the side unit as in normal block construction with a good quarter inch seam, back tacking at the beginning and end of the units.
Quilt As You Go method is quick assembly
Continue building the block by piecing the units through all layers of the quilt. Finger press seams.
Adding setting triangles to the Quilt As You Go block
The final units, setting triangles, are added. Repeat for two more blocks! Almost done!

This process was amazingly fast! Just like assembling a normal block. The bonus was there would be no additional quilting needed after the blocks were joined together!  My original quilt was a lap size, but this time I was making a three block table runner.

All In One Piecing and Quilting method
Original quilt joined blocks together with a hand sewn method – which left “ridges” on the back.

I will mention that at this point I did decide on a design change. Marti’s method had you joining the blocks where they were seamless on the front, with a method of joining on the back that required hand sewing. I can remember this wasn’t something I enjoyed! Fast forward to life with YouTube and I found a quicker method…thank you, Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Company, for your explanation of joining blocks.

This newer method was much faster – anytime you can do things by machine and not by hand is naturally quicker.

Step 1 of Joining Blocks with Quilt As You Go Method
Trim away the excess batting from the block, being careful not to cut into the backing
Step Two Quilt As You Go Joining Blocks
Trim the backing to one inch larger than the block
Step 3 joining Quilt as you Go blocks
Place two blocks together back to back right sides together and sew a one-inch seam to join
Step 4 Quilt As You Go Joining Blocks
Open the sewn blocks revealing the seam allowance on top, finger press open then fold under to form a faux binding
Stitching from the top, stitch down the seam to complete the joining of the blocks. Repeat to join all blocks
Quilt As You Go Binding
Once blocks are joined together, fold over outer edges as a self-binding to complete your project.

Before long my Sunday afternoon sewing resulted in a nice fall table runner. Again, as a longarm quilter, I’m not used to leaving so many areas unquilted but have to admit that the thrill is having something made so easily that is both beautiful and functional – not to mention FINISHED and finished is good!

I’m actually thinking of making this again in a different color way…who knows!

Using a 20+ year old pattern The Quilt Rambler has made a fresh modern table runner. using the quilt as you go method
Using a 20+-year-old pattern The Quilt Rambler has made a fresh modern table runner.
Quilt As you go table runner and quilt
My new table runner next to my original lap quilt using the Quilt As You Go method

I hope you will check out Marti Michell’s method of  “All in One Piecing and Quilting. She published several books in her series “Quilting for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt“.  Proving once again, what is old is new again!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, proving that a longarm quilter can have an enjoyable experience with a Quilt As You Go method on the domestic sewing machine (grin).

Have you tried Quilt As You Go? Check out the other Island Batik Ambassadors this month for more ideas and inspiration.

Quilt As You Go Table Runner tutorial
Save this pin as a reference to link back to this project!

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What’s in Your Box? Island Batik Ambassador Box 2

Christmas in July for Island Batik Ambassador The Quilt Rambler

It’s like Christmas in July!

Truly.

The Island Batik Ambassadors have been receiving their second shipment for the year these past few weeks.  I’ve enjoyed watching the unveiling and big reveal of “what’s in YOUR box

Without further ado – it’s my pleasure to share with you the joy of being an Island Batik Ambassador.

 

Here’s a link to the other Ambassadors – check out their box openings!

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 (this is me!)
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

Island Batik Fabrics are always a pleasure to work with!
Here’s a close up of the bonus fabric included in my 2nd Island Batik Ambassador Box.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler – Island Batik Ambassador

What would you make with the beautiful purple stamped fabric? Inquiring minds want to know! Leave me a comment.

Oh Baby (Part 2) – What Happened To July?

Vintage baby quilt with modern remake by Karen Overton

June Challenge for Island Batik AmbassadorsOh Baby Part 2

Wow! July just completely flew by, didn’t it!  Here’s my continuation of the Oh Baby  Island Batik Ambassador Project…

In case you missed the previous ramble concerning choosing the fabrics and piecing the project you can catch up by clicking on this link.

Finishing Touches

Sprinkles Baby Quilt coming together“In our last episode” my little quilt was on the design wall needing only three more seams to complete. I made quick work of it recently during my Sunday sewing (after church). Before too long it was ready for the longarm.

I love to take photos of “hot off the frame” – after working up close and personal with a quilt stretched flat on the frame it is fun to drape it over the leader bars and see how the light reflects off the texture of the quilting.

Oh Baby Part 2
“Hot off the frame”

Since this was a personal quilt I wanted to be sure to add my signature butterfly as well as my initials plus the year in the quilt. Kinda my quilted label so to speak.

Oh Baby Part 2 Binding is complete
It’s not finished until the binding is on – and a label (of sorts)

The quilt top was quilted by the end of Sunday, but the binding wasn’t put on until Monday 7/31 – talk about meeting a deadline!

Photo Finish

Fabrics from Island Batik
Stay tuned for the big reveal as I open my second Island Batik Ambassador box!

Today (Monday) has been a very very busy day – my 2nd Island Batik Ambassador box arrived late last week and I had plans to have my videographer (aka my oldest son) come over today to film the opening of said box…part of “the big reveal” was to include a round up of the projects done thus far with Island Batiks….I literally finished the binding on my July project as he was setting up the cameras!  Watch for an upcoming post and link to my YouTube channel to see the presentation. In case you missed it, here’s the link to my first “unboxing.”

After the filming, I took the baby quilt outside to photograph full view as well as next to the baby quilt my grandmother made me as a newborn. I found it rather fitting that July is also my birthday month so in a way this little quilt not only honors my grandmother but is my birthday present to myself.

Island Batik fabrics make a great baby quilt using the pattern Sprinkles
I just love the bright fabrics in this version of “Sprinkles” pattern
6 pointed star quilts make great baby quilts
I think my grandmother would be pleased with my remake of her quilt, don’t you?

What’s Next?

A new month, a new project – the August challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is “Quilt As You Go” – I’ve got a neat project planned but won’t be starting it until my next Sunday Sewing….in the meantime, check out all the other Island Batik Ambassadors’ blogs as they too are rapping up the month. Links can be found here.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler,  Barely Under the Wire on the Oh Baby July Project! Can’t Wait to Talk to You in August!

 

 

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What Does The Quilt Rambler and Studio 180 Design Have In Common?

Upcoming Event with Studio 180 Design

Besides the fact that I love love love Deb Tucker’s Rulers and Techniques…

How about a future trip to include a full week of Certified Instructor Training!

Yes, I love Deb’s Rulers

Studio 180 Design And The Quilt Rambler
My all time favorite ruler is the Rapid Fire Leymone Star Ruler

Those of you who know me know that I believe that you can never have too many rulers! That said when it comes to specialty rulers that truly make my piecing life easier I turn to Studio 180 Design. Deb’s techniques make me look like a champ in the piecing department.  I know, I fired the quilt police years ago, but I’m not afraid of them when I piece using these rulers.

Call for Applicants – Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor

I was soooo excited when I saw the facebook post concerning this year’s Certificated Instructor Training offered by Studio 180 Design. It’s been something I have wanted to do for well over 5 years.

Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor
As seen on Facebook

Application Process to Train as a Certified Instructor

Studio 180 DesignBy the time I saw the post it had been “out there” for well over a month – how in the world did I miss it??  I quickly downloaded the application and found that it was pretty detailed.

Quilting Biography – The Quilt Rambler, Who Am I?

Certified Instructor This was time-consuming….I needed to rack my brain for some of the public “accomplishments” that I’ve achieved – teaching piecing classes, a little about my longarm accomplishments, publications, etc.

Quilting References – I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends!

Studio 180 Design Certified InstructorWhile I was working on the biography I asked a few folks to consider being a reference for me, a local shop owner/friend (location of past classes) and three quilting friends who have attended classes and/or workshops with me (one was a past guild president)…I later learned that my gals had their reference forms emailed long before I completed my application! Such sweet friends!

Block Submissions Needed to Apply for Certified Instructor

This part of the application was where the needle met the fabric! Deb has several rulers in her lineup – or as she puts it “Tools for the Realist, Not the Idealist“. It’s not surprising that I own every one of them! I’ve used a few of them more than others like the Rapid Fire Leymone Star Ruler, Rapid Fire Hunters Star Ruler, and Corner Beam.

The application had 6 line drawings for blocks that needed to be pieced and submitted. There wasn’t a size restriction, suggested color/value, nor instructions! Truly this was THE TEST! How well do you know how to use Deb’s Rulers?

My Blocks To Be Juried Into Acceptance For Training

Of course, I pulled fabric from my Island Batik stash. I just happened to have a 10″ square stack of Coastal Mist and redrafted the blocks to the sizes that would accommodate my fabric limitation to 10″ (except the background, I had yards of that!)

These blocks do not have an official name that I’m aware of….

Block made using Deb Tucker Rulers for Certified Instructor Training
Rulers Used: Rapid Fire Leymone Star, Corner Pop
Block made for Certified Instructor Training Application
Rulers used: Corner Beam, Tucker Trimmer, Square 2
Block made by Karen Overton Using Studio 180 Design Rulers for Certified Instructor Application
Rulers used V -Block, Tucker Trimmer
Karen Overton made this block using Deb Tucker Rulers for her Certified Instructor Application
Rulers used: Wing Clipper, Tucker Trimmer
The Quilt Rambler made this block using Deb Tucker Rulers for Certification Application
Rulers Used: Split Rects, Diamond Rects, Tucker Trimmer

 

Karen Overton's block submitted for Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor Training
Ruler used: Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star: Petite Star

Happy Mail – My Application for Certified Instructor Training

Since I was “a day late and a dollar short,” or felt that way due to learning of the application process in a very untimely manner, I took a whole weekend off to focus on the piecing of my blocks. As Deb said, “take your time, but hurry up.”

In the mail Karen Overton's Application for Certified Instructor training
My blocks and application are (almost) “in the mail!”  You may remember this photo from an earlier blog post.

The Wait

If you’ve ever waited expectantly, and who hasn’t, then you know I was on pins and needles awaiting a verdict.

Email from Studio 180 Design for Certified Instructor Training
Good news! I’ve been accepted!!!

Let The Countdown Begin!

Countdown until Deb Tucker's Certified Instructor Training
Even though I’ve known about my acceptance for several weeks, I just started my “countdown” today. By the way, 23 is my favorite number! Quilt in the background is Morning Glory, a new pattern by Studio 180 Design quilted by The Quilt Rambler

I’m sew excited to be going to this training. I have learned from others that it is very intense and equally very rewarding!  I hope I can pass the test at the end and be counted among a prestigious group of quilters known fondly as “CI’s”

With certification, my goal is to be able to offer more classes and workshops both locally and wherever the call may lead me. Can’t wait until I can say “Coming to a location near YOU!”

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler,  giddy with delight to announce my acceptance to Deb’s Certification Instructor Training (I’m still pinching myself!!)

 

Oh Baby! Baby Quilt – A July Island Batik Ambassador Project

6 pointed star vintage baby quilt

June Challenge for Island Batik AmbassadorsBaby Quilt

The July project for the Island Batik Ambassadors is to make a baby quilt or crib sized quilt using fabric from our ambassador box we received earlier this year.

I actually had two designs in mind, and the month isn’t over with yet, so who knows! I may be able to make two….

This is the pattern I chose and the why…

What’s Old is New Again

6 pointed star vintage baby quilt
My baby quilt made by my grandmother, Mary Brown Pliler, hand quilted with love.

The definition of vintage is kinda sketchy. With the exception of cars, antiques should be 100 years or older to be called antique, however, an item can be considered vintage at a mere 20 years. More commonly, something labeled vintage is assumed to be 50 years or older. Needless to say, my baby quilt qualifies as both acceptable definitions of vintage (I still feel twenty!). My baby quilt, made by my mother’s mother, was the inspiration for this month’s project.

Choosing the Pattern and Fabrics for Oh Baby!

When I ran across the pattern Sprinkles, by Jaybird Designs, I knew I needed to replicate my baby quilt….not exactly, but close enough.

I had  2.5″ strips left over from last month’s project in the fabric line of Pressed Petals.  In my personal stash I had the perfect Island Batik orange to use as the background. Yes, I’m a woman that likes color! But then again, you’ve figured that out already, right?

Oh Baby! Are you bright and modern
These Island Batik fabrics will make a colorful modern “baby quilt”

Let’s Make a Baby Quilt

Jaybird Design patterns are easy to follow. With such a small amount of fabric (13 strips plus background) the cutting was completed in no time.

Cutting diamonds for Baby Quilt
Loving the new Endurance Blade for my Olfa – in no time I had the diamonds cut out and ready to sew

The piecing went together rather easily too. I always think “oh I can just whip this little quilt out in no time” but I forget that lots of little parts and pieces, plus taking the time to press between steps, does take a little time. All enjoyable I might add! Nothing better than the hum of the sewing machine to soothe the soul. Especially when accompanied by my favorite Christian radio station playing in the background!

piecing a baby quilt without pins
Look ma! No pins! My favorite stiletto makes the process quick and painless
chain piecing a baby quilt
Chain, chain, chain….chain piecing is so rewarding – don’t you just love the colorful Island Batik fabrics! Betcha didn’t’ know orange could be considered a neutral!
Pressing blocks for a baby quilt
Good piecing skills, using a quarter inch seam, is equally important as taking the time to press after each seam. Don’t neglect this significant step!
Joining two units to make a baby quilt
And the two shall become one – sounds like a good marriage sermon to me
Half Hexie Unit for baby quilt
And two make three…oh baby!

On to The Design Wall

The half hexie units were then placed on the design wall. I have to admit that this is always the part that takes the most time. I study, rearrange, rearrange some more and still have a couple of fabrics “too close” to each other visually. Ah, but that’s the fun of “random” piecing that achieves the scrappy look.

Baby quilt 6 pointed star units on a design wall
All the units are arranged on the design wall ready to be rearranged and rearranged again

The half hexie units are sewn together vertically to form rows. I think I might have got a block or two out of order, but again, it’s scrappy and I fired the quilt police years ago.

I had high hopes of completing the quilt last weekend, but circumstances beyond my control interrupted. If you follow me on Facebook with my personal account you will understand that “family comes first”. It’s all good, and I will be moving forward soon with this little gem. I just couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Sprinkles Baby Quilt coming together
Sew a row, then sew two rows, repeat, complete (soon!)

To Be Continued:

I love how this is coming together. I am hopeful that I will be able to give you an update before the end of the month with it quilted and photographed next to my original baby quilt. This has been a fun pattern to work with and it goes without saying that the Island Batik fabrics truly make it sparkle!

Check out the progress of the other Island Batik Ambassadors – a link to their blogs is located here.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, enjoying the process!

How many of you still have your baby quilt? Is it a pattern that you would like to recreate for the next generation? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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My Adventures As An Island Batik Ambassador – So Far!

Collection of quilts made by Karen Overton, Island Batik Ambassador

I have had a blast, an absolute BLAST, being a new Island Batik Ambassador. I  can’t believe the year is half way over. Take a walk down memory lane with me as I review the quilt challenges so far this year!

QUILT CHALLENGE ROUNDUP

Fabulous Batik FabricYou may remember that as an Island Batik Ambassador I received a goody box full of beautiful fabrics, as well as several spools of Superior Threads and Aurifil threads, to use in our monthly challenge projects. Two different shipments of fabrics are scheduled for the year for the ambassadors to use in the projects. The next box should be arriving sometime in July and I can hardly wait! If you missed the excitement of the long-awaited very anticipated first shipment then visit my YouTube to see how exciting it is to receive a mystery box full of Island Batik fabrics or revisit the blog post here.

FEBRUARY Kennel Quilts and Galentine’s Day

kennel quilts
February project – make a kennel quilt, or two, or a dozen!

Our first project of the year was to make a kennel quilt (or several) as a community service project using beautiful Island Batik fabrics.

I enjoyed making these little quilts. You can read more about the process as well as how to make your own Kennel Quilts for charity here on the blog.  

 

charity quilts, kennel quilts
Finished is good. Two finished kennel quilts for charity

 

February was a fun packed month as we had an optional additional challenge…to share the love with our gal-friends. You can revisit this post by clicking here.

 

 

 

We heart Island Batik fabrics
Shirley pieced the block & Karen quilted and bound it. Truly a Galentine’s Day collaboration between friends.

MARCH QUILT CHALLENGE: Mini Madness

Picture of miniature quilts using Island Batik Fabrics
Island Batik Ambassadors are up to the challenge

March was fun! We were asked to make a mini quilt using either foundation or paper-piecing.  I got a little carried away and turned my challenge project into multiple projects. I think working with these fabrics just gets my creative juices flowing and I don’t know when to stop!

I covered a simple composition notebook and then made a dozen or more along with a blog tutorial, PDF download and accompanying  YouTube.

 

bright colors add to the beauty of this paper pieced composition notebook cover
Paper Piecing and Quilting turns a common composition notebook into a stylish planner
Making quilted composition notebook covers is addicting - we bet you can't make just one!
View the complete tutorial on The Quilt Rambler YouTube channel

APRIL ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADOR QUILT CHALLENGE: Adventurous Applique

Appliqué graphic with song birds for Island Batik Ambassador program
April’s Island Batik Challenge is Adventurous Appliqué

April’s challenge was creating an applique project. I decided to try a new-to-me process called reverse applique while making a banner to celebrate the Easter season.

You can read the entire adventure here on the blog.

 

 

 

 

Man holding up appliquéd quilt saying "He is Risen"
It is Finished

ALONG CAME MAY: Modern Batik Challenge

Island Batik Ambassador Modern Batik ChallengeI think May’s modern quilt challenge is my most memorable project so far.    Read about my new learning experience as I discovered modern quilt piecing and exploring modern quilting on the longarm.

So far this is one of my favorite quilt challenges because I enjoyed the process – from the inspiration to actual design, the piecing of the quilt top, and especially quilting new design elements.

 

Modern Quilting in the wild
This is The Way, Walk In It – original design pieced and quilted by Karen Overton

JUNE QUILT CHALLENGE: Curvalicioius Quilts

#CurvalicioiusQuilts
June Challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors

I enjoyed this month’s project as I was able to pull out a ruler/ template set and accompanying book that I’d purchased several years ago. I enjoyed working with the “summer colors” from the fabrics in my Ambassador’s box. I think it looks great hanging in my home! The tropical colors fit my temperament perfectly. Bring on summer! You can read the process here. 

Curved Piecing with the Melon Block
Melon Dramatic by Karen Overton. I just love how these colors reflect the decorating tropical theme in my home

ROUND UP:

Can’t believe the year is half over, and I really can’t believe that I’ve made this many personal projects so far this year! It’s been a fun challenge to work on these little quilts “after hours” from my longarm quilting business. I’d like to think that my quilting skills have improved as I’ve been able to “practice” new quilting designs working on personal projects while further exploring my desire to design quilt patterns.

Collection of quilts made by Karen Overton, Island Batik Ambassador
2017 Island Batik Ambassador Challenges February to June with a sneak peek of July

 

JULY QUILT CHALLENGE:  Great Expectations!

Just an expectant mother must be patient, so must you, my dear reader. July’s challenge is a baby size quilt that is in the works. If you look closely in the roundup photo above you can catch a sneak peek!

In addition, I am awaiting my second Island Batik Ambassador fabric shipment for the remaining quilt challenges for the year. I can hardly wait!! The first box was so fabulous and sew much fun! Stay tuned – good things are coming!!!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, feeling blessed to be counted among the Island Batik Ambassadors.

Have you been keeping up with my fellow ambassadors? Why not take a moment to review the blog roll and follow each of the ambassadors to ensure that you don’t miss out on all our inspirational creations using beautiful Island Batik fabrics.

 

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Liebster Award

I’ve Been Nominated

This past week my fellow Island Batik Ambassador, Laura Piland, Slice of Pi Quilts, nominated me for the Liebster Award.  Naturally, I just had to ask … what is this and what does it mean  (grin) and I’m sure you are curious too –

According to The Global Aussie, where the Official Rules reside:

The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The award is a way to be discovered but also to connect and support the blogging community.

A Little About My Nominator – Slice of Pi

Owner/Designer of Slice of Pi Quilts

One thing that I have enjoyed about being an Island Batik Ambassador is rubbing shoulders, so to speak, with a multi-talented group of quilters! Many of the ambassadors have been with the program for several years, and are quite well known and established in their field – some pattern writers, some fabric designers, some moms, some grandmoms, some – like me – are new ambassadors. I am learning so much from this group.

But I want to tell you a little bit about Laura. I think she first perked my interest when I saw her pattern for Sliced. I love watermelon. Nuff said.

As cute as this is, I got really interested in following her blog when I discovered she was going to her first Spring Market 2017. I’ve been to Fall Market since 2004 and I was eager to see Spring Market through her eyes, but more so through the fresh eyes of a first timer. She didn’t disappoint! Not only did I enjoy her market recap on the blog but it was fun to follow her on Instagram to see all the “celebrities” she was meeting within the quilt industry. I hope you will give Laura a follow on her blog and other social media. Slice of Pi Quilts.

Laura certainly marketed herself well by giving out pies as she engaged with people in the industry to market her quilt patterns

Getting To Know You Questions:

As a part of introducing myself to new followers as well as introducing my followers to new bloggers, we’ve been requested to answer a few “getting to know you” questions about ourselves and hope that our nominees will respond and do likewise.  Here are a few things you may or may not know about me!

Who Inspired You To Sew?

My mother made almost all of my clothing when I was growing up, as did her mother, my Ma-Ma. Ma-ma had a sister Effie, whom I called “aunt” even though she was my great aunt. All three of these women had an impact on my wanting to play with needle and thread.  Mom – clothing, curtains, recovering chairs, etc. Ma-ma was the quilter even though I didn’t begin quilting until later in her life she lived to be 97 and was so proud of my quilting and my longarm. Aunt Effie was a skilled seamstress and did fabulous crafty things for the woman’s group at church. I will always remember the sock monkeys, fabric “paper” dolls and soft sided books.

If You Could Meet One Quilt Personality, Who Would It Be?

I have been blessed to meet many quilt personalities, mainly longarm quilters, due to my association with A1 Quilting Machines from 2008-2014, but I have never had the privilege of meeting Judi Madsen, The Green Fairy Quilter. I do have an autographed copy of her first book – I pre-ordered direct from her (grin).

What Do you Like to Do While Quilting?

Talk. Or Listen.   I truly work best when I’m talking. If I’m at a sew in I have lots of friends to talk to, if I’m in the studio I will use my Bluetooth and talk to my best friend Pam, who lives a thousand miles away and is also a longarm quilter. When not talking I listen to Audibles.

Do You Have A Favorite Snack While Quilting?

Dark chocolate – to be specific, Ghirardelli Intense Dark 72% Cacao – but I will be gracious enough to accept any dark chocolate you’d like to share with me!

Do You Look For Quilts When Watching Movies?

Yes, and my husband is quick to point them out too!

What Comes First, Fabric or Pattern?

Whatever catches my eye first. I buy fabric knowing that I can later find a pattern, and I buy patterns knowing that somewhere there is a perfect fabric. Who thought of this question anyway <grin>

What Is Your Favorite Finish?

That’s a hard one. I have several favorites, but generally, it’s the one I just finished. I think currently it would be my “This Is The Way, Walk In It” as it was a challenge to piece and quilt, stepping away from my traditional roots to try something modern. (Thank you Island Batik for the challenge!). You can read more about it here.

Modern Quilt by Karen Overton "This is the way, walk in it"
“This IsThe Way, Walk In It” original design pieced and quilted by Karen Overton

Quilt By Hand or Machine?

Domestic sewing machine to piece, A1 Quilting Machine (longarm) to quilt. Still hand-guided since 2004.

Favorite Notion?

island batik five inch squares sewn together

Hands down – my “By Annie” Stilleto and Pressing Tool.

Do You Work On One Quilt At A Time or Many?

One step into my studio and you’d know that answer! I refuse to disclose how many UFO’s I have (grin). I work on several at a time, both mine and customers.

Do You Have A Blog That You Can’t Miss A Post?

In my other life, I’m a bag lady. I love By Annie’s patterns and can’t wait to see the newest patterns so I carefully watch Blogs By Annie.

And The Nominees Are:

In an effort to get to know my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors better I am hoping several will “play along” with the Liebster Award.

Sally Johnson of Sally’ s Quilting Corner. Sally was one of the first ambassadors to welcome me into the fold. We found that we had a mutual friend, longarm quilter Jamie Wallen – and the rest is history. Sally is an encourager and almost always the first one to like a post or photo.

Kathy Bruckman of Kathy’s Kwilts And More. Kathy is a newbie like I am and what I like about her is she’s not afraid to ask other’s thoughts and opinions on her projects.  Kathy is  faithful to engage through social media – she’s even playing #flatOLFA with me on Instagram .

Pamela Boatright of Pamela Quilts. Pamela likes to write and quilt, so I’m drawn to her because of both talents. I think she’s a little like me – I noticed on a recent blog that she was “catching up” on putting labels on quilts…hum…sounds familiar.

Maryellen McAuliffe of Mary Mack Made Mine. Maryellen has been an Island Batik Ambassador for quite some time. I’m hoping she will share more with us. I’m drawn to her as she just met Jenny from Missouri Star Quilt Co., she’s playing #flatOLFA on Instagram, and her latest Island Batik Challenge was a purple double wedding ring table runner. Have I mentioned that I like purple?

Stephanie Bertics of Quilt ‘N Party. Stephanie is new to the Ambassador program (I think). I don’t know a lot about her but I like the quilts she has blogged about and am hopeful she will play along.

Liebster Award Thoughts

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know a few of my new blogging friends. I’d nominate the whole group if I could….nominations or not, be sure and click here to find a list of all of this year’s Island Batik Ambassadors. I know you will enjoy getting to know them and see their beautiful creations – many have patterns available too!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, eager to meet new bloggers!

Now it’s your turn…..what blogs have inspired you? Are you a blogger? Share your thoughts and links below.

 

 

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Melon Dramatic – A Curved Piecing Challenge with Island Batik

Challenge Accepted

#CurvalicioiusQuilts
June Challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors

One thing I have enjoyed about being an Island Batik Ambassador this year is the creative monthly challenges! This month’s theme was Curvacious  Quilts. Originally I had planned on pulling out the Go!Cutter and using my Drunkard’s Path die, but realized that really wasn’t a challenge since I’ve made several quilts using both the 7″ finished die and the 3.5″ finished die.

Something Old is New Again

Closing a template for curved piecing
Melon Block Templates by Elisa’s Backporch have been in the ruler drawer for over 10 years! Kinda hard to peel off the aged paper (gasp)

I am a self-proclaimed ruler queen, believing that there is a ruler for everything and you can never have too many rulers. For this project, I dug deep in my ruler drawer and found a set of templates just waiting to see the light of day.

I chose to use the 10″ Pressed Petal squares that came in my Island Batik Ambassador box earlier this year. I loved the fabric so much that I was able to purchase the 2.5″ strip set – you can never have too many precuts and if you like a fabric you should buy it when you see it!

Tropical Spring and Summer Colors of Island Batik 's Pressed Petal collection
Island Batik Pressed Petal precuts will be fabulous in this project
Melon Block Templates fit the 10" square
10″ squares are very versatile for many projects

I was pleased to see that all three of the templates would fit on a 10″ square but I opted for a design change – after all, I did have 2.5″ strips!

Olfa Cutters are my favorite, testing the new Endurance blade
Design Change! And I’m testing out a new Endurance Blade by Olfa – dated it to see how long it lasts!

Curved Piecing

Sewing the melon to the background
Piecing following instructions in The Melon Block book by Elisa Wilson

The cutting went very quickly as I had decided on a table runner and only needed 12 blocks. The piecing was going pretty quickly too as I followed the book’s instructions, but I wasn’t liking the end result when I pressed the melon away from the first L shape. I knew I could do it better so switched to placing the melon on the bottom instead of the top and the result was much better.  See my previous blog about piecing traditional Drunkard’s Path blocks without so many pins. The method worked like a charm for the melon shape and I soon had my 12 blocks pieced.

Curved piecing made simple
I find it best to put the L shape on top of the melon shape
quick sewing of curved pieced melon blocks
The blocks are coming together nicely, just a little trimming to square up

Design Change

Trimming the Melon Block to make the corners pop
“Off with their heads!” using the ruler to cut off the tip to make the corners pop

I loved the way the quilt was turning out, as these are certainly “My Colors” but it needed a little something else…..back to the faithful (and full) ruler drawer and there was my answer! Deb Tucker’s Corner Pop ruler – just what this little quilt needed. Then I dug in my Island Batik stash and found this beautiful raspberry print to top it off!

You can never have too many rulers
The right ruler for the right job – you can never have too many rulers!
Melon Block table runner
Laying out on the kitchen counter to “visualize” how it’s going to look. Matches my FiestaWare!!

Time to Quilt

Curved Pieced Quilt on the Longarm
After hour quilting is always fun when it’s your own personal project

It’s not a quilt until it’s quilted! Trying to find time on the longarm is always a challenge with so many customer quilts in waiting…I love it when the machine is free “after hours”.  This little baby took about 4 hours to custom quilt, not counting loading and design time.  Yep, just call me The Midnight Quilt Rambler!

 

Custom quilting Melon Block
A little curved ruler work over the melon shape and of course feathers in the background! Superior Threads Fantastico #5011
Hand guided signature butterfly lets everyone know this quilt was quilted by Karen Overton The Quilt Rambler
Added my Signature Butterfly in all three “center squares”
Custom Quilted Curved Pieced Quilt
“Hot off the frame” I just love how the lighting shows the texture of the custom quilting. I used double batting, 80/20 on the back and wool on top.

Faux Piping Binding

Sewing Scraps together for binding
Scraps make great bindings, especially as a faux piping double binding!

Last summer I did a schoolhouse presentation at my guild on faux piping binding – I thought this little project would be perfect with a scrappy faux piping binding…. you can download a one page PDF tutorial here.

 

 

Double binding adds color
Adding a pop of color with the scraps as part of the faux piping double binding

Melon Dramatic

I am pleased with the way this little quilt turned out. What was originally designed to be a counter top/table runner became a focus quilt in my entryway on the backside of my kitchen cabinets. I love how the colors reflect the theme of my home – tropical and bright!

Curved Piecing with the Melon Block
Melon Dramatic by Karen Overton. I just love how these colors reflect the decorating tropical theme in my home.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, loving the Island Batik Ambassador Challenges and especially loving the Island Batik Fabrics!

Are you following me on Instagram? Facebook? or Twitter?  There are more process photos posted on social media of this project.

Visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors to see how their projects have progressed.

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 (this is me!)
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

 

Linked up with Needle And Thread

 

How to Sew a Drunkard’s Path Without All Those Pins

Curved Piecing Without a bunch of pins

 Watch Out Curves Ahead

Curved piecing and matching thread
Time to piece, beautiful Island Batik fabrics and matching Aurifl Threads

Generally when sewing curves for a Drunkard’s Path block assembly there are multiple pins involved as you carefully pin all the fullness of the bias curve of the “pie” shape to fit the “L” shape of the units. I’m going to show you an easier way without all those pins!

It Only Takes Three

No Pin Method for Drunkard's Path
Look ma, no more pins! Two wonder clips and a stiletto are all that’s needed

In my experience, it only takes three locations to secure the units together before sewing – the top, the middle, and the bottom.

What makes this assembly different is placing the L-shaped unit on top of the pie shape. Most instructions have you do the opposite.

The key is to mark the centers of each shape and use a pin or wonder clip to hold into place.  Then line up the bottom edge where the two units meet, making sure that the straight sides stay straight.

Watch Out Curves Ahead
Gently stretch the bias to make the edges line up – go slow as you sew

Begin stitching at the top using a stiletto to keep the fullness dispersed and matching the edges as you gently and slowly sew a quarter inch seam.

Most importantly make sure that the bottom edges meet, preferably making a straight edge connection.

Curved Piecing Without a bunch of pins
Slowly work from the center to the bottom of the curve being mindful of matching the ends
Drunkards path pieced
All the curves came together without any puckering

Press with the direction of the pie shape laying naturally towards the L shape.

Pressing Curved Piecing
Press with the seam allowance going towards the L shape

Small Improvement Makes a Big Difference

I found that sometimes the bottom edges didn’t quite lay perfectly at the straight edge and that resulted in being off just a tad after being pressed open, causing the curved seams from one block to another not to match, and we all know it’s about matching our seams (grin). 

comparing curves
Example to the left didn’t match perfectly along the straight edge, the one the right used a special technique that almost guarantees a straight edge
Careful matching seams in your drunkards path
If the piecing is off a bit it will show when connecting the units into a block – one solution is to trim the blocks or “make them fit” by adding a few tucks and puckers….

My solution was to sew a little from the bottom first to assure they lined up and then go back and sew from the top. This gave me much better results and was worth the extra time spent – still much less time than all those pins!

One Simple Trick to Curved Piecing
This simple extra step of taking a few stitches at the bottom before sewing from the top will assure a perfect alignment of your curved piecing

Design Change

Since this was just a practice piece I decided to make a design change instead of trimming or ripping out and starting over with the newly discovered technique.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with the block – it’s kinda a Christmas color and it also reminds me of an owl. I originally thought of summer watermelons…so many possibilities….I’m sure it will pop up in a sampler quilt some day!

Drunkard's Path piecing
Curved Piecing is no longer intimidating with these easy steps

 

I hope you have found this simple technique useful and will enjoy a little curve piecing.

Stay tuned for my Island Batik Ambassador June Challenge with Curved Piecing!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, with a simple trick to simplify your curved piecing of the traditional drunkard’s path block.

Have you tried curved piecing? Do you have a favorite traditional Drunkard’s Path layout? Leave me a comment!