October Announcements: Part 1

October has just begun and I couldn’t be more excited! So many wonderful things are coming together this month, I can’t wait to share with you…but one thing at a time!

I have been sitting on this news for a very very long time! Normally I’m not very good at keeping secrets, (except the ones that are just too special to share)…but this secret’s time has come and I can now share!!!!

The Big News

My pattern Illuminated Journey will be included in the Fall-Winter 2017 Island Batik Catalog focusing on the new fabric line Paisley Dot  

Pg 52 in the Island Batik FW17 Catalog is Illuminated Journey by The Quilt Rambler

Yes, not only can you see my quilt in Fall-Winter 2017 Island Batik Catalog but I also have my mug shot in the catalog! And yes, I’m excited to be on the same page as my favorite designer, Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Design. I’m so excited to be a new Certified Instructor with her…that’s a ramble for another time.

This is the third page of designers – I’m so excited to be counted among this group of my peers

Illuminated Journey’s Quilt Story

Briefly, before I show you highlights of the current quilt in Paisley Dots I wanted to share the history of this design…

Illuminated Journey Class Quilt Cruise 2015

Back in 2014, Carla from Cactus Quilts in Texas City asked if I would be interested in teaching on her 2nd annual quilting cruise! Of course, I said YES! It goes without saying how much I love Deb’s method of constructing Lemoyne Star units so I asked if she’d mind if I designed the cruise quilt around her ruler and technique sheet and she said YES!

Karen Overton holding her quilt Illuminated Journey outside near a breathtaking view of Arizona
Illuminated Journey and The Quilt Rambler journey to Arizona

I’ve enjoyed teaching this project – in case you missed it, Illuminated Journey traveled to Arizona for a quilt lecture and workshop. You can read about it here.

AND! While we are talking about teaching, traveling, and such….I am now taking bookings for the  2018 season – I’d love to come to your quilt shop, guild or retreat and share my pattern and other fun topics and techniques…

Okay, back to the current ramble…

 

Illuminated Journey – Paisley Dot version

EQ7 version was submitted to Island Batik.

This journey began earlier this year due to my involvement as an Island Batik Ambassador. Requests were sent out for pattern submissions to feature the upcoming Fall Winter 2017 line of fabrics….and Illuminated Journey was chosen!

Before too long the fabrics were sent to me to construct the quilt. I found it very interesting how many months in advance things must be completed to have a fabulous presentation at Fall Market coming up at the end of October here in Houston. As a side note, “Market” is the weekend before “Festival” – it is a trade show where buyers come to see the newest items in the quilt industry, including new fabrics and new patterns!

This version was made for my son Jake using precuts from Island Batik

I love using pre-cuts. The original pattern used Island Batik precuts.  I’ve made Illuminated Journey multiple times. Island Batik never disappoints! The collection is curated so well that you look like a fabric color coordinating pro with the end results. I’ve found it amazing that even when my students use the same line no two quilts are ever the same.  I love it!

Illuminated Journey – Let the Quilting Begin

In no time I had the quilt top pieced and began the process of quilting. I wanted to do something unique and different for this version. Coming up with the design was so much fun and I had the opportunity to audition some new longarm specialty rulers. Can’t ask for anything better!

On the longarm…dots and more dots
I don’t know what I enjoy the most, designing and making the quilt top or designing and quilting the quilt. Both! Enjoying the process!
Hot off the frame – this is one of my favorite parts – seeing how the light bounces off the texture of the quilting highlighting the fabrics

Illuminated Journey -Pattern and Fabric Coming Soon

My quilt was shipped to Island Batik to be photographed for the catalog and to be made available this upcoming year for travel and trunk shows. There’s a possibility that Illuminated Journey will be on display at the upcoming Fall Market in the Paisley Dot display with Island Batik. If so, you know I’ll be sharing those photos!

Illuminated Journey, designed, pieced, and quilted by Karen E Overton, The Quilt Rambler

Here’s the cool thing – you can tell your local quilt shop that new fabrics are being released at Fall Market (well, actually your local quilt shop knows that already)…anyway…you can share this sneak peek of a new line and new pattern that will be available soon AND you can suggest a workshop with this traveling rambler!

By the way, the pattern will be available either at the end of 2017 or the start of 2018. Stay tuned for that big reveal! Quilt shops will be placing their orders for these new fabrics that will also ship the first of the year.

But Wait – There’s More!

Did ya’ notice that this post said “Part 1” – observant aren’t you! Yes, this is just one happy announcement for this the first day of October…there’s soooo many good things coming this month and beyond…but that’s all for today.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, finally able to celebrate the inclusion of Illuminated Journey in Island Batik’s Fall-Winter fabric lineup! Cheers!

Taking an informal poll – how important is it to you to have a kit to make “just like the pattern” or do you like to choose your own fabrics? Inquiring minds want to know. Leave a comment, please!

 

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Still Kickin’ After Harvey

Quilts are starting to come back home!

Just wanted to touch base and let you know I’m still kickin’ and diggin’ out over here!

The walls have been down for a few weeks – don’t you love the country look of my shiplap! I feel like a log cabin quilter!

The new shelves are filling up…All that is left to organize is the clutter you see on table tops!

This first shelf is “finished” but there’s still a table full of items to sort and find a home in the new tote/shelf system

 

This is my favorite area so far, my newest quilt covers a cutting station and my longarm rulers and threads are all sorted and ready to get back to work
As soon as this area is cleared I can unveil my longarm table – it’s been too long since I’ve heard it’s purr

Who knew it would take so long to unpack and reorganized after a hurricane! Truth be told, there’s a lot to do and it’s not all studio related. I keep thinking I should be further along but there’s so many things on the to do list that “aren’t normal” – like trying to recreate the value of furniture and such that was lost in the flood. It’s amazing to me how much we were able to save, but there’s still a lot of loss.

Can you see my sewing machine under this pile? Unfortunately my beautiful sewing cabinet sat in water for 5 days and is ruined.  I purchased it last year at Quilt Festivial and will replace it at this year’s Quilt Festival coming up soon

Hopefully soon I can show you the cleared space and that I’m able to function somewhat in the studio.  Today’s milstone was actually doing some meal planning and going to the grocery store! We’ve been fast fooding it for way too long now. Kitchen isn’t fully operational but I’ve rediscovered my Instant Pot and am eager to use it! Most days it’s been to exhausting to even think about food….trying to put that in the past! Wish me luck!

Still getting ready for the remodeling – the entire house has to be (re)packed and moved out. Seems kinda strange that I’d focus so much on reorganizing the studio but the plan is it will be easier to put back after the remodel. I’m loving these clear totes!

Sneak peak of my beautiful Island Batiks and Studio 180 Design patterns…good things are in store for the future!

It’s a lot of work but it’s going to be so worth it in the end! One thing that keeps me going is the fabulous quilts I have planned and all the upcoming classes! Can’t wait to put my Certified Instructor status to work! So many good things coming due to my association with Studio 180 Designs. So many good things have already come!

Next on today’s agenda is to find my camera – I have one on my phone of course, but the “real” camera has been MIA for several weeks. Need to download photos for insurance purposes. Have asked for specific prayers concerning locating it…can’t wait for those prayers to be answered!

We keep moving forward, one step at a time.

So that’s my short ramble for today… Short? Was that short?

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, being distracted at the computer when I should be diggin’ out!

PS! I almost forgot – there’s a giveaway going on – checkout the recent Back to School Blog Hop – you can’t win if you don’t register!

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Studio Without Walls

 

The Quilt Rambler Studio January 2017 (see the home page for a virtual tour)

Many of you are aware of Hurricane Harvey, at least if not personally then because of the news. If you have been following The Quilt Rambler on social media (and a few blog posts) then you will know that I was “out of state” when the hurricane flooded our home and my studio. In addition, it was a full week after the first wave of flood waters entered our home before the airports were opened and I could get home to help with the cleanup.

I thought I’d do a quick recap of the studio redo – what I’m calling my Studio Without Walls as the walls all had to be removed due to flooding.

First Viewing “After Harvey”

So many things piled high in the center of the studio to avoid the waters of Hurricane Harvey 9.4.17

I am still amazed at how much my husband did without me to move customer quilts to a safer place then move furniture and personal belongings. So many things were piled high to avoid the flood waters.

If you remember, Harvey gave Texas more than a one-two punch, I remember getting daily reports of how high the water got each night over the four-night downpour. I know God spared me from having to watch the waters rise, then drain then rise again over the course of the storm. Unfortunately, my studio was the hardest hit as it didn’t drain for 4 or 5 days and had to actually be wet-vacuumed after the storm moved on to other parts of the country. There were 6 inches of standing water in the studio.

9.7.17 These were my thread cabinets behind the longarm Bottom drawers were moved to higher locations to save the thread, however, the cabinets were ruined.
This was my fabric stash again bottom drawers were moved higher but the cabinets have since rusted and are totaled

The Call for Quilt Angels

9.5.17 All the quilts and fabrics were moved to the front porch

One of the first things I did was to remove the over 200 personal quilts and all my fabric stash to the front porch and put out a plea on social media for “quilt angels” to help me wash things. Even though they did not sit in water, just the fact that they sat in a room which sat in water…..well….bottom line, there was moisture and it was best to be safe than sorry and have everything washed.

Countless friends came and took home laundry baskets full of quilts and or fabric and have been taking care of my items until I can bring them back home.  Kinda like sending your kids off to camp – a few friends actually posted photos on social media of my “quilt children” as they knew they were missed.

I can’t say thank you enough to all my quilt angels. You know who you are, and I hope you know how special you are to me!

Tear Down Those Walls!

9.6.17 trying to move things to the center of the room prior to wall removal

I’ve been told that one inch of water is the same as several feet of water when it comes to the structure of the home. Generally, sheetrock is removed in proportion to the amount of flood water – this is why you see photos of half walls. That is not the case with paneling. Sigh. The entire wall has to be removed as well as the insulation. What a mess!

The bigger mess was trying to get things out of the way of the demolition crew! Things were quickly thrown into boxes and moved to the center of the room so the wall could be removed.

9.6.17 Once things were taken off the higher cabinets the cabinet then had to be emptied and removed. Flood waters do nasty things to cabinets.
9.6.17 All damaged cabinets from the studio found themselves curbside – not to mention damaged items including carpeting and walls from the rest of the house.
Probably the most emotional part was my son helping the crew tear down the mural he had painted for my studio. So hard to lose art.
9.7.17 The studio walls made a colorful addition to our curbside debris from Hurricane Harvey

Time to Regroup

Lots of new storage ideas for the studio!

As the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons make lemonade!

Time to regroup, redesign, rebuild….well, the rebuild part is on hold until we hear from Insurance but the rethinking of the studio layout didn’t take long to redesign.

I am replacing all those white cabinets that held longarm threads, longarm rulers, longarm books with a shelf system and storage totes from The Container Store.

In addition, all the items that were in the wire basket drawers are also going to be contained in the same shelving and similar storage totes.

But wait, there’s more! The office area will be included in this shelving system as will the customer quilts, t-shirt quilt fabric, sewing supplies and rotary cutting rulers.

It’s a work in progress and the progress is slow – I’m having to dig through all the boxes where things were “dumped” in haste of getting the walls removed. But I’m excited about the potential and hope to have things sorted out soon so I can get back to work!

Entrance to the studio, on the left, has two shelves. The first with t-shirt quilt fabric and totes with customer quilts.
The top of the second shelf system will be housing all my “class in a box” teaching materials for upcoming workshops using Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design tools and techniques.
The next two shelves are a work in progress, the one on the far right is the longarm tools with the bottom two rows nothing but thread! The area covered by my latest quilt, Sugar and Spice (see previous blog) will be my cutting station
Backdoor shelf will house sewing supplies and projects

Change is Inevitable, Joy is How I Choose to Embrace It

As you can see, there’s a lot of work to be done to place items in the shelving – only to be undone again when construction begins and the entire household has to move out…

The “log cabin” look of the shiplap will be covered with brand new sheetrock. My beautiful lime green door will be replaced as will my hot pink flooring. Kinda sad in a way, yet exciting in another way!

I choose joy in these changes that were obviously beyond our control. Looking at this as an opportunity to rearrange and rethink how my studio is laid out to best serve my business needs. I’m excited that the new layout that will allow me once again to have classroom space – and boy do I have some fabulous classes planned with all the wonderful tools and techniques from Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design! I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

There’s Always Hope

If you follow me on social media or know me personally, then you will know that I place my hope, peace, and faith in Jesus. I believe that He makes all things good for those who love Him. Life is hard, but God is good. We continue to trust that He is making all things new and look forward to what the future will bring.

Clean up crew is starting to come through the neighborhood!!! 9.19.17 maybe we are next!!!

Thanks for taking time to read this personal post….I am hopeful to be back to quilting soon and posting beautiful quilt related photos and telling stories about quilting….but as I’ve discovered first hand, quilting isn’t my life but it sure makes my life more colorful!  Thanks for sharing the journey.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, eager to get back to “Let’s Talk Quilts” instead of talking Harvey recovery!

*PS Update: original post said 2 weeks before coming back….well, I was gone two weeks but one week was my certified instructor training, it was only a 1-week delay after that to get home. I  left 8/20, Harvey hit 8/26, suppose to fly home 8/27 but I flew home 9/3 – you can read about my adventures on previous blog posts!

Still the queen of typos (grin)

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Back to School – Island Batik Blog Hop And Giveaway!

Beautiful Diner Days collection by Island Batik
Island Batik Ambassadors

September is back to school month and for a lot of us, back to quilting after a fun-filled action packed summer!

Welcome to The Quilt Rambler, I’m sew happy you have joined me in the Island Batik Ambassador Blog Hop. The Ambassadors have been diligently working to showcase the newest fabric lines from Island Batik to assist you in your fabric shopping list while inspiring you for those fall projects!

So grab that cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy….they don’t call me The Quilt Rambler for nothin’.  Be sure and read to the end for a special giveaway!

Diner Days Collection By Island Batik

Days gone by, Diner Days Fabric collection
So many beautiful designs in a soft sweet color range

The collection I was given to work with is Diner Days. The hues are so soft that they almost reminded me of pastel Easter eggs. Indeed among some of the designs, there were eggs…and kitchen gadgets…and apples with apple cores!  Such imagination and potential!

Blog hop Back To School With Island Batik
A few of my favorite things – fabric, composition notebook, pens and pencils, and a fabulous quilt pattern

I love back to school time. I’m always ready to replenish my school supplies. Elmer’s Glue for glue basting, composition notebooks for jotting down quilt designs or fabric shopping lists. Pencil boxes make great containers to store bobbins, rotary cutters with extra blades or small sewing supplies. And what about file folders or binders to store quilt patterns! There’s plenty of things for quilters when it comes to back to school shopping!

The Perfect Pattern to Showcase Diner Days

One of my favorite block design is the Lemoyne Star, and my all time favorite method to make the block is using Deb Tucker’s Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star Ruler and technique.  I recently returned from Certified Instructor training with Deb, but that’s a ramble for another time….PS I did graduate and am available for workshops, lectures, and demos at quilt shows….

Beautiful Diner Days collection by Island Batik
Back to School Blog Hop

Back to Diner Days….I quickly decided I wanted to use Deb’s pattern Sugar and Spice with this collection. Not only did it mimic her color pallet on the original pattern but it would be perfect to use the majority of fabrics in the Diner Days collection therefore truly showcasing the fabric. Not to mention I would be making my favorite stars!

Back to School Project – Sugar and Spice

Deb’s method calls for strip piecing the background fabric to the “star” fabric and is quickly done with chain piecing.

Colorful Fabric from Diner Days Collection
Strip piecing method for constructing Lemoyne Stars is fast and fun
Units come together quickly with Studio 180 Design method
I prefer to press my seams open – I like the way it makes my blocks lay flater

Before long I had the star point units together and was ready to assemble the 8 pointed star blocks.

As simple as sewing together a four patch! Look ma’ no Y seams!
Using my Tucker Trimmer from Studio 180 Design I then square up my Lemoyne Star blocks
27-star blocks later….the layout is coming together on my design wall

Next Technique

Also using the Tucker Trimmer tool by Studio 180 Design I made the half square triangles and the quarter square triangles to use in the setting solution. I love Deb’s techniques of oversizing the cuts, sewing together, then trimming to perfection. Makes me look good when my blocks all come together!

Studio 180 Design tools
More favorite tools, The Quilter’s Magic Wand and Sewline marking pencil to help mark the quarter inch seams for making the half square triangles and quarter square triangles
The lines on the Tucker Trimmer aid in the squaring up of the quarter square unit

Once all the units were made I played around with switching the scrappy star blocks to make them pleasing to my eye. I am so loving these fabrics!

The interior blocks are all completed, next up add the narrow border and scrappy border

On To The Longarm

As the old saying goes, it’s not a quilt until it’s quilted! It’s hard to say what I enjoy the most, making the quilt tops or quilting the quilt tops. My husband is always telling me “enjoy the process” so I guess in reality I do just that, enjoying each step that I’m on, from the planning stages to the binding. It’s all a joy for me.

Such a happy little quilt under the needle of my longarm
Little by little the fabrics are being covered with hand guided stitches
Sneak peak close up of the quilting and the beautiful fabric collection
Don’t you just love these fabrics!

Presenting Sugar and Spice Showcasing The Diner Days Fabric Line From Island Batik

Admittedly I am pleased with the way this quilt turned out. I’ve had the pattern on my bucket list for a couple of years – ever since I quilted the original one on the pattern cover for Deb Tucker.  At one time my thought was to make it in more tropical colors since that’s my usual color preference, but the moment I saw Diner Days I was smitten. This is a beautiful collection that is currently in stores now – so please ask for it by name! So many design possibilities!

Back to School Blog Hop
Perfect Back to School project

But Wait! There’s More!

In case you have missed the beginnings of the Back To School Blog Hop here’s the schedule. There are lots of giveaways so be sure and visit each of the Ambassadors blogs. We all love to have comments on our blogs so don’t be shy!

WEEK 1

Monday, September 4 – Beaujolais
Quilting Affection DesignsFunThreads Designs

Tuesday, September 5 – Country Dozen
Cheryl Lynch QuiltsInspired Layers

Wednesday, September 6 – Bonsai
Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, September 7 – Sakura
Masterpiece Quilting

Friday, September 8 – Empress Garden
Dessert Bloom QuiltingSlice of Pi Quilts

WEEK 2

Monday, September 11 – Fresh Pick’ins
KISSed Quilts

Tuesday, September 12 – Lotus Blooms
Kathys Kwilts and More

Wednesday, September 13 – Olivera
Moose Stash QuiltingVicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Thursday, September 14 – Rise & Shine
Den Syende HimmelSally’s Quilting Corner

Friday, September 15 – Diner Days
Ark Angel CreationsThe Quilt Rambler (you are here! Thank you!)

WEEK 3

Monday, September 18 – Seas the Day
KISSed QuiltsWhispers of Yore

Tuesday, September 19 – Vineyard
The Inquiring QuilterInchworm Fabrics

Wednesday, September 20 – Abalone
PamelaQuiltsYellow Cat Quilts

Thursday, September 21 – Batiks Go Retro
Adventures in Applique and Quilting

Friday, September 22 – Captain’s Anchor
Purrfect Spots DesignsBeaquilter

WEEK 4

Monday, September 25 – Cherry Berry
Freemotion by the RiverMary Mack Made Mine

Tuesday, September 26 – Lobster Bake
Seams to be Sew

Wednesday, September 27 – Solstice
Bejeweled QuiltsheARTs Creations

Thursday, September 28 – Sour Apple
Seams Like a DreamKauffman Designs

Friday, September 29 – Zen
Lizard Creek QuiltingQuilt’n Party

Good Things Come To Those Who Read Until The End!

Use the link below to register to win this autographed copy of Sugar and Spice by Deb Tucker

As promised – I have my own special giveaway and it’s not limited to just those in the United States! During my recent visit with Deb Tucker and the gang at Studio 180 Design, Deb was gracious enough to offer the “blog prize” for my post. An autographed copy of her Sugar and Spice pattern so you can make this beautiful 45″ x 62″ for yourself.  The pattern calls for 12 fat quarters plus background, but I didn’t limit myself to just 12! The more color the merrier! I highly recommend fabrics from Island Batik! In fact, I’m going to include a few samples of Island Batik fabrics as a bonus…

To register to win:

Click on the link below to register to win. There are multiple ways to have chances of winning – from commenting to following on social media – but you must click on the link to do so. Random drawing on Sept 30th. I will contact you via email to get your shipping address!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

News Flash:

Here’s the giveaway sponsored by Island Batik for more fabulous fabrics!

a
Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, sew happy to have you join me in this quilting journey!

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We Interrupt All The Major Disasters to Bring You a Blog Hop!

While many here in my home town are recovering from Hurricane Harvey and others in our nation are battling fires or preparing for Hurricane Irma I just wanted to remind you that there’s a little relief from all the disasters – please take time to refresh yourselves and be inspired by the new fabric lineup of Island Batik. The Ambassadors are working hard to showcase fabulous fabrics with their individual creativity. Here’s the schedule! Check out all the giveaways and stay tuned for Sept 15th when it’s my turn to share in the Blog Hop

Below is taken from Island Batik’s blog post

Here’s the schedule for the hop, beginning September 4th. Reference this post anytime, or follow us on Facebook for links to the post (or posts) of the day throughout the hop!

 

WEEK 1

Monday, September 4 – Beaujolais
Quilting Affection DesignsFunThreads Designs

Tuesday, September 5 – Country Dozen
Cheryl Lynch QuiltsInspired Layers

Wednesday, September 6 – Bonsai
Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, September 7 – Sakura
Masterpiece Quilting

Friday, September 8 – Empress Garden
Dessert Bloom QuiltingSlice of Pi Quilts

WEEK 2

Monday, September 11 – Fresh Pick’ins
KISSed Quilts

Tuesday, September 12 – Lotus Blooms
Kathys Kwilts and More

Wednesday, September 13 – Olivera
Moose Stash QuiltingVicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Thursday, September 14 – Rise & Shine
Den Syende HimmelSally’s Quilting Corner

Friday, September 15 – Diner Days
Ark Angel CreationsThe Quilt Rambler

WEEK 3

Monday, September 18 – Seas the Day
KISSed QuiltsWhispers of Yore

Tuesday, September 19 – Vineyard
The Inquiring QuilterInchworm Fabrics

Wednesday, September 20 – Abalone
PamelaQuiltsYellow Cat Quilts

Thursday, September 21 – Batiks Go Retro
Adventures in Applique and Quilting

Friday, September 22 – Captain’s Anchor
Purrfect Spots DesignsBeaquilter

WEEK 4

Monday, September 25 – Cherry Berry
Freemotion by the RiverMary Mack Made Mine

Tuesday, September 26 – Lobster Bake
Seams to be Sew

Wednesday, September 27 – Solstice
Bejeweled QuiltsheARTs Creations

Thursday, September 28 – Sour Apple
Seams Like a DreamKauffman Designs

Friday, September 29 – Zen
Lizard Creek QuiltingQuilt’n Party

 

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Leaving TuckerLand

TuckerLand is a magical place, it’s best described as a cross between Disneyland and Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory…it’s a place of love, laughter and fabulous food, and refuge. Lest everyone try to relocate to TuckerLand, (Brian), they bring you in after dark and you leave before dawn – therefore it’s a secret wonderland 😏 I feel privileged to have been allowed into the interworkings of TuckerLand .

Secret path to TuckerLand – the birds ate my bread crumbs 😔

TuckerLand is home to Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design. If you’ve followed #TheQuiltRambler on Facebook or Instagram (if not you should! There’s little buttons somewhere on this site that will connect us – I love to be connected don’t you?) IF you follow then you will know that several months ago I was accepted into Deb’s Certified Instructor Training in Iowa, where I am pleased to say “I graduated!!” Thank you very much. I’m now a new “CI” 👩‍🎓


Class of 2017 Certified Instructors- wonder if subconsciously I was in the top step for a reason 🤔

However, during  CI training Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and had the nerve to close the airports…preventing me from returning home. How rude! …enter the extremely generous offer of the Tucker’s to take me in like a little lost wet kitten …


Can I hitch a ride? 🙃

Traveling to TuckerLand was an adventure in and of itself- you can read about it on my previous posts – or Facebook- it’s okay,  take a minute to get connected. I’ll take a breath and come up for air while you take care of important business . Ok, back to the ramble…Upon arrival I was welcomed into the family and promptly put to work 😏 There are no slackers in TuckerLand. Truthfully being busy kept me distracted from the ongoing storm at home!


Introducing Studio 180 Design

At the head of the table is Dad Tucker, he stays busy monitoring the cats, doing dishes, odd jobs, etc – with his primary focus being that of inspection and quality control concerning the fish population in TuckerLand pond. He is very faithful in his duties, not only that, he let me call him dad.


To his left at the table is Jeff Tucker, aka Mr. Deb Tucker 😏 Jeff is the expert in logistics and shipping. I’m so thankful he was able to help me take off 20 pounds – just wish it were a magic diet instead of shipping the excess weight from my Tucker Tools, CI notebook and various other heavy things saving me an overweight baggage fee. Truth be told he probably contributed to my physical weight as Jeff is also a master chief at grilling on his Green Egg.  Not to metion he laughs at my corny jokes and my tall Texan tales – what more can I say!


Warehouse after a recent shipment of tools

A little hotel hand-sewing 😉

Next at the dinner table is Deb Tucker herself. Don’t faint, Cindy, I know you hyperventilate when you see her at shows (“Look!!! it’s DEB TUCKER“). After two weeks with this wonderful lady, I can attest that she indeed is the energizer bunny – only pausing from her many tasks of designing, teaching, packing for the next road trip to switching hats as a fabulous cook! (it’s in the Tucker DNA as they all cook – I’m simply amazed and hopeful that the cooking gene rubbed off on me) If one ever gets the opportunity to visit TuckerLand one will never lack for good food! But as the Bible says “if you don’t work you don’t eat“. Remember my mentioning no slackers 🤗Good thing binding and longarm quilting kept me well feed 😏

Next to Deb in the group photo is Bernadette, she’s the girl Friday whom I only met on Friday. Bernadette has a wonderful Australian accent and is a Jack of all trades hopping around all over the place from helping Jeff in the warehouse to assisting Deb with various tasks. Secretly I think she wants to learn to quilt on the longarm – so I gave her a lesson on “frogging” out bad tension areas. If you’ve ever taken a class from me you know one of my sayings – I make all the mistakes so you don’t have too– I think she would enjoy adding longarm quilter to her resume – but then they would need her more than parttime as this group of gals makes a lot of fabulous quilts that need to be quilted.


Talk about a tension headache – rip it, rip it


If I showed you more I’d be in trouble 😳 secret quilting for Fall Market/Houston International Quilt Festival 

Continuing clockwise around the table we have Sarah – it’s hard to define Sarah’s role with Studio 180 Design…pretty much Deb’s personal assistant, show companion, pattern designer, and whatever else needs to be done. If you are familiar with the Blockbuster series – that’s her brain child (look for a future quilt along with The Quilt Rambler using the Blockbuster designs). I can attest to her being a good traveling companion as we shared the backseat and a one night stay on the road.


On the road or in the office these are two hard working gals


And then there’s Sue – sweet Sue – who opened her home to me and shared her cats.🐱 I can’t properly express the comfort that Naz Tucker and Nino Tucker gave me as they loved on me and let me love on them. Nothing more soothing that an adoring pet.

Naz Tucker who woke me up with kitty kisses


Nino Tucker who liked to curl up and sleep with me

Sue and Jeff are twins and seriously can finish each other’s sentences when telling funny stories around the dinner table. She is the Office Manager arranging everything from accommodations for the road warriors, booking venues (such as our wonderful CI training that is also a future blog) to handling customer services to doing all the bookkeeping as well as keeping up with all the legal aspects of running a thriving business. Plus she knows how to pack a suitcase and never ever has a weight problem!

That’s the Public Tucker’s of Studio 180 Design – the family empire built of a unique blend of talent and skill. The Private Tucker’s of TuckerLand are equally amazing.


In her “spare” time Deb makes beautiful rag rugs from her 35+ years of fabric acquisition

Many times you see your “quilting heroes” at shows or YouTube and you can’t help but wonder what they are like on a personal level. And more times than not their public “face” of when they are “on” isn’t the same as when they let their hair down. Not the case with the Tucker’s. They are genuine in and out of public view, despite exhaustion after an event, getting slide-lined with car problems, working to get ready for the next show, doing laundry ( yes they do laundry like the rest of us and are generous in sharing their machines), to making fabulous meals, to whooping it up with a Penn State football game on TV (and boy oh boy do they really get into the game – homemade Chex mix and all) – they are the real deal. Loving, kind to a fault, and loyal to their tribe – family and CI’s (Certified Instructors of which there are now 80 including me!)


Girls night in – Tucker initiation “My Cousin Vinny”

I have been blessed above measure to now belong to that tribe! Tucker’s and their CI’s take care of their own. Words cannot express the gratitude I have towards my Studio 180 Design family who have encouraged me, loved me and cared for me above and beyond measure and given to me beyond my wildest dreams. I am truly speechless and in awe of their generosity.

So before I start crying again (I am writing this on my phone from the plane) I will say that indeed TuckerLand is a magical place and 🎶 I got the Golden Ticket!! 🎶

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler – looking forward to coming off the road to be 🎶home where I belong 🎶 but equally eager to return again some day to TuckerLand

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Quick update on Hurricane Harvey’s Messing Up My Studio 

9/1 I’m still a refugee at the Tucker’s in NC. But I’m not living like a refugee!!! Oh my goodness – beautiful accommodations, fun to be able to work a little in the studio – funner still to watch the amazing organization and work ethic of the Studio 180 Design team! And the food!! Oh my goodness can these Tucker women lay out a spread! Not just once but twice a day! I’ve always teased “feed me I’m yours” and it’s about time someone took me up on it! 🙃

Seriously – I am so grateful to have been adopted by the entire Tucker clan. I could ramble on and on but I do need to finish this update so I can “clock in” with the longarm.  Working on a secret Fall Market quilt that will also be in the booth at Festival 


Disclaimer – pardon my typos. I am blogging from my phone trying to work around two kitties that love me and keep hovering around my face and phone while I try to type. Nino and Nazz will be missed as will all the Tucker’s (and Sarah) when I leave. 

🎶 I’m leaving on a jet plane 🎶

Hopeful for a Sunday departure. Unconfirmed yet that the airport will be open. If so it means that I have been away from home 2 full weeks.

Studio update 

Water remained in the studio the entire round 1,2,3, and 4 of Harvey. The rest of the house drained between rounds. NO FABRIC WAS HARMED by Harvey due to the heroics of my hardworking sweet husband. Do not send stash  I’ve got more than I can handle 😏

Here’s a few studio photos without comment cuz it’s breakfast time and I have a full agenda. Will blog more as time goes by – right now between phone calls to hubby, insurance claims and trying to rebook flights that constantly change my rambling blog is on the back burner. I know ya understand 

More later!


This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler on the Road ready to roll my sleeves and help my community  🤠 #texasstrong

How Hurricane Harvey interrupted my return flight home from Certified Instructor Training 

Photo credit Eric Overton 

First of all let me say thank you to those who are and have been praying for my family during this disconcerting time of displacement by Hurricane Harvey. 

Secondly let me say this recapping is not in chronological order and is definitely a ramble. I will try to fill in the blanks over the next few days…including highlights from my week of CI training with Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design. My quilting photos are on a camera and I can’t download until I get home to my computer.


Photo credit Jake Overton – our front yard 

I received a phone call from my husband Johnny at 4 AM Sunday morning telling me not to get on my plane as he would not be able to get out to pick me up due to flooding. He then told me we had 3-4 inches in the house and about 6 inches in my studio.

My classmates were so loving and supportive during the week as news of the fast approaching storm interrupted my focus on quilting. With my flight being canceled I wasn’t sure of the next step.


As seen on Facebook personal page 

Deb, Sue, and Sarah insisted that I come home with them instead of being stuck in Iowa waiting for the Houston Hobby Airport to reopen. They live in North Carolina. Sounded reasonable not to mention extremely generous. My biggest fear was that my rambling across country would wear them out!  

It made perfect sense to have the opportunity to be productive – besides, Deb had brought a quilt top she wanted me to quilt before Fall Market and if I came home with her I could use her longarm. No telling when I would be able to use mine. Sounded like a plan!! Yep. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with these ladies!


As seen on Facebook personal page 

I continued to get updated on the home front. As Johnny said, we’d been wanting to get rid of things – gotta keep laughing it’s so much better than crying! 


Davenport Iowa, photo credit Sue Tucker

We were making good progress having left very early Sunday morning. Until we stopped for breakfast that is… something was wrong with the Tahoe. Didn’t want to go forward but would go in reverse. Called a tow truck and the Firestone folks checked it out and sent us on our merry little way. By this time it was lunch time.

🎶on the road again 🎶

As we were approaching Indianapolis things got ugly. Transmission lights came on and you could feel it slipping. We managed to stop at a gas station and there she died. 


By now it was dusk. One tow truck took Deb and Sue along with the car to the local dealership (they were closed on Sunday) while the other towed the trailer along with Sarah and I to the hotel. Plan B was starting to get a few hickups.

Fast forward to Monday. Confirmed that the transmission needs to be replaced – which will take a couple of days. 


Around noonish Sue and Sarah called a taxi to take them to rent a car. Upcoming shows and deadlines prevented them from remaining idle for several days.


Deb and I remained behind to wait on the repairs. After a walk over to a near by restaurant and a walk down EVERY isle in Krogers where  we decided we “got our steps in” we came back to the hotel  to work on some bindings for their show quilts before ordering a pizza and calling it a night.

As I mentioned I will try to catch up on the blog but for now just know that despite round 3 of Harvey’s rain tonight that I am resolved that I trust God to work all things out for my good – even a flooded studio. My family is all safe for the night and we appreciate your continued prayers.

More later 

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler on the road staying away from the rain in Houston


Photo credit Jake Overton – our backyard and his apartment 

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
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