It’s here! It’s here!! The Four Seasons Blog Hop with The Island Batik Ambassadors began today with a beautiful collection called Blue Moon (which I dearly love). The full schedule, complete with links, is listed at the end of this post.
Each day for the next four weeks the ambassadors will be sharing their creations with you from the new fabric that was introduced at the Fall Market in Houston. The line up is very impressive! They will be arriving at your local quilt shops within the next few weeks!
What’s a blog hop without giveaways! All you need to do is bookmark the Island Batik Blogor this post to keep up with the lineup. Also, watch across social media to join in the fun! Island Batik has a special grand prize at the end of the hop, in addition, each ambassador is offering a giveaway too – you can’t win if you don’t play along!
I will be sharing the 3rd week and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on….but in the meantime – check out the January Four Seasons Blog Hop!
I am over the moon excited to announce that the rambler and the redneck are teaming up to teach this fall at Studio 180 Academy!
What is Studio 180 Academy?
Imagine three days of quilting bliss with Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design Certified Instructors in a luxurious setting in Zion, Illinois. You can read more about it in my recent post when I shared that Brian and I had submitted a proposal to teach – and guess what!Just this week we were accepted as faculty!
Things are moving right along towards this September adventure with the class descriptions being made public on the official Studio 180 Academy website in the next few weeks. Here’s the interesting thing – class size is limited and it fills up fast so I’m letting you, dear reader, know ahead of time to bookmark said website and be ready to push that button to sign up March 1st. If I were you, I’d already be settin’ my alarm!
Who Are You Guys and What Are You Teaching?
Glad you asked! First of all, we are both from the “Class of 2017” Certified Instructors with Studio 180 Design. Ours is the “freshman” class as Deb has offered certified instructor training annually the past 4 years. We met at our training this past summer and just sort of connected. We began collaborating on our class proposal then meet up at Fall Quilt Market to finalize the pattern and fabrics in person. Indeed, it was fun keeping our secret as we shopped for fabrics!
Brian McCoy calls himself The Redneck Quilter. I think he’s kin to the Energizer Bunny! Brian’s the owner of a very successful quilt shop in South Parkersburg WV called Bolts and Quarters Quilt Shop. He does have an abundance of energy, in a good way, not hyper or anything (grin) just very efficient and productive with his time. Brian has a “day job” in addition to teaching and running a quilt shop. I love that his shop keeps evening hours and offers several hundred classes a year. If I lived in the area I would certainly be hanging out! Talk about inspiration!
Me? For those reading my blog for the first time, I’m Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler. As my logo suggests, I love to talk quilts. But I do more than just talk! I’ve been a longarm quilter since 2003 and have been teaching and sharing my passion for quilting well before the “turn of the century“. I have taught in numerous locations including two quilting cruises with a third one booked for 2019. I love love love Studio 180 Design tools and teaching others how to use them -so it’s truly an honor to be among this year’s staff at Academy.
Yes, I said quilts, plural! Before I explain and share the prototypes, let me whet your whistle with our class description:
Using the Corner Beam, V-block and Square Squared
tools, students will make twinkling blocks that
shimmer like crown jewels in the night sky.
With varied layout and color palette options,
personalize your quilt into a Twilight or
Midnight rendition of the heavenly stars
we call Celestial Borealis.
Choices, there should always be choices, right? So, choices there are! Using the same tools making the same units we are offering two different block constructions, two different layouts, and two different color pallets.
Brian’s quilt is entitled Celestial Borealis at Midnight and will be made with the hand dyed fabrics from Kathleen Starr. Here is the EQ8 version of his design. This version offers three different block sizes to complete the quilt.
Karen’s quilt is entitled Celestial Borealis at Twilight and will be made using fabrics from Island Batik. Here is the EQ8 version of her design.
Won’t You Join Us At Studio 180 Academy?
There will be multiple classes to choose from amongst the Certified Instructor faculty. While we’d like for everyone to take our class, we really just like for everyone to join us at Academy! All of the classes will focus on teaching you to be proficient with the Studio 180 Design tools and techniques. There will be open sewing time, time to just relax, time to shop (who doesn’t love that!), time to get to know other quilters, and of course time to ask away about all the wonderful patterns, tools and technique sheets offered by Studio 180 Design. It’s a guaranteed good time! Take it from the rambler and the redneck – we can’t wait to be there!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, excited to be teaming up to teach with The Redneck Quilter. Hurry and visit the Studio 180 Academy website and get all the details!
It does feel like time is standing still. But things are actually moving forward. Here’s the status update for things at the Overton household and The Quilt Rambler Studio (all under the same roof!)
Yesterday the Repipe Specialist dropped the water lines to replace the old galvanized pipes. This is not part of Harvey damage but an out of pocket expense that needed to be done while the walls are open.
Next step is to totally remove everything out of the house and Studio either in storage or the necessary things we will need to reside in the RV. Due to continued waiting on funds to be released by mortgage company from insurance, and our contractor’s schedule, mercifully, we have until the 15th – rather the night of the 14th to complete this task!
Current conditions 🎶baby it’s cold outside 🎶. We have chosen to remain in the house (without walls and insulation) vs a total move to the RV until the 14th If you’ve been keeping up with us you will know that includes our RV as our only “outhouse” due to an inoperable “facility” in the house- reminds me of Girl Scout camp and running outside to the latrine – thankfully this one is warm inside (and odorless 😏) We are counting our blessings that while it may be cold we are not having to make a run in the rain 😳
There’s lots to do in the next few days including 3 quilts that have deadlines. So I best get off and get busy!
Goals. Seems to be the buzz word this week! Some say they are best set one month at a time. Sometimes for me, it’s just a daily thing as the to-do list in its entirety can get mindboggling. I am linking up with Elm Street Quilts to share my January monthly goal(s) then at the end of the month, I will link up my accomplishments. This is going to be fun – I’d invite you to join me, it’s easy to do with either a blog or Instagram or flicker account.
In addition, I am participating in an Instagram Photo Challenge with Quilters Planner so you will want to hop over to my account and follow along. I received notice that my planner shipped today! Exciting news indeed. There are so many ways to connect with quilters – I just love it! Okay, let’s get on with the goals!
January Goal Number One:
I have enjoyed being an Island Batik Ambassador this past year. Our tenure began February 2017 and ends with a fabulous blog hop beginning January 8 – stay tuned for links to that! As an ambassador, we have been given monthly challenges to make projects using the fabrics they so generously provide. I’ve certainly been challenged and have enjoyed every project…but I’m behind one… so that’s my first goal for January – to catch up with the October challenge.
January Goal Number Two:
As mentioned above, there’s a blog hop planned with the ambassadors to introduce the new fabrics shipping soon…so my second goal for January is to make and complete my project. Thankfully my scheduled date is later in the month! So I’m going to save sneak peeks for another time.
January Goal Number Three:
It’s not quilt related, yet it is as it involves The Quilt Rambler studio. Today is the first day of reconstruction after Hurricane Harvey! We are having to replace all the water piping in the house, not flood-related just “old house” related. Of course, they would have to come on the coldest day of the year! And not just the physical year as I know this is only the second of January! It’s 26 degrees at my studio which is halfway between Houston and Galveston and trust me, we don’t do winter well around here – especially with the attic door open as well as both the front and back door as the workers do their thing…ah but I ramble on…
Goals number 1 and 2 must be completed by the 15th as must goal number 3….move everything out of the studio and house so the real reconstruction can begin!
The Best Is Yet To Come:
I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities and challenges coming my way in 2018, both personal and quilt related!
I’ve saved the best news for last! I received an email this morning – it’s official!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, wondering what it would be like to use a rotary cutter with gloves on?
What are your January goals? Do you like to participate in online quilting events? Inquiring minds want to know. Leave me a comment and let’s get to know each other better this year!
Happy New Year 2018! What a difference a year makes! This time last year I was celebrating a brand new studio redo.
That Was Then
In all honesty, the room really never stayed like this – it’s a working studio after all and I tend to make “creative messes.” It was certainly colorful!
This is Now
Hurricane Harvey wasn’t nice. The hardest hit room of my house was the studio. As a former two-car garage, the studio has a step-down and is lower than the rest of the house. Harvey came and stayed for several days, each night bringing in more water. During the day a lot would drain down, except in the studio. It remained under water for 5 days with approximately 5 inches. Most things were put up high….but water is water and it causes walls to have to come down. Which simply means a four letter word – WORK!
But that was then. This is now.
Things were reorganized, somewhat, into buckets and now those buckets must be moved into storage because reconstruction starts tomorrow!
My Mission Impossible
And I chose to accept it! Move things out so the reconstruction can begin. So many exciting things are going to be happening in 2018. For example – see those stack of clear buckets in the photo above- take a good look – that area is going to become a guest powder room! I am so excited to have a “second potty” – it’s going to be sew perfect for future quilting classes!
Yep, lots of changes coming in 2018. I’m ready to begin this journey! Hope you will hang around and cheer me through it!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, Texas Strong by the grace of God!
There are a few hours left in 2017 and I couldn’t help but think of some of the challenges facing me in 2018. Not necessarily difficult challenges, perhaps time-consuming, but all will be opportunities for growth.
Earlier today I shared generic goals for 2018 both in my quilting and in my personal life. I’ve been thinking a bit about that and thought I’d elaborate a bit to perhaps even make a plan.
First Things First:
I do want to continue using my Bible app, but I haven’t decided which reading plan to do this year. For several years I’ve done the One Year Bible because I have that in book form as well as on my iPhone…need to make a decision tonight I guess!
I also enjoy getting Daily Bible Verse emails and text.
At church today we had a guest speaker, James Walker from Watchman share a message on “Always Be Ready to Give a Defense” who suggested a 10-day challenge to train in being ready to defend and share our faith. I signed up and thought this a good way to start my New Year.
Other goals of being healthy and such don’t need to be repeated, they just need to be put in practice!
Challenges for 2018:
I have truly enjoyed the 31-day blog writing challenge and I realize I have a lot to learn so this has spring-boarded challenges for 2018. I plan on doing more research on what constitutes a blog worthy of following – I’m sure there will be some changes along the way!
Be A Better Blogger
One thing I especially want to learn is how to navigate my way around WordPress better as well as learn how to use PhotoShop and/or Lightroom. My immediate goal is to learn how to resize photos for the web and add my watermark. Here are a few attempts earlier today. If anyone has suggestions for online (free) tutorials to learn these programs I do hope you will leave the information in the comments below!
Build My Workshop Samples
Another specific goal is to fill up these empty project boxes with my workshop materials. Deb Tucker calls them “A class in a box.” Each will house a complete workshop or demo using Studio 180 Design tools and technique sheets.
Participate in Online Challenges and Quilting Communities
I may be repeating myself, haven’t had much sleep in the past few days…if I haven’t mentioned already…well, I purchased the Quilter’s Planner and as soon as it arrives I am eager to write all these goals in my plan book. I am also considering accepting their challenge of a block of the month and perhaps the Instagram challenge for January… we will see…
Another online challenge that I think is so doable is the Elm Stree Quilts One Monthly Goal. You need to visit their website and enroll. Now, this is my kind of challenge! I set my own goal for the month (like the Quilter’s Planner Sampler or one future workshop box complete) and link up with the host and be “accountable”. I think you should check it out if you haven’t already done so. In addition, there will be Designer Highlights along the way. I bet this fits in with my goal of being a better blogger and designer!
The biggest one is happening right now! In the next few days, we are moving things out of our flood-damaged house into storage. If you’ve been following my post-Harvey rambles you will know that it’s been a long wait game….waiting for insurance to release funds so we can begin reconstruction. At this time the funds are stalled at the mortgage company pending their approval of my contractor and bid. We anticipate things moving forward right after the holiday.
Time to move the studio! This is an ongoing saga so there will be more!
Yes, life is full of challenges. Some are fun like a block of the month program, others are just plain work! Bottom line is doing the best you can to face each challenge and being an overcomer! Oh, and don’t forget to laugh along the way! Choose joy this year my friends!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, ready to turn that calendar page and welcome the challenges of 2018 head-on!
What a loaded question! I think it’s so funny that we get all excited about turning over a calendar page when in reality it’s really just another day…but I have to confess I get caught up in the idea of new beginnings! Somehow just the thought is stimulating, exciting, so much anticipation and imagination. Possibilities are indeed endless!
I’ve been enjoying several “challenges” this past year and I decided to end the year with just one more! I’m linking up with quiltingJETgirl for a fun #2018PlanningParty sharing my goals and plans for 2018.
2017 had a lot of goals, the biggest one was rebranding after 13 years of being a longarm quilter as Quilts ‘N Kaboodle to branching out with multiple facets as The Quilt Rambler. Three major quilting events happened that confirmed my business goals were going in the right direction. (1) I became an Island Batik Ambassador (2) two original design patterns were submitted and included in Island Batik’s Fall Market catalog and (3) I was certified with Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design.
Hurricane Harvey blew some of the goals to the back burner. During the cleanup, I actually ran across the pad of paper where I had written down my 2017 goals…
Ya’know, if you keep your goals hidden in the back of a drawer it’s kinda hard to work towards them! Can’t say I really accomplished any of those simple goals.
Goal Considerations for 2018
I haven’t really taken time to reflect on new goals. Like most people, we just repeat the same goals – thinking that doing the same thing will give different results. This year I hope to be more accountable and actually achieve goals in 2018 in all areas of my life.
I have storage boxes full of UFO’s dating back decades, it would be a lofty goal to say I would work on one a month…I started 2017 off doing just that…but that’s not exactly on my radar for 2018… Oh, don’t misunderstand, I have all good intentions of finishing projects that I started – not to mention the 25+ completed quilt tops that are “quilting in waiting” – waiting to be quilted… but these are not the top priority… one reason because they are inaccessible right now in storage with Harvey recovery. But the main reason is I have so many other ideas in my head that need to be done.
Without much ramble, as I’ve been so long-winded for this whole #31dayblogchallenge…here are a few of my goals – as with anything, it’s a journey, not a destination. No pass or fail, only try!
To travel more with lectures and teaching
Make class sample quilts for workshops
Make step-outs for Studio 180 Design tools and technique sheets
Continue with Island Batik as an Ambassador creating projects to showcase their beautiful fabric line
Design and publish more patterns (3 are in the works to be released in 2018)
Submit design(s) to a quilt magazine as consideration for publication
Host a Quilt-along
Research, develop and fine tune better social media skills
Quilt my own quilts in addition to customer quilts
Attend guild sew-ins, perhaps a retreat or two
Redo my studio! Harvey reconstruction can’t come fast enough!
Remain active in worshiping and serving at my church
Attend as many of the Women’s Ministry events as possible
Be more aware of my health:
continue with South Beach Diet – down 7 pounds since starting in November! (Holidays aren’t the best time to start a diet!)
Join the local gym for water aerobics
Ride my bike as much as possible
Relax more – I hear the Tiki Hut Hammock calling my name
Go on a fall cruise with my husband
Take the RV out on the road – not just a place to stay during reconstruction
Enjoy the process of reconstruction – keep the end goal in mind – it’s going to be better than it was!
Don’t forget to laugh
But Wait, There’s More!
With me, there’s always more! Right now I think this is a good framework to begin the new year. Keep first things first, for me that’s Jesus – and the rest will follow…health, relaxation, new business opportunities. creative outlets to share my love of quilting….and on and on it goes! The most important thing is to not take myself too seriously that I forget it’s suppose to be fun!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, eager to turn over that calendar page to a New Year. May your 2018 be filled with hope and love…oh! And lots of quilting!!
PS This completes my 31st blog post during the #31dayblogchallenge hosted by muppin.com – thanks for the challenge!!
(Photo Credit, Eric Overton, Dickinson Texas
after Hurricane Harvey)
How do I say thanks to the many people who have influenced my life this past year? With tears in my eyes, actually. This wasn’t exactly the post I had planned for today but in going through photos of 2017 I knew this had to be my direction.
I don’t have words to express what is stirring in my heart at the moment. There are so many people that I don’t have a “photo documentation” of our relationship to share, but my truest friends know that and forgive me for not mentioning their name.
The Best of 2017:
My original intent was to post about my favorite personal quilts of the year. There’s a fun hashtag on Instagram called #bestnine2017 and I had prepared this photo – the first quilt of the year made as a lap quilt for a lady at church in a wheelchair, an autograph quilt for friends moving to Scotland as missionaries, my favorite quilted covered notebooks, my three favorite Island Batik Ambassador challenges, my two patterns introduced this past year and my favorite quilting on a personal quilt (middle bottom). Yep, that was the plan…
And the Nominees Are…
Youngest Quilt Recipient
If you’ve been keeping up with social media you will remember me posting about the recently made baby quilt, a little late…she was born right after Harvey. Well, this is the best kind of thank you note a quilter will ever receive!
Thoughtful Customer Award
Marcy is a faithful quilter and friend. Not only was she the first one to respond to my call for quilt angels but she was very very patient in waiting for me to finish her quilts, one the day before Christmas and the other two picked up today making them the last customer quilts of 2017. In addition, she saw my plea on facebook for donuts yesterday afternoon and guess what she brought this morning! I do have the best customers/friends. I can’t thank them all enough for believing in me and supporting me during this rollercoaster of a year!
First Quilt Award
That would go to my sister who made her very first quilt and asked me to quilt it for her! Talk about a perfectionist! You should see how she perfectly matched the graphics on the back seam making it appear to be one large piece of fabric! Way to go Amy!
Perfectly matched – can you see the seam?
She’s a “paper person” and loves Tim Holtz
Guild Member Award – Best Charity Quilt Maker
I’ve talked about my local guild a lot this past year, I have so many dear friends that it would take the entire evening to share how wonderful each of them is…I thought I’d highlight one special lady, Pat, who takes all of our scrap donations and makes the most beautiful charity quilts, generally 3 or 4 a month. I can’t tell you how it has thrilled me to see some of my castaways – makes me feel like I’m contributing in some way. A wise quilter once said, “you bought that fabric to make a quilt, no one said you had to be the one that makes it!”
Favorite Customer Quilt
I know we shouldn’t have favorites – I have so many beautiful quilts that grace my longarm as my customers are very creative – however, if there was one that I would have loved to have kept it would be this quilt by Deb Tucker, called Morning Glory. The cool thing is I have purchased the pattern and it’s on my bucket list to make my own!
Best Quilting Travel Buddy
Hands down my friend Dianne has been a blessing this year. Not only did she travel with me to Arizona where I spoke at a guild and taught a workshop she has also been a behind the scene “quilt angel” and “Santa’s elf.” A true friend indeed and a true friend when I’m in need. We are looking forward to more travels together in 2018!
Best Quilt Consultant
Our youngest son, Jake, is an artist in his own right. I rely on him a lot for his opinions on everything from fabric color choices to confirmations on some of my quilt designs. He’s nice enough to share Oscar, his cat, with me (grin).
Best Studio Cat
Was there any doubt?
People Who Make Me Look Good Awards
I don’t have a photo of my sweet friend Lindsie Bergevin who created my branding this year for The Quilt Rambler…She and I will be working together with Leslie Meltzer to bring my patterns to print the first of 2018. I am so blessed to have found these ladies! I can hardly contain myself!
Best Hairdresser Award
The lady who really makes me look good is Maria, my hairdresser! I like to tease that I have a good hair day once every 5 weeks – I love how she gets the back so curly! It goes without saying that I have a standing date night when I get my hair done!
I’m so indebted to our oldest son Eric for his skills as a photographer and videographer. This year I needed his services to photograph my quilts that will be pattern covers (coming 2018) as well as helping with all the fun YouTubes we did earlier in the year. Harvey kinda threw us a curveball, but we’ll be back in 2018!
I’ve had a lot of fun attempting to take quality photos this year, but alas, I’m limited to my iPhone…however, the really good ones are taken by Eric… this is my all time favorite photo of the year – a candid moment of joy caught on film. Thank you, Eric, for this photo of your dad.
Now that’s a toss up! Tuckerland as a Harvey refugee? or cruise with my husband? Hum… I have to say both were much-needed escapes but hands down the accommodations and food were better in Tuckerland!
Whether he’s taking care of my bike or vehicles, moving things to “higher ground” before the flood or tearing out the walls after Harvey, Johnny is certainly my best handyman.
It seems like an eternity since we experienced the furry of Hurricane Harvey. So many things were altered by this storm. The true blessing has come with the people who have joined together to help a neighbor, even a stranger, in their time of need. Here are just a few photos of hundreds that represent my thank you to all who have come to us in our hour(s) of need.
The Best Family
While there wasn’t time or photos to thank all my friends for a fabulous 2017 I can share a photo of “my family” whom indeed are the bestest!
The Best of Times The Worst of Times
Thank you for scrolling down to the very end. It’s hard to try to contain a whole year in one blog post! The quilting adventure has been grand, the future looks bright with all the quilting potentials. The homefront may look like a wreck after Harvey, but we see the potential there too! Friends, Family, and Fabric (grin) that’s what keeps me moving forward!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, thank you for sharing my 2017. Stay tuned tomorrow when I toast out the year and share my goals for 2018
I’m joining in Meadow Mist Designs Best of 2017 Linky Party – which simply means I’m highlighting what I think are my best 5 blogs of 2017 here on The Quilt Rambler blog and linking up with other bloggers to help you discover new blogs to enjoy. If this is how you found me, welcome! I hope you will like what you read and hang around for what promises to be an exciting 2018.
I’m Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, and as my name implies I love to “talk quilts.” This year marks the debut of The Quilt Rambler as I rebranded Jan 2017 from Quilts ‘N Kaboodle after 13+ years. My focus this year has been working with Island Batik fabrics as an Island Batik Ambassador and with Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design as a Certified Instructor. It’s been an interesting year as my home and studio were flooded by Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately post-Harvey clean up has been in competition with the quilt rambles for recent blog posts but 2018 marks another new beginning so I do hope you will join me!
I guess I should back up a bit…This next blog post explains the excitement of being an Island Batik Ambassador – the anticipation and arrival of my first fabric box (we get two a year). What’s In Your Box?
As a quilter, I would be lost without my quilting friends. I love my local guild and I love teaching and lecturing at guilds. Here’s just a highlight of why I think it’s important for quilters to gather. 3 Reasons Why You Should Join A Quilting Guild.
But Wait, There’s More!
There is sew much more! I do hope you will decide to subscribe to The Quilt Rambler blog. There’s so much more planned for 2018! Even with reconstruction from Harvey, (which means a new studio redo AGAIN), there will be new quilts, new workshops, and a whole lot of rambling going on!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, thanking you for joining me with the Best of 2017 Linky Party! Be sure and check out the other participants!
Day 29 of #31dayblogchallenge #2017blogwritingchallenge with muppin.com
I get by with a little help from my friends! Especially quilting friends.
Today my friend Dianne took a day off of work and brought her granddaughter Beyonca over to help me sort and organize my quilts and fabrics for storage. These are items that had previously been dispursed post-Harvey and taken by “quilt angels” to wash and return. Our first order of business was to lay out all the weathertight totes and start going through the bags and boxes that had been returned. Our goal was to have one bucket per color, with a special one for Christmas prints and collections. It seriously took longer than one would imagine!
By 3 o’clock we’d run out of totes, even with pulling in the black ones from Home Depot (new thankfully). Those totes held my collection of antique quilts and a few of my personal quilts. It quickly became apparent that I need more buckets!
The red lid totes are housing my “quilts in waiting” – these are quilt tops that I have pieced but have never made it under the needle of the longarm. Some are over a decade old. One tote is nothing but Island Batik quilt tops and quilt tops pieced using Deb Tucker tools and patterns – they have priority once my studio is operational again, as I need to add them to my traveling trunk show. That’s why they are in the special red lid totes (actually I overbought for my Christmas decorations but I’m going to pretend that I did that on purpose!)
There are still quilts that need to be put into buckets. The ones in the red wagon are just everyday personal quilts. No telling how many others are scattered around the house. I don’t know about you but I use my quilts! Watching TV, sitting outside under the tiki hut, and of course several on the bed! The quilts on the table are set apart for my traveling trunk show – there are more in the studio – I figured I need at least 6 more totes to travel with. Time to go shopping again…but that will have to wait until tomorrow as I do have a deadline quilt I’m going to try to finish tonight before midnight…
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, thankful for friends who help in time of need – you gals know who you are, you quilt angels you!
Day 28 #31dayblogchallenge #2017blogwritingchallenge