Three Monthly Goals for January 2018

Future Projects for The Quilt Rambler

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.

I decided on the perfect pattern with the beautiful Island Batik fabrics – to be completed by the end of January!

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:

Out with the old, in with the new. Water pipes that is!

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!

New Year’s Day duties – take a truckload of The Quilt Rambler studio totes to storage
Making progress, 4 shelves out of 6 were moved to storage, it’s a start at least!
Current Worldview. Just keeping it real folks…all this needs to be sorted into buckets and moved – and this doesn’t even include the rest of the house!
Reconstruction also means a little remodeling – adding plumbing for a future studio half bathroom!!!

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!

I will be returning in 2018 as an Island Batik Ambassador! Sew excited!

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!





That Was Then, This Is Now

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!

The Quilt Rambler Studio Jan. 1, 2017
The Quilt Rambler Studio Jan 2017
The Quilt Rambler Studio Jan 2017
The Quilt Rambler Studio Jan 2017

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!

Jan 2018 The Quilt Rambler Studio current worldview
Preparing to fold quilts to put into storage buckets 1.1.18
The Quilt Rambler Studio Redo 2018

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!






More End of the Year Thoughts – Future Challenges

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.

watchman.orgAt 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!

Baby quilt made from Island Batik precut squares by The Quilt Rambler
My last quilt made in 2017 was gifted today in expectations of a baby girl due soon in the new year.
Thread play of Karen Overton's Signature butterfly quilted into a baby quilt
“Karen’s Special Butterfly” was quilted into the quilt as The Quilt Rambler’s signature – all hand guided, not computerized or digitized

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.

Empty boxes hold so much potential for future projects
Future planning – these boxes were purchased as part of the post-Harvey studio redo and will hold demo step-outs as well as technique workshops and class sample visuals
With so many wonderful tools by Studio 180 Design and so many beautiful Island Batik fabrics this challenge of filling my boxes will be a pleasure indeed

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…

I really want to do this as I know Leslie who is “the fearless leader”. I think it will be fun! Doesn’t her kitty look like Oscar!

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!

Personal Challenges:

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!

Studio in a Box – or boxes! Finding their way to the storage facility in preparation for our Harvey reconstruction
man moving boxes into a storage unit
And so it begins….moving on up!

Closing thoughts

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’s In Store for 2018?

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!

2018 Planning Party

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.

Goal Setting

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…

The Quilt Rambler 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.

The Quilt Rambler UFO projects
Guild Sew Ins were a great motivator to finish up UFO projects, some just needing borders to be finished

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!

Quilting Goals:

  • Set outs from Certified Instructor training with Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design

    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!

Personal Goals:

  •  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 – thanks for the challenge!!