Is Time Standing Still?

Time Stands Still
Life without Walls, or Insulation!

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!

Carry on – that is all




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!






It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Photo Credit Eric Overton
(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.

Orange Cat Sleeping under quiltsI 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:

Quilts pieced by The Quilt RamblerMy 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!

Baby quilt made by The Quilt Rambler
To Selah with love

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!

The Quilt Rambler has many quilt angels
Taking home the first load of quilts to be washed post-Harvey
Last two customer quilts of the year, for a special puppy and for a wonderful daughter. Pieced by Marcy quilted by The Quilt Rambler

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!”

Take 8 orphan blocks, add scraps (from The Quilt Rambler stash) add a gifted quilter to equal a beautiful charity quilt.
How does she do this? Given a centerpiece, a bunch of purple scraps and some 1930 reproduction strips and it turns out beautiful!

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!

Hot off the frame, Morning Glory by Deb Tucker quilted by The Quilt Rambler
Custom Quilting by The Quilt Rambler
My signature “feather puffs”

Best Quilting Travel Buddy

Dianne is also a P3 – one of my pattern proofing people

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!

Oh, the places we will go!

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).

We had plans for a mother/son challenge that got put on hold – perhaps 2018!
My favorite photo of Jake taken by his brother Eric

Best Studio Cat

Was there any doubt?

Military Quilt by The Quilt Rambler
Although he’s really not supposed to get on the customer quilts, I do catch him occasionally.

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!

Maria makes me look good once every 5 weeks!
Proof that my hair really does have natural curls

Best Photographer

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!

Overton Photography at work
Overton Photography taking shots of a secret quilt that will be introduced in 2018

Best Photo

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.

Johnny enjoyed a rare fishing trip – yep, he looks relaxed and refreshed doesn’t he?

Best Vacation

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!

Tuckerland is a happy place
A much-needed refreshment – we love cruising!

Best Handyman

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.

Best Helpers

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.

Jamie worked for several days with me trying to pack things up so the men could remove the walls, she even brought lunch to feed all the workers
The custom built-in cabinet used to house over 100 personal quilts. So well built that it took several good men to remove it
Eric’s been waiting all his life to have a reason to wear his gas mask!
Jake carried a lot of debris to the curb
Katie has been a huge help to Johnny’s parents during their reconstruction learning how to put up sheetrock and tear out tile. You go, girl!

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!

Celebrating my birthday on the farm with our kids, my mom, sister, and brother-in-law
The entire Overton clan celebrating Christmas even during reconstruction
The best of the bunch! Celebrating our first family dinner in the RV preparing for reconstruction

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

Day 30 of the #31dayblogchallenge
















Friends and Fabric

colorful stack of quilts by The Quilt Rambler

I get by with a little help from my friends! Especially quilting friends.

Quilt Angels come in all sizes

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!

Counted 22 totes, one shy of my favorite number 23…sigh…

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!)

Quilts, Quilts and More Quilts!

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





Family and Fabric

The past few days were spent enjoying family whereas the next few days will be spent enjoying fabric!

Family – Home for the Holidays, Part 1

fall trees and Texas barnChristmas morning found my husband and I on a two hour trip across “the great divide” meaning we went from south of Houston to north of Houston to visit with my sister, brother-in-law, and mom. It’s always fun to leave the “city life” behind for a few hours in the country.

We were so busy having fun and enjoying great food – including a homemade cheesecake made by my brother-in-law – that we forgot to take photos! Not having any special equipment we opted for a selfie with my iPhone.

Family Christmas photo

 Family – Home for the Holidays, Part 2

After a few short hours of eating and visiting, we headed south again to the Overton side of the family for evening Christmas plans. My in-laws were affected by Hurricane Harvey, losing their entire downstairs – kitchen, media room and great room – but were determined to have our clan gathering even without finished walls and with bare concrete flooring. Nothing was going to stop the annual Bingo challenge!

Family Christmas photo

This year we were able to have all three generations together, the three brothers with their wives, the 5 nephews with 2 wives and our one niece (center) – sixteen in all! We always tease that all the smart women married Overtons, as only one was blessed to be born an Overton….so far that is…

Family – Home for the Holidays – Part 3

After being with extended family I was thankful that we could steal away just a little time with my “family five“. The kids joined last night  for a simple pizza party in our RV – the first official  “all family dinner.” Even Oscar joined us but neither he nor I made it into the photo. Guess we were shy.

Family photo

Indeed, we have had a wonderful time with our family over the holidays and very thankful that we were able to see all of our immediate/extended family which can be rare at times due to work schedules and travel.

Where’s the Fabric?

If you’ve been following The Quilt Rambler Great Harvey Adventure then you’d know that we are still in a mess over here. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel and this time it’s not a train!

We are moving things into temporary storage and/or the RV – it’s quite an undertaking and will be days until completion in preparation for our reconstruction to begin.

Next step is organizing all the fabric! If you recall, my fabric stash, as well as my personal quilts all, were dispersed to my “quilt angels” to freshen up with a good washing and have been returning a little here and a little there being plopped into the living area awaiting organization. Well, that day is scheduled for tomorrow when I will have helpers sorting all my fabrics into those wonderful weathertight totes that I have fallen in love with.  Here are the “before” photos so you can see the challenge ahead…

Fabric in wire baskets and buckets under the kitchen cabinet all freshly washed
More fabric in wire baskets and buckets needing to be organized, and a few quilts
New totes awaiting filling – quilts, and batting waiting in the corner of the room

There is so much to do but it’s exciting to finally be getting to this point of organization. I just hope I don’t have to go shopping for more totes!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, eager to share the “after” photos of all the pretty fabrics neatly organized!

Day 27 #31dayblogchallenge #2017blogwriting challenge with





And So It Begins

The day after Christmas marks the official “beginning to move out” process. We have a week until Repipe Specialist come to replace our old galvanized pipes. We have been instructed to have certain areas cleared so they can work. It does help that we don’t have walls, thank you Harvey, makes their job easier!

Today it was clean out the hall closet (which backs up to the tub in the bathroom) and clear out the bathroom cabinets – transferring most to the clear plastic totes that will go into the RV when we make that our official home during reconstruction.

Oscar finds it fascinating that there is so much stuff behind the closed cabinet doors!

Who knew there was so much in a one-bathroom home! Oh my goodness, the over-the-counter things like Pepto and sunscreen with expiration dates several years past expiration! Yep, it’s a good thing to be deep cleaning and tossing as we go.

First things first, move the necessary bathroom items to the RV along with our rain boots!

There are still quilts to work on in The Quilt Rambler studio before the big move, so don’t tune me out! But right now things are focused on the bathroom and hall closets. Tomorrow it’s the kitchen!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler keeping this short and sweet – lots of shakin and movin going on over here.

Day 26 of the #31dayblogchallenge