Today I am truly missing my students. I miss the excitement and joy of teaching ~ sharing the things I have learned, passing on the joy ~ hoping to make quilting contagious!
Contagious – now there’s a word of the year. One can only hope it’s the word of the first part of the year!
Oh sooo many memories! I was looking through my phone photos and ran across albums from multiple events throughout the years. Untold the number of classes, how many locations, how many students, how many friends! Best part is the “ah-ha” moment when the quilting technique is caught! Yep, this is the type of contagious I long for!
In my mind’s eye I remember the road trips – trunk shows, lectures, workshops from Arizona to Florida and of course all around my home state of Texas. I miss the excitement of teaching on a quilting cruise, spending a whole week together making new friends, hopefully inspiring quilters in their journey. I miss teaching at my local quilt shop ~ waiting for the “reopening phases” so we can once again become “sew-in-sews” together. My Land Locked Quilting Cruise classroom is missing the hum of sewing machines and the chatter of friends learning together. One day….
Ah, I can’t help but believe the old song happy days are here again will ring true soon. In the meantime we sew. We check in with social media. We keep up with friends and family, near and far. I’ve heard that the phones are busier than even the busiest Mother’s Day on record. We are still reaching out, we are resourceful and we will always find a way to connect!
My months have been filled with secret sewing projects! I love the creativity and working with beautiful fabric collections from Island Batik – the hardest part is the wait. My phone photos are overflowing with the journey of creativity…the ones I can’t share yet. Sigh.
It’s a Balancing Act
And I’m not just taking taxes and bookkeeping ~ how be it, those items have occupied a lot of my “stay at home” days….nope, it’s the balancing between creating, making, and then writing the patterns!
For example. I just shipped off three new quilt designs for my fall Signature Collection by Kathy Engle for The Quilt Rambler to Island Batik to be photographed for the Fall 2020 Catalog. Again, my phone camera files are full of the process – as is my design notebook – all the scribbles for the amount of fabric cut for each unit, little hints that I found to be useful in the unit/block construction that I want to remember to share…one of my favorite saying is paper never forgets to which I’d add a photo is worth a thousand words. For you see, all this is necessary to later write a pattern to be able to share the joy of recreation, that of taking my pattern, adding your fabrics to make something new and exciting.
Perfect example is a quilt made for Island Batik’s Spring 2020 Catalog. The design was submitted August 2019 with the fabrics received and the quilt begun late September. My records show that it was completed late October and shipped early November 2019….and now my dear friends – I can finally share a photo with you!
It’s a hurry up and wait thing. For one thing, the beautiful Island Batik fabric collection Ohana, of which Not Your Grandmother’s Sampler is constructed, won’t be shipping until August 2020! This collection, along with multiple others, have just been introduced to Quilt Shops who are placing their orders now for summer shipping!
I don’t know about you, but I find it very interesting to know a little behind the scenes stuff. A full year or more, and that’s just the life of this pattern designer – take a moment to ponder how long it takes for the fabric company fabric designers to plan and work on a collection! Inconceivable! (grin)
Pattern writing 101
Nope, sorry, not really a lesson in pattern writing, just needed a new heading (grin). Seriously. Pattern writing is on my to do list…I have Not Your Grandmother’s Sampler pattern to write and have published before the fabric is shipping, not to mention the three new ones for Fall Market….but this virus thing has me a little distracted ~ in a good way….
For starters, I have just finished piecing a quilt that I hope to “bump” ahead of the above mentioned patterns to release a design (or two or three) without being tied into a specific fabric collection and release date. Yep, I actually have three potential designs, one pieced and the others in various forms on the design wall in the empty Land Locked Quilting Cruise classroom….Oh for more hours in my day! I can’t wait to start writing the pattern, go through the testing stage, and hand off to my capable graphic artist and text editor to polish up bringing you several new patterns for your quilting pleasures!
Signature Collection 2021
I guess this is as good of time as any, while I’m rambling on, to announce that Island Batik has invited me to once again support a signature collection with my pattern designs. Yep! Spring 2021 will be my second Signature Collection ~ the design ideas will be submitted in the next month or so with a truck load of new fabrics arriving for more secret sewing that will be due the end of the year. I’m so honored, excited and pleasantly overwhelmed with the need for three more unique quilts from The Quilt Rambler pattern line… I hope you will be pleased with the designs and continue to support this rambler with your pattern purchases!
The exciting part of creating new patterns is the opportunity it gives me to teach original designs in future workshops! I seriously can’t wait to get on the road again! I do miss your smiling faces!
One other thing I will unashamedly mention is the lost of income for this rambler due to COVID19. Obviously I make my living traveling and teaching, offering merchandise for purchase when I visit a guild with my “pop up shop”, and of course selling my patterns through various marketing venues.
That said, I’ve had to become resourceful by partnering with my wonderful DIL, Katie….she is now running and managing my online sales, both on my Etsy Shop and her Ebay listings. We would both appreciate it if you would take a look, hit that “favorite shop” button, share with friends, and purchase items for your own use.
I joked that I needed a bumper sticker “support your local quilt designer” ~ however, I believe the best advertising is word of mouth and would sincerely appreciate a good word shared. Your purchase now supports two families who have lost jobs/income due to COVID19 and we much appreciate it!
Once again, I’ve rambled … I have missed blogging almost as much as missing my students. With all the secret sewing going on combined with lack of photos from classes I’ve been hard pressed to have much to share. Social distancing is difficult (especially for this rambler who is also a hugger) but we will press on, as I’ve said before, we are a resilient people and know how to keep moving forward.
For me, personally, this means hunkering down and putting my designing cap on! Making quilts to share, writing patterns, preparing for future workshops! Yep…always busy never bored.
Thanks for letting me ramble on….can’t wait until I can see the smiling faces of my students – even if we have to wear masks (which is most difficult for this claustrophobic lady, so I just stay home and quilt) ~ love those smiling eyes above your online mask photos! Keep smiling!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler
reminding you to #StayCalmAndQuiltOn!
PS – just a heads up if you are a Deb Tucker fan and enjoy her Signature Collections by Kathy Engle of Island Batik….I have a very very small inventory of Island Batik precuts in her River Valley collection (shipping to stores now) and her newest William’s Garden (ask your quilt shops to place their orders now for fall delivery of the yardage on a bolt!). Ya’know you can’t go wrong with Island Batik! Love love love this company!
PPS ~ earlier in the year I had plans to participate in an “Inventory Quilt Project” during the month of May featuring my pattern Geese Over Galveston Bay. For those wishing to quilt along I regret to say that this adventure does not fit into my current revised business plan ~ I must be about designing and pattern writing during this time of “stay home”, therefore, by default, I am not as social as previously planned, even on social media. Sometimes it’s a good thing to fall back and regroup. If you are making this quilt, or any of my designs, and need assistance please don’t hesitate to reach out!