Secret Quilting – A Secret No More

Close up of hand guided quilting design element by Karen Overton

close up of hand guided quilt design element
-Sneak peak – secret quilting is about to be secret no more
If you have been following The Quilt Rambler on social media the past few weeks you have seen little snippets or sneak peaks of a “secret quilting” project I have been working on ….and now…the big reveal!

Why was it a secret you ask? Well, on occasion, as a longarm quilter I am asked to keep things secret for a time being. For example, not publishing photos of graduation t-shirt quilts before the grad receives it, or especially around Christmas time when I’m quilting customer quilts that will be Christmas gifts.

This time it was because the quilt was to be introduced to the public by the designer – in other words, it wasn’t my story to tell until after its debut and publication.

Why the Secret Quilting

Spring Market was this weekend May 19-21. For those unfamiliar with the quilting world – twice a year Quilts Inc hosts an industry tradeshow where wholesale buyers, distributors, designers and industry leaders gather for the reveal of new fabrics, new patterns, new notions and new trends in the quilting world. The Spring Market this year was in St. Louis. The Fall Market is always in Houston the weekend before the public International Quilt Show. I’ve never been to Spring Market but have attended Fall Market since 2004. Trust me, it’s better than Christmas!

unquieted Morning Glory quilt pattern by Deb Tucker
For custom quilt jobs I like to hang the quilt in my studio for several days to be inspired concerning the quilting elements
I received this beautiful quilt from Deb Tucker, Studio 180 Design right before my Arizona trip the first of the month, asking that it be quilted and returned in time for her to put on the binding so it could be displayed in the booth at Spring Market. (For the record she had made a reservation earlier so I knew to expect it). I took this photo “before” it was quilted so I could study it on the plane and come up with quilting designs. I fell in love with the design, it goes without saying how much I love LeMoyne Stars. Upon inquiring about the name of the pattern I found it very fittingly named Morning Glory.

My Observations

Before I go any further sharing the quilting designs I wanted to share what I’ve learned by osmosis.

I’ve been watching social media for all the big reveals at Spring Market – if you do a search #springmarket you will be able to get sneak peaks of upcoming goodies to our local quilt shops later this year. I was especially pleased to see photos of Studio 180 Design booth with Morning Glory hanging among such other beautiful quilts! I love all her rulers and have most of her patterns, having taught several in the past in my studio or local quilt shops. Needless to say, Morning Glory is at the top of my wish list!

Colorful tradeshow booth full of beautiful quilts made by Deb Tucker
Studio 180 Design Spring Market 2017 Booth (photo from Facebook)
Facebook page of Deb Tucker showing her beautiful quilts at Spring market 2017
Deb Tucker’s Facebook Page Banner
As you know, I’m an Island Batik Ambassador having the privilege of working with these wonderful fabrics and looking forward each year to their new fabrics and designs, eagerly awaiting their catalog….sooo….I’m looking through their  Spring Market catalog and low and behold I see a different version of Morning Glory by Deb Tucker! I’m guessing that the pattern has different size options and she made one for Island Batik’s booth and the one I quilted was for her booth. Oh, I wish I could have seen both in person at Spring Market. I snagged these photos off social media to share.

Colorful booth full of beautiful island batik fabrics taken at Spring Market 2017
Island Batik Booth photo was taken by Laura Reschke Piland, Slice of Pi, from Facebook
catalog page of island batik fabric spring 2017 offering of Morning Glory quilt pattern in their beautiful batik fabrics
Clip from Island Batik Spring Market 2016 catalog. Be sure and ask your local quilt shop to carry these fabrics as well as this pattern!

On To The Quilting

I determined that I wanted to stitch in the ditch  (SID) all the borders and the star outline, but not the individual diamonds. This would give the quilt stability and frame in all the important components. It also allowed me later to roll the quilt up and down as needed to be able to quilt all of one thread color before changing threads vs advancing the quilt and changing threads as I worked my way down the quilt.  The SID took the better part of one day but experience told me it would be well worth it.

photo shows quilting process
Stitch in the Ditch included the “spine” for the future feather quilting
Next, I would be quilting all the borders and the blazing star units within the borders. This would assure that the borders would be straight and not drawn in by the density of the interior designs had I quilted it first.  I quilted the top and bottom borders then “turned” the quilt, which means it was unpinned off the take-up leader bars of the longarm and turned 90 degrees and repinned to be able to quilt the side borders in one long pass vs advancing and breaking thread causing a lot of stops and starts. Extra time to turn, but once again, worth it!

The quilt remained in this side to side position instead of top to bottom for the remainder of the quilting.

Auditioning Design Ideas

Close up of quilting design
Making a practice run with a dry erase marker is a good way to audition design elements before actually quilting
Sometimes I will take a plexiglass and use a dry erase marker to audition design elements prior to quilting. Through the years I have found this to be useful and many times what I initially thought I would be quilting had a “design change” after drawing it out.

drawing design elements before quilting
More auditions before quilting
hand-guided longarm quilting by Karen Overton
From practice to reality
Longarm quilting designs by Karen Overton
Close up of the hand guided quilting of the border designs

Special Butterfly

close up of hand guided signature butterfly of Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler
Signature Butterfly logo of Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler
I had completed the quilt, having unpinned it from the take-up leader bars and was texting Sue Tucker to verify the shipping address when I mentioned that I was sad I couldn’t attend Spring Market but at least I could “be a butterfly on a morning glory” to which Sue responded that she had hoped I was including one of my special butterflies…Oops!  Didn’t know that!

As a side note I typically put the butterfly on personal quilts or as special requests as it is sorta my trademark signature….I was flattered by the suggestion and quickly decided this quilt just needed a butterfly!

Do you remember that old song “have it your way”….well, if you don’t, here it is to refresh your memory of singing commercials of yesteryear (or if you are too young to remember, to expose you to some of the finer things in life). I was humming this tune as I reloaded the quilt and found a place for the butterfly!

Karen Overton's signature butterfly quilted on the bottom border of Morning Glory a quilt by Deb Tucker
Hand guided longarm signature butterfly adds the finishing touch

Hot Off The Frame

And now I will slow down the ramble and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Hand guided longarm quilting by Karen Overton
Morning Glory, sideways as it came off the longarm frame
close up of longarm quilting by Karen Overton, quilt pattern Morning Glory by Deb Tucker
Another view of Morning Glory by Deb Tucker quilted by Karen Overton
Hand guided longarm quilting by Karen Overton, quilt pattern by Deb Tucker
Center medallion has lots of movement between the beautiful fabric, piecing  design, and the hand guided longarm quilting
close up of quilting around small 8 pointed stars
I fell in love with these beautiful little stars – made perfect with Deb Tucker’s Rapid Fire LeMoyne Star Ruler
 

Detailed view of quilting stitches can be seen best from the back of a quilt
And of course, a longarm quilter wants to see the back! That’s where the texture shows up, making all the hours worth it!

Where Can You Find This Pattern

full view of the beautiful Morning Glory quilt pattern by Deb Tucker, quilted by The Quilt Rambler
Morning Glory hanging in The Quilt Rambler studio prior to shipping off to be bound and hung at Spring Market 2017 in the Studio 180 Design booth
I know you are going to want to make this as much as I am! Check with your local quilt shop and request that they carry Studio 180 Design Patterns and Rulers. While you are there, also request that they carry Island Batik fabrics if that isn’t already in their line up. I have been a huge fan of both companies for years, having had the blessing of meeting both owners and co-workers of each. You will never find better folks than the Tuckers and the team at Island Batik. I can recommend their products to you and your local quilt shop without reservation.

Stay tuned to The Quilt Rambler as my upcoming blog will include another recent workshop using Deb Tucker’s rulers (this time the Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star Ruler) as well as the progress of my May Island Batik Ambassador #ModernBatikChallenge using their beautiful fabrics.

Why not make it easy on yourself  – go ahead and subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss out on a thing!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, thanking Deb Tucker for the privilege to once again quilt one of her beautiful quilts!

 

Are you still humming the song in your head? ….. You’re welcome! Please leave a comment and share your thoughts on  how you’ve had your own secret quilting projects, or your favorite singing commercial (grin)..

 

 

What’s In YOUR Box? Island Batik Fabrics Arrive

Fabulous Batik Fabric

Island Batik Fabrics Arrive

If you haven’t figured out yet, I’m a brand new ambassador for  Island Batik Fabrics and I am still pinching myself for the privilege and opportunity to promote and represent this fine line of fabrics.

Fedex man delivering Island Batik Fabrics to the Quilt Rambler
Almost as good as Christmas when your delivery man brings you fabric!

Have to admit I was getting over excited as I saw my fellow ambassadors posting photos of the opening of their boxes…..and I was still waiting on mine…oh the joys of shipping zones…

Here’s a sampling of the tantalizing photos popping up all over the internet this week.

 

Opening a box of Island Batik Fabrics
Barbara’s Box of Island Batik Fabric
These Goodies Were in Bernie’s Box
Such Tropical Colors in Jean-Sophie’s Box of Island Batik
Look at ALL The Pretties in Jennifer’s Box
I Love Jessica’s cat Sharing in the Excitement of Receiving Her Box

Now can you see why I was drooling! I know you are going to want to see all the Ambassadors’ big reveals – just use the hashtag Island Batik Ambassadors on your social media and check often with Island Batik’s Blog to keep up with us.

Patience is a virtue

After days of eager anticipation, THE box from Island Batik arrives and notifications are sent across social media!

Needless to say, once Mr. FedEx rang my door bell I couldn’t wait to shout to the roof tops “De Box! De Box!”

Ah, but “the rest of the story” is that Mr. FedEX (who was a tad taken aback when asked to pose for a photo) had arrived precisely as I was walking out the door to head to church….. THE BOX had to wait….

If you want a good laugh visit my Facebook page to see a replay of my Facebook Live recording my dilemma concerning “opening THE box”…..okay, so I apologize in advance – I’m brand new to FB live…

 

What’s in My Box You Ask?

The wait is over!  I hope you enjoy my big reveal – I can’t tell you how pleased I am with the fabric choices made for me! I look so forward to “being creative” each month as the Island Batik Ambassadors work hard to bring you inspiration within various themes and challenges on ideas for incorporating these beautiful fabrics into YOUR quilts!

 

As special thank you to Katie and Elizabeth, Marketing & Designer Relations at Island Batik, to Island Batik for their generosity, and to Superior Threads and Aurifil for the coordinating thread samples! It’s going to be a great 2017!

Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler is honored to be and Ambassador for Island Batik

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler (and new Island Batik Ambassador) Telling YOUR story one quilt at a time.

As always I love to hear from my readers, please leave a comment and if you haven’t already done so, subscribe to my blog for lots of future quilting fun!

New Island Batik Ambassador & Our First Giveaway!

Giveaway Island Batik fabric from The Quilt Rambler, Island Batik Ambassador

I’ve been doing a happy dance in The Quilt Rambler studio ever since I received this email a couple of weeks ago…

Thank you for applying to become a 2017 Island Batik Ambassador!
Congratulations! We would love to have you join the team.

 

Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler is honored to be and Ambassador for Island Batik
I’m thrilled to be among the 2017 Island Batik Ambassadors!

I couldn’t be more thrilled or honored to be included in this prestigious group of quilters who share the same love of fabulous Island Batik fabrics!

So What Exactly Does This Mean?

For YOU my dear readers it means lots of blog posts and tutorials using gorgeous fabrics and sharing the FUN  – not only on my blog but with links to the other Ambassadors and all their projects!

For me, it means eager anticipation of my first shipment of fabrics to be used in the monthly events planed by the Island Batik Marketing Team.

ohhhhh….I can’t wait to share with you all the fun things they have planned!! And I can’t wait to get creative interpreting the themes into fun projects!

Introducing My Favorite Fabric Line

 

Island Batik!!!!  I can’t imagine that you aren’t already familiar with them, but just in case let me give you a little company background.

Island Batik, located in Carlsbad, California, has been a leader in the batik industry for over 14 years. The fabrics they produce are handmade in Bali, Indonesia by skilled artisans using a wax resist method which gives the fabric outstanding depth and range of color.

They are a wholesale only operation whose customers are mainly independent quilt shops in the United States, but through distributors, their fabric is finding its way to quilters all over the world!  They launch new seasonal lines twice a year corresponding to International Quilt Markets that occur in May and October.

As a side ramble….The Fall International Quilt Market is held in my home area of Houston just prior to the Houston International Quilt Festival.  I have been faithfully been attending Festival since 2000 (when we moved back to Texas) and Market since 2004 (when I started my quilting business).  While attending the 2013 Fall Market I actually was blessed to meet Island Batik’s CEO, Caleb Willis.  Each fall I look forward to visiting with him and his capable staff. Talk about a company that believes in customer service….well, I can’t say enough about the good people at Island Batik!

Interestingly enough even though the fabrics are launched and ordered by independent quilt shops in May and October at the International Quilt Markets, they are not delivered to stores until August/July and January/February respectively due to the fabrics being “made to order” by those skilled artisans who have perfected their craft. Perfection can’t be rushed you know!

Note: That’s why when you see a fabric in your local quilt shop you need to purchase it right then and there because it could be gone in a few short weeks. My philosophy is to always purchase a little more than I think I will need because when it’s gone it’s gone.  And yes, your husband called and said you could add as much as you want to your stash!!

There’s more I could tell you about the company but I will save that for a future ramble…

What’s Going to Be In My First Ambassador Box??

Well…I’m eagerly awaiting for it to arrive! Any day now!!!! One thing I do know is there will be fabric from the Fall/Winter 2016 line – fabrics that are arriving in your local quilt shops this month!!

Here’s a sneak peak of the Fall/Winter 2016 Catalog to get you all excited!

How About A Small Giveaway!!

Okay, this is a true sacrifice as I have just made the executive decision to give away something from my own personal stash….Yep…going to be a little unselfish here…I picked up a really cute little 5″ square precut from the Fall/Winter 2016 line of Dotalicious at the Fall Market this year that I am willing to part with for one of my faithful blog readers!

Here’s an idea – I have NO IDEA which fabric from the Fall/Winter 2016 line I will be receiving in my box – so let’s all give it our best guess. Why not! A winner will be chosen from among the correct answers left in the comments below. But wait there’s more! Well…more as in the way of contest rules…

 

Giveaway Island Batik fabric from The Quilt Rambler
Keeping it simple – copy/paste/pin to share on your social media using hashtag #thequiltrambler – like us on Instagram & Facebook, comment concerning which line of fabric you think Karen will receive in her first shipment as an Island Batik Ambassador on The Quilt Rambler blog post announcing Karen’s inclusion to this exciting group of quilters. While there, subscribe to The Quilt Rambler blog so you won’t miss out on future Island Batik events and giveaways! Simple and fun! Have we mentioned we love Island Batik! #islandbatik

 

Giveaway rules:

(1) Like and follow  us on  Instagram and/or  Facebook 

(2) Share on your social media tagging #thequiltrambler

(2) Subscribe to our blog and comment on this post your best guess of what fabric I will receive from the Fall/Winter 2016 line in my first Ambassador Shipment. One guess per email address, please.

Here is the choices for the answer:

Coastal Mist

Dotalicious

Drizzle

Fifi and Fido

Fresh Catch

Glowing Embers

Happy Hounds

Lake Life

River’s Edge

Sweet Nectar

Blushing Blooms

Bubbles n’ Tiles/Heart’s Desire

Frost

Gone Fishin’

Happy Harvest

Jolly Holly

Merry and Bright

Pressed Petals

Surf and Sand

Twilight Blush

Share with friends!

Share the fun ~ and yes, there will be more giveaways! Remember to be eligible to win this giveaway you have to leave a comment below of your best guess for the name of the fabric line that will be in my First Ambassador Shipment. Watch for my future post of unpacking the box to see if you guessed correctly.

Ready set go!!!! Time is of the essence as my box could be here any day! 

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler AND New Island Batik Ambassador, Telling YOUR story one quilt at a time.

Comment Below Your Best Guess to Enter the Giveaway! Subscribe to our blog to keep up with all the Island Batik fun and future giveaways!

 

The Big Reveal

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CXP20gxj3o[/embedyt]

 
Exciting things have been under wraps in my colorful quilting studio this past fall just waiting for the first of the New Year to officially announce!

Are you holding on to your computer mouse  with sheer excitement eager to scroll down to the big reveal?

Drum role please…..or better yet … let me hear the rattling of quilting pins in that cute decorative bin or the clanging of bobbins in your  bobbin case or to be really celebratory raise those rotary cutters and clink them in the air while  imagining joining in with  the cheers of your quilting  buddies…..wait for it….wait for it….

Here it is!!!

After being known for 13 years in the quilting community as Quilts ‘N Kaboodle, professional longarm quilting services, I’m announcing a new name and new focus!

Okay, maybe not that new as I’ve previously had another blog with a similar tag line….(that was a huge hint in case you weren’t aware!) but new as far as Uncle Sam is concerned. And that’s about as officially new as you can get!

Are you turning on and off your Daylight Table Lamp or flicking on and off the light on your sewing machine with anticipation….come on now – join me in the news of the year!

Quilts ‘N Kaboodle has officially closed the doors and the doors are being opened wide for The Quilt Rambler!!

Yes, that’s the new me… well, it’s the same me… Karen E. Overton ( or as some know me “Karen O in TX”) …but the new me professionally.

I’m so excited!  I’ve had such a difficult time keeping quiet…truth be told, I haven’t been that quiet…after all, I am a self-proclaimed rambler! Those that have known me throughout the years within the quilt community know my gift of gab when it comes to all things quilty. Did I mention I’m excited! So excited I’m chasing down so many rambling trails right now…..focus Karen, focus…

Okay…So why the name change you ask? Just to do something different. A little rebranding. An excuse for a new website and a new blog…and perhaps just because it’s easier to spell!

Actually, as hinted to earlier, I’m transitioning into a new focus with my quilting while the same time kinda staying the same…

Through the years I have been privileged to quilt some of the most beautiful quilts, all with a story to tell. I’ve celebrated with you when your quilt won a ribbon, or the best compliment of all -when you shared photos of your quilt being embraced by that special loved one you made it for. I’ve been blessed to have some of those quilts published in magazines and books or equally as important shared at guild meeting show and tells. Being a part of your quilts through longarm quilting as been pure joy. And I desire to continue to serve you in this area.

Some of my greatest joy has been in telling your story through the creation of a memory quilt or a t-shirt quilt. Nothing speaks louder of a life well lived than clothing well loved. It is so exciting for me to assist you in going through your child’s twelve years of t-shirt or sports jersey collection to make a special graduation gift. Or reliving your college days with you as you decide which treasured t-shirt should be the one to make the center of your quilt. So many of you have had wonderful collections and I have enjoyed being able to tell your story with a quilt.

Many of you have asked me to tell the story of a cherished loved one. I understand the memories of daddy’s shirts, mother’s muumuus, or a husband’s ties. Gathering these reminders and incorporating them into a quilt that can be wrapped around you to remind you of their love….well, all I can say is it just touches my heart to be able to be a small part of helping you tell your story.

So that’s the new focus – T-shirt quilts, memory quilts, quilts made from baby clothing….you name it! Making memories and telling YOUR story, one quilt at a time.

And because I love all things quilty my blog will be updated weekly with stories of your quilts, tips on being a better quilter, techniques to help you grow in your quilting, a tutorial every now and then, and reports of news-worthy products and happenings in the quilting community. I can hardly wait for this new year to begin, a new adventure, a new chapter in my quilting rambles. So join me on Facebook, and other social media (currently being developed so stay tuned!) It may only be a “name change” but its going to be the start of something wonderful!

Bring it on 2017! The Quilt Rambler is ready to ramble on!!!

Telling YOUR story, one quilt at a time! Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler!

Leave a comment below we would love to hear from you!