Oh my, the month seems to have escaped me! I apologize, dear readers, as I did plan on making this announcement much sooner…but no time like the present!
Introducing Mint Chocolate Chip!
This is my second pattern that will be introduced at Quilt Market this upcoming weekend here in Houston. I can hardly wait!!
Mint Chocolate Chip was created as part of the #sweettreats Signature Collection by Nan Baker, Purrfect Spots Designs, called Northern Woods by Island Batik.
The colors are so delicious! Doesn’t it remind you of minty chocolates? The border reminds me of the twisted ends of the candy wrapper. I think it has an earthy feel to it too, kinda like a path in the woods on a crisp fall day. It will make a nice couch throw measuring at 48″ x 58″.
The fabrics will be available for shops to place their order for kits and patterns beginning this weekend and will ship in the spring. I will be offering this as a precut kit also in the spring of 2018.
The Story Behind The Quilt
I just thought I was going to make this short and sweet…but then I wouldn’t be The Quilt Rambler now would I?
You may recall that our Island Batik Ambassador challenge for June was to make a quilt with curves…well…this was the fabric I was given to do so.
I had a quilt all designed months ahead of time, using these precuts and my Go cutter…Even had a little “help” from Oscar in the layout department….
About the time I’m getting ready to sew the project I receive an email with a call out to designers for patterns for upcoming lines of Island Batik fabrics. I answered the call…and….this pattern was chosen.
My original design for the June project was called Jump Ball as the bright colors of Pressed Petals reminded me of a basketball court and the players jumping for the ball as the game began. Later when the pattern was submitted to Island Batik using the Northern Woods collection I renamed it to Path in the Woods. Later still upon learning that the fabric line was Nan’s signature collection and she was naming her quilts with a #sweettreat theme she and I together decided to call it Mint Chocolate Chip.
Doesn’t the fabric line truly remind you of fall? I will remind you that this was my secret sewing project back in JUNE!!!
After the design and piecing came the fun part – putting it on my longarm!
Don’t you just love the “kissie candy look” in the design element?
I really liked the way the border reminded me of the crinkled end of a candy wrapper. Makes me want chocolate just looking at it!
I will be attending Quilt Market later this weekend and will be “visiting” both of my quilts in the Island Batik booth – can’t wait to share photos of the experience! Be sure and follow me on all social media – Facebook and Instagram, even a little on Twitter!
This is short and sweet (less than a thousand words, is that a record?) as I’m working on my next secret quilt project for Island Batik’s Spring 2018 catalog… Stay tuned, there’s so much to talk about!
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, excited to finally share the big reveal!
Are you going to Quilt Market or Quilt Festival? If you see me please introduce. yourself! If you are unable to go – you need to follow my #thequiltramblerontheroad reports on social media!
October has just begun and I couldn’t be more excited! So many wonderful things are coming together this month, I can’t wait to share with you…but one thing at a time!
I have been sitting on this news for a very very long time! Normally I’m not very good at keeping secrets, (except the ones that are just too special to share)…but this secret’s time has come and I can now share!!!!
The Big News
My pattern Illuminated Journey will be included in the Fall-Winter 2017 Island Batik Catalog focusing on the new fabric line Paisley Dot
Yes, not only can you see my quilt in Fall-Winter 2017 Island Batik Catalog but I also have my mug shot in the catalog! And yes, I’m excited to be on the same page as my favorite designer, Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Design. I’m so excited to be a new Certified Instructor with her…that’s a ramble for another time.
Illuminated Journey’s Quilt Story
Briefly, before I show you highlights of the current quilt in Paisley Dots I wanted to share the history of this design…
Back in 2014, Carla from Cactus Quilts in Texas City asked if I would be interested in teaching on her 2nd annual quilting cruise! Of course, I said YES! It goes without saying how much I love Deb’s method of constructing Lemoyne Star units so I asked if she’d mind if I designed the cruise quilt around her ruler and technique sheet and she said YES!
I’ve enjoyed teaching this project – in case you missed it, Illuminated Journey traveled to Arizona for a quilt lecture and workshop. You can read about it here.
AND! While we are talking about teaching, traveling, and such….I am now taking bookings for the 2018 season – I’d love to come to your quilt shop, guild or retreat and share my pattern and other fun topics and techniques…
Okay, back to the current ramble…
Illuminated Journey – Paisley Dot version
This journey began earlier this year due to my involvement as an Island Batik Ambassador. Requests were sent out for pattern submissions to feature the upcoming Fall Winter 2017 line of fabrics….and Illuminated Journey was chosen!
Before too long the fabrics were sent to me to construct the quilt. I found it very interesting how many months in advance things must be completed to have a fabulous presentation at Fall Market coming up at the end of October here in Houston. As a side note, “Market” is the weekend before “Festival” – it is a trade show where buyers come to see the newest items in the quilt industry, including new fabrics and new patterns!
I love using pre-cuts. The original pattern used Island Batik precuts. I’ve made Illuminated Journey multiple times. Island Batik never disappoints! The collection is curated so well that you look like a fabric color coordinating pro with the end results. I’ve found it amazing that even when my students use the same line no two quilts are ever the same. I love it!
Illuminated Journey – Let the Quilting Begin
In no time I had the quilt top pieced and began the process of quilting. I wanted to do something unique and different for this version. Coming up with the design was so much fun and I had the opportunity to audition some new longarm specialty rulers. Can’t ask for anything better!
Illuminated Journey -Pattern and Fabric Coming Soon
My quilt was shipped to Island Batik to be photographed for the catalog and to be made available this upcoming year for travel and trunk shows. There’s a possibility that Illuminated Journey will be on display at the upcoming Fall Market in the Paisley Dot display with Island Batik. If so, you know I’ll be sharing those photos!
Here’s the cool thing – you can tell your local quilt shop that new fabrics are being released at Fall Market (well, actually your local quilt shop knows that already)…anyway…you can share this sneak peek of a new line and new pattern that will be available soon AND you can suggest a workshop with this traveling rambler!
By the way, the pattern will be available either at the end of 2017 or the start of 2018. Stay tuned for that big reveal! Quilt shops will be placing their orders for these new fabrics that will also ship the first of the year.
But Wait – There’s More!
Did ya’ notice that this post said “Part 1” – observant aren’t you! Yes, this is just one happy announcement for this the first day of October…there’s soooo many good things coming this month and beyond…but that’s all for today.
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, finally able to celebrate the inclusion of Illuminated Journey in Island Batik’s Fall-Winter fabric lineup! Cheers!
Taking an informal poll – how important is it to you to have a kit to make “just like the pattern” or do you like to choose your own fabrics? Inquiring minds want to know. Leave a comment, please!
Besides the fact that I love love love Deb Tucker’s Rulers and Techniques…
How about a future trip to include a full week of Certified Instructor Training!
Yes, I love Deb’s Rulers
Those of you who know me know that I believe that you can never have too many rulers! That said when it comes to specialty rulers that truly make my piecing life easier I turn to Studio 180 Design. Deb’s techniques make me look like a champ in the piecing department. I know, I fired the quilt police years ago, but I’m not afraid of them when I piece using these rulers.
Call for Applicants – Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor
I was soooo excited when I saw the facebook post concerning this year’s Certificated Instructor Training offered by Studio 180 Design. It’s been something I have wanted to do for well over 5 years.
Application Process to Train as a Certified Instructor
By the time I saw the post it had been “out there” for well over a month – how in the world did I miss it?? I quickly downloaded the application and found that it was pretty detailed.
Quilting Biography – The Quilt Rambler, Who Am I?
This was time-consuming….I needed to rack my brain for some of the public “accomplishments” that I’ve achieved – teaching piecing classes, a little about my longarm accomplishments, publications, etc.
Quilting References – I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends!
While I was working on the biography I asked a few folks to consider being a reference for me, a local shop owner/friend (location of past classes) and three quilting friends who have attended classes and/or workshops with me (one was a past guild president)…I later learned that my gals had their reference forms emailed long before I completed my application! Such sweet friends!
Block Submissions Needed to Apply for Certified Instructor
This part of the application was where the needle met the fabric! Deb has several rulers in her lineup – or as she puts it “Tools for the Realist, Not the Idealist“. It’s not surprising that I own every one of them! I’ve used a few of them more than others like the Rapid Fire Leymone Star Ruler, Rapid Fire Hunters Star Ruler, and Corner Beam.
The application had 6 line drawings for blocks that needed to be pieced and submitted. There wasn’t a size restriction, suggested color/value, nor instructions! Truly this was THE TEST! How well do you know how to use Deb’s Rulers?
My Blocks To Be Juried Into Acceptance For Training
Of course, I pulled fabric from my Island Batik stash. I just happened to have a 10″ square stack of Coastal Mist and redrafted the blocks to the sizes that would accommodate my fabric limitation to 10″ (except the background, I had yards of that!)
These blocks do not have an official name that I’m aware of….
Happy Mail – My Application for Certified Instructor Training
Since I was “a day late and a dollar short,” or felt that way due to learning of the application process in a very untimely manner, I took a whole weekend off to focus on the piecing of my blocks. As Deb said, “take your time, but hurry up.”
If you’ve ever waited expectantly, and who hasn’t, then you know I was on pins and needles awaiting a verdict.
Let The Countdown Begin!
I’m sew excited to be going to this training. I have learned from others that it is very intense and equally very rewarding! I hope I can pass the test at the end and be counted among a prestigious group of quilters known fondly as “CI’s”
With certification, my goal is to be able to offer more classes and workshops both locally and wherever the call may lead me. Can’t wait until I can say “Coming to a location near YOU!”
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, giddy with delight to announce my acceptance to Deb’s Certification Instructor Training (I’m still pinching myself!!)
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
Hot Off The Frame
And now I will slow down the ramble and let the pictures speak for themselves.
Where Can You Find This Pattern
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)..
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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!!
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…
(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:
Fifi and Fido
Bubbles n’ Tiles/Heart’s Desire
Merry and Bright
Surf and Sand
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!
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!