Back to School – Island Batik Blog Hop And Giveaway!

Beautiful Diner Days collection by Island Batik
Island Batik Ambassadors

September is back to school month and for a lot of us, back to quilting after a fun-filled action packed summer!

Welcome to The Quilt Rambler, I’m sew happy you have joined me in the Island Batik Ambassador Blog Hop. The Ambassadors have been diligently working to showcase the newest fabric lines from Island Batik to assist you in your fabric shopping list while inspiring you for those fall projects!

So grab that cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy….they don’t call me The Quilt Rambler for nothin’.  Be sure and read to the end for a special giveaway!

Diner Days Collection By Island Batik

Days gone by, Diner Days Fabric collection
So many beautiful designs in a soft sweet color range

The collection I was given to work with is Diner Days. The hues are so soft that they almost reminded me of pastel Easter eggs. Indeed among some of the designs, there were eggs…and kitchen gadgets…and apples with apple cores!  Such imagination and potential!

Blog hop Back To School With Island Batik
A few of my favorite things – fabric, composition notebook, pens and pencils, and a fabulous quilt pattern

I love back to school time. I’m always ready to replenish my school supplies. Elmer’s Glue for glue basting, composition notebooks for jotting down quilt designs or fabric shopping lists. Pencil boxes make great containers to store bobbins, rotary cutters with extra blades or small sewing supplies. And what about file folders or binders to store quilt patterns! There’s plenty of things for quilters when it comes to back to school shopping!

The Perfect Pattern to Showcase Diner Days

One of my favorite block design is the Lemoyne Star, and my all time favorite method to make the block is using Deb Tucker’s Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star Ruler and technique.  I recently returned from Certified Instructor training with Deb, but that’s a ramble for another time….PS I did graduate and am available for workshops, lectures, and demos at quilt shows….

Beautiful Diner Days collection by Island Batik
Back to School Blog Hop

Back to Diner Days….I quickly decided I wanted to use Deb’s pattern Sugar and Spice with this collection. Not only did it mimic her color pallet on the original pattern but it would be perfect to use the majority of fabrics in the Diner Days collection therefore truly showcasing the fabric. Not to mention I would be making my favorite stars!

Back to School Project – Sugar and Spice

Deb’s method calls for strip piecing the background fabric to the “star” fabric and is quickly done with chain piecing.

Colorful Fabric from Diner Days Collection
Strip piecing method for constructing Lemoyne Stars is fast and fun
Units come together quickly with Studio 180 Design method
I prefer to press my seams open – I like the way it makes my blocks lay flater

Before long I had the star point units together and was ready to assemble the 8 pointed star blocks.

As simple as sewing together a four patch! Look ma’ no Y seams!
Using my Tucker Trimmer from Studio 180 Design I then square up my Lemoyne Star blocks
27-star blocks later….the layout is coming together on my design wall

Next Technique

Also using the Tucker Trimmer tool by Studio 180 Design I made the half square triangles and the quarter square triangles to use in the setting solution. I love Deb’s techniques of oversizing the cuts, sewing together, then trimming to perfection. Makes me look good when my blocks all come together!

Studio 180 Design tools
More favorite tools, The Quilter’s Magic Wand and Sewline marking pencil to help mark the quarter inch seams for making the half square triangles and quarter square triangles
The lines on the Tucker Trimmer aid in the squaring up of the quarter square unit

Once all the units were made I played around with switching the scrappy star blocks to make them pleasing to my eye. I am so loving these fabrics!

The interior blocks are all completed, next up add the narrow border and scrappy border

On To The Longarm

As the old saying goes, it’s not a quilt until it’s quilted! It’s hard to say what I enjoy the most, making the quilt tops or quilting the quilt tops. My husband is always telling me “enjoy the process” so I guess in reality I do just that, enjoying each step that I’m on, from the planning stages to the binding. It’s all a joy for me.

Such a happy little quilt under the needle of my longarm
Little by little the fabrics are being covered with hand guided stitches
Sneak peak close up of the quilting and the beautiful fabric collection
Don’t you just love these fabrics!

Presenting Sugar and Spice Showcasing The Diner Days Fabric Line From Island Batik

Admittedly I am pleased with the way this quilt turned out. I’ve had the pattern on my bucket list for a couple of years – ever since I quilted the original one on the pattern cover for Deb Tucker.  At one time my thought was to make it in more tropical colors since that’s my usual color preference, but the moment I saw Diner Days I was smitten. This is a beautiful collection that is currently in stores now – so please ask for it by name! So many design possibilities!

Back to School Blog Hop
Perfect Back to School project

But Wait! There’s More!

In case you have missed the beginnings of the Back To School Blog Hop here’s the schedule. There are lots of giveaways so be sure and visit each of the Ambassadors blogs. We all love to have comments on our blogs so don’t be shy!

WEEK 1

Monday, September 4 – Beaujolais
Quilting Affection DesignsFunThreads Designs

Tuesday, September 5 – Country Dozen
Cheryl Lynch QuiltsInspired Layers

Wednesday, September 6 – Bonsai
Little Bunny Quilts

Thursday, September 7 – Sakura
Masterpiece Quilting

Friday, September 8 – Empress Garden
Dessert Bloom QuiltingSlice of Pi Quilts

WEEK 2

Monday, September 11 – Fresh Pick’ins
KISSed Quilts

Tuesday, September 12 – Lotus Blooms
Kathys Kwilts and More

Wednesday, September 13 – Olivera
Moose Stash QuiltingVicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Thursday, September 14 – Rise & Shine
Den Syende HimmelSally’s Quilting Corner

Friday, September 15 – Diner Days
Ark Angel CreationsThe Quilt Rambler (you are here! Thank you!)

WEEK 3

Monday, September 18 – Seas the Day
KISSed QuiltsWhispers of Yore

Tuesday, September 19 – Vineyard
The Inquiring QuilterInchworm Fabrics

Wednesday, September 20 – Abalone
PamelaQuiltsYellow Cat Quilts

Thursday, September 21 – Batiks Go Retro
Adventures in Applique and Quilting

Friday, September 22 – Captain’s Anchor
Purrfect Spots DesignsBeaquilter

WEEK 4

Monday, September 25 – Cherry Berry
Freemotion by the RiverMary Mack Made Mine

Tuesday, September 26 – Lobster Bake
Seams to be Sew

Wednesday, September 27 – Solstice
Bejeweled QuiltsheARTs Creations

Thursday, September 28 – Sour Apple
Seams Like a DreamKauffman Designs

Friday, September 29 – Zen
Lizard Creek QuiltingQuilt’n Party

Good Things Come To Those Who Read Until The End!

Use the link below to register to win this autographed copy of Sugar and Spice by Deb Tucker

As promised – I have my own special giveaway and it’s not limited to just those in the United States! During my recent visit with Deb Tucker and the gang at Studio 180 Design, Deb was gracious enough to offer the “blog prize” for my post. An autographed copy of her Sugar and Spice pattern so you can make this beautiful 45″ x 62″ for yourself.  The pattern calls for 12 fat quarters plus background, but I didn’t limit myself to just 12! The more color the merrier! I highly recommend fabrics from Island Batik! In fact, I’m going to include a few samples of Island Batik fabrics as a bonus…

To register to win:

Click on the link below to register to win. There are multiple ways to have chances of winning – from commenting to following on social media – but you must click on the link to do so. Random drawing on Sept 30th. I will contact you via email to get your shipping address!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

News Flash:

Here’s the giveaway sponsored by Island Batik for more fabulous fabrics!

a
Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, sew happy to have you join me in this quilting journey!

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Distractions – of the Fabric Sort

Distracted by Beautiful Fabric

I should be packing. My plane leaves in a day for my Certified Instructor Training with Studio 180 Design and what am I doing? Not packing that’s for sure!

Easily Distracted

Sometimes I lose focus. Especially where there’s too much to do, instead of just shutting down I find myself wandering in areas that I shouldn’t be, non-productive areas, sometimes involving my addictions – addictions to fabric that is <grin>

Distracted by Quilt As You Go
Using scraps from my Island Batik stash and an orphan block I got distracted in the Quilt As You Go method

Such has been the case of late. I found myself thinking how nice it would be to have a new covered composition notebook for my trip, after all, I did find an orphan block, a lemoyne star to be exact, that just needed to belong….and having just finished up the August challenge of Quilt As You Go….well…here’s what happened Thursday afternoon.

 

Visit my YouTube for instructions
I love how the star ended up centered on the back…Don’t look, but I discovered why it was an orphan (sigh) not-so-perfect points (GASP!)
Perfect place to keep my notes, with graph paper lines for any design inspiration AND a place to keep my pens. Ready for Class!

But Wait – There’s More (The Distraction is Strong!)

I’ve been doing a lot of online “wishful” shopping concerning travel accessories.  I found this really nifty three zippered pouch that is supposed to fit in the seat-back-in-front-of-you-pocket…Wouldn’t that be great to have things within reach after I put up my carry-on bag? I figured it wouldn’t take much to whip one of those puppies right out, just quick as you please…only I got a little carried away…it was that Quilt As You Go thing again….

Quilt As You Go strips onto Soft & Stable, then aligning zippers
Once placement of zippers has been determined, I cut the vinyl to size to form outer pockets
More pockets – how about mesh pockets for the interior!
.I sewed right sides together to make a tube…would do this differently next time, if there’s a next time
Before midnight I had a bag, of sorts….
At least the inside is light enough to see what I put in there!
One side of my  pocket pouch will hold my snacks for the plane
The other side will hold my iPod and earbuds
The idea was for the interior to hold my travel purse and phone…will they fit?
Ta da! The travel wallet and cell phone WILL fit in my seat-back pocket pouch

I think I would like to try this again, only this time not use the soft and stable, well, maybe just on one side to give it body. I also wouldn’t do the “tube” with my lining – made things too thick to sew the side seams. Bottom line, I’ve proved I’m not a bag expert and will leave the designing up to Patterns By Annie (love love love her patterns). But I’m not too proud to use my little dorky homemade look seat-back-in-front-of-you-pocket holder! And who knows, I might even rework it at some point and actually improve upon it before my next trip….

This is Karen Overton, The Midnight Quilt Rambler, who seriously needs to go pack for my trip!

I must be crazy! All I really need is a toothbrush, right?!!?

 

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Quilt As You Go Table Runner

Using a 20+ year old pattern The Quilt Rambler has made a fresh modern table runner. using the quilt as you go method

Island Batik Ambassadors Quilt As You GoThe August challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to create a “Quilt As You Go” project. I have to admit as a longarm quilter this didn’t thrill me. But a challenge is a challenge. I was pleasantly surprised that the end results were very satisfying. Perseverance paid off!

Remembering a time BLA (before longarm), some 20+ years ago, when I discovered what was then called “All in One Piecing & Quilting,” I decided to do another “redo” and remake a quilt I made circa 1997. But I’m getting ahead of myself….

With all the wonderful stash builder bundles I received with my two fabric shipments this year from Island Batik I figured it was time to open those fabulous little rolls to see my treasures!

Beautiful Island Batik Stash Builders
So much fabric, sew little time
Colorful 5" x WOF Island Batik Stash Builder strips
A treasure trove of fabulous Island Batik fabrics, 5″ x WOF, a total of almost 10 yards!
A rainbow of fabric colors
Strips are sorted by color family

I asked my youngest son, the artist if he would sort my colors for me. Our conversation led to inquiries concerning my next project…one thing led to another and before I knew it, he was picking out “his colors” for this month’s creation.

I located my original star quilt and the book by Marti Michell, Weekend Star Quilts for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt. I was pleased to see that it is still available!

Quilt AS You Go Book and fabrics
Time to remake an old Quilt As You Go quilt with fresh new colors

Back in the day, the “all in one piecing and quilting” method was designed to combine the block construction with the quilting, or as we now call it “quilt as you go,” by piecing the block while joining the backing and batting. This pattern had a few block units that needed to be constructed prior to the all-in-one assembly.

Pre-assembly of units for this Quilt As You Go Block
This Quilt As You Go Block required the prior piecing of 5 units per block

As per the instructions in the book, the blocks were joined by stitching through all layers – block, batting, and backing. It was quick work.

Quilt As You Go technique requires careful piecing just as traditional quilting.
Center the middle unit on the layer of batting and backing, then join the side unit as in normal block construction with a good quarter inch seam, back tacking at the beginning and end of the units.
Quilt As You Go method is quick assembly
Continue building the block by piecing the units through all layers of the quilt. Finger press seams.
Adding setting triangles to the Quilt As You Go block
The final units, setting triangles, are added. Repeat for two more blocks! Almost done!

This process was amazingly fast! Just like assembling a normal block. The bonus was there would be no additional quilting needed after the blocks were joined together!  My original quilt was a lap size, but this time I was making a three block table runner.

All In One Piecing and Quilting method
Original quilt joined blocks together with a hand sewn method – which left “ridges” on the back.

I will mention that at this point I did decide on a design change. Marti’s method had you joining the blocks where they were seamless on the front, with a method of joining on the back that required hand sewing. I can remember this wasn’t something I enjoyed! Fast forward to life with YouTube and I found a quicker method…thank you, Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Company, for your explanation of joining blocks.

This newer method was much faster – anytime you can do things by machine and not by hand is naturally quicker.

Step 1 of Joining Blocks with Quilt As You Go Method
Trim away the excess batting from the block, being careful not to cut into the backing
Step Two Quilt As You Go Joining Blocks
Trim the backing to one inch larger than the block
Step 3 joining Quilt as you Go blocks
Place two blocks together back to back right sides together and sew a one-inch seam to join
Step 4 Quilt As You Go Joining Blocks
Open the sewn blocks revealing the seam allowance on top, finger press open then fold under to form a faux binding
Stitching from the top, stitch down the seam to complete the joining of the blocks. Repeat to join all blocks
Quilt As You Go Binding
Once blocks are joined together, fold over outer edges as a self-binding to complete your project.

Before long my Sunday afternoon sewing resulted in a nice fall table runner. Again, as a longarm quilter, I’m not used to leaving so many areas unquilted but have to admit that the thrill is having something made so easily that is both beautiful and functional – not to mention FINISHED and finished is good!

I’m actually thinking of making this again in a different color way…who knows!

Using a 20+ year old pattern The Quilt Rambler has made a fresh modern table runner. using the quilt as you go method
Using a 20+-year-old pattern The Quilt Rambler has made a fresh modern table runner.
Quilt As you go table runner and quilt
My new table runner next to my original lap quilt using the Quilt As You Go method

I hope you will check out Marti Michell’s method of  “All in One Piecing and Quilting. She published several books in her series “Quilting for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt“.  Proving once again, what is old is new again!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, proving that a longarm quilter can have an enjoyable experience with a Quilt As You Go method on the domestic sewing machine (grin).

Have you tried Quilt As You Go? Check out the other Island Batik Ambassadors this month for more ideas and inspiration.

Quilt As You Go Table Runner tutorial
Save this pin as a reference to link back to this project!

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Oh Baby (Part 2) – What Happened To July?

Vintage baby quilt with modern remake by Karen Overton

June Challenge for Island Batik AmbassadorsOh Baby Part 2

Wow! July just completely flew by, didn’t it!  Here’s my continuation of the Oh Baby  Island Batik Ambassador Project…

In case you missed the previous ramble concerning choosing the fabrics and piecing the project you can catch up by clicking on this link.

Finishing Touches

Sprinkles Baby Quilt coming together“In our last episode” my little quilt was on the design wall needing only three more seams to complete. I made quick work of it recently during my Sunday sewing (after church). Before too long it was ready for the longarm.

I love to take photos of “hot off the frame” – after working up close and personal with a quilt stretched flat on the frame it is fun to drape it over the leader bars and see how the light reflects off the texture of the quilting.

Oh Baby Part 2
“Hot off the frame”

Since this was a personal quilt I wanted to be sure to add my signature butterfly as well as my initials plus the year in the quilt. Kinda my quilted label so to speak.

Oh Baby Part 2 Binding is complete
It’s not finished until the binding is on – and a label (of sorts)

The quilt top was quilted by the end of Sunday, but the binding wasn’t put on until Monday 7/31 – talk about meeting a deadline!

Photo Finish

Fabrics from Island Batik
Stay tuned for the big reveal as I open my second Island Batik Ambassador box!

Today (Monday) has been a very very busy day – my 2nd Island Batik Ambassador box arrived late last week and I had plans to have my videographer (aka my oldest son) come over today to film the opening of said box…part of “the big reveal” was to include a round up of the projects done thus far with Island Batiks….I literally finished the binding on my July project as he was setting up the cameras!  Watch for an upcoming post and link to my YouTube channel to see the presentation. In case you missed it, here’s the link to my first “unboxing.”

After the filming, I took the baby quilt outside to photograph full view as well as next to the baby quilt my grandmother made me as a newborn. I found it rather fitting that July is also my birthday month so in a way this little quilt not only honors my grandmother but is my birthday present to myself.

Island Batik fabrics make a great baby quilt using the pattern Sprinkles
I just love the bright fabrics in this version of “Sprinkles” pattern
6 pointed star quilts make great baby quilts
I think my grandmother would be pleased with my remake of her quilt, don’t you?

What’s Next?

A new month, a new project – the August challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is “Quilt As You Go” – I’ve got a neat project planned but won’t be starting it until my next Sunday Sewing….in the meantime, check out all the other Island Batik Ambassadors’ blogs as they too are rapping up the month. Links can be found here.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler,  Barely Under the Wire on the Oh Baby July Project! Can’t Wait to Talk to You in August!

 

 

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Oh Baby! Baby Quilt – A July Island Batik Ambassador Project

6 pointed star vintage baby quilt

June Challenge for Island Batik AmbassadorsBaby Quilt

The July project for the Island Batik Ambassadors is to make a baby quilt or crib sized quilt using fabric from our ambassador box we received earlier this year.

I actually had two designs in mind, and the month isn’t over with yet, so who knows! I may be able to make two….

This is the pattern I chose and the why…

What’s Old is New Again

6 pointed star vintage baby quilt
My baby quilt made by my grandmother, Mary Brown Pliler, hand quilted with love.

The definition of vintage is kinda sketchy. With the exception of cars, antiques should be 100 years or older to be called antique, however, an item can be considered vintage at a mere 20 years. More commonly, something labeled vintage is assumed to be 50 years or older. Needless to say, my baby quilt qualifies as both acceptable definitions of vintage (I still feel twenty!). My baby quilt, made by my mother’s mother, was the inspiration for this month’s project.

Choosing the Pattern and Fabrics for Oh Baby!

When I ran across the pattern Sprinkles, by Jaybird Designs, I knew I needed to replicate my baby quilt….not exactly, but close enough.

I had  2.5″ strips left over from last month’s project in the fabric line of Pressed Petals.  In my personal stash I had the perfect Island Batik orange to use as the background. Yes, I’m a woman that likes color! But then again, you’ve figured that out already, right?

Oh Baby! Are you bright and modern
These Island Batik fabrics will make a colorful modern “baby quilt”

Let’s Make a Baby Quilt

Jaybird Design patterns are easy to follow. With such a small amount of fabric (13 strips plus background) the cutting was completed in no time.

Cutting diamonds for Baby Quilt
Loving the new Endurance Blade for my Olfa – in no time I had the diamonds cut out and ready to sew

The piecing went together rather easily too. I always think “oh I can just whip this little quilt out in no time” but I forget that lots of little parts and pieces, plus taking the time to press between steps, does take a little time. All enjoyable I might add! Nothing better than the hum of the sewing machine to soothe the soul. Especially when accompanied by my favorite Christian radio station playing in the background!

piecing a baby quilt without pins
Look ma! No pins! My favorite stiletto makes the process quick and painless
chain piecing a baby quilt
Chain, chain, chain….chain piecing is so rewarding – don’t you just love the colorful Island Batik fabrics! Betcha didn’t’ know orange could be considered a neutral!
Pressing blocks for a baby quilt
Good piecing skills, using a quarter inch seam, is equally important as taking the time to press after each seam. Don’t neglect this significant step!
Joining two units to make a baby quilt
And the two shall become one – sounds like a good marriage sermon to me
Half Hexie Unit for baby quilt
And two make three…oh baby!

On to The Design Wall

The half hexie units were then placed on the design wall. I have to admit that this is always the part that takes the most time. I study, rearrange, rearrange some more and still have a couple of fabrics “too close” to each other visually. Ah, but that’s the fun of “random” piecing that achieves the scrappy look.

Baby quilt 6 pointed star units on a design wall
All the units are arranged on the design wall ready to be rearranged and rearranged again

The half hexie units are sewn together vertically to form rows. I think I might have got a block or two out of order, but again, it’s scrappy and I fired the quilt police years ago.

I had high hopes of completing the quilt last weekend, but circumstances beyond my control interrupted. If you follow me on Facebook with my personal account you will understand that “family comes first”. It’s all good, and I will be moving forward soon with this little gem. I just couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Sprinkles Baby Quilt coming together
Sew a row, then sew two rows, repeat, complete (soon!)

To Be Continued:

I love how this is coming together. I am hopeful that I will be able to give you an update before the end of the month with it quilted and photographed next to my original baby quilt. This has been a fun pattern to work with and it goes without saying that the Island Batik fabrics truly make it sparkle!

Check out the progress of the other Island Batik Ambassadors – a link to their blogs is located here.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, enjoying the process!

How many of you still have your baby quilt? Is it a pattern that you would like to recreate for the next generation? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Melon Dramatic – A Curved Piecing Challenge with Island Batik

Challenge Accepted

#CurvalicioiusQuilts
June Challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors

One thing I have enjoyed about being an Island Batik Ambassador this year is the creative monthly challenges! This month’s theme was Curvacious  Quilts. Originally I had planned on pulling out the Go!Cutter and using my Drunkard’s Path die, but realized that really wasn’t a challenge since I’ve made several quilts using both the 7″ finished die and the 3.5″ finished die.

Something Old is New Again

Closing a template for curved piecing
Melon Block Templates by Elisa’s Backporch have been in the ruler drawer for over 10 years! Kinda hard to peel off the aged paper (gasp)

I am a self-proclaimed ruler queen, believing that there is a ruler for everything and you can never have too many rulers. For this project, I dug deep in my ruler drawer and found a set of templates just waiting to see the light of day.

I chose to use the 10″ Pressed Petal squares that came in my Island Batik Ambassador box earlier this year. I loved the fabric so much that I was able to purchase the 2.5″ strip set – you can never have too many precuts and if you like a fabric you should buy it when you see it!

Tropical Spring and Summer Colors of Island Batik 's Pressed Petal collection
Island Batik Pressed Petal precuts will be fabulous in this project
Melon Block Templates fit the 10" square
10″ squares are very versatile for many projects

I was pleased to see that all three of the templates would fit on a 10″ square but I opted for a design change – after all, I did have 2.5″ strips!

Olfa Cutters are my favorite, testing the new Endurance blade
Design Change! And I’m testing out a new Endurance Blade by Olfa – dated it to see how long it lasts!

Curved Piecing

Sewing the melon to the background
Piecing following instructions in The Melon Block book by Elisa Wilson

The cutting went very quickly as I had decided on a table runner and only needed 12 blocks. The piecing was going pretty quickly too as I followed the book’s instructions, but I wasn’t liking the end result when I pressed the melon away from the first L shape. I knew I could do it better so switched to placing the melon on the bottom instead of the top and the result was much better.  See my previous blog about piecing traditional Drunkard’s Path blocks without so many pins. The method worked like a charm for the melon shape and I soon had my 12 blocks pieced.

Curved piecing made simple
I find it best to put the L shape on top of the melon shape
quick sewing of curved pieced melon blocks
The blocks are coming together nicely, just a little trimming to square up

Design Change

Trimming the Melon Block to make the corners pop
“Off with their heads!” using the ruler to cut off the tip to make the corners pop

I loved the way the quilt was turning out, as these are certainly “My Colors” but it needed a little something else…..back to the faithful (and full) ruler drawer and there was my answer! Deb Tucker’s Corner Pop ruler – just what this little quilt needed. Then I dug in my Island Batik stash and found this beautiful raspberry print to top it off!

You can never have too many rulers
The right ruler for the right job – you can never have too many rulers!
Melon Block table runner
Laying out on the kitchen counter to “visualize” how it’s going to look. Matches my FiestaWare!!

Time to Quilt

Curved Pieced Quilt on the Longarm
After hour quilting is always fun when it’s your own personal project

It’s not a quilt until it’s quilted! Trying to find time on the longarm is always a challenge with so many customer quilts in waiting…I love it when the machine is free “after hours”.  This little baby took about 4 hours to custom quilt, not counting loading and design time.  Yep, just call me The Midnight Quilt Rambler!

 

Custom quilting Melon Block
A little curved ruler work over the melon shape and of course feathers in the background! Superior Threads Fantastico #5011
Hand guided signature butterfly lets everyone know this quilt was quilted by Karen Overton The Quilt Rambler
Added my Signature Butterfly in all three “center squares”
Custom Quilted Curved Pieced Quilt
“Hot off the frame” I just love how the lighting shows the texture of the custom quilting. I used double batting, 80/20 on the back and wool on top.

Faux Piping Binding

Sewing Scraps together for binding
Scraps make great bindings, especially as a faux piping double binding!

Last summer I did a schoolhouse presentation at my guild on faux piping binding – I thought this little project would be perfect with a scrappy faux piping binding…. you can download a one page PDF tutorial here.

 

 

Double binding adds color
Adding a pop of color with the scraps as part of the faux piping double binding

Melon Dramatic

I am pleased with the way this little quilt turned out. What was originally designed to be a counter top/table runner became a focus quilt in my entryway on the backside of my kitchen cabinets. I love how the colors reflect the theme of my home – tropical and bright!

Curved Piecing with the Melon Block
Melon Dramatic by Karen Overton. I just love how these colors reflect the decorating tropical theme in my home.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, loving the Island Batik Ambassador Challenges and especially loving the Island Batik Fabrics!

Are you following me on Instagram? Facebook? or Twitter?  There are more process photos posted on social media of this project.

Visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors to see how their projects have progressed.

Nan from Purrfect Spots Designs
Turid from Den Syende Himmel
Stephanie from Quilt’n Party
Pamela from Pamela Quilts
Anna from Ark Angel Creations
Kathy from Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Jessica from Desert Bloom Quilting
Connie from Freemotion by the River
Kate from Seams Like a Dream
Sharon from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Tina from Quilting Affection Designs
Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter
Barb from Bejeweled Quilts
Sally from Sally’s Quilting Corner
Jeanette from Inch Worm Fabrics
Connie from Kauffman Designs
Joan from Moosestash Quilting
Bernadine from Needle and Foot
Bea from Beaquilter
Cheryl from Cheryl Lynch Quilts
Maryellen from Mary Mack’s Blog
Joyce from Hearts Creations
Marlene from Kissed Quilts
Karen from The Quilt Rambler (this is me!)
Marian from Seams to be Sew
Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts
Linda from Inspired Layers
Vicki from Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Nancy from Masterpiece Quilting
Carol from FunThreads Designs
Terri from Meanderings Along Lizard Creek
Alison from Little Bunny Quilts
Suzy from Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Jean-Sophie from Sophie Junction
Janet from Whispers of Yore

 

Linked up with Needle And Thread

 

How To Make a Quilted Composition Notebook Cover

Quilted covers express creativity in the various designs used to cover a humble composition notebook
Take ordinary composition notebooks and cover with colorful quilted fabric for a fun fashion statement in organization or journaling
Make one, or two, or a few! Quilted Composition Notebook Covers are addictive

As part of the Island Batik Ambassador program I was challenged in March to make a mini quilt using paper piecing or foundation piecing. I got a little carried away and turned my paper pieced block into a quilted cover for a composition notebook and haven’t looked back since! They are multiplying like rabbits over here in The Quilt Rambler studio so I decided to share the fun by offering a tutorial/workshop on how you can make your own!

Tutorial shows how to cover a composition notebook with quilted fabric
Turn a simple composition notebook into a fun usable fashion statement

 

Step One: View the YouTube Video

The project requires basic sewing knowledge including knowledge of quilting tools such as a rotary cutter, ruler, and mat and the use of a sewing machine. A confident beginner/intermediate sewer should find the instructions in the workshop clear to follow.

Click here to watch on YouTube.

Making quilted composition notebook covers is addicting - we bet you can't make just one!
View the complete tutorial on The Quilt Rambler YouTube channel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Two: Download the PDF Instructions

Quilted covers include a vinyl zippered pocket for pens and a button closure
There is a zippered pen/pencil pocket inside the back flap of the notebook cover

Because I believe that “paper never forgets” I’ve created a guide to go along with the YouTube. To  better assist you a time stamp is referenced for each section. This is in the event you want to fast forward to review certain areas of instructions.

Supplies are reviewed in the YouTube as well as listed on the PDF.

How to Cover A Composition Notebook v4.4

Step Three: Enjoy and Share

Simple or complex, each quilted cover is uniquely yours
Quilted Covers on the Composition Notebooks are as unique as the imagination of the maker

It’s my hope that you will enjoy the video and printed instructions to make several of these covers – I think they make great gifts! For yourself or others! Personally I have three that I am actively using. One has my “to do list” and calendar, one has a graph paper composition notebook that I use to draw out quilt designs before I head over to EQ7, and one is being filled with tutorial ideas!

Please do share this blog post, PDF pattern, and YouTube reference with your friends. It’s all free – just remember to give credit where credit is due.

scrap pieced notebook cover in bright tropical Island Batik fabrics
Notebook made from fabric scraps

All the quilted samples were designed and pieced by myself, Karen Overton, using Island Batik fabrics, Superior Threads and Aurifl Threads, with zippers By Annie. The Island Batik fabrics were purchased or gleaned from my personal stash with the exception of one precut package of Sweet Nectar from my Island Batik Ambassador project kit.

 

March Mini Madness – Foundation Piecing

trimming a paper pieced block with the add-a-quarter rule
Picture of miniature quilts using Island Batik Fabrics
Island Batik Ambassadors are up to the challenge

Who knew that being an Island Batik Ambassador would be this much fun! This month the event is March Mini Madness and our instructions simply stated “foundation  or English paper piecing 24” x 24” or smaller.”

Time to get my creative juices flowing using the always inspiring beautiful Island Batik fabrics.

Foundation Piecing or English Paper Piecing?!??!

Okay. Hum. I realize that there’s a whole community built around English Paper Piecing, or EPP as it is fondly referred to, but that’s not my tribe.

Hum…take off the English and it’s just paper piecing, right? Well, that’s not really my tribe either…My UFO closet could prove it – I have a beautiful paper piecing quilt in progress from a class I took from Judy Neimeyer herself back at the turn of the century– great teacher, beautiful designs (ask me how many I have custom quilted!) but this paper piecing thing is just so backwards for me…. now give me a good ruler (or a dozen) and the only paper I need is graph paper….

But! Challenges are just that – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Besides, it’s a small project, how hard can it be? I got started right after the Galentine’s challenge…. thinking I’d be ahead of the game! But the project kept growing!

I Choose Paper Piecing

Desktop view of supplies for paper piecing project, pattern, fabric, thread
Pattern by Carol Doak, Aurifil thread for piecing,  and beautiful Island Batik fabric

Another name synonymous with paper piecing is Carol Doak. I was thrilled to find that she had a section of “free patterns” on her website. As I scrolled down there was one that is available has a handout for teachers to share the technique.  Being both the student and the teacher (for this blog post at least) the decision was quickly made and I downloaded the pattern. You can too if you click on this link.

trimming a paper pieced block with the add-a-quarter rule
It’s all about following instructions and having the right tools

I printed out the paper foundation, gathered my fabrics, I even owned the Add-A-Quarter Ruler! Having the right tools does make a job easier!

I must admit, working with batiks is much easier than my previous dilemma of distinguishing between the right and wrong side of printed fabrics, but that backward thing had me taking my time…it wasn’t too painful as I only had to rip out once!

I must march to the beat of a different drummer – when I did the “what if” I decided I liked an alternative layout….

colorful paper pieced blocks laid out to form a flower
Four units pieced according to the paper piecing instructions
Blocks are rotated to form an alternate layout for paper pieced units
Auditioning an alternate layout for paper pieced units

Design Change Switch to Foundation Piecing

And then I made another interesting decision…I didn’t necessarily have a purpose in mind for a mini quilt – not that there has to be a reason to play in fabric, but I did want to doll up a composition notebook I was using for my to do list….so one thing lead to another!

there is a hole in the quilt top
Discovered an unsewn seam while stitch in the ditch quilting

I figured out that I needed to cut up more of my Sweet Nectar stamps (5” squares) to make patchwork to make this “mini quilt” large enough to cover my notebook. I didn’t want to make binding so I just sewed the quilt top right sides together with a piece of lining and batting, leaving an opening to turn and then top stitch down before quilting on my domestic sewing machine with a little stitch in the ditch…..that’s when I discovered a boo-boo.  I didn’t check carefully when I pulled the paper off to make sure I didn’t pull apart my seam. Oh, well. Life goes on.

After quilting I laid the notebook on top of the wrong side of the mini quilt and folded in the sides to wrap around the edges to secure the notebook. I just top-stitched them together and ta-da, I had a stylish planner!

bright colors add to the beauty of this paper and foundation pieced composition notebook cover
Paper piecing combined with foundation piecing plus quilting turns a common composition notebook into a stylish planner
Island Batik Sweet Nectar fabric makes colorful patchwork on the inside of a notebook cover
The 5″ Sweet Nectar stamps made beautiful patchwork for the inside flaps and back
Quilted paper pieced notebook cover is laid open to show front and back
Open view of finished project. Superior’s Fantastico 5112 was the perfect thread for quilting!

But Wait, There’s More! True Foundation Piecing

I also have a composition notebook with graph paper that I use to sketch out designs for future projects. It needed a cute little cover too! Only it needed a place to keep my pens and pencils…so back to the drawing board.

beautiful blues, yellows and greens make up this pineapple foundation pieced block
The Pineapple Block lends itself easily to foundation piecing

This time I decided to take the instructions literally when it said “foundation” as I was reminded of foundation piecing string quilts years ago. I had some left-over strips of a beautiful line called Caribbean Splash that would be perfect for a pineapple block! So away I went!

I treated the fabric foundation just as I would if it were paper (that backward thing again) and I must admit, I like the precision of the points coming together at the yellow triangles!

yellow triangles of this pineapple foundation pieced block are precise
Foundation piecing is precision piecing

For this cover design, I decided that I needed to wrap the front flap as in the previous cover but that I needed to be able to slip the notebook into a quilted strip to hold it in place so I could wrap the back flap around to the front of the book to secure with a decorative button. Underneath that flap would be my zippered pocket for my pens.  And it worked!

rectangle foundation pieced pineapple block sparkle in caribbean fabrics from Island Batik
Foundation pieced pineapple elongated block makes a great  composition notebook . Opened up full length  reveals the true splash of the Caribbean colored fabrics
A composition notebook covered in quilted fabric is opened to show the hidden extra of a zippered pen pouch
The right hand wrap over flap has a vinyl zippered pocket to house pens. Pieced with Superior’s Sew Complete 217, zipper “ByAnnie” sewn with Aurifil 2120, quilted with Superior’s Fantastico 5004

A Little Bonus Just For You

Fabric strips are tied to the ends of paper clips to make colorful fringed bookmarks
Make decorative DIY bookmarks from simple items, fabric scraps and paper clips! Easy!

I tend to hold on to scraps so I was delighted when a young mom at church shared with me how she uses tiny strips of fabric to make bookmarks for her Bible Journaling…so here’s a bonus for you as a thank you for reading all the way to the end (almost to the end that is).

Third Time’s A Charm! More Foundation Piecing

a mosaic of fabric scraps sewn together using a foundation piecing method to make a larger piece of fabric
It’s fun to “make fabric” from sewing together colorful fabric scraps Aurifil 2000 is perfect for scrap sewing but Aurifil 2530 was perfect for piecing the raspberry lining

Well, I couldn’t stop.  I still had scraps left from my Sweet Nectar paper pieced composition notebook cover and this time I decided I had fulfilled my “foundation” obligation so I just played. Technically I did use a fabric foundation as I “made fabric” by sewing small pieces together and then sewing the pieces to the foundation with a flip and sew method. It is very therapeutic.

Before too long it was time to quilt. Okay, I’m not much of a free motion quilter. As I like to say “quilting on a domestic made a good woman cuss, so I bought a longarm.”

To the longarm I went. Now this is my tribe! I turned up the tunes and I was in my happy place!

close up of longarm quilting machine needle with small quilting designs on scrap pieced top
Superior Threads’ Rainbow in Bubble Gum complemented the scrap piecing perfectly

 

scrap pieced notebook cover in bright tropical Island Batik fabrics
Finished is good! Thank you Island Batik, Aurifil  and Superior Threads!
Scrap pieced notebook cover is open to show the pages of the notebook and zippered pen pouch
Open the notebook to discover a colorful front flap to hold the notebook and a practical zippered vinyl pen pocket
opened to the back of the notebook the back flap which secures the notebook is revealed in the scrap pieced composition notebook cover
The back quilted tube allows the back cover of the notebook to be held in place
colorful patchwork scraps make a notebook cover using the foundation piecing technique
No rhyme or reason when making fabric from scraps. No stress either! Batiks play nicely together

Truly Quilting is an Inexhaustible Topic!

Three fabric covered notebooks designed by The Quilt Rambler
Colorful, stylish, practical, fun!

It’s hard to say which one is my favorite.  I learned something new as I worked through each one.  I don’t think I will ever tire of quilting or rambling about quilting!

Be sure to check with the other Island Batik Ambassadors’ blogs to see their beautiful creations! Follow me as The Quilt Rambler on social media to see more!

Photo for Pinterest showing three quilted fabric composition notebook covers
Pin, Share, Save, Hashtag when you post your creations #TheQuiltRambler #CoveredCompositionNotebook

 

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, Telling Your Story One Quilt at a Time

Please leave a comment with your thoughts below. Would you be interested in a more detailed tutorial on how to make your own composition notebook cover? If so leave a request and we will see what happens!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Galentine’s Day 2017 Island Style

Galentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day? Projects for both were made at this weekend’s Sew In with the Island Quilters Guild of Galveston.

What is Galentine’s Day you say?

According to google search Galentine’s Day was “invented” by a fictional character on a program called Parks & Recreation to be celebrated each February 13th – it’s all about enjoying time with your lady friends, saving the romance for February 14th with your sweetheart.

February’s challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is to make Kennel Quilts but our bonus challenge is to make something for Galentine’s Day.

Love is Sharing Your Island Batik Fabrics

Knowing that I had an Island Quilters Guild Sew In over the weekend I began pulling fabric from my stash to go along with the Valentine fabric included in my ambassador box. My goal was to include my quilting friends in this project – after all, isn’t that the “true meaning” of Galentine’s Day! Girl time! Only thing better than girl time is girlfriend quilting time!!

Island Time – Island Quilters Guild Style

Janie is enjoying piecing together fabrics cut with the GoCutter
Janie makes quick time of her quarter square triangles cut with the AccuQuilt GoCutter

My Galveston Island girlfriends are the best, not only are they creative accomplished quilters, they are gracious and willing to set aside their own projects for a few hours to “play” in my Island Batik. fabrics.

Without further ramble, I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves…sorta….

Sew Many Ideas!

Island Batiks Fabrics in Beautiful Valentine Colors
Ready Set Go – Such A Beautiful Pallet of Batiks to Work With For a Fun Galentine’s / Valentine’s Project

I couldn’t come up with an idea for a mug rug – actually, I had too many ideas! I’d been saving ideas to my Pinterest board but couldn’t seem to narrow it down. When quilting gives you too many decisions just make a purse!

No pattern, just making do. I had a candy wrapper saved from last year – the 150 year anniversary of Sweethearts, which IS my favorite Valentine candy. To protect the candy wrapper I placed a piece of vinyl over it before sewing the sashing strips from my batik stash. On the back, I made patchwork from the fat quarters provided in my Island Batik Ambassador box.

Add a phone pocket to the inside purse lining
Any purse of mine has to have a phone pocket!

I added a phone pocket to the lining piece before using the Fantastico from Superior Threads for the quilting.

Ready to quilt the purse piece using Superior Threads Fantastico, the perfect blend to the Island Batik fabrics

Guild sew ins always include teachable moments….Janie shared with me how to do machine appliqué – something I’m not too well-versed in. I like the way the hearts added to my little purse.

Janie is a willing teacher – she is demonstrating how to use the blanket stitch to go around the heart raw edge appliqué on the Galentine/Valentine purse project
Janie was more than gracious with this teachable moment – that’s what girlfriends do for each other!
Front view of my Galentine/Valentine Purse, perfect for date night
I just love the way the Island Batik fabrics blend together to make this patchwork sing. Enjoyed my first lesson on machine appliqué with the button hole stitch too.

More Projects

Pieced heart block
Dena make a quick project inspired by Missouri Star Quilt Company’s recent heart tutorial

Janie brought her AccuQuilt Go Cutter for our enjoyment. I loved the amazement on Shirley’s face as Janie showed her how a GoCutter worked! Didn’t take Shirley long to make her Galentine’s project.

GoCutter makes quick work of cutting out fabric
Shirley is genuinely amazed as she sees the ease in using the Accuquilt GoCutter in action cutting out the heart appliqué pieces for her Galentine’s Day project
Shirley used the heart die from the GoCutter for her Galentine's Day block
Shirley is all heart when it comes to requests to quilt with friends.
GoCutters are fast and easy to use
Katy used the GoCutter to cut squares for her project
Katy is our resident smoking needle, she makes quick work of any project.
Close up of Katy’s Galentine/Valentine pouch made with beautiful Island Batik fabrics

Our sew-in was a two-day event and I was pleased that more wanted to join in the fun on Saturday.

Braided mug rug made with Island Batik fabrics
Debbie joined the Galentine’s Day project fun with a colorful mug rug made with Island Batik fabrics
Mug Rug and Girl Scout Cookies
Debbie’s granddaughter had a very unique thank you card included with the delivery of the cookies – which look darling on this Galentine’s Day mug rug
Kennel Quilts are fun to make especially in Valentine Fabric from Island Batik
Pam’s Galentine’s Day Kennel Quilt in the Making

Pam decided she wanted to combine the two February challenges and made a Galentine’s Kennel Quilt.

I Have Great Gal-friends to Celebrate Galentine’s Day

We heart Island Batik fabrics
Shirley pieced the block & Karen quilted and bound it. Truly a Galentine’s Day collaboration between friends.
Three Amigas – Happy Galentine’s Day from the Island Quilters Guild and Island Batik Ambassadors!

How will you celebrate Galentine’s Day this year?

Island Batik scraps make a pretty picture themselves
Scrap cutting are the proof of a fun day playing in Island Batik Fabrics

Leave a comment and share!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, Telling YOUR Story One Quilt At A Time

 

 

 

Kennel Quilts – An Island Batik Ambassador Project

charity quilts, kennel quilts
kennel quilts
February project – make a kennel quilt, or two, or a dozen!

The February challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is to make one or more Kennel Quilts – which are  used in animal shelters across the country. This project is coordinated by the volunteer organization TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team sponsored by The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM). Island Batik is also among the industry partners.

 When disasters strike, team members get busy sewing small kennel quilts for animals in need  -some may be separated from their humans and others possibly injured. There is always the need for more team members or random donations!

How to Make a Kennel Quilt

The guidelines suggest a 12″ x 18″ quilt that will fit in a kennel. In addition the quilt should not have a binding as little claws could rip off the fabric. There are other stipulations, such as prewashing the fabric, so be sure to read carefully.

guidelines to make a small kennel quilt
View the website to have the most current guidelines
choosing beautiful Island Batiks to make a kennel quilt
Island Batiks are perfect for any project

I rummaged through my collection of Island Batik precuts and found a set of 5″ squares to work with as well as some scrap batting and away I went to the sewing machine! Note: I do not pre-wash my precuts, but I will wash the completed quilt before donating.

island batik five inch squares sewn together
Enjoying the hum of the machine and the feel of the fabric.

 

I love simple mindless sewing…the relaxing hum of the needle, the feel of fabulous fabrics under my fingers. An audible (book on tape) playing in the background or perhaps my favorite Christian radio station….just in the zone…sew sew sew!

 

 

In no time I had whipped up a little 3 x 4 arrangement from my 5″ squares.

After  careful pressing I layered the pieced quilt top right sides together with the backing fabric placing the batting under the wrong side of the backing to sew all three layers together at one time, leaving a 5″ area unsewn for turning.

Layer the pieced top and backing right sides together then add the batting. Clip or pin to hold in place for sewing.

After sewing I trimmed the edges with pinking sheers –  just because they were handy. You could easily use your rotary cutter or regular scissors. The idea is to have a narrow seam allowance for reduced bulk.

After sewing trim the edges before turning to reduce bulk.

Time to turn the little quilt, press around the seams to lay flat and press the opening to the inside even along the edges.

Hope you left the opening large enough to put your hand inside for turning!
Pressing Matters

 

Top stitch along the entire edge making sure to close the opening

I then topstitched along the perimeter carefully closing the opening. Followed by simple  “stitch in the ditch” quilting to hold the quilt sandwich together.

Stitch in the ditch using pretty matching threads

 

 

 

 

 

 

Betcha’ can’t make just one!

I think making these little quilts is a lot like eating potato chips. You can’t just make one! I decided to get a little more creative with the next one and instead of just 12 plain squares I wanted to add pinwheels.

The method I used is fairly quick and easy. Simply layer two 5″ squares right sides together and sew a quarter of an inch around all four edges. When complete take a rotary cutter and ruler to cut from corner to corner to produce 4 triangle shapes. Press these open, trim the dog ears, and then piece together as a four patch to form the pinwheel. It’s important to note that once the blocks were pieced I did trim them down to 5″ square to match the precuts.

How to make four half square triangles out of 2 squares
Clockwise: Left top sew around all edges; right top cut into quarters on the diagonal, left bottom press open, right bottom sew into a four patch

I chose to lay the pinwheels every other one with the squares in a checkerboard fashion. Repeated my process  and in no time I had two little quilts!

charity quilts, kennel quilts
Finished is good. Two finished kennel quilts for charity

My Kennel Quilt Challenge

Need inspiration? Visit Island Batik’s bog Photo credit Fall/Winter 2016 Island Batik catalog

My local guild makes  quilts to share with various local charitable organizations but I have to admit, I had never thought  about making something for our little four legged friends who are in need of comfort.

 

 

 

Check the website for current details

I’m going to challenge myself to make more of these small kennel quilts as the month goes by – I would like to at least fill up a box! There is information on the website concerning where to donate the kennel quilts as there is always a call to action when disaster strikes. I may even check with my local shelter to see if they have a need.

small quilts, kennel quilts
Small quilts are perfect for pet kennels – will you make one or a few?

How about you? Want to take up the challenge with me and make a few kennel quilts? It’s a great way to use up your scraps or practice a new block pattern.

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s Island Batik Ambassador challenge. Check the Island Batik blog for links to other ambassadors and their projects.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, Telling YOUR Story One Quilt At A Time….

Please leave a comment below as I’d love to hear from you. Are you going to take up the challenge with me this month? Inquiring minds want to know!