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!

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Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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

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What Does The Quilt Rambler and Studio 180 Design Have In Common?

Upcoming Event with Studio 180 Design

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

Studio 180 Design And The Quilt Rambler
My all time favorite ruler is the Rapid Fire Leymone Star Ruler

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.

Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor
As seen on Facebook

Application Process to Train as a Certified Instructor

Studio 180 DesignBy 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?

Certified Instructor 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!

Studio 180 Design Certified InstructorWhile 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….

Block made using Deb Tucker Rulers for Certified Instructor Training
Rulers Used: Rapid Fire Leymone Star, Corner Pop
Block made for Certified Instructor Training Application
Rulers used: Corner Beam, Tucker Trimmer, Square 2
Block made by Karen Overton Using Studio 180 Design Rulers for Certified Instructor Application
Rulers used V -Block, Tucker Trimmer
Karen Overton made this block using Deb Tucker Rulers for her Certified Instructor Application
Rulers used: Wing Clipper, Tucker Trimmer
The Quilt Rambler made this block using Deb Tucker Rulers for Certification Application
Rulers Used: Split Rects, Diamond Rects, Tucker Trimmer

 

Karen Overton's block submitted for Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor Training
Ruler used: Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star: Petite Star

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.”

In the mail Karen Overton's Application for Certified Instructor training
My blocks and application are (almost) “in the mail!”  You may remember this photo from an earlier blog post.

The Wait

If you’ve ever waited expectantly, and who hasn’t, then you know I was on pins and needles awaiting a verdict.

Email from Studio 180 Design for Certified Instructor Training
Good news! I’ve been accepted!!!

Let The Countdown Begin!

Countdown until Deb Tucker's Certified Instructor Training
Even though I’ve known about my acceptance for several weeks, I just started my “countdown” today. By the way, 23 is my favorite number! Quilt in the background is Morning Glory, a new pattern by Studio 180 Design quilted by The Quilt Rambler

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!!)

 

What Do You Get When You Add Friends And Fabric?

photo of quilting workshop with Karen Overton

 …A quilting day with friends of course!

pink poka dot suitcases full of quilting supplies for a quilting workshop
Suitcases full of quilts, fabric, sewing supplies added with comfy sewing chair and sewing machine – perfect combination for a quilting workshop

The Quilt Rambler has been on the road again (yes, you can hum the Willie Nelson song while you read along, I don’t mind). You may recall my recent trip to Arizona to teach my pattern Illuminated Journey….well I have to confess that the bags have been in the living room unpacked – full of quilts – for over 2 weeks now! Too many fun things going on to worry about refolding quilts to put back up in the studio! Procrastination paid off somewhat as all I had to do to get ready for this next workshop was to pull out the quilts I didn’t need, add in my work-in-progress demo kit, update the thread kit, etc. – quick packing if I do say so myself!

Save the Date

Several months ago the plans were put into motion to teach my pattern Double Occupancy to my local guild, the Island Quilters Guild of Galveston Texas. I’ve been looking forward to this – nothing like hometown advantage! I can bring my own sewing machine and chair!! Actually, that’s a bonus but the real fun is quilting along with my friends from the guild, ladies that I enjoy having sew-ins and retreats with. We share more than fabric, we share a lot of laughter!

Pattern cover showing Double Occupancy quilt pattern by Karen Overton
Advertised months in advance – we’ve “saved the date”  May 20th for Double Occupancy workshop

Friends and Fabric

Mindy is happily sewing her workshop project
Mindy helped with all the workshop arrangements and notifying students of homework and other details in preparation for a fun day of sewing

It wasn’t long before everyone had their sewing machines set up and all their beautiful precut fabrics neatly pressed, labeled and laid out eager to learn a new technique.

This pattern was designed with precut bundles in mind. Specifically 10″ squares and 2.5″ strips plus background. And of course, my recommended fabric was/is Island Batiks. They have the most gorgeous fabrics, and since the majority of the guild members actually live on Galveston Island (sadly I’m a mainlander) most of us have that tropical island outlook in our fabric choices.

student is sewing colorful fabric in the quilting workshop with Karen Overton
Libby looks like she is enjoying the process

That said, my quilting friends are unique individuals and do have different tastes in fabric choices – which I might add, based on experience, varies from project to project!  I rarely teach a class where it is a mandatory cookie cutter kit – while there are advantages to kits it is nice to offer a student the option of bringing their own fabric as I feel like you need to love the fabric if you are going to put that much time into making a quilt. Who needs another UFO quilt project! But I have to say, I really enjoyed seeing all the island batik fabrics of those who chose to use them! The other fabrics were equally stunning…A little Moda, a little Kaffe…all beautiful!

colorful pile of quilting units made with beautiful island batik fabrics
Island Batik fabrics are perfect for this Double Occupancy pattern

When designing this pattern I preferred the Island Batik precut bundles because there are an equal number of duplicates of the fabrics – 20 coordinated prints times two. I based my pattern off of this feature as only one-half of the package of both 10″ squares and 2.5″ squares is needed to make one quilt. The entire packages (plus background and borders) actually make two quilts! But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself!

Demo a Little, Sew a Lot

Karen Overton teaching her pattern Double Occupancy at a workshop
I love being able to demo the steps with the sewing machine instead of just presenting a handout or visual

I love teaching! And I love learning new techniques and designs. In my early years after I made my very first quilt, I turned around and taught 10 ladies and their daughters from my homeschool group to make the same quilt I just learned. For me, “it’s make – one teach ten!” I love sharing what I am doing with my friends!

ladies carefully watching a quilting workshop demonstration
I have very attentive students during the demo

 

Double Occupancy uses Studio 180 Design Rapid Fire Hunters Star Ruler in the larger size ruler (there’s a petite size). I demo-ed one step, sent the gals back to the machine to sew, then demo-ed the next step. Following this process most of the day. See one, do one….works for me!

 

student shows her progress in quilting workshop
Get it, got it – good! Way to go Mindy!
student in quilting workshop
Bonnie looks like she’s making good progress
student sewing in quilting workshop
Keep up the good work Libby!
student sewing in quilting workshop
Christine demonstrates good posture and good concentration (grin)
quilting student in workshop
See Katy, I told you that you were photogenic (and that I wouldn’t leave you out of the photos!)
lady showing her quilting block in a workshop setting
Terri you are just having way too much fun girlfriend!

Double the Fun

As I hinted to earlier – the pattern is designed to make two 68 x 68 quilts from one package of 10″ squares, one package of 2.5″ strips, plus background and border fabric. There are 13 different layout solutions in the pattern and I have personally made 9 of them with the remaining 4 being works in progress ( I work on them at sew-ins or work from them as my classroom demo). Sadly at this time, only the cover quilts are actually quilted.  Just like the old saying “a cobbler’s children have no shoes”, a longarm quilter is generally behind in quilting her own quilts.  I like to call the quilts with the same fabric choices “twins” – two identical fabric kits yet uniquely different. Just like people – no two are really alike. What I have enjoyed as I have taught this class is seeing the students’ completed quilt tops, same fabric + different layout = individual unique quilt. The hunter star is like a log cabin – endless layout possibilities!

Quilting workshop samples
Several quilt samples of Double Occupancy layouts were displayed around the classroom
colorful quilts on display around the workshop classroom floor
More layout choices for the Double Occupancy pattern

Friends Plus Fabric Equals Fun Fellowship

smiling lady at sewing machine
Leah seems to be enjoying the workshop

As the day went on the step by step techniques were demoed and the ladies just sewed and sewed. I like to teach to the individual. It’s been my experience that there are multiple learning styles as well as the speed of sewing that varies by the individual. Because of that, I tell everyone that “where you are is where you are supposed to be“. Sometimes the smoking needles are ready for the next step and other times someone needs a repeat demo. That’s what I’m there for. That and making all the mistakes so they don’t have to.  I can make some whoppers but I show how to work through them, fix them, or forget them! As I like to say “I fired the quilt police a long time ago.”

That’s not to say that I don’t strive for my best and I do teach proper technique, but I do remind my students that they are there to learn a technique and to allow themselves a little learning curve. Most people don’t sew their best in a group setting….for me it’s usually because I’m focused more on the conversations that my perfect quarter inch seam! Quilting is our passion, but we need to be kind to ourselves sometimes and just have fun. My motto that is hanging in my studio says “Striving to do my best with the skills and knowledge I have at the time with the goal of continually improving.”

student looks on as teacher demonstrates sewing technique
Striving to do my best with the skills and knowledge available at the time striving to continually improve. Yep, I love teaching workshops. especailly to students who are eager to learn something new and fun

I do like to introduce students to a sometimes new to them technique of using a pressing stick to press their seams open as I think you just get better results. Regardless of “press to the dark side” or press open, the proper technique of pressing is always an important detail as is good rotary cutting techniques.

lady ironing a quilt block
Bonnie is a very careful presser
Lady pressing quilt blocks
Libby is enjoying her new rotating pressing surface
students in quilting workshop
Trimming is important ladies! And make sure you are having fun doing it
lady cutting out a quilting block
Helena said she was enjoying her new cutting mat, the markings helped her to be more accurate. Good job!

One thing I love about Deb Tucker’s rulers is the success even beginner quilters have when using them – a little wiggle room is added to help with the piecing part and then when the unit is completed it is trimmed to perfection. Genius design makes happy quilters!

Happy Quilters

lady holding a quilt block make in the quilting workshop
Dena’s quilt is going to be fabulous with the Kaffe fabrics!

All too soon it was time to pack back up and head to the mainland leaving my island gals to their own paths home. While a one-day class doesn’t usually produce a finished quilt top I do believe that everyone went home with the knowledge and experience of using this specialty ruler and it is my hope that there will be lots of Double Occupancy quilts in upcoming Island Quilters Quilt show and tell!

 

photo of quilting workshop with Karen Overton
Double Occupancy Workshop – Island Girl style

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, on the road but not far from home

Do you enjoy quilting with friends? I’d love to have you share your thoughts, please leave a comment below!

 

 

 

 

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)..

 

 

Illuminated Journey – Arizona!

Karen Overton holding her quilt Illuminated Journey outside near a breathtaking view of Arizona

Arizona, We have landed!

Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, poses by a tall cactus in Arizona
Nice to meet you Arizona!

I have been looking forward to this journey for months! This past week I had the honor of being a guest speaker at the Lonesome Valley Quilt Guild in Prescott Valley, Arizona and able to teach a workshop with my original pattern Illuminated Journey.

I have to say the hardest part of packing was deciding what quilts to bring for my trunk show! Every quilt has a story and this rambler does like to ramble on.

Bags are Packed

My friend Dianne accompanied me on this journey. Fortunately, she travels light so I was able to appropriate one of her allowed check in bags. As you can see, I don’t travel light!

Three hot pink polka dot suitcases are full of quilts to take to Arizona
Colorful suitcases are easy to spot at baggage terminals!

 

Let the Journey Begin

photo shows a sandaled foot on the break and view of the dashboard of a rental car
Current world view – trying to find the ignition and the stick shift on the rental car

We flew into Phoenix from Houston Hobby and had a rental car waiting on us. It’ s a good thing that Dianne is a little more up to date with vehicles than I am. I was really surprised when I couldn’t find a key hole in the ignition! She calmly explained to me “put your foot on the brake and press the start button”. But even Dianne was dumbfounded when we couldn’t find the stick shift – who knew it was a knob on the dash!

Road Trip

Our destination was Prescott Valley. I have to thank my friend Larry at church for teaching me the proper way to say this. As a Texan, I thought it was pronounced Press-Scott but he kindly corrected me that it was Pres-cut, the only way I could remember was it sounded like it rhymed with biscuits…

We had a little over an hour and a half drive UP the mountains to our destination. Coming from 10 feet above sea level to over 5000 feet above sea level was breathtaking in multiple ways. The scenery was glorious. Along the way, we saw an exit sign for a visitors center where they shared a location with us to enable us to safely take photos of the fabulously tall cactus we were viewing out the window. If you follow me on Facebook you can see my impromptu Facebook Live video from High Desert Trail. The scenery was truly breathtaking.

Two friends take photos of large cactus at a road side hiking trail in Arizona
Mountain top experience in Arizona

Shop Hop

Colorful fabric on the cutting table of a quilt shop with ladies studying the pattern for a quilt
Dianne studies the pattern and picks out fabric for her next quilt

By late morning we were joining our hostess, Patsy and Karen (daughter/mother), for a fun tour of the two local quilt shops.

First stop was Quilt ‘N Sew Connection I enjoyed all the shop samples and beautiful display of fabrics. The ladies there were very welcoming. Dianne found her “next quilt” and I’ve been recruited to assist her with some of the teachable moments in the pattern. It’s going to be stunning.

Just down the road was Cloth Plus which offered both quilting fabric and home decoration fabric and supplies. This shop was equally friendly – that’s important in my book! I was pleased to see some Island Batik precuts – they actually had the fabric line that I used in my Illuminated Journey sample!

I’m not confessing my purchases – but I will say it wasn’t easy to squeeze in more fabric in my already packed suitcases!

Time for Guild Meeting

After an enjoyable afternoon sight-seeing and a late lunch with the girls, it was time to prepare for my lecture and trunk show.

I had brought two little cameras and asked that photos be taken for me….well, low light and a camera that’s not familiar yielded a few shaky shots as well as grainy shots – but if you are a true quilt lover, and I know you are, you will forgive the photo quality and look at the quilts!

I have to say my favorite part of quilt guild meetings are the show and tell by members. I love seeing what others are making and hearing their stories. The Lonesome Valley Gals are extremely generous in the making and donating of charity quilts – so many were displayed during their community service show and tell. In addition, the members shared their own personal quilts. I was able to capture a few.

A 9 patch collage of ladies showing their quilting projects
The Lonesome Valley Quilt Guild members share their latest quilting creations

Time To Ramble

A lady at the front of a church with a table full of folded quilts ready for show and tell
Getting to know you, getting to know all about you….Karen has her quilts in a row ready to ramble the night away!

It doesn’t look like 100+ pounds when they are all folded up on the table, but I promise I had 3 suitcases weighing just under the 50-pound limit each full of quilted quilts, unquilted quilts as well as all the teaching supplies for Illuminated Journey. Here’s a small sampling of my trunk show…and yes, this Quilt Rambler did ramble on! I lost track of time and never made eye contact with my “timekeeper” Patsy to know when to stop….umm….yeah…how about an hour of rambling on! I really could have talked all night – quilting is such an inexhaustible subject! I got tickled when Patsy stated, “I don’t think she took a breath!”

Scrappy quilt made from purple fabric
Early quilt pieced and quilted  by Karen Overton – Fabric collected in 2001 as fat quarters
scrappy purple quilt with lime green stars
More purple fabrics, quilt top pieced between 2007-2009 waiting to be quilted
Sharing a colorful lemoyne star quilt
Stack ‘N Whack quilt pieced and quilted in 2003. This quilt was a turning point in my journey. I attempted to machine quilt this on my domestic sewing machine – it “made a good woman cuss, so I had to buy a Longarm”
colorful wallhanging quilt
Crown Jewels, a pattern by Deb Tucker, pieced and quilted by Karen Overton,
scrappy reproduction fabric quilt made using a specialty ruler by Deb Tucker
Original pattern using Deb Tucker’s Ruler Corner Beam, I call this “Hummingbird” pieced and quilted by Karen Overton
Binding Tool Star Quilt in colorful island batik fabrics of orange, hot pink, yellow and lime green
A fun fast pattern called Binding Tool Star Quilt by Missouri Star Quilt Co. with a border variation by Karen Overton. Pieced and quilted by Karen Overton using Island Batik fabrics. Yes, Lime Green is a neutral!

Illuminated Journey Workshop

Tuesday morning 14 ladies were up bright and early, toting in their sewing machines and supplies for a full day of learning how to use Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design’s Rapid Fire Leymone Star Ruler with my pattern Illuminated Journey.

collage photo shows students in a quilting class
Illuminated Journey class with the Lonesome Valley Quilt Guild ladies

The ladies were delightful. I truly appreciated their kindness and loved getting to spend time quilting and visiting with them. Once again, thank you to Kim who provided a sewing machine for Dianne to be able to sew during class. Since Dianne had already made Illuminated Journey she worked on her first “Jelly Roll Race” quilt and was pleased to get it totally pieced during class.

beautiful scrappy blue quilt
Dianne’s first “jelly roll” quilt – pieced in one day! Fond memories of time spent in Arizona

The day went too quickly! Before I knew it everyone was packing up and we were headed out to dinner with Patsy and Karen, joined by their husbands. I neglected to mention that these ladies, who are actually from Prescott Valley, spent some years in my neck of the woods – the Texas gulf coast – and we were in the Mainland Morning Guild together (Texas City). This mother/daughter team is a joy to be around. Again, Dianne and I appreciated their hospitality.

four quilting friends holding a colorful quilt
The road is never long between quilting friends!
Karen Kumke, Patsy Franko, Karen Overton and Dianne Burnett. Illuminated Journey goes to Arizona!

All Roads Lead South

map showing route from Prescott Valley to Phoenix
Heading south the Phoenix then on to Houston

Well, maybe that’s not true, but it was time for these Texas gals to head south – but not without another stop on the road for our photo op. This time we stopped at an official rest stop called Sunset Peak, a mere 3000-foot elevation. We weren’t disappointed by the view that’s for sure!

 

cactus flowers in Arizona
Dianne enjoying the beautiful flowers
collage of cactus and flowers and a quilt in the wild
Photos taken at the Sunset Point Rest stop
cactus flowers in Arizona
Beauty in the desert
yellow cactus flowers in Arizona
Loved the colorful flowers in the sea of brown – Arizona is a beautiful state

Illuminated Journey in The Wild and On the Road

While taking this photo another rest-stop guest asked if we were going to a quilt show in Utah that weekend…Darn! We would just have to miss that one! Just not enough hours to see all the fabulous quilts in the world!

Karen Overton holding her quilt Illuminated Journey outside near a breathtaking view of Arizona
Illuminated Journey and The Quilt Rambler journey to Arizona

I truly appreciated the good fortune to share my pattern with the Arizona ladies. Thank you again for your hospitality and allowing me the opportunity to see your beautiful state!

Pattern Available

stunning scrappy quilt made with precuts, purchase from Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler
Illuminated Journey is an original pattern by Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, and is available for purchase

Illuminated Journey was created in 2014 as a pattern to be taught on Cactus Quilt’s 2015 Quilting Cruise. The pattern is available for purchase as a PDF download, written as it was for the cruise. If this is something you are interested in please contact me.

In addition, if your guild would like a trunk show or workshop I would be more than happy to discuss details.

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, Rambling On the Road, Telling My Story One Quilt At a Time!

Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts about guest speakers at guilds and workshops you have enjoyed.