2018 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop Rambler Style

Quilt Blog Repeat logo designed by Becca of Prettypiney.com

Quilt Blog Repeat – what a perfect description of my life! Welcome new readers, my name is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, and I am so pleased you are “hopping around” this year’s annual New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop. This is week 4 and I’m eager to share with you a little of my ramblings!

I first learned about this year’s event from Jen at DizzyQuilter. She and her co-hosts, Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts, Tish @ Tish n’Wonderland and Sandra @ mmm! Quilts have put together a wonderful learning tool to help quilt bloggers become, well, better quilt bloggers! And did I mention there are giveaways from the co-hosts and our sponsors! Visit each of their links above (and listed at the end of this post) to enter! Be sure to read all the way to the end for the list of other bloggers featured this week. You are bound to find a new quilting buddy or several among us!



Business Name

Quilts ‘N Kaboodle had a name change to The Quilt Rambler, same Karen Overton (grin)

The Quilt Rambler is my quilting business name – however, it’s not my first quilting business. More on that in a moment.

I think I fell in love with quilts at birth.  I have many of the quilts made by my Ma-Ma. (The southern way of spelling grandmother – pronounced maw-maw).

The quilting bug bit me hard when I attended my first quilt show at the Houston International Quilt Festival in 2000. I don’t think I will ever recover – and I don’t want too! I love quilting and have made well over 200 personal quilts since purchasing my first fat quarters around the turn of the century.

Covered with one of my grandmother’s quilts

In 2004 I opened up my longarm business Quilts ‘N Kaboodle and operated under that name until the end of 2016.  I rebranded in January 2017 to expand my business to encompass my transitioning into pattern design and more teaching of quilting, while still longarm quilting for hire and making t-shirt and memory quilts for my customers.

I am best known for my hand guided custom designs, namely feathers. I love quilting feathers.

Island Batik Ambassador

I am also an Island Batik Ambassador, I was blessed to begin this relationship at the beginning of 2017 when I rebranded as The Quilt Rambler – perfect timing don’t you think? I love working with Island Batik’s fabrics. As an ambassador, I am provided with a beautiful box load of fabrics twice a year in agreement to participate in monthly challenges and blog about them.

Early 2017 Island Batik Ambassador challenge projects

I have enjoyed the challenges and getting to know the other ambassadors through our blog hops. This year there are 45+ ambassadors and I invite you to consider following along each month as we get to play with these beautiful fabrics.

This is one of my favorite quilts from last year. I called it “This is the Way Walk In It” – there are a couple of posts about it last year if you’d like the “story behind the quilt”. Part 1 and Part 2. 

Certified Instructor With Studio 180 Design

CI training is really a boot camp in knowing how to teach using Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design tools

One of my goals last year was to become certified in teaching Deb Tucker’s techniques using her Studio 180 Design tools. The application process included my quilting resume and the submission of quilt blocks pieced with her tools to show my knowledge of her techniques. I was so pleased to be chosen to attend the CI training last August and proudly graduated with “the class of 2017“.  I love teaching and having Deb’s tools in my toolbox has certainly allowed me to encourage my students in their piecing skills and continued success in their own quilting journey.

As a Certified Instructor, I do travel to give lectures and do workshops as well as vend at quilt shows. And I teach locally too. You can keep up with me on social media as well as my schedule here on my website and blog.

The Quilt Rambler on the Road – vending at Lakeview Quilters’ Quilt Show


Pattern Designer

As I mentioned earlier, my goal for my quilting career is to design and publish my own patterns. Through my association with Island Batik and Studio 180 Design, I have been able to walk down the path of design.

My first published pattern, Illuminated Journey, was introduced at the Fall Market 2017 in the Island Batik booth. I actually taught the design on a quilting cruise in 2015 but it now “officially” my first pattern and of course, it is made with Island Batik fabrics and uses Deb’s Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star Ruler.


Very excited to see my quilt hanging in Hancock’s of Paducah last month – Illuminated Journey by The Quilt Rambler


Secret Sewing – can’t share the pattern or the fabrics just yet!
Soon to be revealed at Spring Market 2018

As a budding pattern designer, I do a lot of “secret sewing” – which means I can only do little teasers until the pattern or fabrics are released. It’s so hard for me to keep a secret!

Next week is Spring Market 2018 and I will again have a pattern introduced through Island Batik’s Spring Catalog featuring a new line of batiks. I will be posting more details about this quilt, Geese Over Galveston Bay,  later in the week so I hope you will join me! I can tell you that it uses Deb Tucker’s Wing Clipper I ruler and is made with a beautiful new line of fabric!

Geese Over Galveston Bay will be introduced in the Island Batik booth at Spring Market 2018

Quilt Blogger

Quilt Blog Repeat logo designed by Becca of Prettypiney.com

I guess that’s really who I am – a quilt blogger. I have the glee of show and tell and the joy of sharing quilt stories (as well as personal stories). I started a blog many years ago just to have an online journal of my quilting process. I let it slack and reinvented myself last year on this platform. I love to go to guild sew-ins and sew with my friends. I love to teach quilting classes. I love sharing my Island Batik Ambassador projects and I truly resemble my motto “Let’s Talk Quilts“.  Again, that’s why I loved the name of my “hive” – Quilt, Blog, Repeat as that’s pretty much who I am!

When the opportunity came to join up with the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers I was quick to reply. This group of happy bloggers has been so generous in sharing. We spent some time getting to know each other, offering tips and critiques along the way. One tip that I picked up on was actually to my embarrassment! I had no idea that when someone commented on my blog and I hit the “reply” to answer them that it only showed up on my blog post and never reached the one commenting. I am trying to put into practice to get to know those of you who are sweet enough to reply and respond in a way that you know we connected. I’m a tad behind due to several weeks on the road vending but I am catching up and do want my readers to know that I cherish each comment and so appreciate the time you’ve taken from your day to share my quilting journey.

Here’s a list of my “hive” – I hope you will take time to get to know each one of them!

Hive leader Jen @ DizzyQuilter

Michelle @ Creativeblonde

Roseanne @ HomeSewnByUs.

Jan @ CocaQuilts 

Tara @ QuiltDistrict 

Nichole @ HandWroughtQuilts 

Karen (me) @ TheQuiltRambler 

Becca @ PrettyPiney

Sarah @ 9658Textiles


Quilting Tip

As part of our blog hop introduction, we were asked to share a quilting tip. I recently shared this on a national podcast with Pat Sloan concerning pressing.

My tip is that I press my seams open. Did you audibly gasp?  Grin!  I know that we have all been taught to press to a certain side so our seams will nest but I challenge you to try pressing your seams open! Your blocks will lay flatter, especially when making beautiful Lemoyne Stars. Disclaimer: If you plan on stitching in the ditch this pressing method will not work for you as there will be no ditch to stitch in! Give it a try and tell me what you think.

Pressing seams open to make for a flatter block/quilt. Your longarm quilter will love you – no “D cups” to quilt over at the center of your Lemoyne star blocks!

Future Plans For The Quilt Rambler


Reconstruction after Hurricane Harvey continues
We love cruising – and teaching on cruises and have big future “cruise” plans for quilters!

Glad you asked! Sometimes the best plans get put on the “wait a bit” list. Our home and my home studio were affected by Hurricane Harvey last August and we are still in reconstruction. It’s been a long road to recovery, with the actual construction not beginning until mid-February, but we are on the right path!  We have big plans for future classes here in The Quilt Rambler studio as well as future retreats as part of our Land Locked Quilting Cruises.  

My future plans include designing more quilt patterns, many with the ambassador program, and participating in more online quilting activities such as blog hops and quilt alongs. I will be a part of the Row Along 2018 coming in September with a few other events in the works. I also want to pick back up the making of YouTube Tutorials – interrupted by that darn ole hurricane! Through these events, I hope to meet new quilting friends, share a little of my quilting experiences and learn a bunch from you!

Thanks for hanging out with me today….but wait! There’s more!


Week 4 New Quilter Blog

Visit my “hive” members as well as the other new quilt bloggers posting today – we’d all appreciate if you’d leave a comment and let us know you stopped by!

Joni  @ ForTheLoveOfThread  

Tracy @ It’s A T-sweet Day!

Cherie @ CheriesQuiltingJourney 

Cindy @ GrayBarnDesigns

Karen @TheQuiltRambler  (You are here!)

Sarah @ 9658Textiles 

Terri @ MeanderingsAlongLizardCreek 

Liz @ SavorEveryStitch


And be sure to visit the co-hosts to register for the fabulous giveaways from our sponsors! You do not have to follow each of us to enter, but adding a comment to our blogs does give you an added entry!



This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler – asking what is your favorite quilting block or unit make? Would you consider pressing your seams open?

















104 thoughts on “2018 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop Rambler Style

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Better busy than bored I always say! Thanks for visiting me from “across the pond” – it’s it wonderful to be able to connect with quilters around the world!

  1. Dione Gardner-Stephen says:

    Hi there Karen, I have really enjoyed getting to know you through the Island Batik Ambassador program this year, and some more on this hop. Your quilting output is HUGE! And fabulous. I use a combo of seams pressed open and to the side, depending on the circumstances. I lose patience with too much ditch quilting anyway, so it’s not such the issue. No favourite block…. maybe log cabin and variants if I was really pushed for an answer.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Isn’t it fun playing with all those beautiful Island Batik fabrics! I used to always press “to the dark side” but found that I really like the end results of pressing open. Most people just do it when needed to reduce bulk. Doesn’t really matter as long as it’s a good press and we all enjoy the process! Log cabins have endless design possibilities!

  2. Ann Casey says:

    My, you’ve been busy, Karen! That Illuminated Journey is lovely; no wonder it’s hanging at Hancock’s. Good luck expanding the scope of your business. Seams? For me, it depends on the pattern, but definitely open if there are bulking intersections, or seams on odd angles to be matched.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Ann, I agree, definitely open to reduce bulk – everything else is a personal decision – and we fired those quilt police so who really cares Thanks for the compliment on Illuminated Journey – that was certainly a thrilling day to see my quilt in the store, and the pattern, and the kits!

  3. Terry Carney says:

    Great blog post…you are a busy lady!
    I haven’t pressed open yet but probably should have. In the future, when I have blocks which I know are going to have 8 pieces of fabric coming together, I will press open.

  4. Jan Altomare says:

    Karen, thanks for sharing your story. Our hive has been fun and I’m sorry to see our hive time come to an “official” end. I am a star girl, I haven’t seen a star block that I don’t like.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I’m with you – my all-time favorite blocks are star related! Especially the Lemoyne Star, can’t get enough of it! It’s been fun to be a part of a “hive” and I have a feeling we are all going to keep up with each other as much as we can!

  5. Lisa Marie says:

    Wow, your work is beautiful! I especially like the This is the Way… quilt. One of my favorite blocks is log cabin because it can be made and set in such a variety of ways. Plus I love scrappy quilts and log cabin is perfect for that. I sometimes press my seams open, just depends on the block.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Thank you – This is the Way Walk in It was a true challenge but a rewarding one. Not sure if it’s really “modern” like it was supposed to be but I did enjoy the process of both the design and quilting, and that’s what it’s all about. Enjoying the journey! I too love scrappy quilts and I do believe it’s inexhaustible the variations of a good log cabin block!

  6. BettyK says:

    I press seams open only if I feel it will be too bulky. Enjoy looking at all your quilts.

  7. Wendy says:

    I enjoyed reading your post, Karen. You are one busy lady. I don’t enjoy pressing seams open (it’s tedious to me), but I do see how it is helpful for those bulky intersections. My favorite block is New York Beauty.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      One way to make it easier to press open is to do a little finger pressing before you hit it with the iron. It’s not for everyone, but it does come in handy with those bulky intersections. New York Beauty is a fabulous block – kinda complicated looking but oh so stunning!

  8. Tracie says:

    Hi, Karen! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you more through your blog since joining the NQBBH group. Your blog last week about the difficulty in persevering through hurricane recovery especially touched me. I know you’ll persevere with God’s help, but it’s still a real struggle. You’re a talented lady, and I’m glad that your efforts are coming together to help you reach your goals! (I do like pressing seams open! And my favorite block is the sawtooth star.)

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Thanks, Tracie for your kind words of encouragement – yes, when I look to God instead of focusing on my trials and disappointments life is much easier to handle! Looking forward to the day I can post that we are moving back into our home (grin). In the meantime, there are quilts to make and blogs to read and friends to keep up with! Glad we have become acquainted through this blog hop!

  9. linda says:

    Hi Karen. I enjoyed wandering around your blog. Yes, I do press my seams open and I”m happy to hear a longarmer recommend this. I was told this many years ago by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. I will definitely be back to see Geese over Galveston Bay. Linda cozy-quilts.ca

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Welcome to the camp of open pressers – sound like you became a convert before me Do hope to have you visit the blog again – Geese Over Galveston Bay is a fun quilt if I do say so myself and I will be pleased to officially share it!

  10. Roseanne says:

    Hi Karen,
    Wowee – my head is spinning. Seriously. How do you keep your schedule straight with all of that going on – you must have a fabulous calendar system in place. So, so, SO many great things you shared with us! Your feathers are beautiful, and I can see in your stitching that you love to do it because you are nice and relaxed and it shows. I would LOVE to attend one of your classes someday – and I cannot wait for your studio to be repaired and open to see pictures of that. The future holds so many fabulous and special delights for you – I’m happy to be riding along via your blog. Not to even mention Ms. O arrival. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Roseanne, you have officially become one of my best cheerleaders – thank you for encouraging me in multiple ways! I do hope you can attend one of my classes – here or bring me there!

  11. Rosalind Gutierrez says:

    I use a combo of pressing the seams open or butted up. I use 9 Patch a lot as it has eye appeal and is versatile.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I love a good nine patch – did you see the one I did for the April Island Batik Challenge? Ever try a shaded 9 patch? I’m working on a “secret sewing” project right now that has this as one of its design elements. Stay tuned!

  12. Kathy h says:

    You have made some beautiful quilts. Nice to meet you. I have pressed open my seams but gone back to pressing to the side. Probably because it is faster and I do stitch in the ditch a lot. But I do press open the seams in blocks like medallions. They do turn out flatter and easier to quilt.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Pressing matters – as long as it’s a good press without any pleats to distort your block then all is well. I teach many a beginner and I do teach them both ways, and explain the “why” of each. It’s amazing how many do not fully understand the need for a good press. Nice to meet you too Kathy!

  13. Terri Vanden Bosch says:

    Oh how I love your rambles!! Making small talk is not one of my strong points–but get me talking about quilts–and I won’t shut up!! Thank you for all of your open and honest thoughts on your blog–you never know who will be reading it at just the right time in their life!!! I have so enjoyed meeting you through the Island Batik ambassador program and hope to meet IRL!! Love your enthusiasm for life–and just wait until you can share it with the new grandbaby–it only gets better!! Favorite quilt block–any and all!! As a fellow long arm quilter for hire–thank you for spreading the “seam open” mantra!! Needles have been broken, holes put in quilt, and tears shed over customer quilts with too bulky of seam intersections!!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Terri, I feel blessed to have met you through quilting too – you have been an encourager especially during the post-Harvey reconstruction. One day we WILL meet in real life! hugs to you my friend

  14. Tami Von Zalez says:

    My latest favorite block is Bento Box and plan on doing a couple of quilts in that method.
    I tried pressing my seams open but my blocks seemed to fall apart. Guess I’m doing it wrong.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Tami, once in awhile I do have issues with the end of the seam coming undone when pressing open. Maybe your stitch length needs to be a little smaller and make sure you press not iron (stretch) the seams. I also finger press open first to get the seams going where I want them too. Or maybe it’s not a tip that you want to put in your toolbox, there are no quilt police . I have the Bento Box on my bucket list – looks so fun!

  15. Kathleen McCormick says:

    Karen, you have had a wonderful journey! My favorite block is log cabin or half square triangle. You can do SOOOOO many things with them.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Rough roads and rainbows but yep – it’s quite a journey – thanks for sharing it with me! And I agree with the HST and log cabin – endless inspiration!

  16. Tish says:

    My confession…I’m a seam presser opener too 🙂 You are definitely one busy lady! Your quilting is absolutely beautiful. I’m in love with This is the Way Walk In It, such great quilting texture! It’s been great to read more about you, Karen.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Seems like more and more people are open minded to pressing open! Yeah! I really enjoyed the freedom to play around with designs on This is The Way Walk in It – didn’t have a plan, just doodled one section at a time. I guess the pressure was off since it was a personal quilt and not a customer

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Ah thanks for being faithful Teri, a rambler needs an audience! If there’s ever any topic you’d like to see me cover don’t hesitate to ask! If I don’t know anything about it I will still find something to share

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Better busy than bored! Sometimes I do need to remind myself to stop and enjoy the process – at least that’s what my husband tells me! Truth be told, I press open 98% of the time but since I am teaching Deb Tucker’s techniques I do try to go by the pattern as to the way she suggests to press BUT I show my students the back of my flat Lemoyne star block and they generally will give it a try!

  17. Carol Andrews says:

    I’m really enjoying your blog Karen. My favorite block (other than whatever pattern I’m works nag on at the moment) is the Churn Dash. It’s easily modified or customized , can have fussy cut centrepieces , be scrappy or can evoke emotions depending on fabric choices. I often press seams open. It usually happens when working on tiny blocks or a Lemoyne Star or Lonestar when I have lots of seams coming together.

  18. Danette says:

    Currently, my favorite quilt blocks are paper-pieced blocks. I am in the (long) process of sewing a quilt from Lynne Goldsworthy’s Ultimate Quilt Block Collection. It will take me quite a while, but I am loving every block!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      My husband tells me to “enjoy the process” and it sounds like that’s what you are doing with your commitment to working through that block collection! I’m in awe of anyone that paper pieces – it’s too backward for me, give me a good ruler and I can make all the geometric shapes I want to . Keep it up, one block at a time, and you will have a true heirloom!

  19. Nancy says:

    Nice to get to know you better! Thanks for sharing. I usually only press seams open if there are many coming together to reduce bulk. Otherwise I press “to the dark side”!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      This has been a fun question, thanks for joining in. I’ve often thought of getting a shirt that says “press to the dark side” – wouldn’t that be fun to wear to retreats!

  20. Tabitha Keener says:

    I started pressing my seams open more this year than I ever have! It does help everything come together more smoothly and I’m proud to say my blocks are lined up better for it! I found your blog earlier this year and I love it! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I’m so thankful you’ve hung around! Thanks for participating in the blog hop – hope you registered for the giveaways! And yes, I started pressing open a few years back when I saw the pressing stick demoed at a local quilt show – it made sense to me and my blocks, like yours, do come together more smoothly. It’s interesting to see all the thoughts and opinions (grin)

  21. Cherie Burton says:

    Hi Karen,
    It has been a pleasure to see more of you on this blog. I had a Ma Ma too, but she has been gone for a while. She also quilted and I wish that I had been able to quilt with her while I was young

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I didn’t really quilt with my Ma-Ma until I was older and helped her do the binding on some of her last quilts, early 90’s. Did yours make the Miss Poly and Miss Ester quilts? Man were those ever heavy but warm! I was blessed to have my grandmother until my boys were teenagers – so neat to have several generations together. Thanks for taking time to comment.

  22. Janet T says:

    I still do my seams the “old fashion” way, as I don’t like changing the thread when the fabric color changes within the block. Quilters will still use light thread to sew darker fabric together, then press open the seams. (Just a pet peeve of mine.)

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I understand that pet peeve. When I first started quilting I made so many scrap quilts that I just used up all my half-empty bobbins and didn’t care if the thread matched or not. Scrappy fabric, scrappy thread! And I wasn’t pressing open so it didn’t really matter. Then I switched to piecing with neutrals – white, cream, light grey, dk grey or black – bought the thread by the cone…that worked pretty well, even with pressing open. Then I was introduced to Aurifil thread and I think I’m going crazy wanting to have every color! But realizing that if I just stay in the color family of the quilt top I should be okay. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  23. Alleta says:

    Wow! Lots of information. I like the churn dash block. I would not consider pressing seams open. Reminds me of 4-H crazy picky days & too time consuming. I like to finish lots of projects!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I do like to say “Fire the Quilt Police” so if pressing open gives you negative thoughts then fire the pressing open idea! For me, it works, and not much more time consuming since I finger press first then use a pressing stick. But, like I’ve said, there are lots of ways to do things! I like the churn dash block too – my grandmother made one or two if I remember correctly.

  24. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts says:

    You are one busy woman! It was so nice to read your post about your quilting journey and see all that keeps you busy. I saw a familiar face in your sidebar – Brian “The Redneck Quilter’ is the owner of the shop where I spend so much time teaching and working. 🙂 One day I hope to make feathers as beautifully as you do! Thanks for being part of the NQBBH this year Karen!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      yep, Brian is my “brother from another mother” and I’m his “sister from a different mister” – I’m jealous though as I’d love to come to his shop! and take a class and teach a class or two! We do have grand illusions of doing this in the future, him coming here and me going there – I am looking forward to teaching with him at Studio 180 Academy this fall. What do you teach? has he taught you to “tuckerize” everything yet? Concerning feathers – it’s just a lot of practice! I’ve been “practicing since 2003” – so eager to get back into the studio, I hope I remember how to load a quilt on the longarm when I do get to move back in! Had fun being a part of the NQBBH – so many nice folks out there in the blogging world!

  25. Barb K. says:

    I like Kaleidoscope blocks–and I would consider pressing seams open.
    Thanks for the Blog Hop.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Oh, I love kaleidoscope blocks too! I made a kaleidoscope quilt out of Aunt Gracie’s reproduction prints when they were really popular 15 years ago. I used Marti Michell’s ruler and it was fun! I didn’t do so well with the intersections so I covered them up with yo-yo’s to hide my bad points. Hum…wonder if I made that again and pressed open if it would make any difference? Probably not as much as 15 years and 200 quilts later! Isn’t it fun that there is always something new to learn, to try, to decide to keep or toss! yep. I think quilting is for me – and it’s so much fun to share on a blog hop, so thank you for joining me!

  26. Sharon Andersen says:

    Hi Karen, I enjoyed reading your post and “meeting” you! Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. My favorite block is the Mariner’s compass, with its many variations. I like to foundation paper piece, and it is a great way to get all of the little points to match up. That said, I don’t press my seams open as it doesn’t really work with this technique. I have tried it on other blocks, and it seemed to help prevent that annoying little “tent” that often pops up in the middle.

    Happy quilting,

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I’m impressed – Mariner’s Compass is on my bucket list – I think what is stopping me is the foundation piecing as that is just too foreign to me trying to flip those pieces and make them cover up the area they are supposed to – but one day! And I do agree, pressing open doesn’t work with paper piecing or foundation piecing. But it does make for a happy camper when piecing traditionally with bulky seams – I’ll have to remember to call it a “tent” when it pops up – much nicer than what I call it (sigh).

  27. Sue says:

    I enjoyed your post. You certainly lead a busy life! I don’t usually press seams open but do if I’m sewing a bee block and the queen wants it that way. I find it much easier to nest seams with them pressed to the side.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Hum, my first response is to fire the queen bee if she’s akin to the quilt police . But I do have to say there are times pressing open is what is needed especially in bulky seams! I think whatever works best for you to get the best results in your piecing should be the method you use. Sounds like you “play nice with others” and since y’all are working on a project together it is nice to know that you will press open as needed. Keep quilting!

  28. Quilting Gail says:

    My favourite block is usually the one that I’m NOT working on! The one that magically goes together like a dream.
    I only press my seams open if there are going to be multiple fabrics joining in the same point. Pressing seams to one side is my preference as I like how the seams “nest” together.
    Happy Quilting,

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I think I sometimes call “nest” as “nestling” – maybe subconsciously I like to cuddle – that’s what we do with quilts right! I had a student on a quilting cruise (actually two cruises in a row) who is legally blind and when I suggested pressing open she replied that she needs to “feel” them pressed to the side so she can match the seams. A fabulous quilter, she had her husband along to do the cutting for her, and I believe the pressing also – she just merrily quilted along! So yes, this is an area where there truly are no quilt police – but it’s good to have this trick up your sleeve when there are those bulky seams! When you find that magic block that comes together like a dream let me know – I’ve had more than a few that I’ve had to show who was boss!

  29. Pingback: May 14 Stash & Design | Quilting Gail

  30. Brenda Ackerman says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. You are one busy quilter. I had to giggle a tiny bit though when you mentioned trying out pressing seams open. I guess it comes from learning garment sewing first, which I am not very good at, but I have been pressing my seams open from day one. I also back stitch at the start and end of every block. LOL. I look forward to reading more of your posts and seeing more of your quilts. Thank you for sharing and have a great day!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      A giggle is as welcomed as a gasp – I knew there would be a multitude of responses! Perhaps indeed those of us with garment construction in our background are a little more open to pressing open. I had a student ask me about backstitching in class the other day. Hum…there are times it is really beneficial! But I’m such a smokin’ needle, and I chain piece, that I don’t know if I’d be diligent enough to take the time. Plus if I’m working with a Deb Tucker tool or technique I’m going to trim down the block anyway so it would be a mute point. That said! I really wish my longarm customers who like to piece their borders (or have no borders. just pieced blocks on the edge) would secure those seams, nothing worse than having them pop open on the edge when you are trying to quilt! I think everyone should take home-economics and learn to sew (do they still teach that?) and cook – I flunked the cooking part, but I do love to sew!

  31. Christi says:

    You are very busy. Now I need a nap. I agree sometimes those seams need to be open but not always just depends on what I’m doing. Love your colors.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I think I did take a nap! or several! I do like being busy, so much better than bored. But with quilting as a passion who could ever be bored! And the fun part is, there are so many ways to do this – including pressing, open or not, we all make choices that suit our needs. As long as we are happily producing lovely quilts there are no quilt police! Enjoy the journey. I have to admit I love the brighter colors and am sometimes very challenged when given colors outside my norm, which happens a lot as an Island Batik Ambassador. I think it’s an opportunity for growth but sometimes I just need me a good purple and lime green….just sayin’

  32. Christine Sullivan says:

    I’m especially interested in a future post about “Geese over Galveston Bay” and the Wing Clipper tool. I purchased the ruler, but haven’t been able to make much use of it. Good luck and welcome to the bloggers hop.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Good news – Deb Tucker has a YouTube tutorial on the Wing Clipper – just google it! I will try to do a few photo tutorials on the blog in the future, thanks for giving me that idea. Geese Over Galveston Bay debuted at Spring Market and I had intended to post simultaneously, however, the tragic school shooting in our area put this post on delay.
      “coming soon!” check the blog listings for tags such as The Quilt Rambler Pattern!

  33. Rochelle says:

    Thank you for such an interesting blog post. You are such an active quilter, designer and blogger. Being able to design quilts, quilt like a dream and teach classes are talents and gifts. It’s a quandry to see comments and not know the answers to questions that were asked but it is nice to get a personal response.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      And to my embarrassment, it has taken me days to respond. Sigh. Here I was happily responding on my phone whenever I got a comment and didn’t realize it was only posting to the blog and not a personal response – so to remedy that I paused my quick reply to be able to reply both online and personally and goodness how I got behind! I will get better! I promise! It means so much to know that someone has taken the time not only to read the ramble (sometimes lengthy) but to take the time to comment or ask a question. I always want to be available for questions and I do so appreciate the comments. Thank you for visiting AND commenting!

  34. Nancy A says:

    It is nice to meet you. I got to go to Paducah this past month and had a wonderful time. It was my 1st time to ever go to anything like it, and I am really excited about my finds/purchases. We moved from IL to AL to be near our oldest daughter 5 years ago, and for the 1st time I joined a local quilt guild. That has been a wonderful experience. I love quilts and have slept under them all my life. Now they are my passion! I usually press my seams to one side, but sometimes it is helpful to press the seam open.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Isn’t sleeping under a homemade quilt just the best experience!! It’s no wonder it’s our passion – we want to share the love! And wasn’t Paducah fun! It was my first time too, but I was a vendor and did my shopping before the show opened each morning – mostly window shopping but a few purchases! Since you are a little further south now perhaps you will consider coming to the Houston International Quilt Show this fall – it is huge! Being a part of a local guild is a good choice – I find that the other quilters inspire me and help me along my quilt journey. As I like to say “I get by with a little help from my friends!” Good to know you are “open-minded” about pressing . Keep quilting! And let me know if you plan to come to Houston! I love to meet up with my online quilting friends if I can!

  35. Pingback: My Blog Day On The New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop – Cherie's Quilting Journey

  36. Angela J Short says:

    I actually do press my seams open some. It’s acceptable to what kind of block. I like any kind of star block. Have a great day! angielovesgary2 atgmail dotcom

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      We are in the same camp when it comes to stars! I love love love star blocks with the Lemoyne Star being my ultimate favorite! Glad to hear that you are “open” to pressing open as needed! Have a great day too!

  37. Laura M says:

    I love that quilt with the rich blue background. I often press seams open. When I’m piecing blocks I just check to see which method of pressing “fits best” for the block. Sometimes within a block some seams will be “to the side” and some open. So there it is – my confession!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Love true confessions! Yep, whatever works best is what we need to do! The quilt with the “rich blue background” is all Island Batik fabrics – that background is a foundational fabric so is always available, it’s called Storm and you can ask for it by name at your local quilt shop (they can find it on Island Batik’s website). I have used it a lot as it’s almost a midnight color and looks great with bright tropical prints, in my humble opinion (grin).

  38. Sharon Aurora says:

    I love your quilting stitches.
    I press both ways. It depends on what would produce the least bulk.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Thank you, I love quilting feathers! Can’t wait to get back to the longarm and stitch up a few more! And I agree, pressing really depends on what produces the least amount of bulk – it’s nice to have choices!

  39. Rashida says:

    Hello Karen, gosh your quilting journey is quite impressive! Ummm…… my favourite block? I mostly like them all, but if I have to choose I’d choose the twist. I must admit I mostly like my seams pressed on the side as it takes too long to press them open.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I’m not sure I’m familiar with the Twist block, does that require a special ruler? Sounds intriguing – will have to investigate! I press to the side too and do teach both ways. Pressing open is faster if you finger press first – avoids that hot iron touching your fingers as you try to do it all at the same time – and I do use a pressing stick so I think that makes it faster for me- that and I’ve been doing it a long time. But it’s just something to consider, not a command or anything (grin). Thanks for joining me on my quilting journey!

  40. Jennifer Strauser says:

    Hey, Karen –
    I didn’t realize we were on such a similar path! It is so much fun getting to know my fellow quilt bloggers while working on this blog hop. I’m glad we get to work together on Island Batik, too.
    I press open sometimes – it depends on what block I am making. I feel like I’ve been quilting long enough to understand the rules, and I apply them when they work to my advantage.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      hey Jen – thanks for co-hosting this event, and yes, we are on similar paths. Isn’t quilting fun! Even better with friends. I love seeing what everyone else creates, so inspiring!
      Funny you should refer to “rules” as I tend to throw a lot of them out the window – but you are correct, we need to have the freedom to use what guidelines we have in our toolbox to our advantage and personalized to each project. That’s what makes this so much fun – lots of ways to do things creatively all the while learning from others!

  41. Mary D says:

    Yes there was an audible gasp coming from me about seam pressing. I find it distracting seeing the exposed threads when the seams are pressed open but again quilting is as individual as each quilter and to each creator his/her own spin on things. You are involved in so much and I am glad that it is an enjoyable journey for you.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Oh Mary, you had me laughing out loud – I knew someone would gasp! I love it that we can all agree to disagree and still get along piecefully – that’s the beauty of being a part of the quilting world! Thanks for being transparent! And for sharing the journey!

  42. Jean McKinstry says:

    I press all my seams open, always have, so no SITD, but it fits so well with the quilts or blocks I make. , Love your patterns, you have had such a prolific output, and a land locked cruise , that sounds like my kind, such a shame I am way down south in NZ.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Well Jean, since I love to travel why don’t you just bring me to New Zealand and I’ll do a land locked quilting cruise there for you and your quilting friends!

      Glad to know you’ve been successful with pressing your seams open! Keep quilting! I’ve found that it’s cheaper than therapy! (grin)

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Nope, pressing open would not be a new technique to add to your toolbox, but do consider it when there are bulky seams like an 8 pointed star, the few seams you would press open shouldn’t be detrimental to your SID. I haven’t made a Bear Paw block in quite a while – thanks for the inspiration!

  43. Melody Lutz says:

    TEAM OPEN all the way!!! A lot of people gasp at me too. Since I FMQ on my domestic machine – it has conservatively made it 20 percent easier, nice and FLAT! Favorite block is the one that inspired me to learn, Double Wedding ring. Thank you for sharing – what a great read!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Glad to meet a fellow teammate! And good for you to be a domestic quilter! I couldn’t do that…” quilting on a domestic made a good woman cuss so I had to get a longarm” (grin). Wos, Double Wedding ring – you jumped right in there didn’t you girlfriend! That’s not for the faint of heart! You go girl!

  44. Brenda says:

    You go girl! So proud of what you’ve accomplished during the time of reconstruction (and waiting!) of your home and studio. I don’t know that I really have a favorite block, but I do love making flying geese and pressing seams open would definitely work for that. I’ll give it a try next time I make something. Though, I do like to quilt in the ditch to stabilize everything!!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      If you press the triangle part of the flying geese open you will be able to hit that point easier (in my humble, not so humble opinion) when joining the geese together. Then since you like to SID don’t press the joining seams open…that might be a good compromise. Try it and let me know if it works. Of course, you know I highly recommend the Wing Clipper by Studio 180 Design to make those geese!

      Fast approaching 9 months post-Harvey and so ready to move into a newly reconstructed house and studio! I know one day this will be a fact and not just a hope!

  45. Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting says:

    Hi Karen! Your birds are so colorful! And I love your freehand feathers! Great to read your intro. My fav quilt block is any plus block. I’m not much of a fan of pressing seams open, as I like the option of SID. But I will press them open when it works as an advantage. Have a great day!!!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      I wish those were my birds! Photo op on last year’s cruise – just thought it fit with my logo! I haven’t really made any plus blocks – that’s a good idea to see what I can do with a future quilt! And I do understand being a fan of SID – I was when I was a domestic quilter, but it’s actually harder to do on the longarm so giving it up for pressing seams open wasn’t a big issue for me. What I love about quilting is there are so many methods, and we just have to figure out what works for the current quilt we are on!

  46. Kathy C. says:

    I like to press seams open on small half-square triangles, but I’ll do it any time I want really good precision.

  47. Karen McMahon says:

    My favorite block is the humble 9 patch. I’m not sure if I would dare press my seams open. I will think about it.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Always good to “try” a new technique to see if it’s a good fit for you. The trick to pressing open is “finger pressing” first before the iron hits it – much easier to control and keep from burning your fingers! The biggest time this method comes in handy is when reducing the bulk of multiple seams coming together. Can’t beat a good 9 patch!

  48. janice holton says:

    Hi Karen, so nice to “meet” you! I am a BIG feather fan and LOVE the feather stitching you showed at the beginning of your post. LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I don’t have favorite block but I do love stars blocks and house blocks. I look forward to hearing more from you in the future and seeing more beautiful feathers!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Thanks for stopping by – nice to “meet” you too! I can’t get enough feathers – quilt them whenever I can, even doodle them when I find myself sitting somewhere “taking notes” (grin). Stars blocks are my favorite. I like house blocks but haven’t taken the time to make any…hum…beach houses would be nice! Thanks for the inspiration Janice!

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