Fiesta Stars – The Rest of The Story

How many of you remember Paul Harvey, and “the rest of the story”? I remember back before the turn of the century (mid-1990’s) when I homeschooled our sons that the world stopped at noon so we could listen to Paul Harvey on the radio. In keeping with that spirit, I invite you to settle back, let your spinning world be put on pause for a moment, or two, and enjoy this ramble!


Fiesta Stars

Fiesta Stars is The Quilt Rambler’s newest pattern release, it’s available immediately as a PDF download on my patterns page or as a pre-order in print form (just use the contact us form).  This festive quilt is made using Island Batik’s Blossom fabric line that is in stores now! It is a simple quilt yet intriguing in the layout. Fiesta Stars is constructed using Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design’s Tucker Trimmer I ® to make Shaded Four Patches. Yep, it’s an old fashioned charm quilt of sorts, instead of one shape it’s one block with multiple fabrics and multiple orientations. And if I do say so myself it’s sew much fun! I hope you will like it.

Fiesta Stars – The Rest of the Story

In true rambler style, I just have to share the back story of this darling quilt…go ahead, kick back and relax…

Early inspiration

The original Fiesta Stars by Karen E Overton, circa 2005

Back around the turn of the century, July 2005 to be exact, I designed and pieced the “original” Fiesta Stars. At the time I was working at Quilts By The Bay in Galveston and they had just received a shipment of Fossil Fern fabrics by Bernatex … being the fat quarter queen that I was/am I traded my time to feed my fabric addiction and proceeded to piece a whole mess of shaded four patches. (Disclaimer here, this was before I discovered Deb Tucker’s precision trim down method and before I fell in love with Island Batik fabrics. This was even before I had my longarm, which came later in the fall of 2005! The quilt was quilted April 2006 according to the label – back then I actually made labels!)

When cleaning out an old file the other day I ran across a handout where I actually taught a method of making shaded four patches at one of the guild quilt shows in a local museum using this quilt as my sample…Well, I have to say, as much as I loved this quilt I love it, even more, now that I’ve had the opportunity to make it for Island Batik’s Fall Market 2018. Trust me, it came together soooo much better using Deb Tucker’s method of making shaded four patches.

Outdoor Sewing

Speaking of Harvey…not Paul, but Hurricane Harvey…sigh… When the opportunity arose to recreate my Fiesta Stars design for Island Batik it was last May 2018, in the middle of our reconstruction following Hurricane Harvey (August 2017). Longtime readers may remember all my secret sewing posts back then with glimpses of sewing outside under our palapas (tiki hut). Well, I can now reveal that one of those secret projects was Fiesta Stars (the other being Paradise Island which you have already been introduced to earlier this year).

As quaint as it sounds, sorta like Ginger sewing on Gilligan’s Island, I can tell you it took a lot of perseverance to meet the deadlines for these projects ~ but oh so worth it! I love being an Island Batik designer!

To continue the ramble I thought it would be fun to share a few photos of that outdoor adventure!

My sewing machine and a portable table were set up under our tiki hut in the backyard, along with an ironing and cutting station ~ as a reminder, I do live in hot humid Houston, and May 2018 was indeed HOT!


I loved working with the Island Batik fabrics for the Fiesta Stars project – look at those perfect points thanks to the Tucker Trimmer I ®


Did I mention I live in the Houston/Galveston area? You know – where it rains…A LOT!


Hum….the tiki hut received damage during Hurricane Harvey August 2017 that made sewing in May 2018 a slight challenge…


There’s always a backup plan ~ with repairs going on in the house we had to resort to a “patch fix” for the tiki hut ~ giant tarp to the rescue. Let the outdoor sewing continue! There’s a deadline after all!


Even Oscar had his own little tarp as he supervised my progress

Fiesta Stars Construction

Despite the rain, and the heat, the quilt was coming together nicely. When I look back at these photos from last year it is with great fondness ~ and with a bit of bewilderment thrown in.  I mean, what was I thinking! When it wasn’t raining the heat was breaking records. I quickly discovered that I had to have all my fabric parts and pieces weighted down as not to be blown away by the forces of the multiple fans set up to keep the circulation going.  I can’t begin to express the moment of fear when I first discovered that the fan caused a shaded four patch to act like a goose taking flight (that’s supposed to be a funny reference to a flying geese block in case that flew right over, pun intended) almost flying between the cracks in the decking to be lost forever. I was working with an exact amount of fabrics provided by Island Batik- fabric that had not been produced for resale yet – as in a very limited amount! I couldn’t afford to lose even one smidgen due to trying to maintain some sense of comfort in the Houston heat.

During construction, the blocks had to be held together to avoid being blown away by the outdoor fan. Wonder clips are indeed wonderful!


Speaking of construction…our house was under Harvey re-construction. Thankfully the workers were in another area and I could set up my temporary design walls (aka flannel backed tablecloths over insulation board) in the future studio area to assemble the quilt top.

Fiesta Stars Final Touches

With the deadline to ship to Island Batik for the fall market catalog photography fast approaching it was time for the finishing touches!

Borrowed time on a borrowed longarm at a friend’s house to do the quilting. So thankful! Don’t you just love these fabrics!


Once quilted it was back to the living quarters of the RV to put on the binding (pardon my mess – just keeping it real!)


Such happy colors to work with ~ don’t you like my binding fabric and the perfect matching thread!

And That’s “The Rest of the Story”

Well sorta… I did take a few outdoor photos before shipping the quilt. And I did get to “visit” the quilt during Fall Market 2018. FYI, the quilt is part of a traveling trunk show with Island Batik, it will come home around Christmas time.

Fiesta Stars by Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler. Fabric from Island Batik’s Blossom collection – currently in stores NOW!


Fiesta Stars in the Island Batik Fall Market 2018 booth

But Wait! There’s More!

Of course, there is! I’ve been digging through my stash of Island Batik fabrics and have come up with some truly festive fabrics to do a Fiesta Star remix! I’ve got the fabrics all cut out, and now with the pattern in print, I don’t have to rely on my memory (or lack of) for placement of all those perfectly trimmed shaded four patches. I’m not sure when I will be able to remake this, but I hope soon to be able to add to my trunk show this fall as I await the pattern cover quilt to return home.

I can’t wait to see Fiesta Stars made up in your favorite colors! In fact, I’m hopeful that you will share your progress with me on social media using hashtag #FiestaStarsQuilt and post progress photos on the facebook group Tucker Time With The Quilt Rambler. Why not take advantage of my pattern release special now through the end of July (my birthday month) by using the code JULYFIESTA when downloading the PDF of Fiesta Stars to receive 15% off, or if you want a printed copy just mention this code for free shipping when you use the contact us form!

Fiesta Stars, cover quilt in Island Batik Blossom fabric line…future remix in various Island Batik fabrics from my stash. Stay tuned for future developments!


This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, remembering my original Fiesta Stars and my forever pup, Pixxie The Professional Quilt Model

Pixxie, The Professional Quilt Model 2000-2016, with Fiesta Stars by The Quilt Rambler, Karen Overton ©2005-2019

4 thoughts on “Fiesta Stars – The Rest of The Story

  1. says:

    Isn’t it amazing how our real lives are wrapped up in a quilt? Or should I say quilting. Quilting crosses all borders (compartments) of our activities… work, leisure, disasters and celebrations and every little thing in between. Looking forward to seeing the new iteration of the quilt!

  2. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Karen! Lovely pattern for a lovely person in lovely fabrics. This is really a tempting pattern for me to consider as my next project after a few must-finishes. Happy almost birthday month! I agree – quilts really do take us back to points in time that were occurring when the quilt was made/designed. ~smile~ Roseanne

  3. Karen Taylor says:

    Please contact me I need to buy Fiesta Stars quilt for my store.
    Karen Taylor
    A Scarlet Thread

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