It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Photo Credit Eric Overton
(Photo Credit, Eric Overton, Dickinson Texas 
after Hurricane Harvey)

How do I say thanks to the many people who have influenced my life this past year? With tears in my eyes, actually.  This wasn’t exactly the post I had planned for today but in going through photos of 2017  I knew this had to be my direction.

Orange Cat Sleeping under quiltsI don’t have words to express what is stirring in my heart at the moment. There are so many people that I don’t have a “photo documentation” of our relationship to share, but my truest friends know that and forgive me for not mentioning their name.

The Best of 2017:

Quilts pieced by The Quilt RamblerMy original intent was to post about my favorite personal quilts of the year. There’s a fun hashtag on Instagram called #bestnine2017 and I had prepared this photo – the first quilt of the year made as a lap quilt for a lady at church in a wheelchair, an autograph quilt for friends moving to Scotland as missionaries, my favorite quilted covered notebooks, my three favorite Island Batik Ambassador challenges, my two patterns introduced this past year and my favorite quilting on a personal quilt (middle bottom). Yep, that was the plan…

And the Nominees Are…

Youngest Quilt Recipient

If you’ve been keeping up with social media you will remember me posting about the recently made baby quilt, a little late…she was born right after Harvey. Well, this is the best kind of thank you note a quilter will ever receive!

Baby quilt made by The Quilt Rambler
To Selah with love

Thoughtful Customer Award

Marcy is a faithful quilter and friend. Not only was she the first one to respond to my call for quilt angels but she was very very patient in waiting for me to finish her quilts, one the day before Christmas and the other two picked up today making them the last customer quilts of 2017. In addition, she saw my plea on facebook for donuts yesterday afternoon and guess what she brought this morning! I do have the best customers/friends. I can’t thank them all enough for believing in me and supporting me during this rollercoaster of a year!

The Quilt Rambler has many quilt angels
Taking home the first load of quilts to be washed post-Harvey
Last two customer quilts of the year, for a special puppy and for a wonderful daughter. Pieced by Marcy quilted by The Quilt Rambler

First Quilt Award

That would go to my sister who made her very first quilt and asked me to quilt it for her! Talk about a perfectionist! You should see how she perfectly matched the graphics on the back seam making it appear to be one large piece of fabric! Way to go Amy!

Perfectly matched – can you see the seam?

She’s a “paper person” and loves Tim Holtz

Guild Member Award – Best Charity Quilt Maker

I’ve talked about my local guild a lot this past year, I have so many dear friends that it would take the entire evening to share how wonderful each of them is…I thought I’d highlight one special lady, Pat, who takes all of our scrap donations and makes the most beautiful charity quilts, generally 3 or 4 a month. I can’t tell you how it has thrilled me to see some of my castaways – makes me feel like I’m contributing in some way. A wise quilter once said, “you bought that fabric to make a quilt, no one said you had to be the one that makes it!”

Take 8 orphan blocks, add scraps (from The Quilt Rambler stash) add a gifted quilter to equal a beautiful charity quilt.
How does she do this? Given a centerpiece, a bunch of purple scraps and some 1930 reproduction strips and it turns out beautiful!

Favorite Customer Quilt

I know we shouldn’t have favorites – I have so many beautiful quilts that grace my longarm as my customers are very creative – however, if there was one that I would have loved to have kept it would be this quilt by Deb Tucker, called Morning Glory. The cool thing is I have purchased the pattern and it’s on my bucket list to make my own!

Hot off the frame, Morning Glory by Deb Tucker quilted by The Quilt Rambler
Custom Quilting by The Quilt Rambler
My signature “feather puffs”

Best Quilting Travel Buddy

Dianne is also a P3 – one of my pattern proofing people

Hands down my friend Dianne has been a blessing this year. Not only did she travel with me to Arizona where I spoke at a guild and taught a workshop she has also been a behind the scene “quilt angel” and “Santa’s elf.”  A true friend indeed and a true friend when I’m in need.  We are looking forward to more travels together in 2018!

Oh, the places we will go!

Best Quilt Consultant

Our youngest son, Jake, is an artist in his own right. I rely on him a lot for his opinions on everything from fabric color choices to confirmations on some of my quilt designs. He’s nice enough to share Oscar, his cat, with me (grin).

We had plans for a mother/son challenge that got put on hold – perhaps 2018!
My favorite photo of Jake taken by his brother Eric

Best Studio Cat

Was there any doubt?

Military Quilt by The Quilt Rambler
Although he’s really not supposed to get on the customer quilts, I do catch him occasionally.

People Who Make Me Look Good Awards

I don’t have a photo of my sweet friend Lindsie Bergevin who created my branding this year for The Quilt Rambler…She and I will be working together with Leslie Meltzer to bring my patterns to print the first of 2018. I am so blessed to have found these ladies! I can hardly contain myself!

Best Hairdresser Award

The lady who really makes me look good is Maria, my hairdresser! I like to tease that I have a good hair day once every 5 weeks – I love how she gets the back so curly! It goes without saying that I have a standing date night when I get my hair done!

Maria makes me look good once every 5 weeks!
Proof that my hair really does have natural curls

Best Photographer

I’m so indebted to our oldest son Eric for his skills as a photographer and videographer. This year I needed his services to photograph my quilts that will be pattern covers (coming 2018) as well as helping with all the fun YouTubes we did earlier in the year. Harvey kinda threw us a curveball, but we’ll be back in 2018!

Overton Photography at work
Overton Photography taking shots of a secret quilt that will be introduced in 2018

Best Photo

I’ve had a lot of fun attempting to take quality photos this year, but alas, I’m limited to my iPhone…however, the really good ones are taken by Eric… this is my all time favorite photo of the year – a candid moment of joy caught on film. Thank you, Eric, for this photo of your dad.

Johnny enjoyed a rare fishing trip – yep, he looks relaxed and refreshed doesn’t he?

Best Vacation

Now that’s a toss up! Tuckerland as a Harvey refugee? or cruise with my husband? Hum… I have to say both were much-needed escapes but hands down the accommodations and food were better in Tuckerland!

Tuckerland is a happy place
A much-needed refreshment – we love cruising!

Best Handyman

Whether he’s taking care of my bike or vehicles, moving things to “higher ground” before the flood or tearing out the walls after Harvey, Johnny is certainly my best handyman.

Best Helpers

It seems like an eternity since we experienced the furry of Hurricane Harvey. So many things were altered by this storm. The true blessing has come with the people who have joined together to help a neighbor, even a stranger, in their time of need. Here are just a few photos of hundreds that represent my thank you to all who have come to us in our hour(s) of need.

Jamie worked for several days with me trying to pack things up so the men could remove the walls, she even brought lunch to feed all the workers
The custom built-in cabinet used to house over 100 personal quilts. So well built that it took several good men to remove it
Eric’s been waiting all his life to have a reason to wear his gas mask!
Jake carried a lot of debris to the curb
Katie has been a huge help to Johnny’s parents during their reconstruction learning how to put up sheetrock and tear out tile. You go, girl!

The Best Family

While there wasn’t time or photos to thank all my friends for a fabulous 2017 I can share a photo of “my family” whom indeed are the bestest!

Celebrating my birthday on the farm with our kids, my mom, sister, and brother-in-law
The entire Overton clan celebrating Christmas even during reconstruction
The best of the bunch! Celebrating our first family dinner in the RV preparing for reconstruction

The Best of Times The Worst of Times

Thank you for scrolling down to the very end. It’s hard to try to contain a whole year in one blog post! The quilting adventure has been grand, the future looks bright with all the quilting potentials. The homefront may look like a wreck after Harvey, but we see the potential there too! Friends, Family, and Fabric (grin) that’s what keeps me moving forward!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, thank you for sharing my 2017. Stay tuned tomorrow when I toast out the year and share my goals for 2018

Day 30 of the #31dayblogchallenge

















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