Quilt Story Saturday – My Dangling Carrot

My Dangling Carrot quilt designed by Karen E Overton The Quilt Rambler 2008
White Chihuahua on a colorful quilt
My favorite photo of Pixxie, The Professional Quilt Model was taken in 2008

Today’s Quilt Story Saturday is a tale of a quilt I created and called “My Dangling Carrot“.  Leftover orphans blocks were included in the quilt featured a few weeks ago called My Colorful Past.

It certainly doesn’t seem like 10 years ago, well, technically a little over 9 based on the time of year. Settle in, here’s the quilt story ramble of the day!

Hurricane Ike was a direct hit on Galveston Island in September of 2008. Thankfully we were spared that year, as we are on the mainland. We did experience roof damage and lots of trees down – but my friends on the island were devastated.  That was the 3rd threatening hurricane that season as I remember packing up my studio at least three times for storm preparation. While putting fabric in weatherproof bags I ran across these little four patch blocks…lots of them!

Close up of My Dangling Carrot Quilt made by Karen E Overton 2008
Scrappy four patch orphan blocks grow into a large quilt named “My Dangling Carrot” quilt

Can’t let good blocks go to waste! So I decided that they needed to be made into a quilt, but there weren’t enough of them so I grew the blocks by making them a square in a square in a square or what is known as the economy block. Back then I  was very active on quilting forums – that was pre-facebook days – as well as I had another blog where I talked a lot about Ike.  Many people were keeping up with the happenings down here as they sent “Quilts of Hope” which I distributed to my friends and friends of friends affected by Hurricane Ike. (That’s another story if you want to hear it let me know).

I was determined to make this quilt and started calling it my dangling carrot with my online friends. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, “dangling carrots” comes from an old saying where a cart driver would dangle a carrot on a stick in front of a reluctant mule to get him moving. It was a busy fall for me collecting and distributing quilts and donated fabric stash to my Island Quilters Guild in Galveston, not to mention as a longarm quilter I was busy – or as I liked to say “I’m not behind, I’m in demand“…but I really really wanted time to sew my own quilt so I’d reward myself “after the close of business” to work on this project. It became my dangling carrot to keep me working on the things that needed to be done! My reward was time to piece my own project!

That’s when it became a true carrot quilt – I found carrot fabric and then decided to ask my online friends to send me a 5″ square of carrot fabric or veggie fabric to include in my quilt! The quilt continued to grow!

My Dangling Carrot Quilt included other veggie fabrics donated by online friends
Five-inch veggie fabric squares around the border were provided by online quilting friends


My Dangling Carrot quilt includes other veggie blocks
Veggie blocks on the bottom border were sent to me by my online friends


Ike happened in September and at the Houston International Quilt Festival in November I began my career as the Texas Representative for A1 Quilting Machines. I had been an A1 quilter since purchasing my machine in 2005. Hurricane Ike took away a lot of my customer base as they were in recovery mode, so becoming a sales rep was perfect timing to replace my lost income. God always provides!

By December 2008 I had an open studio party – I demonstrated the A1 Quilting Machine as well as had a show and tell of my quilts while introducing upcoming classes I’d be offering in my studio. Yep, I’ve always had the need for show and tell and talking quilts!

Show and Tell of My Dangling Carrot Quilt by Karen Overton
Let’s Talk Quilts! Sharing My Dangling Carrot quilt with Open Studio guests in the Quilts ‘N Kaboodle studio Dec. 2008


Pixxie, The Professional Quilt Model, sitting on My Dangling Carrot quilt by Karen E Overton
Pixxie, my Professional Quilt Model, loved being right in the middle of things – here she appears to be listening to the presentation of My Dangling Carrot


Quilters admire My Dangling Carrot quilt by Karen E Overton
Quilts ‘N Kaboodle Open Studio December 2008 Always blessed to have the support of so many friends in the quilting community.


Karen Overton, longarm quilter, Quilts 'N Kaboodle now The Quilt Rambler
Karen Overton, A1 Quilting Machine Dealer 2008-2014 had a captive audience at the 2008 Open Studio event

My Dangling Carrot quilt really grew into quite a sizeable quilt from simply finding those little four patches! I have good memories of the “process” of making that quilt as well as adding the orphan blocks into My Colorful Past Quilt.  No fabric left behind!



An original design using carrot fabric and scraps My Dangling Carrot by Karen Overton
My Dangling Carrot designed, pieced and quilted by Karen E Overton, 2008


Orphan Blocks are great beginnings for a new quilt
Here’s the reconstruction of My Colorful Past quilt as I played on the design wall with orphan blocks at a retreat March 2011- do you see the dangling carrot units?


Orphan Block Unite
My Colorful Past


Hand guided butterfly logo of Karen Overton as a signature on My Dangling Carrot quilt
Karen’s special signature butterfly

It’s been fun walking down memory lane sharing My Dangling Carrot quilt with you. I’m enjoying looking at old photos – it’s amazing how many times I’ve rearranged my studio! Looking forward to rearranging again this year after the Hurricane Harvey reconstruction is complete. Goodness, it will have been 10 years post-Ike. Time sure flies when you are having fun quilting!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, thanks for sharing my Quilt Story Saturday – Let’s Talk Quilts!




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