Not Your Grandmother’s Sampler

I’m pleased to announce that my long-awaited pattern, Not Your Grandmother’s Sampler, is now available! It may be downloaded as a digital PDF for immediate printing at home. For those who prefer a printed format, this will be available in a few short weeks as I’m submitting my order to my printer today!

Pattern Release & Sale

I hope you will take advantage of my end of the year sale going on within my online store. I can’t say that it’s normal to have a sale on a new pattern release, but this year has been anything but normal! 

And since this happens to fall upon the traditional “busiest shopping day of the year” I decided not to limit my sale to the normal confines. After all, if you are like me you have been bombarded with sales and your little fingers need to stop their dancing on the keyboard for a nice cup of hot cocoa and a little ramble with yours truly.  So, relax, the sale will go on through Dec 15th!  

The Rest of the Story

Whew! You don’t know how excited I am to say, “that’s a wrap!” or “it’s gone to press!”.  My team has been working on this part of the project for over 5 weeks! 

In true Rambler fashion, here’s the behind the scenes story!

The Inspiration

From my grandmother of course! Another tale for another time, but I grew up with my Ma-ma’s quilts (southern pronunciation Maw-maw). One of my first quilts was a sampler from my very first formal class I took in historic Jonesborough, Tennessee – it was a wall hanging for my kitchen. I love samplers, there are so many different blocks that can play nicely together.

I wanted to do something a little different. To “modernize” a traditional sampler – more so in the construction and joining together than modernizing the blocks themselves. And I wanted it to be blocks that a beginner could make as easily as a seasoned quilter. What better tool than the Tucker Trimmer by Studio 180 Design to make this a simple and fun project.

The Process

The design concept was actually drawn and submitted to Island Batik in early summer 2019, with fabrics shipped and the quilt started around Aug/Sept 2019.  The fabric line is Ohana from the Spring/Summer 2020 collection that will be arriving in stores soon.

I enjoyed working with these fabrics, they are perfect for my home décor. Custom quilting the quilt was as much fun as making it – so many opportunities to add a little texture or personalization. The quilt pattern will also lend itself to an overall quilting design, what is referred to by longarm quilters as a “panto” or edge to edge style quilting– but that side of my longarm is broken so I must play on the hand-guided custom side…sigh…ask me if that bothers me! Not one bit as I love getting to play on my longarm!

The Pattern Writing

I can’t say which I enjoy more – the designing, the piecing, the quilting, or the pattern writing. I have to admit that trying to keep all the parts spinning within certain time frames while working on multiple quilts can get a little overwhelming, especially when it comes to pattern writing when I need to be sewing. I know what I want to say but I don’t always say it the best way. Goodness knows my written word shouldn’t be the same ramble as my spoken word…for one reason alone – too many pages!!

The Quilt Rambler patterns have clear instructions with step by step illustrations

I have always said “I get by with a little help from my friends” – and I believe in giving credit where credit is due! I have had four wonderful ladies along for the ride, to whom I am truly grateful.

My friends Cindy Moores and Lisa Williams are my pattern testers. They bless me by working on the quilt while I’m in the midst of writing and rewriting – they get updates as I’ve found a math or cutting error as well as a few process photos texted to them when the words might not be enough to figure things out. 

Simultaneously, I have a professional text editor and graphic artist working alongside to “dot the t’s and cross the i’s” (grin) while magically turning my photo step outs into beautiful illustrations within a professional layout consistent with The Quilt Rambler branding. These ladies make me look good!

Testing One Two Three

The fun part is seeing the fabric choices of my pattern testers! 

Cindy is a snowbird, flying (not literally) down to Florida for the winter…. she’s good to ask what projects we will be working on to be sure to pack up her stash of fabric collections to bring for this season of sewing in sunny Florida! Of course, she doesn’t mind having to do a little local shopping! Last year she found some real treasures and purchased ahead knowing what would be coming up soon. I think too that she’s eager for another shopping trip as we begin working on the next set of patterns…. hum? Wonder if she blames her stash acquisitions on ‘that quilter in Texas‘ (grin).

Lisa wanted to continue with a fabric line she used in a recent Lemoyne Star sampler I taught. She loves shopping local and the gals there ask her “what are you making? Another secret project for Karen?” Yep, it’s a small world!

And so, the process begins…  Both ladies will tell you how important it is to label, label, label! 


It’s exciting to see the process photos along the way as the gals verify my instructions and “proof the pattern” before it goes to print. Both Cindy and Lisa finished their tops as my text editor and graphic artist were wrapping up the written and illustrated instructions this past week. If Cindy and Lisa can make Not Your Grandmother’s Sampler this beautiful with a rough draft of a pattern, I know you can make it with the fully illustrated pattern!

Cindy’s Version of Not Your Grandmother’s Sampler
Afternoon tea and cookies anyone?
Lisa’s version of Not Your Grandmother’s Sampler

As I’m starting to decorate for Christmas, I thought it would be fun to play around in EQ8 using Island Batik’s Nordic Nature (I used this fabric collection with my Simply Celebrate table runner).  I truly wish there were more hours in my day as I’d like to remake Not Your Grandmother’s Sampler in holiday prints – especially after seeing Cindy’s quilt as a table topper! By the way, the quilt is 60″ x 60″ when completed.

What fabrics will you choose?

I do want to once again thank Cindy & Lisa for working with me. Their input when an instruction needs more clarification or adding an image to provide more detail assist me in providing you with a pattern that is well written, well-illustrated, and tested with more than just the making of my original quilt. While we don’t claim to be without errors, I can say that we do our best to prevent having to have a correction page on the website!

I hope you will enjoy this pattern as much as I enjoyed creating it for you! Thank you for your continued support and encouragement!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler

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One thought on “Not Your Grandmother’s Sampler

  1. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Karen! I love all versions of your pattern. Since I’m starting to decorate for Christmas I am really drawn to that EQ8 version. Oh yes, if there was only more time in a day . . . we could all accomplish everything we want plus loads of extra time for other endeavors. Balance. I know you want more time with your granddaughter, too. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

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