Ah summertime! Don’t you just dream of tropical vacations or perhaps a walk along a shady cool riverbed? These two images may seem a little disconnected to you, but both come to mind as I’ve spent half my adult life either living in the foothills of the Tennessee Smokey Mountains or near the Texas Gulf Coast. Both areas invoke images of perfect summer vacations – or “stay-cations” as it seems to be this year. More on that in a bit….without further chatter….
Let’s Talk Quilts!
River Valley, a Signature Collection by Kathy Engle for Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design.
Don’t you just love the cool and inviting colors in this collection? I have to say, walking around the Island Batik booth at last fall market, this collection kept drawing me in. There’s something soothing about the combination of rich hues in greens and blues. Refreshing as a summer rain, or that walk along the riverbed…. Deb said it reminded her of fishing trips with her husband…I’m not much of a fisherperson but like I always say, “feed me, I’m yours!” Trust me, I’ve seen the photos of their adventures and I’d be more than willing to have a picnic with them after their day on the river, provided they cooked of course!
When asked if I would share one of my quilt patterns using Studio 180 Design’s River Valley collection I naturally said, “you bet!” then decided to simply celebrate these summer colors by remaking my pattern…Simply Celebrate! Interestingly enough, this pattern debuted at the same fall market just around the corner of the booth from Deb’s collection. Isn’t it pretty in Nordic Nature? Just wait until you see it in River Valley!
This pattern is quickly made using the Tucker Trimmer I® by Studio 180 Design. Seriously, it is a perfect last-minute-gotta-make-it-before-a-celebration sort of quilt ~ name your holiday or celebration, pick out your favorite Island Batik collection and before you can say let’s go tubing down the river you are ready to decorate your table! Or picnic quilt as the case may be!
Five fat quarters, 2/3 yard of background fabric and you are off on your own river run! The hardest part is narrowing down to just five fat quarters – I mean seriously y’all – the whole collection is so tantalizing!
My full-color 12-page pattern, Simply Celebrate, is broken down into easy to follow sections. For this design there are three different units within the blocks made using the Tucker Trimmer I®. To keep organized, I labeled my fancy-world-renown-sorting-system (aka paper plates) with the section number along with the appropriate fabric cuts for each unit. Snazzy, huh!
Soon my sewing machine was humming while the Steel Drum playlist on my iPad transported me to island time…oh wait…that was supposed to be river walk music…hum…should have switched over to Santana and dream about the San Antonio River Walk…wait…wrong river….I don’t think I have a playlist of running water gurgling over river rock…oh well…by the time I would have figured it out the top was pieced and it was time to load the table runner onto the longarm.
Seriously, the piecing was that fast! On to the next step…. If you really use your imagination doesn’t the movement of the feathers remind you of a mountain river flowing over those river rocks? Sorta?
Imagination and Staycation
With 20 different fabrics in the River Valley collection, which is currently available at your local quilt shop by the way, can’t you imagine your next quilt using these soothing color combinations! I decided to play around in EQ8 and reimagined another one of my patterns, Enchanted Stars, in the River Valley collection…tempting! Wouldn’t it be a great picnic quilt for that river walk?
I mentioned “staycation” earlier ….in those famous words of Paul Harvey, here’s “the rest of the story.” I want to thank my friend Angela from “across the big pond” for sharing her river valley photos with me. Seems Angela and her husband Dan took a little walk around Crieff, which is a little resort town on the edge of the Highlands near their homeplace. If you are ever in Scotland, check out the church where Dan pastors, Calvary Fellowship Stirling (or join them for online services).
I was thrilled when Angela posted these beautiful photos on Facebook this past week, graciously saying I could use them for this blog post! With further discussion I learned that the river is called Barvick Burn and according to walking guides, can be very steep in places with a rough and narrow footpath…goggle it, all the photos I discovered are breathtaking. Seriously y’all – isn’t this the epitope of a perfect staycation!
I hope you will seek out Deb Tucker’s River Valley collection at your local quilt shop to make your own Simply Celebrate table runner. Mine is currently loaded down with refreshing watermelon as the perfect way to spend this summer day!
But Wait! There’s More!
Shh…secret sewing….there’s another small project in the works using a few more fat quarters from this beautiful Island Batik Studio 180 Design’s Signature Collection, River Valley…. It is currently under wraps as part of an upcoming pattern release so you will just have to subscribe to my blog to be among the first to see it.
Thank you, Studio 180 Design and Island Batik, for providing the fabrics to remake Simply Celebrate. This and other patterns by The Quilt Rambler can be purchased in either print or downloadable PDF from my website and Etsy store. Wholesale inquiries are welcomed, please use the contact us form on the website.
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, wishing you many happy summer days, either down by the river, or wherever you find joy and peace!
By the way, here’s a link to the song I really was singing as I quilted…The River by Jorden Feliz Enjoy!