Summer Lovin’ – The Great Outdoors Blog Hop


Ah, summertime ~ don’t you just love being outdoors in the summer! Do you have summer memories as a kid (or with your kids) of picnics on the beach, boat rides, hiking, biking, camping or just enjoying the sunset together? I’m an endless summer sort of gal and I like nothing better than dreaming of tropical vacations when summer has passed!  Naturally, my events have a quilt involved ~ I mean, what’s a picnic without a picnic quilt! And if you are camping, well, what sorta camper would I be if I didn’t have a quilt or two to wrap up in around the campfire, even if it was a hot humid night, just the comfort of a quilt…Yep, hopelessly addicted to needing a quilt with me at all times  (you can check my truck there’s at least one or two in there “just in case“).

The Island Batik Ambassadors have been busy with our blog hop to inspire you with new fabrics arriving daily at your local quilt shop – don’t you just want to pull out that sewing machine, even on vacation, and whip up a quilt!  Be sure to read all the way down through this ramble for links to the other ambassadors and a giveaway!

Not, let me introduce you to Ocean Odyssey ~ When this group of fabric arrived in my first Island Batik Ambassador box in February labeled “secret” with instructions not to share until our summer blog hop my heart just sang when I unwrapped it – I mean, these are my colors revolving around my favorite season of the year! Have I mentioned how generous Island Batik is with their ambassadors! There are 26 SKUs of this line and I was given 1/2 yard of each to make a minimum size 36″ x 36″ quilt for this blog hop. I can’t wait to share with you.


Ocean Odyssey was released at Spring Market this past May in Portland Oregon, with the fabric collection shipping now to stores. The collection was a collaboration with designer Angie Steveson of Lunch Box Quilts, who is best known for her beautiful applique machine embroidery.

Ocean Odyssey by Lunchbox Quilts. Makes me wish I had an embroidery machine or at least had a knack for applique- I love this!


Let’s Go RVing

There’s a very active facebook group centered around RVers who are also quilters – these dedicated gypsies post their quilts made in the RV, or used in their RV, as they travel around the countryside. I feel like an honorary member because while we are technically “living in our RV” we haven’t gone anywhere as we are parked outside our house still working through Hurricane Harvey repairs. These “real campers” have inspired me with their continual quilting and have encouraged me to remain faithful to my own quilting. Here’s a shout out to this group of quilters! And here’s a little sneak peek inside #TheQuilt RamblerStudioOnWheels

The RV couch is draped with Ocean Odyssey fabrics while the folded Murphy bed behind makes a great design wall for the first blocks pieced.

I didn’t really have a plan when I started working on my Ocean Odyssey project. Thinking of camping and the great outdoors, my mind turned to the pioneers of yesteryear, those brave souls who traveled in their RV of sorts, what they called covered wagons. I can only imagine the need for quilts for warmth and the pleasure they must have had when they could take time out from a busy day on the prairie or Oregan Trail to pull out needle and thread. In my mind’s eye, I pictured a young girl just learning how to piece. Don’t you know that a patient grandmother or mother showed her the simple blocks like a four patch first and then she worked up to half square triangles to piece a pinwheel or friendship star? The aspiring quilter would carefully choose fabric from a scrap basket and do her best to piece colors together that was pleasing to the eye for that particular block, making block after block until she had enough to put together as a sampler quilt.

That’s the approach I took. I decided I wanted to make a sampler quilt and I wanted to make simple blocks that perhaps I could teach as a beginner series as a future workshop. Being a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor my thoughts naturally turned to the Tucker Trimmer and from there the adventure began!

My rough sketch of blocks ideas was taped within sight of the sewing table with a little “ocean view” movie in the background to keep me company while I sewed


Sometimes RV quilters have to be a little creative in the space available – but you can’t keep a good quilter down!


Making Blocks

The first blocks came together quickly

The Tucker Trimmer is a tool developed by Deb Tucker, of Studio 180 Design, used to trim down oversized units to assure a precisely sized unit. Beginners and advanced quilters alike enjoy Deb’s techniques for this tool to make squares, half square triangles, combo units and hourglass units. These units were my inspiration as the journey began – one block at a time, picking out fabrics for that block, figuring out the construction and just plain having fun!

I had several blocks that were simple half square triangles arranged with different layouts and color values. I pulled out my technique sheet to make “Eight at Once” to speed up the process.

The instructions give the starting block size for two squares to yield 8 half square triangles in a multitude of finished sizes


Following the directions to mark, sew and cut two fabrics right side together yields “eight at once” ready to be pressed and trimmed into half square triangles


The Tucker Trimmer is used to trim the half-square triangles to the perfect cut size for block assembly


Finished block made from two sets of “eight at once” technique for half square triangles


I also sneaked in a little tool to make my four patches more accurate for several of the blocks.

Piecing a unit just a tad oversized and then using Studio 180 Design Four Patch Square Up tool gives accurate cut measurements and my seams “match” when sewing the units into my block


I just love this traditional block done in the beautiful Ocean Odyssey fabric from Island Batik


Just as my imaginary young pioneer quilter, my blocks began to move from simple four patches and half square triangles to piecing what is called a combination unit or quarter square triangle, made simple and accurate with the Tucker Trimmer.

Using three oversized squares in Ocean Odyssey green, blue and red, I made 4 units at a time sewn per Deb’s instruction


The combo units were trimmed using the registration marks on the Tucker Trimmer, instructions are included with the tool

I have to say I was really excited about this next block that I was making, I loved the fabrics and I really thought the layout would be something special…but things didn’t go according to plan…

Not according to plan, the four at a time construction of the combo units made mirror images…which way is up?!?!?


Another technique sheet to the rescue – how to make Non-mirror combo units! Yep, lovin’ me some Studio 180 Design masterminds!


Which Way to the Ocean! I love these fabrics from Island Batik


In case you missed it – look at my happy accident! I’d like to tell you I planned it that way, but you’d know better (grin)


Time To Assemble The Quilt!!!

As I mentioned, the guidelines said that our project must be larger than 36″ x 36″ – well, this Texan raised boys who turned into over 6-foot grown men and if I learned one thing when they were growing up it was to make quilts big enough to cover their feet when watching TV! It’s kinda a Texas motto Go big or go home! Besides, I had lots of fabric to play with and it was kinda like eating smores around the campfire – you really hope no one is counting because you just can’t help yourself! I pieced eighteen 12-inch blocks and once set on point, they would make at least a 60″ x 80″ quilt – just perfect for a beachside picnic!

Blocks are made – let the layout begin

At this point, I had to find a larger area to set up my “design walls” as they wouldn’t fit in the RV. These are simply those foam insulation boards you can purchase at the hardware store. I pin fleece backed plastic tablecloths over them to give my blocks a little sticking surface and if the wind isn’t blowing in through the window I can sometimes get away without having to use straight pins. This was a day when there were no workers in the house so I was able to set up in the future studio. I also got my steps in on these days as it was 100 steps round trip from my sewing machine in the RV to the design wall.

You may notice in the above photo that I “pre-sash” my blocks by sewing the sashing and cornerstone on two sides. After I have determined the block layout I then add the “missing” sashing to the exposed sides as needed. It’s just a little trick I use to speed things along, although I have to say the layout is the longest part – I timed myself. Sigh. I moved blocks around and back again for well over an hour before being satisfied with the layout.

I assembled the first two diagonal rows and then got a little creative and decided I wanted to piece the “9 patch” in the center and finished off with the surrounding corners as partial rows. Who says you have to do it one row at a time! I fired the quilt police years ago!


Ta Da! Finished is good! My sampler, Summer Lovin’,  used each of the 26 fabrics from the Ocean Odyssey collection by Island Batik. Similar to the young pioneer girl in my imagination, the blocks were pieced independently without preplanning the coordination of fabric – I think it made it more interesting, don’t you?

Summer Lovin’ in The Great Outdoors!

Just as soon as the last stitch was sewn and the seams pressed, my Summer Lovin’ sampler and I headed outdoors in search of the perfect photo opportunity. My original plans were to head to Galveston Island and photograph on the beach but instead, I stayed on the mainland and photographed around my house and Galveston Bay.

Backyard fun – how about a Summer Lovin‘ quilt while sitting outdoors grilling in the backyard?


Summer Lovin‘ is perfect for a picnic by the bay


Don’t forget the Summer Lovin’ quilt when you go out boating!


You will need the Summer Lovin‘ quilt later at night sitting on the rocks by the bay to watch the stars or Friday night fireworks from Kemah Boardwalk


Which way to endless summer! Summer Lovin’ quilt by Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, made using Studio 180 Design tools and the beautiful tropical collection of Ocean Odyssey fabrics by Island Batik

The Great Outdoors Blog Hop

I hope you have been enjoying the introductions to this season’s newest fabrics by Island Batik. The links below will take you to all the ambassadors to see the collections they are working with. Today hop over to Toby’s blog as she too will be sharing her creation using Ocean Odyssey.  Don’t forget to scroll all the way down for Island Batik’s grand prize giveaway and a giveaway by The Quilt Rambler, I’m giving away the technique sheet used to make the Eight at Once half square triangles as well as a half yard of my choice of Island Batik fabric. In the event of an international winner, due to postage costs, I will email you a PDF pattern I use in my workshops instead of the prizes listed. Thank you for understanding!

Find the schedule on Island Batiks’ page HERE along with the opportunity for a prize.

WEEKS 1 & 2

Monday, August 6, All A Flutter –  Yellow Cat Designs,  Creative Blonde

Tuesday, August 7, Birds ‘N Bees – Ark Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen

Wednesday, August 8, Canterbury Manor – Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting

Thursday, August 9, Eclectic Garden – Desert Bloom Quilting  Sew Karen-ly Created

Friday, August 10, Vintage Moris – Moose Stash Quilting, Devoted Quilter

Monday, August 13, Safari – Sew Incredibly Crazy  Seams Like A Plan

Tuesday, August 14, Spring Blossoms – MaryMackMadeMine, If These Threads Could Talk 

Wednesday, August 15, Victoria and Albert –  Bejeweled Quilts by Barb, Clever Chameleon Quilting

Thursday, August 16, Wild Things – Freemotion by The River, Kauffman Designs

Friday, August 17, Petting Zoo – Turis Bakken , Sarah Goer Quilts


Monday, August 20 – Ocean Odyssey
Toby Lischko, Karen Overton (you are here!)

Tuesday, August 21 – British Rose
Busy Hands Quilts, Mania for Quilts

Wednesday, August 22 – Dear William
The Inquiring Quilter, MMM Quilts, Living Water Quilter

Thursday, August 23 – Dragonfly Dreams
Inchworm Fabrics, BeaQuilter

Friday, August 24 – Fur-ocious Friends
Quilting Affection Designs, Dizzy Quilter


Monday, August 27 – Globetrotter
Pamela Quilts, Curliecue Creations

Tuesday, August 28 – Jungle Cruise
Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting, Little Bunny Quilts

Wednesday, August 29 – Lavendula
Carole Lyles Shaw, Masterpiece Quilting

Thursday, August 30 – London Calling
Quilt in a Not-Shell, Lizard Creek Quilting

Friday, August 31 – Spirit Rhythm
Steph Jacobson, Whispers of Yore


Monday, September 3 – Sweet Tweets
Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Appliqué and Quilting

Tuesday, September 4 – Whatnot
heARTS Creations, Slice of Pi Quilts


a Rafflecopt
er giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, hoping you enjoy the great outdoors with a quilt!

PS Updated 8/23/18. Thank you, everyone, for your comments and best wishes to be a winner in the contests! I am enjoying reading all your comments but alas, have many obligations this week prohibiting me from responding to replies – I apologize and want you to know it means the world to me to have you comment. I will catch up with you privately vs posting online the replies to the comments below. Thank you for understanding!

55 thoughts on “Summer Lovin’ – The Great Outdoors Blog Hop

  1. Allison Evrard says:

    I have made a sampler quilt. It turned out really well and I gave it to a dear neighbor who was moving to Florida.

  2. Joyce Carter says:

    I love making sampler quilts and I have made several of them. Yours is just beautiful Karen. I really love the blocks you made and the placement in your quilt. Thank you for sharing and for the giveaway.

  3. Kathy R. says:

    Beautiful quilt & great pictures by the bay. The black border really makes the blocks stand out.

  4. Tracie says:

    Wow, Karen, you’re quilt is amazing! I love the fabrics and your design approach. And you are so smart—I never heard of pre-sashing, and it makes so much sense.

  5. Deborah B. says:

    i took a class many years ago when I first started quilting and it was to make a sampler wall hanging using different block making techniques. The blocks are finished and I really should put the whole thing together as it was supposed to be for my oldest granddaughter who just graduated from high school. Uggh! What an an awful Nana I must be! I have to say that my granddaughter and I share a love of fabric and we have made many charity items together…pillow cases, doll quilts, pillow cases dresses, pet beds, and heart pillows for hospital patients. Now to finish that sampler before her next birthday….I think she’ll still love it.

    • Deborah B. says:

      Oops! I forgot to tell you that I really like your sampler. I have several of Deb Tucker’s tools and I should really pull them out to use them…your quilt is inspiring.

  6. Brenda says:

    Karen, this quilt is awesome!! Such a fun quilt!! So colorful and yet coordinated with those beautiful Island Batiks!! I do love this collection! You’re going to have to teach me that pre-sashing technique!!

    My very first quilt class was a small sampler, four blocks, pieced by hand!! And eventually quilted by hand! My one and only hand-pieced and quilted quilt! The only thing we did by machine was add the borders!!

  7. Lori Smanski says:

    wow your quilt is stunning. i love how you came up with the idea. and you were so resourceful in making your quilt. woohoo. these fabrics are lovely. i made a sampler quilt for my son when he was 15. he and his dad had gotten into civil war reenacting when he was 13 through boy scouts. he is such a history buff. so i bought civil war fabrics and a book (Quilts from the Civil War by Barbara Brackman) and made my son a quilt he could pack along with him that he could use if he wanted to. this one was twin size. others saw it and wanted one also. then when he got married to a young lady that enjoyed his hobby just as much, i made them one for there wedding. different but it was a sampler also. this one was (Civil War Sampler by Barbara Brackman) this book each block has a little history as to how it was started and why, made during the civil war. this quilt measured 150 square. I would love to learn to make eight at once. looks like a wonderful technique. thanks

  8. Jocelyn says:

    The first quilting class I ever took, we made a sampler. But I never put it together. I went on to make quilts, but those blocks are still somewhere in my stash 🙂

  9. Cecilia says:

    I made a sampler quilt in Christmas fabrics and I use it every year. I love your quilt and the colors are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Kathy E. says:

    What a gorgeous way to showcase the summer batiks! Summer Lovin is the perfect companion to take to summer events and looks so awesome along the water!

  11. Beth T. says:

    One of the first quilts I made was a sampler from a BOM program, and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve made several more, on my own, choosing the blocks based on their significance to our family or the recipient.

  12. Teri says:

    Wow! I’m in love with your sampler quilt and the batiks. I started a sampler quilt but it is still waiting for more work.

  13. Susan Stitch says:

    What a fun quilt for a picnic! I really like the way you used the border fabric as setting blocks. It makes the quilt seem almost see through in places! Thanks for sharing your techniques. Beautiful job.

  14. Christi says:

    Wonderful quilt, love the blocks and the color choices. Yes I have made sampler quilts but it has been awhile.

  15. Alice Martina Smith says:

    Wonderful wonderful quilt! Loved your photos showing square-up options! What a winner!

  16. Nancy says:

    Your quilt is beautiful! Yes, many years ago I made a sampler, although I don’t where that quilt ended up…must have shared it with someone! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Sharon Aurora says:

    I’ve never made a sampler quilt, but I like the idea. Trouble is, I wouldn’t know when to stop making blocks for it.

  18. MoeWest says:

    I really like your sampler quilt in these great batiks! My first big quilt was a sampler QAL to learn piecing techniques.

  19. Maryellen McAuliffe says:

    I’ve actually made blocks for 2 sampler quilts, but haven’t finished the tops. I’m actually quilting a sampler, too. Wait, maybe it’s more like 5 made?? lol I forget.

  20. Pam says:

    Your quilt is delightful! I love the story of its inspiration, your improvisational color choices, and the overall design and color. Thanks so much for sharing this! I’ve never made a sampler quilt, and now that I’ve seen one in batiks, I want to do one!

  21. Ali says:

    Your quilt is lovely and makes me want to go to the beach!!! Such great happy colors (or watch Mama Mia yet again !). I have made several sampler quilts – they are my favs!!!

  22. Rochelle Summers says:

    I’ve made a lot of samplers but I don’t think any of mine were as pretty as yours. Such a lovely quilt. I can’t believe you are sewing in your RV. Great job.

  23. Mary D says:

    Your quilt is just lovely. I love the bright colors. Wow you make your RV space count. I have not made a sampler quilt yet but I know that I will as there has been some great online quilt alongs happening that have peaked my interest.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  24. Roseanne says:

    Hi Karen! Wow, these fabrics are just gorgeous and you used them to really make them shine. I have seen the eight-at-once HSTs before but I always wondered if the size allowed if trimming. Your tutorial instructions were just great and I thank you for that. I will be looking for this fabric in my LQS. Happy Thursday to you! ~smile~ Roseanne

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      The “normal” 8 at once assumes correct piecing and does not allow for trim down. Deb’s technique sheet gives the size for the large squares that does allow trim down. Two different puppies ????

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      ???? not traveling the world just yet – it’s been parked outside our house during Hurricane Harvey reconstruction- one day we will take it out on the road ???? it was fun working with these colors!

  25. Dione Gardner-Stephen says:

    Hats off to you still working out of your RV, no matter where it is parked! Tricky small spaces…. you must be super organised. Our family spent 3 months on the road a while back – great fun, but not a stitch sewn. Not even hand sewing!
    Lovely fabrics and great sampler quilt. I’m sure you’ll love this addition to your picnics. 🙂

  26. Sandra Walker says:

    Wow, this quilt really knocks it out of the park! Love the outdoors shots too, and that you fired the quilt police years ago, genius to do the centre as a 9-patch!

  27. Robin Klein says:

    Yes, I have made several sampler quilts. Yours turned out well. I love the colors you worked with. To me they are a sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

  28. Emily says:

    Such fun, bright blocks! I am super intrigued by the idea of “pre-sashing”–sashing is one of my least favorite steps, so anything to make it seem less of a chore is great!

    I’m not big on sampler quilts and haven’t really done one other than a Christams mystery sampler last year and a fall themed mystery sampler by the same group of designers right now. I’m not sure what it is about samplers that just doesn’t make me sing.

    First time visitor, really enjoyed your blog!

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