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.
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
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!
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.
I also sneaked in a little tool to make my four patches more accurate for several of the blocks.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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
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”
I have made a sampler quilt. It turned out really well and I gave it to a dear neighbor who was moving to Florida.
Your blocks are lovely, Karen! And, the fabrics are just yummy. ????
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.
Beautiful quilt & great pictures by the bay. The black border really makes the blocks stand out.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
I will have to put together a PDF downloadable tutorial on the pre-sashing…watch for a future blog post – thanks for the idea Brenda!
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
This is a perfect sampler and would be a great class. I have a stack in my July box, so I will need to come up with something fun!
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 🙂
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!
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!
You made a gorgeous and colorful sampler quilt!
I have made a few sampler quilts myself.
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.
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.
I have made a sampler quilt with a local quilt shop BOM.
I’ve made 3 sampler quilts and am looking for number 4!
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.
That’s a great quilt, Karen! You must be a very patient woman to be quilting in an RV – don’t think I could do it!
Fellow Ambassador Karen
Wonderful quilt, love the blocks and the color choices. Yes I have made sampler quilts but it has been awhile.
Wonderful wonderful quilt! Loved your photos showing square-up options! What a winner!
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.
I have made a Christmas sampler quilt.
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.
I really like your sampler quilt in these great batiks! My first big quilt was a sampler QAL to learn piecing techniques.
I have never made a sampler quilt but it looks like it would be fun to do!
Love that quilt and the colors, too! What a happy, happy quilt!
Great job you could do this scrappy too…email@example.com
Sampler quilts are fun. I like the on point layout. Well done!
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.
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!
Your sampler quilt is beautiful… love the mix of colours too!!
Working on a sampler table runner.
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!!!
I like your photo settings! And yes, most of the quilts I have made are samplers. I love the versatility in them!
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.
Awesome quilt. I love the colors in these batiks.
It’s gorgeous, Karen! I loved reading about your process, especially your thoughts of a young pioneer girl as you worked.
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
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
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 ????
Your quilt is Fabulous !! Yes I’ve made some sampler quilts.
I’m just catching up on the blog hop. I’m really loving the colors in this collection. I especially liked seeing you build your quilt in an RV! What fun to travel the world!
???? 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!
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. 🙂
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!
The dark sashing just makes the colors pop! Congrats on your RV quilt…it’s fabulous!
fantastic colours and fabulous quilt!
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.
Never made a sampler quilt I think I should good skill building thanks for the the inspiration
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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