Travel Blog – Phoenix

Travel days fall under the category of hurry up and wait. Not for the impatient or someone who gets restless easily. There are so many other things that would be a better use of my time.

Take today for example (Weds 4/14/21). Alarm set at 0500 In prep for my morning flight at 0930, only to discover there was a text message at 0449 stating my flight has been canceled. Followed by a text saying I had a new flight at noon. Yep, hurry up and wait.

Waiting is not what I do best. When I relax, I feel guilty. Non- productive. I should be “doing” something. Well, I don’t think alerting the press (or social media) counts as doing something – but let’s face it, what else was there to do? I’ve only been packing for weeks!

Seriously, I’m talking about major packing. It’s been several years since I’ve flown for a workshop/ trunk show event. 3 years ago I flew to Arizona with my sidekick Dianne – we had a grand time together actually, she’s a great travel companion. On that particular trip, she packed all her belongings in a single carry-on bag! Naturally, I commandeered her two “free” check-in bags (gotta love Southwest Airlines).

Yep, last time I flew to Phoenix I had four, count them, FOUR fifty-pound bags full of quilts for my show and tell trunk show! I mean, after all, I was getting paid to show my quilts, so I wanted to show them all!

Funny thing, that was before I was a quilt pattern designer, or even a certified instructor or an Island Batik Designer. I was a new Island Batik Ambassador, however, and I had designed quilts to teach on two cruises, so I had one of those designs to teach as a workshop – and hundreds of pounds of quilts! What I remember most about the trip was how many times we had to handle those suitcases and how I couldn’t wait to get home to visit my chiropractor.

Fast forward to today… different location, new crowd, different workshop (two actually) different trunk show, no travel companion, no extra suitcases (but I still have a standing appointment with the chiropractor upon my return!) Yep. New day, new plans for packing.

 Currently, I have 16 published patterns which equal 16 cover quilts. Admittedly a few are small, but even so, they wouldn’t all fit into one suitcase. It’s a good thing that my latest three that are premiering this month in Island Batik’s Spring/Summer 2021 Catalog are still “secret” because I would have had to given up one of my quilt children or something to fit them in, gasp!

The first suitcase weighed in at 48 pounds on the bathroom scales. To my relief, these scales must be pretty accurate as that’s what it weighted at the baggage check-in scales, but I still hold out that when weighing humans, namely me, those scales have a mind of their own!

Okay, so it goes without saying that I must pack all my colorful The Quilt Rambler tie-dye shirts and my big earrings, but I can’t say they took up that much room. Good thing, as I had to get the rest of my cover girls, er, quilts in that smaller overflow “free” bag. I did manage to pack a few unquilted tops, but for the life of me at this very moment, I can’t remember which ones made the cut. The medium bag might be small, but it weighed in at 47 pounds! So unless I leave things behind (or eat all my packed snacks) I only have a few pounds to spare for any retail therapy at the local quilt shop.Hum… I think Arizona offers Fed Ex or UPS to Texas, ya’think?

Remember how I started off with the hurry up and wait thought. Well, currently I’m waiting on this plane to land! Yep. I can’t stand being idle, so I am “hunting and pecking” on my iPad’s keyboard – not easy! The truth is, I’m trying really hard NOT to talk to my seat mate, she’s really sweet (we had a brief chat) but I have to save my voice for this weekend’s events. It’s been a long time since I’ve rambled non-stop for so many days…just sayin’

We interrupt this ramble….The pilot just said we are 20 minutes out, so I will continue this saga later as I have to repack my carry-on items and disembark! Arizona here I come, ready or not!

To be continued…

What Day is it Anyway?

Okay, so I didn’t make it back, not from the trip, but back to the computer to finish my ramble…I wasn’t going to finish this except I made mention of typing on my iPad on the plane and the gals in class said it wasn’t nice to tease and they want “the rest of the story” so here goes.

Currently, it’s 7:47 PST on Friday (not to be confused with the 737 plane I flew in on). I’m relaxing in my hotel room after a wonderful BBQ dinner at Bobby Q’s….but let’s rewind a bit and catch up.

What happened the rest of Wednesday?

My friend Kristen from Island Batik lives in Phoenix and she was my designated driver and airport shuttler…it was so good to see her as I missed our annual visits in Houston each fall for Quilt Market since the 2020 event was canceled. She’s so sweet, she brought me fat quarter bundles for giveaways! AND got me to the shop on time for a delayed Facebook Live event. We missed out on our planned lunch together, but we crammed in a lot of talking between the airport and shop!

FaceBook Live 35th Ave Sew & Vac hosts The Quilt Rambler

Upon arrival, we quickly staged the set for the FB live. My new friend Karen (who works at the shop) was a great sidekick for the event, the Island Batik Vincent’s Garden had just arrived that week and she was literally pulling off the cellophane wrappers to make a display for the event. In case you missed our banter there’s a replay on FB at this link.

All too soon it was time to head to the hotel and settle in….it had been a long day, I was still on Texas time and went to bed “early” on Arizona time.

Thursday’s Teaching

The sunrise through my window was most inviting. Getting to the shop early, I found Karen & her capable crew already cutting kits for the students who would be arriving within the hour…best little quilting elves in town that’s for sure! 

There were six ladies in the Lights Shine Bright Workshop. I got so wrapped up in teaching, visiting, demonstrating, rambling, that I totally neglected my photographer duties. Gasp! But I think I can safely report that we all had a good time and I hope each went home with newfound knowledge in using the Corner Beam and Lemoyne Star tools.  I know I had fun!

I love it when students bring show and tell! Especially if they have created with one of The Quilt Rambler Patterns! Penny actually recently taught Illuminated Journey

Fast Forward to Friday

Another beautiful sun shining day! I went to sit outside the hotel a little early to wait for my ride, it was soooo wonderful to feel the sunshine, especially knowing that it’s been dreary and raining at home.

Today’s class was Split My Gaggle, with two returning students and two new ladies. I have to say we were a rowdy bunch, joking and teasing each other while sewing – felt like I was on a retreat sewing after midnight, you know, after you let your hair down and keep on sewing and laughing until the sun rises.

That’s not to say we weren’t serious about learning to use the Wing Clipper and Split Rects! With time for shopping too! The Vincent’s Garden collection is dwindling, and I suspect that after tomorrow a few of the fabrics in the collection will be long gone!

Needless to say, I had a good time today! I hope my students had half as much fun!

What’s next?

Saturday is my final day in Phoenix, with morning plans for a lecture and trunk show…which simply means I will be sharing my quilting journey and how it intersected with both Island Batik and Studio 180 Designs. After class tonight I set the stage for tomorrow’s show and share…tested the projector and PowerPoint program where I will share each of Deb’s tools and the units they make, complete with block samples from most of them. Next, I will enlist a couple of Quilt Wranglers to help hold up my pattern cover quilts. And somewhere in between, I will be giving away those fat quarters that Kristen brought me. I predict it will be a fun day!

Ready for a trunk show!!

Okay, start praying now for my return flight – I leave early Saturday evening to get home late evening…and I don’t want any drama! I’ve experienced it going, so hoping coming home is simply a time to snooze and readjust to my time zone (grin).

I’m thinkin’ that everyone who takes the time to read all the way down this long ramble should have an opportunity for a giveaway, regardless of being at the trunk show in the morning or not, don’t you agree? While I am committed to giving away the before-mentioned fat quarters here in Phoenix, “live” at my trunk show, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have something for my faithful readers! Okay, you’ve twisted my arm…let’s do this!


Two giveaways – one for USA residents only (due to shipping) and one for my international friends…sound good? Enter below! And please, share with your friends! I plan on taking the rest of the weekend off so I will close the giveaway on Monday when I “clock” back in for a new week in The Quilt Rambler Studio.

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

But wait, there’s more!

There is still room in my May Land Locked Quilting Cruise ™ event – AND I have received ALL the fabrics to kit my three new patterns, both for cruisers and my online store…I will be updating the kits on the website the first of the week, so mark your calendar to check back by close of business on Monday as there are a limited number of kits available for those not attending the event. 

And now, it’s time to upload the photos, post the blog, and finish packing my bags to head south tomorrow evening.

Thanks for hanging out with me, especially to my Phoenix students (and Saturday audience). I sincerely hope our paths will cross again in the future!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler…on the road again!

21 thoughts on “Travel Blog – Phoenix

  1. heartsease57 says:

    Glad you got a chance to travel and teach again! Commenting for the give away, I would like to see any pattern showing wing clipper tools.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Wing Clipper is one of my favorites! Check out Geese Over Galveston Bay, or Split My Gaggle from my current offerings and do look for more flying geese in future designs! Thanks for commenting and reading the long ramble ☺️

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Pick a tool that you have in your toolbox and find a pattern that focuses on it – a good one that sill give you an opportunity to do a lot of units is the Tucker Trimmer – my patterns Paradise Island, Fiesta Stars, and Not Your Grandmother’s Sampler all use just that one tool! Thanks for chiming in, good luck with the giveaway

  2. Sharon Durley says:

    I enjoyed the two classes in Phoenix. Hope you got home with no problems. Got the return. I look forward to seeing you the next time you come to Phoenix.
    Thank you.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Thanks Sharon – it was a pleasure having you in class both days – as I write this I’ve just wrapped up the trunk show and repacking my bags to fly south later tonight. Until next time my new friend!

  3. jennifer padden says:

    Looks like you had a productive fun quilting adventure. I’m anxious to use my new split recs ruler!

  4. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Karen! Safe travels home. Good luck to those entering the giveaway. I can attest to how wonderful the Vincent’s Garden fabric are!! ~smile~ Roseanne

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      The tools are fantastic – units are oversized then trimmed to a precise size using the tool. Do a search on YouTube for Deb Tucker and there is a demo tutorial for each of them!

  5. Theresa Davey says:

    I sure hope you travel to the Houston show. Ive got to meet you. I love your sense of humor.

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