What’s Up March!?!

Paradise Island pattern by The Quilt Rambler plans for Blue Moon fabric line

March is entering the books with all sorts of crazy fun “March madness” going on in and around The Quilt Rambler studio. I have high hopes for lots of accomplishments (aka deadlines) for the next few weeks. It’s been dreary weather lately so naturally it’s a good time to sew. But then again, anytime is a good time to sew and I’d much prefer sunshine over clouds and rain! Here’s what’s currently happenin’


Geese Over Galveston Bay

In case you missed it, Geese Over Galveston Bay is actually one of my patterns and is available both as a PDF download or a printed pattern. It’s on my “to sew” list for the month, or my “to sew again” list actually. The original quilt is part of a traveling trunk show with Island Batik’s Spring 2017 Fabric Collection and is due home some time the end of May or first of June (catalog quilts travel for about a year).  So why am I remaking it you ask? Simply because I’m teaching it on the upcoming May 2018 Quilting Cruise with Stitchin Heaven, Texas our Texas and I need a class sample. It’s a fun quilt to make using Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design’s Wing Clipper tool, and of course the beautiful Island Batik fabric, this collection is called British Rose. I also want to remake it later in the year for my trunk shows with different scraps leftover from my tenure as an Island Batik Ambassador from 2017 & 2018. It’s a perfect stash buster!

Geese Over Galveston Bay, pattern by The Quilt Rambler, uses Island Batik fabrics and tools from Studio 180 Design

Paradise Island

I haven’t started cutting this out yet, but I’ve re-colored Paradise Island in EQ8 to use the Blue Moon fabric collection also by Island Batik, which is a Jackie Kunkel collection from Fall Market 2017.  I think it’s going to be fabulous in these colors don’t you agree? This will be the third time I’ll be making this pattern. The “original” was made with the collection French Blue by Island Batik and is traveling with the Fall Market 2018 collection so it will be awhile before it comes home, around Christmas time. The “cover girl” quilt is made with Twilight Chic, Deb Tucker’s  collection by Island Batik ~ since it’s part of my personal collection and not traveling I can take it with me to traveling lectures and trunk shows. I’m remaking it again so I can photo the “step outs” as a teaching aide for workshops and to add to my PowerPoint lecture presentations. Besides, I just happen to like this pattern and I “just happen” to have a nice stash of Blue Moon which I purchased when kitting Stormy Stars pattern for recent workshops (there are still kits available if you are interested please contact me!). I am teaching this pattern the first week in April at Pam’s Fabric Nook in Florida so I really need to get this cut out and pieced!

Paradise Island pattern by The Quilt Rambler plans for Blue Moon fabric line
Ready to cut out the next version of Paradise Island, this time in Blue Moon from Island Batik fabric collection, and yes I have the thread collection to match!

One Thing Leads to Another – March Moving

Making room in the multipurpose room

After last month’s Land Locked Quilting Cruise ™ we moved the sewing stations to the side of the room to truly make the room multi-functional when workshops are not in session. With the lack of sunshine recently I wanted to keep that “island feel” going on so I actually pieced a quilt using the student sewing machines instead of the one in my larger studio. See the orange chair that’s pulled out a bit ~ that was my station of choice ~ looking up every now and then to daydream out the “window”. Yep, steel drum music, Jimmy Buffet, Beach Boys all played a part of my day dreaming.

What was I working on you ask?

Time will tell…secret project in the works

Secret Sewing

I really don’t like being a tease, but I can’t help myself (grin). I have another secret sewing project in the works. Actually the top is pieced and it’s ready to go on the longarm later today ~ good thing, it has a deadline to be received by next week for future publication….oh I can’t wait to share!!! All I can say is it’s going to be revealed this summer and you are going to want to make this fun, fast, simple quilt….the checkerboard squares are just a teaser – wait until you see the fabrics! Oh so much color and so versatile you will be eager to pull out some of your favorite prints or have an excuse to “run to the fabric store” to make this summertime quilt.

Stash Moving

If you are new to The Quilt Rambler you may not be aware of our “Harvey Adventures”. Needless to say that it seems like every day we “move something” ~ who knew storms were so much work! If you have ever packed up a house to move to another location you may think you can relate, but if you have never had to pack everything in a mad dash without rhyme or reason because the one day team of demolition volunteers need your salvaged items out of the way to pull up carpets, pull out cabinets and tear out walls before mildew sets in, well…you really don’t have a clear understanding of the why it is so hard to “get back to normal”.  Little by little we are digging out and trying to go through mismatched boxes to decide it the items belong in the “new” house or if they are best suited to the local thrift shop. Once or twice we have opened a box of what we thought was salvaged only to find that indeed there was something damp inside and the whole box is now contaminated with mold or mildew. Wasted space (and money) spent on storage. Anyway…all that to say this ~ MY STASH IS FINALLY HOME!

Stash Busters? Nope! Stash Bins in storage

I will forever be grateful to all my quilt angels who took home bin after bin of my fabric stash to wash for me. I like to joke that I never was a member of the “prewash fabric” club until Harvey inducted me! These fabrics were then placed in weather tight totes and put into storage well over a year ago…and until recently there were other totes and boxes piled in front making access to them impossible.

This past Sunday afternoon it was TIME ~ time to load up the stash and bring it home! Unfortunately there’s not a designated space for the stash yet, but I had a great need to walk down memory line with my fabrics of old…and that leads up to my next March project that has a little longer deadline….

Needing a Little Pink in My Life!

Yep, the real urgency to move all those totes had to do with my husband telling me that I needed to go back to my “Sunday sewing” ~ when I worked on things “just for me” or took a nap (grin). In other words, a day of “rest” after our time of worship…and I got the bright idea that I needed my pink stash! So one thing leads to another, and as previously discussed generally involves moving something. Hence the stash coming home!

Welcome home pink stash, I’ve missed you!

A Tisket A Tasket Let’s Make an Easter Basket

By the time we had the buckets loaded and unloaded it was late in the afternoon, but I was determined to pull out all my pinks and cut strips off each one. A lot of my fabrics had been full bolt purchases or lots of yardage and after washing such great lenghts was most difficult to fold. My quilt angles were instructed to wash and not worry about folding ~ it was more important to prevent any fabric from being damaged by moisture than it was to try to avoid wrinkles. Due to this it was a bit of a challenge to cut straight strips, but fortunately I didn’t need precision cutting….yep, I’m planning a fabric basket ~ what I hope will turn out to be a beautiful pink “First Easter” basket for my sweet Reagan.  Strips were cut approximately 1 1/2″ give or take.

Oh what memories were discovered as I dug through my pink stash from storage!


Pretty pink fabric strips to make a scrappy fabric basket


Time for a new Endurance blade. The date had rubbed off but I think it was sometime around June 2018. This time I’m documenting with a photo. I love this cutter and blade by Olfa!


Time for Sunday Sewing – joining all the strips together with a diagonal seam to form one long fabric piece

Fabric wrapped bowls aren’t new. In fact I learned to make them around the turn of the century. The method I was taught is a little different that the common wrap popular in books and magazines. I was taught to actually make cording similar to piping on decorative pillows, so that’s what I set out to do.

Also in my storage totes I found several packages of clothesline purchased years ago to make fabric bowls.


If I don’t make eye contact she won’t see me” – Oscar enjoyed the hum of the sewing machine about as much as I did, except he chose to take the Sunday afternoon nap and leave the sewing up to me


I put the needle at the farthest position on the left of my zipper foot and started making the cording


I can sew for miles and miles…actually I sewed for 200 feet before calling it good ~ there’s still a little fabric strip left but I won’t put cording into it unless needed ~ won’t know that until I know that….depends upon how the basket comes together….a little more..a little less…time will tell


Once I got to a stopping point it was time to start the trim down, trimming as close to the seam line as possible


As I’m trimming I am rolling the cording into a ball for easier handling ~ probably should hide it from Oscar

All too soon my Sunday sewing play day was over. I am so eager to reclaim this time for myself and leave the deadline quilts for the week days. It’s a good thing Easter is “late” this year as I’m going to need the “month of Sundays’ to get this completed in time. Stay tuned as I share the process!

But WAIT! There’s More!

Of course there is! More pink and more quilts that need to be made for upcoming workshops. How do you like my fabric choice for Tumbling Triangles? I purchased my first Tula Pink fabrics at TEO’s Treasures Quilt Shop in Dickinson to make this beauty for upcoming workshops later this spring…

Yep, it’s always a busy time in The Quilt Rambler studio, so many quilts sew little time. But piece by piece they will all come together. I’m sew blessed to be able to play in fabric!

Thanks for joining me!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler

Oh, and speaking of my sweet Reagan ~ we had a little “Reagan and Oma time” weekend before last as I had the privilege of babysitting her for the first time. Of course she was the perfect little doll and went to bed easily just like mommy said she would…but not before we had some fun playtime! She thought her Oma was rather funny when I laid down on the floor next to her to take our selfies!

Made ‘ya smile!




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2 thoughts on “What’s Up March!?!

  1. Brenda says:

    Karen, Sunday afternoons used to be nap time for us after church since we have to be there so early for band practice. But he is temporarily on a 1-9:30 PM shift to support their company in Australia, so he goes to work, I go to lunch with the kiddos and then come home and sew – or whatever!! Looking forward to seeing the Easter basket for the baby girl!!

  2. Susan the Farm Quilter says:

    Loving the basket you are creating!! How wide are your fabric strips? I have some clothes line and want to make a basket…just don’t want to waste fabric by using strips that are too wide!! I’m also looking forward to seeing how you sew it together!! Reagan is adorable…they are so fun to babysit!!!

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