Looking back – Island Batik Ambassador 2018, so far

While the year isn’t over yet for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors ~ we have December and January to go ~ I thought I’d take time to post a review of my projects from this year so far, as well as  remind you (and encourage you) that the last day to apply for the 2019 Island Batik Ambassador program is fast approaching, Friday 12/7/18 to be exact…info found here.

This has been my second year with the ambassador program which, if you aren’t familiar, is a year-long association between the fabric company, Island Batik, and the quilters that are chosen to be ambassadors. The company provides fabric, shipped twice a year to the ambassadors in exchange to create and blog about monthly challenges. The anticipation of the arrival of the fabric boxes generates a lot of excitement across social media. In case you missed any of my “box openings” you can revisit them on my YouTube channel ~ I do love box openings!

One thing that is included in our box is “secret fabric” – our surprise package of a complete fabric line that has yet to be introduced to the public. Twice a year we have a blog hop to share our creations using said fabric as Island Batik has recently revealed at either the Spring or Fall Market. As you can see, Island Batik is quite generous!

“Secret Fabric” from the first 2018 ambassador box, blogged about in  August 2018


“Secret Fabric” received in the second 2018 Ambassador box to be blogged about in January 2019


Year in Review

The year began with the arrival of our box at the end of February – for the full review of my fabrics again, visit my YouTube channel. If you are new to The Quilt Rambler you may not know that halfway into my first year as an Ambassador that my home and studio was flooded by Hurricane Harvey – so the majority of my tenure, both 2017 and 2018, have been with “interesting” circumstances to say the least.

February’s challenge was “Mini Love”. The complete blog post can be found here.

Mini Lemoyne Love designed, pieced and quilted by Karen E Overton, The Quilt Rambler

March’s challenge was Try a Technique, I attempted to do a mini mosaic. You can read about it here.

Try a Technique Challenge Island Batik Ambassador March project


Family quilt circa 1956 made by Effie Brown Barker

April’s challenge, “Looking back, vintage quilts inspiring new creations” can be found in more detail on the blog post here.

Boundaries, designed and pieced by Karen Overton as inspired by a family vintage quilt.


May brought yet another challenge, this time, playful pillows. The original blog post is here.

My favorite way to relax no matter what the season is a little hammock time. X’s and O’s pillows by The Quilt Rambler


May also brought a lot of “secret sewing” that was not ambassador related but Island Batik related. As mentioned earlier, new fabric lines are introduced twice a year at the Spring and Fall Markets. Designers submit projects to be considered for inclusion in the catalogs and if chosen must make their quilts several months in advance for all the behind the scenes work that must be done prior to the big event(s).  Two of my designs were chosen for the 2018 Fall Market catalog and were quilted in May ~ due to circumstances of displacement and reconstruction I set up my sewing outside under the tiki hut to meet the deadlines. Here’s a little review of what I could share at that time.

May’s Secret (Outdoor) Sewing included the design of Paradise Island (in French Blue later remade in Twilight Chic fabric). Designed, pieced and quilted by The Quilt Rambler, Karen E Overton

June’s ambassador challenge was to make a modern quilt. I enjoyed making this little one while house sitting for my brother-in-law, a welcomed personal retreat. The details can be found here.

Blow Flower, original design Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler

Our challenge for July was Secondary Patterns. Here’s the blog post about this one.  This is also a quilt that I now offer as a class or workshop, if you are interested in hosting an event or learning about scheduled events please visit this page.

Hidden Stars by Karen Overton
Hidden Stars by The Quilt Rambler

Finally, it was August! Time for our bi-annual blog hop and an opportunity to use all those fabulous fabrics from the “surprise/secret sewing” fabrics included in our first box opening. Details are located here.

Summer Lovin’ designed and pieced by The Quilt Rambler, Karen E Overton

Next up, September’s challenge Starstruck, my love for stars made this one an easy choice. Read all about it here.

New Beginnings, pieced by Karen Overton. 51 ” x 51″ with fabric provided by Island Batik

October was a fun challenge and had me trying English Paper Piecing for the first time. Although the project was small, I have decided that I would like to try my hand at this technique again in the future! The blog post is here.

Presenting my very first English Paper Piecing! Pattern and design by Helen Stubbings of Hugs ‘N Kisses, fabric provided by Island Batik, hand stitching done by The Quilt Rambler

And finally, we have last month’s challenge. The event for November was Cozy Log Cabins. The recent blog post is here.

Everlasting Love designed, pieced and quilted by Karen E Overton, The Quilt Rambler

All too soon it’s December and our challenge is Wonky and Whimsical. I have had several ideas for this one, but due to time constraints, I’ve decided to combine the ambassador challenge with a Christmas gift so my blog post won’t be published until after the holiday to keep the surprise a secret! Speaking of secrets, I’m again in the middle of secret sewing for the Spring Market catalog – Island Batik chose two of my designs that are being made with the most wonderful future fabric line ~ it’s sooo hard not to share photos! Once the catalog is released in May I will be releasing photos AND patterns for these new designs, so you are just going to have to hold your horses until then (grin).

But wait, there’s more ~

One more blog hop in January for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors! I’m still contemplating my design, my assigned date is towards the end of the month so I still have time to narrow down my decision! I can tell you that the fabrics are just my pallet ~ all summery and tropical! Can’t wait to play with them!

All good things must come to an end

Regretfully I have decided not to reapply for the 2019 Ambassador program. It goes without saying how much I love Island Batik fabrics, and I love the people I’ve met in the company more! Through this program, I have had the opportunity to be stretched as a quilter with the monthly challenges. Who knew that my modern quilt from 2017 would be among my favorite memories – I’d never attempted “modern” before! I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie of the other ambassadors and have been inspired by their interpretations of the same challenges. It’s also been fun to meet seveal of the ambassadors at Quilt Market or Quilt Festival! Such a great group of quilters!!

The decision to not reapply has been an emotional one. The recovery from Hurricane Harvey continues, while we are “in” our home, there’s so much that needs to be done that is time-consuming (like unpacking). In addition, my time needs to be focused on my business and the continued development of teaching, traveling, designing patterns and hosting my Land Locked Quilting Cruises that will begin this upcoming spring. Thankfully I have an open door with Island Batik to continue to submit designs for their spring and fall market catalog considerations. By reducing the time spent on monthly challenges it is my hope to produce more patterns which I hope will inspire you to purchase one or all of them and/or attend one or more of my workshops! Time to change hats, well, not yet, there are still two more challenges to go!

So if you are considering becoming an Island Batik Ambassador let me encourage you to do so! The excitement of two huge boxes of fabrics to play with during the year, the monthly challenges, the friends you will meet in the private Facebook page, the fabrics! Oh, the fabrics! I can truly say being an ambassador, even with the distraction of a hurricane, has been a most wonderful experience that is highly recommended! Thank you, Caleb, Elizabeth, Katie and the rest of the “home office” for your continued encouragement and support. Being a part of your “family” is truly a joyful experience!


This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, eager to share the remaining 2018 Island Batik Ambassador challenges with you!

Let’s talk quilts!!!!



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8 thoughts on “Looking back – Island Batik Ambassador 2018, so far

  1. Susan the Farm Quilter says:

    I will miss you being an Ambassador next year, but completely understand your need to focus on other things! Getting your life back together after the hurricane is a Herculean task alone, let alone trying to work on your own business!! Looking forward to seeing all you are doing this month!!

  2. Barbara says:

    Sorry to hear you will not be an ambassador next year but looking forward to your yummy patterns and the growing of your business with Studio 180 and Island Batiks.

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Thank you – hard decision actually as I do enjoy the challenges but time to take the fork in the road! Thank you for your continued support! Stay tuned lots of things on the books for 2019!

  3. Barbara Gaddy says:

    I truly enjoyed your post. I have enjoyed you as a kindred ambassador and you will be sorely missed. I am glad you are still going to contribute to spring and fall market, YOu are quite talented.

  4. Brenda says:

    Well I’m running late in getting around to read your post. I’m sorry to hear you won’t be an ambassador next year. It’s great they left the door open for you to return and to do projects for them at market. That is awesome. They sound like a great group to work with! I have applied and am really hoping I get chosen! I think you have done a great job as an ambassador this year in keeping up with all the challenges while living in your camper and rebuilding your home and life post Hurricane Harvey. You never cease to amaze me! But then, I know wherein your strength lies! God bless and Merry Christmas, my friend!!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      ou are too sweet ~ the fact that you keep up with me warms my heart ♥️ I can’t wait to hear the announcement of the new island batik Ambassadors for 2019 ~ I hope to see many familiar names ???? Merry Christmas to you too my friend. May God continue to bless you too!

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