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!
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.
March’s challenge was Try a Technique, I attempted to do a mini mosaic. You can read about it here.
April’s challenge, “Looking back, vintage quilts inspiring new creations” can be found in more detail on the blog post here.
May brought yet another challenge, this time, playful pillows. The original blog post is here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Next up, September’s challenge Starstruck, my love for stars made this one an easy choice. Read all about it here.
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.
And finally, we have last month’s challenge. The event for November was Cozy Log Cabins. The recent blog post is here.
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!!!!