Island Batik Ambassador Box #1 Opening

For about a week now, I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new box of batiks from Island Batik. You see, twice a year the Island Batik Ambassadors receive a new shipment of the latest batiks for use in our monthly challenges.

Even though I knew when the box was due to arrive, my heart lept every time I saw the Fed Ex truck on our street.

Oh so close! I wish my neighbors would stop having things delivered so I can tell when the truck is for me. <grin>

Finally it was my turn!

Oh my heart!

Even Zora was curious about what might be inside. Of course she's a cat and curiosity is literally her thing, but still...she wouldn't leave the box alone!

Did you say this was a box of "cat-iks?"

The Ambassadors were encouraged to create a video showing the box opening, so without further ado, here's what was inside my box.

Let's take a look at the box's contents more slowly and in more detail.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the lovely roll of Hobbs 80/20 Batting. In the video I may have implied that it was all cotton, but it's 80% cotton and 20% polyester. This combo produces a beautiful quilt that breathes and yet is easy to quilt. I also love how perfect the loft is, producing a wonderful backdrop that shows off your quilting.

I've used this batting many times before and love how wonderfully it quilts up. I haven't used it lately though as I'm using up other types of batting as I make the switch. The longarmers in my area also prefer this batting which is another reason why I'm switching.

Deeper in the box I found the Thermore batting--this is a light weight battting with a lovely drape, especially useful in quilted garments and miniatures or so I've been told. I bought this batting a while ago and haven't used it yet, but now I'm really encouraged to give it a try. Can't wait to let you know more about it.

Hobbs also sent along a brochure with small samples of all their batting. I'm already comparing their offerings to see which other ones I might want to try out. I'll be sure to share this info with you soon.

Like Hobbs, Aurifil is another partner with Island Batik in the Ambassador program so we often find Aurifil threads in our boxes. This time, they included a large cone of 50 wt white thread for piecing and quilting. Also included were several rolls of 50 wt and 40 wt threads that coordinate with the batiks included in the box. I used Aurifil a lot, and have a large collection but I don't think I have these warm greens, reds, and purples. Yum!

You might have noticed from the video that Aurifil included a brochure in the box as well. I'm very familiar with Aurifil already, since we carry it in the quilt store at which I work so let me share something with you. Notice in the photo that some of the threads have green spools while others have orange? The color of the spool helps you to quickly identify the type of thread. In this case, the orange spools are 50 wt, and the green spools are 40 wt. I use both for quilting, but keep in mind that the 40 wt is thicker and so will be more visible. I also use the 40 wt for machine embroidery. The 50 wt I use for quilting and piecing.

Now let's see what batiks were included in my box! One of the first bundles I saw was a fat eighth bundle from the Plum Delicious collection. I just love its combination of bright oranges and purples---this makes my heart sing! Notice that Island Batik also included some coordinating yardage. I love how thoughtful Island Batik is. They really think about what we need to make our challenge projects, and they include that in our boxes.

Another bundle included in the box was from the holiday collection, Alpine Jingle. I've loved this collection from the moment I first set eyes on it online, and I can't wait to use it in a project. They sent me a Stamp (10" squares) and coordinating yardage so I'm all set! Now to think of a design that sets this off...

Island Batik also included another set of Stash Buster rolls. I just love these things! Each roll contains four 5" x WOF strips. The set includes almost 3 yards of batiks! I really love working with these strips because you can cut 5" charms, 2-1/2" squares, and lots of other pieces from each strip. My advice is if you see them at a quilt store, snatch them up!

My box also included a bundle of coordinates from the Island Batik's Basics, Blenders, and Neutrals collections. These colors look like they are going to work well with the other fabrics included in the box so I'm over the moon!

Island Batik also sent some more batik rayon and a lovely rayon scarf! I'll just have to find a pattern I want to use with the rayon soon---it's so lovely that it just can't sit in my box any longer.

Finally, included in the box was a bundle of fabrics from a "surprise" collection. This collection will be officially released at Spring Market, so I can't show you it until then. But I can tell you that I love it! (and so does Zora <grin>)

Well, I'm off to make something with my new batiks! The Ambassadors are celebrating Galentine's Day with postcards and mug rugs, and Valentine's Day with a mini quilt so I've got a lot of sewing to get done.

Have a great quilty weekend! Be sure to come back on Tuesday, February 13th for Galentine's and on Wednesday, February 14th for Valentines to see what I've made and to share your Valentine's/Galentine's projects!

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Disclosure: The products featured in the post were provided to me free of charge by Island Batik and their program partners, Aurifil and Hobbs Batting.

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tell me...what was in your last surprise box?

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