My Island Batik Surprise Fabrics

Every year, the Island Batik Ambassadors receive two box fulls of goodies. In those boxes, there are often “surprise fabrics,” wrapped up all pretty so when we make a box opening video, those fabrics aren’t accidentally shown to the public before they are released.

Last July, I received a box of Island Batiks and inside was a bundle of surprise fabrics—half-yard cuts from each of the fabrics in one of the Fall/Winter 2018 collections. I received the Fortune Teller collection.

The first thing we do with these surprise fabrics is to make a rep sample—a small mini quilt—for the fabric representatives to show at quilt stores. The rep samples help the fabric reps present the various fabric collections. Man, there’s nothing to seeing and touching the beautiful fabrics in an Island Batik collection!

After the collection is sold, the rep samples eventually get donated to the Small Kennel Quilt Team (which is supported by the Petfinder Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports animal shelters/rescue groups. The Small Kennel Quilt Team makes kennel quilts for rescue animals, and the rep samples we make are perfect for lining a kennel and making a poor, rescued animal feel just a little bit better.

Here’s my Zora, trying out my Fortune Teller rep sample.

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The next thing we Ambassadors do with the surprise fabrics is to make a quilt. This quilt is featured in a blog hop, and my Fortune Teller quilt was featured in January’s Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop. I didn’t get my quilt finished unfortunately because my sister was in the hospital and later died. I have been working on it though and have been updating you on its progress. Although I don’t have to finish the quilt for Island Batik, I want to finish it for me and my sister.

I’ve made several rep samples as an Island Batik Ambassador. I can’t show you my latest one because it features fabrics in a Spring Summer 2019 collection that hasn’t been released yet. Here are my rep samples for Vineyard (Spring/Summer 2017) and Dear William (Spring/Summer 2018).

Modern Vineyard - made with Vineyard fabrics

Modern Vineyard - made with Vineyard fabrics

Dash Away, Dachs Away - made with Vineyard fabrics

Dash Away, Dachs Away - made with Vineyard fabrics

Basket of Blooms - made with Vineyard fabrics

Basket of Blooms - made with Vineyard fabrics

Dear William rep sample - Spring/Summer 2018

Zora and Dear William

Bear Cabin - made with Dear William fabrics

Bear Cabin - made with Dear William fabrics

Heat Wave - made with Dear William fabrics

Heat Wave - made with Dear William fabrics

Hey! If you happen to visit Paducah…

Be sure to take the shuttle to Hancock’s of Paducah. They carry Island Batik, and you’ll find the collections featured here in their shop. Hancock’s happens to be celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year, so it’s well worth the visit to celebrate and of course buy lovely fabrics!

Disclosure: The products featured here were provided to me free of charge by Island Batik, Aurifil, Hobbs, and Accuquilt Go!

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My 2019 Island Batik Ambassador Boxes!

First, let me make my official announcement! I’m going to be a 2019 Island Batik Ambassador! Congratulations to my fellow 2019 Island Batik Ambassadors—-what an inspiring group of quilters I get to work with!

I’m so excited to share another year of beautiful batiks with you. There are many cool Ambassador challenges this year and lots of surprises so fasten your seat belts and hop on board!

If you like batiks as much as I do, be sure to follow me so you don’t miss the eye candy. Even if batiks are not your thing, you’ll love the challenges, new patterns, and dazzling quilts on display. Not to mention the giveaways! You’ll find the ways to follow at the top of my sidebar.

The Island Batik Ambassador year begins in February and runs to January the next year. Sometime in January, we receive our Island Batik box which is filled to the brim with the latest batiks, Aurifil threads (they are an Island Batik Ambassador partner), and Hobbs batting (another generous partner).

So January is like Christmas, waiting for Santa to arrive (in his Fed Ex truck).

This time, the postman rang twice! <grin>

Let me tell you, when two boxes showed up instead of the usual single box, my heart skipped a beat! I mean, Island Batik is always so generous what else could they possibly have included?

Watch my video to find out!

Wow! That was overwhelmingly awesome! Let me slow things down a bit and take a look at my goodies one by one.

First out of the box was my set of Surprise fabrics, in two bundles. The Surprise fabrics are not in general release just yet—they will debut at Spring Market in May and will be featured in the August Island Batik Ambassador Beat the Heat blog hop. Mark your calendars now because the blog hop will be filled with new batiks, gorgeous quilts, and tons of batik giveaways!

Up next was Aurifil thread—four 50 wt spools and one 28 wt spool. The Island Batik Ambassador program is privileged to have several partners, and Aurifil is one of them. What that means is that there are always several spools of Aurifil thread in our biannual boxes, so there’s always just the right color to quilt our Island Batik quilts. I’m a big Aurifil fan from way back, so I piece, quilt, and embellish my quilts using their threads. I feel so lucky that they are a part of the Ambassador program.

The thread colors they included in my box coordinate with the fabrics they sent. Aren’t the colors lovely?

Island Batik generously sent several buttons I can use to spread the word about Island Batik. Aren’t they pretty?

Besides the Surprise fabrics, I also received a set of 2-1/2” strips and coordinating yardage from another collection, one that’s available now. The collection I got is called Twilight Chic. Love the rich colors!

Island Batik always includes yardage from their Foundations collections in the box. Foundations are available all the time, which makes them easy to find in your local quilt store. Just look at these rich purples, blues, and greens!

Island Batik also included 2 yards of a lovely batik rayon and a gorgeous rayon scarf! Batik rayon is perfect for sewing up a drapey shirt, dress, or skirt. I wonder what I’ll make?

I also received 5 yards of a lovely creamy batik called Almond that has light touches of purple, perfect for use as a background. Almond is part of the Neutrals collection. It goes well with the Foundations bundle, and with other batiks I’ve received in the past.

Island Batik also makes solid batiks, in black, white, and grey. They pair up wonderfully with other batiks for a modern, crisp look. They included 3 yards of each color in my box. I love using these!

Island Batik also included two sets of Stash Builder rolls. 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. If you have these at your local quilt store, snatch them up! They are awesome for building up your batik stash.

Hobbs is another partner in the Island Batik Ambassador program, and they sent several of their incredible batts in the box. Hobbs generously sent two 80/20 batts (80% cotton and 20% polyester), one all cotton batt, one silk batt, and one Theremore batt (which provides awesome drape to garments or quilts).

I’ve used Hobbs for years in my quilts and I love the quality. I can’t believe they sent five batts! I’m ever so grateful since I’ve used up almost my entire stash of quilt batts. Awesome timing, Hobbs! Thank you so much.

An impressive list of goodies, don’t you think? But the biggest surprise this year was awaiting me in Box Number 2—a complete Accuquilt Go! cutting system!

The box includes everything I need to quickly cut the fabrics for any quilt I might design that uses 8” finished quilt blocks. Included in the Cube are dies that cut 2-1/2” squares, 4-1/2” squares, HST and QST that finish at 4”, 2-1/2” x 4-1/2” rectangles, square in squares for 4” finished squares and parallelograms for 2” x 4” rectangles. Accuquilt Go sells lots of other dies so I can expand my capabilities as needed.

Accuquilt also included their 2-1/2” strip cutter in the box. I plan on using it first on my rather large fabric stash, which I would prefer to store in basic usable units such as 2-1/2” strips, 5” squares, 2-1/2” squares and other common units.

But first things first—-to unpack the system and learn how to use it. I’ll be sharing what I learn as I go along, so be sure to follow me if you’re interested in a fabric cutting system.

Thanks for stopping by! I'm off to make something with my new batiks. The Ambassador challenge for February is to make a Magnificent Mini. My personal challenge is to post my December challenge quilt (it’s been done for a while, just haven’t posted about it yet.) and to finish my January challenge quilt.

Have a great quilty week! Come back tomorrow when I blog about my December Island Batik challenge, and on Wednesday to share your current quilty projects on my weekly linky party, Wednesday Wait Loss.

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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, Hobbs Batting, and Accuquilt.

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tell me...what surprises have you gotten lately?

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Island Batik Great Outdoors Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Hi and welcome to the my day on the Island Batik Great Outdoors Blog Hop!

Today’s featured Island Batik collection is called Dear William, and I'm in love with it's warm golds, rich purples, and deep greens and blues!

Dear William is part of the Spring collection, currently in quilt stores.

Great Outdoors Blog Hop.jpg

With the theme "great outdoors" as my muse, I immediately thought of a cabin in the woods. That thought led to Log Cabin and Bear's Paw blocks and well, I soon had a design!

I call my quilt Bear Cabin.

I love how the colors play together. What really fascinates me is the almost floral look of this quilt, despite it's warm rich color palette.

Forgive the photo below. I tried getting some outdoor shots in natural light, and it started raining. Just sprinkling, so I went ahead and took a few quick "glamor" shots. There's a drop of rain on the lens, and a bit of mud on the quilt top because it slid off and fell into a dirt/mud patch. Ugh.

Oh well! It can be washed and I much prefer natural light when I can get it. And soon after getting these shots, the skies opened up and it started really pouring down. So I'm kinda feeling lucky.

Anyway, enjoy the beauty of this photo. Or not. <grin>

I chose these threads to quilt my quilt top.

For quilting, I started with the Bear's Paw blocks. I made a simple loop in the center of the large square, with two half loops on either side. Then I did a half loop on each side of the "claw" part of the HSTs.

I quilted the sashing with a simple curvy line with swirls at both ends. The green center square was quilted with half loops on each side.

For the sashing between the blocks, I quilted a curvy line with curlicues at each end. In the green square in the center of the quilt, I quilted curves along each edge.

I repeated the quilting pattern used in the large Bear's Paw blocks for the mini Bear's Paw blocks in the corners of the quilt. For the borders between these blocks, I quilted a long ribbon down the center of the border with random curls along it's length.

I did something interesting for the Log Cabin blocks. On the blue half, I quilted a series of angled lines from corner to corner of the logs. On the gold side, I quilted a curly version of "feathers".

Here are the quilt details:

"Bear Cabin"
30" x 30"
Fabrics: Island Batik Dear William collection
Pattern: Original Design
Batting: Hobb's Heirloom Premium 80/20 Cotton Poly Batting
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. #2326 Sand
Quilting Thread:  Aurifil 50 wt. #2785 (Very Dark Navy) and #2132 (Tarnished Gold), Aurifil 40 wt.#2885 (Medium Spruce), Aurifil 12 wt. #4030 (Plum), and Guttermann #6340 (Light Navy)
Pieced and quilted by Jennifer Fulton

Please visit Bea, Sandra, and Geraldine who are also featuring the Dear William collection today. You'll find a link to their blogs and to the other Ambassadors participating in the blog hop at the bottom of this post.

Enter My Giveaway!

To celebrate the Island Batik Great Outdoors Blog Hop, I'm having a giveaway! Complete the Rafflecopter below after leaving a comment to enter to win a lovely charm pack from the Dear William collection by Island Batik (US residents only). You can earn an extra chance to win by visiting my Inquiring Quilter Facebook page. If you like what you see, please Like my page and Follow Me.

The giveaway is open through the blog hop, and closes on September 4th at midnight EST. I'll announce a winner on September 5th.

For International residents, the prize will be one free PDF pattern from my shop. I'm sorry I can't afford the cost of shipping overseas, but I wanted everyone to have a chance to win something. Just leave a comment and complete the Rafflecopter below to enter. You too can earn an extra chance to win a pattern by visiting my Facebook page.

Congratulations Judy Biggerstaff! You won! Send me your postal address and your charms will be on their way.

Enter the Island Batik Giveaway!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter the Island Batik giveaway! Up for grabs is a Jungle Cruise 2-1/2" strip pack.

Continue the Hop to Enter More Giveaways!

The blog hop continues through September 4th. Be sure to visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors each day and see even more beautiful Island Batik fabric collections! There are additional giveaways, free patterns, and tutorials so be sure to visit each stop on the hop.

Follow me on social media to keep up with the blog hop and other happenings! You'll find the ways to follow at the top of my sidebar.


Monday, August 6 - All A Flutter - Sharon @ Yellow Cat Quilt Designs and Michelle @ Creative Blonde

Tuesday, August 7 - Birds N’ Bees - Anna @ Ark Angel Creations and Jen @ Patterns by Jen

Wednesday, August 8 - Canterbury Manor - Sally @ Sally Manke and Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

Thursday, August 9 - Eclectic Garden - Jessica @ Desert Bloom Quilting and Karen @ Sew Karen-ly Created

Friday, August 10 - Vintage Morris - Joan @ Moosestash Quilting and Leanne @ Devoted Quilter


Monday, August 13 - Safari - Amy @ Sew Incredibly Crazy and Anne @ Sweetgrass Designs

Tuesday, August 14 - Spring Blossoms - Maryellen @ Mary Mack Made Mine and Jackie @ If These Threads Could Talk

Wednesday, August 15 - Victoria and Albert - Barbara @ Bejewled Quilts by Barb and Dione @ Clever Chameleon

Thursday, August 16 - Wild Things - Connie @ Freemotion by the River and Connie @ Kauffman Designs

Friday, August 17 - Petting Zoo - Turid @ Den Syende Himmel and Sarah @ Sarah Goer Quilts


Monday, August 20 - Ocean Odyssey - Toby @ Gateway Quilts & Stuff and Karen @ The Quilt Rambler

Tuesday, August 21 - British Rose - Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts and Mania @ Mania for Quilts

Wednesday, August 22 - Dear William - Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter (that's me!), Sandra @ MMM Quilts, and Geraldine @ Living Water Quilter

Thursday, August 23 - Dragonfly Dreams - Jeanette @ Inchworm Fabrics and Bea @ Be A Quilter

Friday, August 24 - Fur-ocious Friends - Tina @ Quilting Affection Designs and Jennifer @ Dizzy Quilter


Monday, August 27 - Globetrotter - Pamela @ PamelaQuilts and Jennifer @ Curlicue Creations

Tuesday, August 28 - Jungle Cruise - Vicki @ Vicki's Crafts and Quilting and Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts

Wednesday, August 29 - Lavendula - Carole @ Carol Lyles Shaw and Nancy @ Masterpiece Quilting

Thursday, August 30 - London Calling - Anita @ Quilt in a Not-Shell and Terri @ Lizard Creek Quilts

Friday, August 31 - Spirit Rhythm - Steph @ Steph Jacobson and Janet @ Whispers of Yore


Monday, September 3 - Sweet Tweets - Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing and Suzy @ Adventurous Applique and Quilting

Tuesday, September 4 - Whatnot - Joyce @ heARTs Creations and Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts


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

Other Happenings This Week

I've been busy I must say. Yesterday, I released my block pattern for the Fall into a Quilt Along. The pattern is free for a limited time. Make the block to enter our giveaway! Click here for details.


Tomorrow I'll be hosting a special Wednesday Wait Loss link up. (Yeah I know, it's on Thursday this week.) Drop by and share State Fair quilts (or quilts with animals, food, games, or anything else related to a state fair) for a chance to win that giveaway!

Yep, it's giveaway week here on my blog! <grin>

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Tell me...what's your favorite memory of the great outdoors?

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I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

thanks everyone! be sure to leave an email address if you want to enter the giveaway!

Island Batik Ambassador Box #2 Opening

As an Island Batik Ambassador, I receive a new shipment of the latest batiks twice a year so I can use them in our monthly challenges. This week, I knew a box was on its way and I was on pins and needles waiting for it to arrive.

Finally it came!

The Ambassadors are encouraged to create a video showing us opening the box. I'm not very good at making videos, but thankfully I have my daughter to help me!

Here's a link the post I wrote about the first box of batiks I got back in February. Want to know what I got this time? Watch the video and see!

Okay, maybe I'm not so lucky. It appears that my daughter, besides adding music, also likes to also add little comic touches. <grin> Ha!

Anyway, now that you've seen my video let's take a look at the box's contents in more detail.

One of the first things I noticed was the Surprise bundle. This bundle contains batiks that will be released at Fall Market, so I can't share them with you right now. The Ambassadors will be having a blog hop to feature these batiks in January, when they become available in quilt stores so be sure to watch for that.

The next thing I noticed was a bag from Aurifil, an Island Batik Ambassador partner. Aurifil generously sends along some of its quilting and piecing threads for inclusion in our boxes, and this time was no exception. Inside my box I found a lovely spool of light olive 40 wt. thread, and a sampler set of green thread spools in various weights: 12 wt, 28 wt, 40 wt, 50 wt, 80 wt, 12 wt wool,and cotton AuriFloss. I can't wait to try them all. Aurifil also included some information about their threads that I can share with you when I do.

One of the collections included in the box was Lavendula. I got a set of 2-1/2" strips and two coordinating fabrics. As soon as I saw Lavendula's lovely purples and teals, I knew I needed to use it right away in this month's Pattern Play challenge. Stay tuned!

Island Batik also included two 10" Stacks from two different collections. One set was from the Paisley Dot Brights collection. Gosh I love these beautiful dotted fabrics! I can't wait to figure out a special way to use them.

The other 10" Stack was from the the Sweet William collection. Sweet William was the Surprise package in my last box of batiks, and it debuted at Spring Market. I used Sweet William in last month's Modern challenge, and will use it again in the Ambassador's Great Outdoors Blog Hop in August so I'm super happy to get more of it in this shipment.

Don't you just love those gorgeous red-purples, golden yellows, and beautiful deep greens? Yum!

As usual, my box included a bundle of coordinates from the Island Batik's Basics, Blenders, and Neutrals collections. They included a few brights, some lovely greens and blues, and a deep purple that I know will go well with the collections they sent.

Island Batik also included several fabrics from its Check It Out collection. I simply love these checks! I've already created a few designs that use them and can't wait to share them with you. These checked batiks are remarkably versatile and add just the right touch of brilliance to a design.

Also included in the box was five yards of a gorgeous creamy batik called Custard from Island Batik's Neutral collection. I've really been needing more background fabrics for my designs so I'm really excited about this one. And it's so lovely! The perfect cream.

I was also excited to receive a bundle that included solid white, black, and gray batiks from the Basics collection. I can really see these in a crisp, modern design, mixed with the gorgeous clear colors of the other Island Batiks I've received. Perfection!

I have to admit that I was pretty excited to see that another Island Batik Ambassador partner, Hobbs, had not been forgotten. Hobbs sent several quilt batts for us to use in our monthly challenges, including Hobbs Natural 100% Cotton batting from their Heirloom collection in Queen size, and two Throw-sized wool batts from their Tuscany collection.

Well, I'm off to finish the July Pattern Play challenge, using some of my new batiks. I love these challenges, and I love working with Island Batik!

Be sure to come back next week for a chance to win some batiks by linking up your red, white and blue quilts to my special Wednesday Wait Loss. Your quilt can be a work in progress or a finished quilt, but it must have red, white and blue in it in order to receive an extra chance to win. You can link up other projects too, but red, white, and blue quilts get two chances to win some Island Batiks!

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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?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!