Monday, February 5, 2018

Formally retiring as an Island Batik Ambassador

This is a bittersweet time for me....I chose not to apply for a 4th year as an Island Batik Ambassador. There are lots of reasons, but mostly because I wanted to use the time in a different way than on monthly challenges. I love working with the fabric, but my goals right now are shifting and so must my daily activities.

Here is a recap on the designs I've made, strictly as an Ambassador. Note, I have been creating designs for their market catalog as a Designer as well but those are not included here. Those are all available as patterns in my shop physically or the new website. Some became patterns, so it is noted accordingly.

But I have to say, my first 'of note' exposure to Island Batik fabrics was in the Rose of Sharon Block contest that was launched in 2009. I entered lots of designs, and one was selected to be in the book and another in the DVD. I desperately wished that Fatquarter packs of the featured collection in the contest would be available for purchase so that we could make the designs with exactly that fabric. But, I wasn't able to find them. Some time went by and a client used one of the fabrics as their backing and I was blessed to be able to keep the scraps before returning the quilt via mail. At some point I blew up my DVD selected design and made this block and in 2012/3 finished it with borders, quilting and binding it.

I used the leftover backing from my client as the backing for my creation!

Later when the Russian's hosted the Winter Olympics with the beautiful folk art designs, the Quilted-in-Honor campaign was on as well and I wanted to use Bella Nonna Design Studio's Boondoggle Rulers in some new designs. It worked perfectly for the olympic folk art designs (using Kaffe Fassett fabrics) and playing with QIH concepts was great as well.

I later saw Pepper Cory write about the olympic designs using a standard diamond, so many ways to do the same idea. Here were my initial concepts.


Bella Nonna Design studio Boondoggle Rulers are stocked in my shop and the QIH style designs are now available as a pattern as bonus designs in my Dangling Diamonds pattern. Once you have the rulers you can do so many different things. Kits for these designs are also available. Some I have made in conjunction with others and gifted them as Quilts of Valor.

Those relationships would prove to benefit me down the road and later gave me introductions and opportunities in 2014.

Year 1

My first blog hop w/christmas fabrics, but the theme was Country, seasonal attachments were made by several friends and myself so it can be changed out each month. Called this Christmas Haystack.

A joint project with other IBAs....these were my two blocks:

resulted in this beauty hanging at market and given to Kathy Engle!

Loved these fabrics and other stash builders sent that year that I came up with this runner of Chapter 8 curve blocks in my co-authored book. I've called it Flight Line.

Several other items got started and finished the next year.

Winter blog Hop -- now Geese on the Run pattern available

Feb blog hop - adapted from EQ Heidi Kory - Heartfelt Holiday

Sea Salt Sandy - Circle of Geese design enlarged from my co-authored book and bordered to make a pillow with overlapped back and quick binding to finish.

Wendy Shepard blog hop in March - Winter Wonderland
Year 2

A mini of leftovers from Geese on the Run piecing made this fun labyrinth.

March Mini -- only got it pieced at the time, but later finished it into a clock

other projects made with those beautiful French Roasted and coordinating colors.

Concepts using AccuQuilt cutter awaiting their final construction.

Joint project with other IBAs for a special new member of the IB family --

Baby Graham

September - Bountiful Table Toppers - Sunrise on Lake Roosevelt

Snow Drift

Abacus - made for our local Chamber of Commerce Auction

PoorhouseDesigns centerpiece using fusible foam shapes--have on the bolt if you need some!

Free Flight (w/Linda Roberts) -- a version of Geese on the Run - pattern available

Pumpkin Patch --which became Fall Festival featuring Pumpkin Patch fabric collection in 2017
- pattern available

Using Wendy Sheppard's book cover quilt pattern, made this to feature the entire collection in the big blog hop finale

Year 3

Galentine's Day -

Applique Adventure -- the heart alone got done for Valentine's Day, but I later finished it like this.

Applique Adventure - blowing up a shape from my co-authored book - You Can Quilt! -- and scaling them on the golden ratio.

Request to assist for market: result this dog mat featuring Fresh Pickin's collection.

Paper or English Piecing - block design in my co-authored book, repeated it several times and some partial blocks and then I had some fun quilting it.

Modern Challenge - feauturing Glowing Embers

Oh Baby! Challenge --Legend of Lake Roosevelt -- featuring "Lake Life"

Oh Baby! Challenge--feauturing "Seas the Day" and my "Zoe" pattern, calling this one "Baby Bubbles" ---this quilt was recently sold.

Quilt as you go ....but I am just domestic machine challenged, so used fusible foam and did this giant large block on my long-arm!

Inspiration from my trip to South/Central America this year.

Scrappy Table Topper using blocks from You Can Quilt! Building Skills for the Beginner - my co-authored book -- book available

City Shadows - featuring City Culture 2 - pattern available

City Windows featuring Autumn's Grace - pattern available.

Other stuff

This row pattern brought to me by my mom was great to use some of my stash building rolls. Once completed, I sent it off to the Quilt of Valor Stars FB group for incorporation into a Quilt of Valor.

Sometimes I felt hurried to get a challenge done and in this case, I made a second copy of similar colors so that later I can quilt it the way I really want to quilt it.

Anchored to the Cross - featuring Seas the Day fabrics - Wallhanging and oversized mugrug--will likely be used to place a Bible on. Made in memory of a great man who told his son, stay anchored to the cross.

Sometimes commission work begs for just the right fabrics out of my IB bin....and this one was it for sure. Paired with antique embroidered tea towels to be a wall hanging in a home on Orcas Island.

I wish you a merry QAL - several IBAs and designers conspired to create this QAL and I loved using my Island Batik remains to create something fun and whimsical.  I'm calling it Stars of the Season.

Bonnie Hunter 2017 Mystery - On Ringo Lake -- table or bed runner size

I'm doing the #365blockchallenge2018 --here is January! These are 3 1/2" finished squares. So, my days of utilizing the fabrics from IB will not stop this year. I'll try to post monthly updates.

 Linking up at

So, there you go! Thank you Island Batik for trusting me with your fabrics, I hope you have been served by my sharing of ideas and projects using them. I look forward to continuing to use them as I develop more designs on a semi-annual basis.



  1. Wow- the projects do add up don't they! Best wishes for the coming year

  2. wow. I wish you the best in the coming year as you journey a different way. you have been a lot of inspiration and I know there will be more. thank you.
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

  3. Beautiful projects and quilt Marelene, best of luck in the future!

  4. You have such wonderful creations. Can’t wait to see what you do with the extra time!

  5. so sad to see you go Marlene!! you do such great work, your long arm quilting is inspiring!

  6. How lovely to look back at all your quilts! You'll do well with your new path but I'll miss you.

  7. I have missed you these past years but I see they've been good to you. How fun to look back on the challenges. Thanks for sharing on the 300th Wednesday Wait Loss.