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Create For A Cause: Donating A Quilt To Raise Awareness For Organ Transplantation And Kidney Health

Updated: Feb 21, 2021


This month, Island Batik Ambassadors had the opportunity to create a quilt for a cause. I chose to make a quilt to be donated to the National Kidney Foundation Of Hawaii. I chose this organization because it focuses on kidney health and awareness of kidney disease. This is a very near and dear cause that has touched my heart within my own personal journey in life. Nineteen years ago, I had become ill with kidney disease. I have a filtering problem with my kidneys called IGA Nephropathy. I became aware of its affect on my life as I had gotten sicker, needing dialysis and ultimately a kidney transplant. I was only thirty at the time and really had no idea how this would change my life.

I have since received a kidney transplant and have been healthy for almost nineteen years. My sister donated one of her kidneys to me. Without her life saving gift, I would not have the life I have today.

Making a quilt is only a small gesture of gratitude to say thank you to those who have been so kind in my life. The National Kidney Foundation Of Hawaii had been an integral part of my life when I moved to Hawaii. They supported me with health resources, kindness and friendship. I volunteered at their organization so that I could share the importance of kidney health, organ transplantation and early detection of kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation's mission is to provide education and awareness about the affects of kidney disease. They conduct early detection kidney disease and health testing, provide resources for preventative care and offer support for organ and kidney transplant support.

I write about this today because organ transplantation saves lives and gives those that are sick and needing an organ a second chance. There are so many ways someone can help. Volunteering your time at an event to help conduct testing, spread awareness and share in preventative measures to remain healthy. Choosing to be an organ donor is as easy as going to your DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) and asking to be registered as a donor. That tiny heart on someone's driver's license may one day be difference is saving a life. Simply sharing the importance of organ transplantation can save a life. It saved mine.


I was lucky enough to receive the fabric line Vincent's Garden. It was designed by Kathy Engle for the Quilt Ramble. This line features beautiful oranges, yellows, greens and blues. Vincent Van Gogh made paintings of butterflies and flowers and these fabrics were inspired by this time period of paintings in his life

I had an opportunity to visit Vincent Van Gogh's Alive exhibit in January which gave me the idea for my quilt. I wanted the quilt to have a sketch like and water color appearance. I was moved by his painting of butterflies and poppies. I had already wanted to make a quilt with butterflies because they represent transformation and are the symbol for Donate Life . The butterfly is a symbol for a new life change and the poppies are particularly important for remembrance. They were a symbol used to remember WWII war veteran's and to remember those that are no longer with us.



I used raw edge appliqué, appliqué with satin stitched edges, thread painting and piecing methods in this quilt. I pieced the background using various shades of blue.

The butterflies and flowers were cut out and a tearaway stabilizer was used while thread painting over the fabric to give each piece dimension and detail. Using embroidery stabilizer in a hoop provides stability while free motion embroidering. 50 weight Aurifil thread was used for the top and in the bobbin, I used embroidery bobbin thread. Schmetz Microtex needles worked perfectly for this project as they are sharp and pierce through the tightly woven batiks well.

Each flower and butterfly were sewn separately and applied on the background and then sewn on again with more detail. When doing free motion embroidery, the detail work can pucker the fabric so it is best to make each element separately before placing it on the quilt.

I used Hobb's 80/20 black batting in the quilt and I free motion quilted it using my free motion foot and BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) .

All fabric, batting, thread and needles were given to me by: Island Batik, Hobb's Batting, Schmetz Needles and Aurifil



It is your chance to win! Write a comment about an organization that you like to volunteer for or donate to and be entered to win. The winner will be randomly chosen and will be notified via email Sunday, February 21st.

maddemarco is the winner! We sent you an email. Thanks everyone for participating in the giveaway.


It was such a pleasure to make this quilt and a humbling experience to share my story. I am excited to be donating this quilt to a wonderful organization that improves the lives of people in so many ways.

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Brianna Roberts
Brianna Roberts
Feb 22, 2021

maddemarco is the winner of the giveaway. We sent an email to the winner and appreciate everyone's comments. Thanks everyone for participating. We will have more giveaways in the future. I enjoyed reading all of your comments and all of the beautiful ways that everyone has helped others.


I volunteer at thrift store that gives their profits to local homeless organization who gives food, and helps with basic needs to the local homeless population. I also donate quilts to my local quilting guild for Veterans. Thank you for sharing your story Brianna. I had no idea of your journey with renal transplant. You are so incredible and strong! You are doing an awesome job of being an Islands Batik ambassador. Keep up the outstanding content! You are amazing!!!😀


After I finish each quilt -i use the scraps to make a changing pad, quilt it and send it to a Monican charity who gathers layettes for unprepared birth moms in the hospitals.


I have volunteered for ten years to assist seniors with Medicare D plans. This last year, due to covid, we were unable to serve. I love the smiles of senior citizens when they realize our session together saves them money on their prescriptions! I always encourage them to go out for a romantic dinner on their savings!


Your story is a beautiful as your quilt!

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