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See Nancy’s first blog about her Round Robin experience here.
Would I do one of these again? Yes, but I would always want more time. I loved that these were small quilts too; it made it a little less intimidating. I did learn quite a bit seeing the techniques used by others. It was fun!
Round 1: Nancy
She says: I’ve gone through my stash and selected a scrappy palette of neutrals, grey, gold and teal. I want to do something improvisational with a folk art twist. I sketch out my flower block and get started. I made the flower petals from the scrappy strips randomly sewn together in two color palettes. The background for the flowers is a tone-on-tone cream.
She says: Nancy appliquéd amazing flowers onto her quilt center. I wanted to add interest to the center, but not distract from the multi-piece flower petals she bordered with narrow strips of assorted prints. After several false starts, I pulled only dark prints out of her round robin fabric box. I cut narrow strips (7/8” each finished) for the piano key border and small squares (1- 7/8” square finished) for the first pieced border. I like the way this dark border adds depth to the piece and quietly allows the spotlight to continue to shine on the quilt center.
Round 3: Jody
She says: I love the whimsical appeal of Nancy’s pieced flowers. I wanted them to be the center of attention. I drafted a 2” finished Square-in-a-Square foundation pieced block for the corners of the second border. When piecing little triangles, I find I am more accurate using foundation piecing. It does take extra time to remove the foundation paper and uses a little more fabric, but I think the extra effort and fabric waste is worth it to get sharp corners. I pieced together two shades of the same polka dot in the border pieces and carried that into the Square-in-a-Square corners.
Round 4: Elizabeth
She says: When I got Nancy’s round robin for the last round, there were several fabrics in the box that hadn’t been used since the middle portion, so I knew I wanted to use those for sure. The pale blue-green background fabric Nancy included also hadn’t been used much, so I thought of expanding the quilt center to make a large table runner. At the ends of the runner, I took a cue from the funky petals of Nancy’s flowers and strip-pieced scallop shapes, which reminded me of the tongue shapes on a penny rug.
See Elizabeth’s first blog about her Round Robin experience here.
Would I do it again? Yes, but I would make sure I had more time for each step. Although the whole thing made me nervous about what other people thought of what I added to their quilt, it was a good experience in all and made me grow as a quilter.
Round 1: Elizabeth
She says: For the design, I was inspired by a fabric that’s a cross between a stripe and curly parentheses. I thought the easiest way would be to do a bargello-style quilt. I sewed together 1-1/2″-wide strips to make a strip set then chopped it into a few different widths of segments. I played around with the placement and width of the segments.
She says: I peek into Elizabeth’s box and see the block she provided is a gorgeous bargello! I did some sketching and decided to grow this piece lengthwise. The original bargello block quit is intricate on its own. I want to provide some visual break between the original block and my additional pattern areas, so I decided to add sashing on the sides and ends. I used a scrappy selection of color on the sashing for a bit of fun. Then I created a section of the original bargello pattern about 1 -1/4 inches wide and attached the pattern perpendicular to the original block.
Round 3: Jill
She says: Elizabeth’s Bargello quilt center is stunning. I looked at her quilt block for days before I felt comfortable auditioning fabrics and ideas for adding another border. I knew I wanted to add three-dimensional pieces of some type without adding busy-ness that would detract from the intricate piecework. I tried prairie points in several colors, finally opting for the ones you see here, adding a total of seven prairie points to each end of the now very rectangular quilt top. I added an extra-wide, dark brown strip as the field for the prairie points.
Round 4: Jody
She says: I was the last one to receive Elizabeth’s center and WOW, I did not expect what I saw when I opened the box. It was very horizontal/rectangular. I struggled at first, trying to make it more square by adding wider borders to the top and bottom. Then I decided that the quilt would look terrific as a table runner. I added half Dresden Plate units to each end. I used the aqua batik as the background and the center half circle so the Dresden units would float and look like handles on a beautiful tray on a table.
In the June 2014 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting (get the digital issue here), designer Weeks Ringle of Modern Quilt Studio shares remedies for common “problem” fabrics in an article called Stash Rx: Refill One. (This is a follow-up to a popular article Weeks did last June on the same topic; if you’d like to read the original story, click here.) We met Weeks at Pennington Quilt Works in Pennington, New Jersey, where we had an assortment of beautiful fabrics to choose from.
In one of the article’s “prescriptions” (Rx For Working with a Designer Collection), Weeks showed us how to incorporate a mix-and-match stash of one designer’s fabric (in this case, prints from Kaffe Fassett) with other prints for a successful quilt. “I wanted a variety of scales and a warm, golden feel,” Weeks says. “I think that’s just what was accomplished here.” The plan was to tie it all together with an espresso-colored tone-on-tone. Once she got home, Weeks found even more stash fabrics to add to the palette. Weeks and husband/business partner, Bill Kerr, designed their Going Up quilt using the fabric assortment. Buy the pattern here.
See Jody’s first blog about her Round Robin experience here.
Would I do it again? Yes. The quilt top means the world to me because I know everyone put so much thought and workmanship into each round. It was fun to get the box each time to see what each person added. I liked that we did not have too many rules to follow. It is important to follow the deadlines established so everyone has the same amount of time to complete the next round.
Round 1: Jody
She says: The pieces for my Round Robin quilt center are 1/2″ hexagons from paper pieces. I fussy-cut a couple of the rounds. I like the look of two-color quilts, but also love super scrappy. After completing the hexagon portion, I appliqued it to a 12-1/2″ square.
Round 2: Elizabeth
She says: I have to admit I was totally intimidated by Jody’s beautiful quilt center. I’m in awe of these teeny tiny hexagons that were English paper-pieced. I tried a few different borders in Illustrator before actually doing any sewing (because I didn’t want to ruin the quilt!!). I settled on a checkerboard border whose squares were 1/2″ finished, which was the same as one edge of Jody’s hexagons. I didn’t want to overwhelm the quilt center and its beauty so I chose a muted colorway for the border.
Round 3: Nancy
She says: I wanted to add on to the lovely block, but still not overpower the original tiny hexagons. I liked the visual texture of mixing different sized patterns in the various red fabrics for the border but still needed a little something to jazz it up. I fussy-cut the fabrics for each of the corners using a larger flower pattern. There was one fat quarter with many blooms but no two alike so the corners were each different. The big flower prints in the corners repeat the reds, greens and neutrals from the first two rounds.
Round 4: Jill
She says: The adorable little hexagons on Jody’s quilt center had to continue to be the star of her quilt top. I wanted to echo the feeling of hexagons. I auditioned several attempts at the “final border” before I was finished. A few days before the due date the half-hexagon idea came to me. I made a pattern for a half-hexagon that was the same width as the squares in Nancy’s pieced border. Each of the half-hexagon is backed with a contrasting red print. Before adding the half-hexagons, I added a light print flat piping to the quilt center. This piping adds a visual stopping point between the large red print squares and the half-hexagon outer border. Bonus for Jody: the half-hexagon outer border doesn’t require binding; if she adds a backing, it’s complete.