See Jill’s first blog about her Round Robin experience here.
Would I do it again? Yes…with a bit more time between projects. With the holidays and travels during the round robin weeks, it was a scramble at times to meet the deadlines. It was delightful to see each quilt center and what the others had added. It was challenging to add to the center and other borders while complementing the original design yet not distracting from the original intent. I liked using a different technique on each border. I’m thrilled with my piece and treasure what each of my co-workers added to the center.
Round 1: Jill
She says: I’ve always been fascinated by spools of thread: luscious colors, interesting textures. The spools I’ve stitched for the center of the little quilt top show off a lively stripe that I’ve always liked. I used this stripe in a big quilt and have always wanted to add it to a smaller one. I like the way this uneven stripe works for the thread…each spool looks a little bit different. I’m not one for symmetry and I’m kind of a minimalist, so it will be fun to see what each other quilter adds to the center.
Round 2: Jody
She says: I drafted two Flying Geese foundation pieced patterns; 2×8″ for the sides and 2×12″ for the top and bottom borders. Jill provided a box of full of dots and solids in bright, cheery colors. I decided to use a white background and six dot fabrics in green, purple, and aqua for the “geese”. I repeated the same six fabrics in the same order around the first border. After removing the foundation paper, I stay-stitched a seam 1/8″ around the exterior to add stablization for the next border.
Round 3: Elizabeth
She says: When I got Jill’s quilt center from Jody, I knew I wanted to incorporate more assymmetry in my round. I decided to bring the colors of the quilt center out again and make border corners that somehow incorporated more of the colors in the “thread” on the spools. I also decided to move the quilt center and make larger assymetrical borders on the bottom and left.To keep with the funky feeling of the black-and-white stripe, I decided to use improvisational piecing to make a curvy strip set. Then I cut the border corners from this. This was a very fun round to do!
Round 4: Nancy
She says: Jill’s quilt is so much fun! I love the way she incorporated the striped fabric as thread on the spools. The borders added by my team added more structure and a bit of the off centered whimsy I love. I wanted to pull the sewing spool theme back into the last round. I experimented by laying the quilt top out with various tries for the border. I went with an asymmetrical three-sided addition to the border and added a small spool to the bottom right. I thought the extra spool was like having one spool out of you sewing kit.
Once a month, we highlight blogs our staff is reading right now!
A self-described fabric-aholic, designer and author Lee Heinrich regularly updates her blog with gorgeous pictures of her works in progress. Her fresh style is not only fun to look at, but also completely inspiring! She gives great tutorials, free patterns, and has quilt alongs we’re dying to try!
Crazy Mom Quilts
Amanda Nyberg, one of the authors of Sunday Morning Quilts, makes us look like slackers! As her blog title suggests, she’s a busy mom, but also an amazing quilter! Her quilts are modern, fun, and colorful. She has such unique designs and easy-to-follow tutorials. And the best part is, if you fall in love with one of her quilts, she sells them on her blog.
Red Pepper Quilts
Rita Hodge is an Australia designer and her blog is pure eye candy. From beautiful photography to fun designs to quilts we wish we had in our homes, her blog is page after page of happiness. Plus, she always has great giveaways and some helpful tips.
So I broke our few rules right from the get-go when I realized how hard it was to limit myself to only 20 fat quarters. I LOVE scrappy quilts, so this was probably the toughest part of the first round of the Round Robin. People who know my quilting style (and the colors I love to wear as well) will be completely unsurprised to read that I picked a brown, teal/turquoise, and green palette for my Round Robin. It’s my go-to color combo (even though I actually have nothing in my home that matches this!). For the design, I was inspired by a fabric that’s a cross between a stripe and curly parentheses.
I knew I wanted to make something that looked like this, and I thought the easiest way would be to do a bargello-style quilt. (I’m always in love with Mabeth Oxenreider’s bargello quilts, so she inspired this quilt, too!) See a slideshow of Mabeth’s bargello quilts here.
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.
But eventually I came back to an arrangement that would most mimic the inspiration fabric.
I made the piece too wide and I didn’t want to lose any of my fabrics, so I broke another rule, this one about having a 12″-square quilt center. I reasoned that the width could be greater than 12″ if the height was less than 12″ (turns out other Round Robin participants had this same thinking!).
Finally, I packed my too-many fat quarters and my too-wide quilt center in a super-fancy shoe box and gave it to Nancy (three days past the due date). I’m SUCH a rule-follower!
This is my first Round Robin! I am so inspired by the idea of creating these shared projects with my team. This will be so much fun!
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.
I debated the flower centers, they could add more dimension with yo-yo centers. I went with a simple button for now.
This could develop in a strip as a table runner or be a fun pillow top. I’m passing my flower block on to Jill with my stash of fabrics and some embroidery thread. I think it would be fun to add some embroidery stitches for texture. I can’t wait to see what this turns into!
I’m blaming it on too many Christmas cookies, or maybe it was the egg nog, or the chocolate rum cake. Whatever the cause, it wasn’t my fault! I lost my way. That said, it took me two blocks to remember what it was I was supposed to be doing here. It was a low-contrast exercise, right? I get that it’s self-imposed, but I think I have a problem…a contrast problem. I’m addicted to contrast! Unbeknownst to me (until now), it’s a hard habit to break.
Left to my own devices and with little memory, apparently, I dove into my project and made these two beautiful blocks.
I was on a roll and feeling good about my progress, until I pinned them up on the wall next to my other blocks.
Yikes! What is that I see? Contrast!!! It’s oozing out all over the place. What was I thinking? The first four blocks I made are starkly different from the last three…what should I do? Well, here’s what I did.
- Had a good laugh. Seriously, I learned something about myself as a quilter. Old habits are hard to break. After years of looking for contrast in quilts, both personally (I like it) and professionally (because it is easier to see in photographs)—when relaxed and quilting, contrast is my natural go-to. To make myself get outside the contrast box, so to speak, I need to buckle down and really pay attention and remember what I’m trying to do.
- Thought about how to get back to form—or whether I should. You’ll have to wait until the next post to see what comes next.
Moving on, I do want to share one tip I have for working with more loosely woven fabrics like the ones I’ve chosen. It’s a tip that Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings shared with me a few years ago. Here’s the secret weapon:
Magic Sizing—I generously spray it on the fabrics when I press them before cutting, and use it again when I press the finished block. It really gives some stability to fabrics that might otherwise tend to ravel or curl. I’m a steam junkie, too, when it comes to pressing. So the combination of steam and sizing leaves me happy with the shape both give to my blocks.
Until next week,
P. S. I hope you’re having fun quilting along too. Please share your successes (and foibles) with the group by using the hashtag #APQquiltalong on any uploaded photos to your social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Now, check out these other Quilt Along participant’s blogs:
- Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side, amyscreativeside.com. Amy’s planning to make a guy-worthy quilt, with a scrappy mix of blue, green, and gray fabrics.
- Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, bunnyhillblog.com. A rich, vintage look in hues of beige, purple, and rusty brown is what Anne is seeking.
- Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms, camilleroskelley.typepad.com. A scrappy, cheerful assortment of Bonnie and Camille prints ups the contrast.
- Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co., lavieenrosie.typepad.com. Carrie adds a French twist, working in a scrappy three-color palette of French General fabrics.
- Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane, quiltjane.blogspot.com. Jane’s version is all about text-ure—text prints mixed with solid-color wovens.
- Kimberly Jolly of Fat Quarter Shop, fatquartershop.blogspot.com. The big blocks pop when separated by colorful sashing on Kimberly’s quilt.
- Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings, lisabongean.com. Lisa turns up the volume with black backgrounds and cream and tan print patchwork.
- Lissa Alexander, modalissa.blogspot.com. Lissa shares her experience and tips about the process of making the featured version of Tone It Down.
- Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life, www.aquiltinglife.com A fan of primary colors and American Jane prints? Sherri’s version might be just what inspires you!