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.
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.