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.
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.
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!