Friday, July 6, 2012

Rockin' Round Robins!

On December 24, a few years back, I sat around the table at a holiday party with several quilty girlfriends. Instead of discussing the festivities, we were lamenting the growing number of UnFinished Objects (UFOs) in each of our stashes. Six of us decided to get together once a month to do something about it.

And it was fun. It's still fun. Each month someone from the group hosts. Yummy pot luck meals. Laughter. Gossip. Sometimes, we even get a little sewing done!

About 18 months ago, Wenda suggested that we do a Round Robin exchange. Everybody participated.

For the first step, each quilter prepared a quilt center of her choosing. Along with the quilt, a diary was prepared. The first entry, by the person making the quilt center, incorporated any 'rules' that she wanted followed for the rest of the project. So, as the originator and the quilt's eventual owner, if I wanted a certain type of fabric used, or a size or shape for the final project, I could state it up front. So really, the only 'rule' was to respect the 'owner's' wishes as elements were added.

The quilt and the diary went from one person to the next. As each new round was added to the quilt, another entry was made to the diary--with details of the quilt technique or inspiration used in the round. Or random thoughts.

Last weekend, at one of our monthly get-togthers, the quilt came back to it's originiator, and final home. The last time each of us saw our quilt was when the first round was passed on about 18 months ago.

Wanna see?

Here is Beth's quilt. Her center started out pretty large and featured log cabin blocks and wool applique. The center medallion included almost all of the light white center. The piano key inner border was the second addition to the quilt.

In her diary, Beth requested that we use a fall color palette as we each added our rounds. Over the last 18 months, it was fun to taunt Beth with suggestions of ghosts on bright green and fluorescent orange jack-o-lanterns that we had considered for her quilt to secure the fall theme.

This is Janine's quilt. Her center started with four blocks that included the friendship star and the first two scrappy borders. Ultimately she wanted a wall hanging for her sewing room.

Marcia started out with the nine central blocks. The center consisted of nine complex four-patch blocks, five of them were made from nine patches, the remaining four blocks were made from snowball blocks. She added a little sashing in between the blocks, then passed it on to the next round robin-er. Marcia requested that each round be inspired by Civil War era reproduction prints.

Melonie started with a center medallion made with wool applique on black. Melonie admits to being a confirmed 'topper'--she likes making quilt tops, but doesn't necessarily like the quilting process. So hers was the only quilt returned to its owner quilted, bound, and labeled.

Wenda found a true UFO in her stash to start us off. Her center made from adorable pieced kimonos was the inspiration for the rest of the project which included intricate needle work and dimensional elements.

My quilt started with a center applique block inspired by a quilt by J. Michelle Watts. The full quilt, Fiesta de Talavera, was pictured on the cover of Quilters Newsletter Magazine about 18 months ago. My Round Robin quilt started with one single block which was hand appliqued. I love it! And I can't wait to finish it up with quilting. Blue and purple tend to be my go-to colors.

To avoid another UFO addition our collective stash, with the exception of Melonie, we are now focused on quilting our Round Robins to complete them.

And, of course we're looking forward to the next opportunity for some social sewing.

Happy Stitching!



  1. Finally I get to see them all together! Thanks for sharing the story and the pictures. I was there at your first planning meeting on that December 24th. Kudos on sticking together and completing your Round Robins. They are all fabulous!

  2. BEAUTIFUL quilts! Very nice, good job everyone.