Monday, August 17, 2009

About Round Robins

Admittedly, when you agree to participate in a Round Robin you are taking your chances. You never know what you may end up with. Some of the quilters involved with your quilt may be real "newbies," but there are some very skilled people taking part in Round Robins, too. I had heard the horror stories so I was prepared. And, I am happy to say, the first time I took part in a Round Robin I was very pleasantly surprised.

There are so many different ways to organize this kind of "swap." This time, we were to each purchase three different fabrics and put them in a box which was to be passed around for almost a year and come back to us with our quilt blocks in it. Each quilter was allowed to add one additional fabric if she wanted to, and I have to say that everyone who worked on mine did a beautiful job. It's really a great quilt.

Several years later I decided to try it again. This time I made just this center block........

.........and rows were added according to specific guidelines . I was delighted with the results. I would never have thought to do what some of these quilters did. It hangs in our guest room above a quilt made from the center block fabrics. I really do love this quilt.

So........... I decided to go ahead and try the whole Round Robin thing one more time. But this time, I kept putting off making that center block and I couldn't decide what to do, and I moaned and groaned and complained about it until the day before I had to mail it. Too late -- I threw something together so I could make the mailing deadline and I just hated that block. (I have to say, my heart still hasn't changed all that much towards that center block!) I knew that one of the rounds of this Round Robin called for appliqueing "anywhere" on the quilt, so I was confident that all of that horrible white space around my goofy looking trees would at least come back with some great applique on it. (Right??)
I would never, for anything in the world, hurt any of these gals' feelings. But, when this quilt came back, well, I just wasn't crazy about it. I really can't blame any one but myself. I mean - I didn't exactly offer up any great inspiration with that center block, did I?
This quilt has been sitting in my UFO pile for a long time. I finally decided to do something with it and boy, have I worked! I removed the hodge-podge of appliqued snowflakes. (That was fun. They were fused on and then zig-zagged around.) And then I reworked the ribbon border into a flying geese border. (Which meant taking the entire thing apart and re-sewing it.) I added the baby rick rack around the trees and houses so they would stand out better. And I added a LOT of applique and embroidery to that sad center block. Whew! It's a lot more work than I should have spent on it, but ya's not too bad! I actually like it.
I have nothing against Round Robins. Honest! They can be a lot of fun. I just have so many other quilts floating around in my head waiting to be made, that I think I will stick with one-woman quilts for a while.


  1. Ack, I just wrote this whole long thing about RR's and it disappeared. Too tired to rewrite it.

    Anyway, great save on the quilt. I lovethe Xmas lights. You really made it your own.

    I've had similar experiences with the a few bad RR's - I must be a masochist because I keep going back for more.


  2. Thanks, Michele! I saw the Christmas lights on an Alex Anderson quilt and thought it would work here.