Saturday, February 19, 2011
The First Round Robin
I have had the pleasure and joy of working with a group of friends in making round robin quilts for each other since 1999. When we first started we were a group of six; three members lived in Melbourne, Australia and three lived in the Waikato region of New Zealand. This was where we lived at that time although several of us were not living in our country of birth.
We have worked continuously since then and although our group has had some changes in members three original members have been in all the robins. Each round robin project takes us two years and we get together at the National Quilt Symposium in New Zealand to show and tell and exchange our finished robins and to start on the next one.
This is what I received at the end of round robin 1. I decided to call my quilt "Trans Tasman Flyer" as it made quite a few trips across the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand while it was under construction.
For this robin we each made our own center and then it left our hands along with, as I recall, two fabrics that we had used in the center so succeeding robins could have some continuity of fabrics. By Robin handover time the quilt went as far as the flying geese border. My sister took it home with her and added the final framing round, which made a huge difference, and then, as a special Christmas gift to me, she had the top quilted, then she bound it and gave it to me.
Round robin number one was made in the traditional method of creating a center and then adding borders.
I found out after the robin that everyone was quite nervous about this one as they knew that I was not really a blue person. But that is one of the benefits of doing these robins. You never know what you are going to end up with and it will very likely be something you had not imagined but it will be a very special quilt. As is this one.
Making round robin quilts forces you out of your own comfort zone; it may make you work with colors you don't usually or challenge you in methods you would really rather avoid. But in the end you have grown as a quilter. The best approach is to do to the quilt what you hope someone is doing to yours and that is putting in their best workmanship .
And, as usual, please understand that my quilting skills are better than my photography skills. The quilt is a perfect rectangle without the bows and waves that appear in the photo I have posted.