Sunday, September 28, 2014

Round Robin - # 1 for Carol

Monthly Friday Group shares a glass of wine
At the end of 2013 the Monthly Friday Night Sewing Group that I belong to decided to try a Round Robin.  This wasn't the first group project we had attempted but it's the only one I was able to finish! 

The few times the group started a project I was very hesitant to participate.  I'd give it a try but typically I didn't finish and in some cases didn't even start. I joined the group when I first started learning to quilt. Everyone else was well established in their skills but I was just too intimidated by the prospect of falling behind or not doing a good enough job.  All of them were very encouraging but I just didn't feel confident enough in my skills to join in.  Finally, when this project was suggested I was ready to jump in. 

My First Round Robin - with a different group
To my surprise several of the gals had never done a Round Robin so there were lots of questions.  The only one I had participated in resulted in a cute cat wall hanging.  (Still unfinished!)

Anyway, after much discussion, rule making, and cheering on we started our project in January of this year.  Since I didn't want to show anyone how their quilt top was coming along I've waited until now to post about them.  There are 7 of us in the group so I'm planning to do one post for each participant. I'll show what their project looked like when I got it and at the Big Reveal.

Carol's project was the first one I got.  The block was the maple leaf pattern.  If I remember correctly Carol wanted a wall hanging with a theme of the "Outdoors".  Her block reminded me of the leaves blowing from the trees in the fall.  So I picked a 3-D pinwheel for my addition.  Here's a quick run down on how I made them.

I started with a 5" square of background and pinwheel fabrics.  The tutorial I was using called for two 5" squares but I decided to cut down the pinwheel fabric to a 4 1/2" square.  This made the 3-D pinwheel float in the background. Since this was my first time making this block I knew I'd have to keep them laid out in the right orientation or else I'd get lost.  The fabrics are right sides together and all the corners point into the center of the block.

I folded each of the pinwheel fabrics on the diagonal, again pointing into the center.  I finger pressed and pinned them.

Then starting with the lower right block, I folded one corner of the triangle of pinwheel fabric over to the center and re-pinned it.  

I worked my way around the block folding each triangle once into the center.  Now you can see the pinwheel.

I did all the folding for each pinwheel color and pinning them in place as I went along.  Then I chain pieced all the subsections before making each whole block.

I added a strip of background fabric to each of the finished blocks so it would be the right size and so I could adjust the layout to be up and down rather than all the same level.  I was trying to match the block size and have the pinwheels look like they were moving.  They looked a little small after they were finished but I like that they are 3-D.  

When I had first taken the project out of the bag I saw that Tami had done a beautiful job of adding a hand appliqued row to the top and bottom of Carols row.  This is one of the fun things about a Round Robin, you see what other people were inspired to do which in turn inspires your choices!  

Our Round Robin included a small journal for the owner to write what they wanted their finished project to be.  Then each person in turn wrote a note about what they chose to do.  After reading the instructions from Carol I knew that if I left both Tami's rows in place the finished project would be too big.  Plus, I thought that the matching rows would make a beautiful finish to the project as a whole.  I called Tami and she was gracious enough to agree to let me take off the bottom row and leave it with a note for Carol to decide to use it or not.

Here's how it looked when I finished my addition.

At our last monthly get together we celebrated the end of our first group project with a pizza party at my sister Dutchy's house.  We all enjoyed a chance to eat, relax, and chit chat but we also knew "the bags" were sitting close by just waiting for us to open.  It felt a little like Christmas morning!

So we got up one at a time and read the initial entry in our journal before pulling the finished project out of the bag for the big reveal.  The nice part about reading the journal was getting a reminder of what the person had asked from the group and seeing if the results matched.

As the last person to become a member of our little group Carol had been patiently waiting YEARS for us to do a group project.  It was the reason she joined!  Well, here's Carol's finished wall hanging with an "Outdoor" theme.  

She loved it!

Post Script:

For those of you unfamiliar with a Quilting Round Robin it's a fun way to join other quilters in creating a "surprise" quilt top for each participant.  The group comes up with a set of rules to follow.  Each person picks a starting point such as a row or center block.  Then you put your project in a bag or a box so that you can't see it at the exchange.  Each month the bag or box gets passed to the next person on the list.  As the project moves from person to person it grows in size until the end, after each person has added their own personal touch, and the original person gets their finished top back.  If you're looking for more information on how to start a round robin you can check out this post at the Quilters Club of America