Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Trouble With Round Robins

A Round Robin in the quilting world is a project that involves a group of participants, each taking turns working on each others quilt. Each participant starts with their own and then passes it on to the next person. This keeps going until everyone has worked on each others quilt and then it returns to the originator. Sometimes there are rules. Sometimes there are no rules.

I have participated in a few round robins during the past decade. So far, none of them has had a good ending. For one of them, I never got my quilt top back. Actually that happened twice. There was another one with an on-line crazy quilt group that was more of an exchange. I must have spent 3 days sewing and embellishing my ornament. The one I received in return looked like it took 2 hours.

So you ask, why do I keep jumping in. First of all, I have a very short memory. And each of these times that I agreed to partake were a few years apart. Secondly, the promise of the challenge and excitement of what I would receive in return were just irresistible.

A few years ago, I went to Ohio and took a workshop about diary painting with Susan Shie at the Quilt Surface Design Symposium. It was a great class. Susan was a great teacher and the students bonded. We decided to keep in touch and we did, via e-mail. In 2008, someone suggested that we do an altered book round robin. My ears perked up. A round robin? An altered book? What was it? It sure sounded like fun to me.

I don't know how many of us decided to participate. It was somewhere around 8 or 9. It involved buying one of those hard page books from the dollar store. Some of them are square:

And some of them are odd shaped. It's easier to work with the square ones, but the odd shapes do represent a challenge.

Everything was going pretty well. The books were moving along on a monthly basis. I would get a book and try to get it sent to the next participant on the list by the end of the month. Then, nothing. I waited and waited. Hey, does anybody know where to books are? Oh, Ellen - I won't use her last name, was sitting on a couple of them. She was the person that sent me the books. Finally, I got 2. It then took me a couple of months to finish mine and send them along.

Well, today, I am saying, do not let me participate in any more round robins. I have been trying to clean out my studio. Finish projects and commitments. At the bottom of a pile, guess what I found? An unopened manila envelope from Ellen with 2 books in it, dated June 2009! The last 2 books. I was the weak link! I am the one that they are all waiting for! Guilty!

So let me share the pages that I made for the 2 books, because I have to mail them out immediately, if not sooner.

For the odd shaped book, I used a set of alphabet rubber stamps to print on fabric, words that I associate with trees. The berries are french knots and I chose to finish the edge with rick rack.

For the 6" square book, I used the idea of a Mexican retablo. Above the arch are bugle beads and french knots. The fabric with the swirls is actually a set of doors.

And when they are opened, inside is a heart embellished with sequins.

The final step is to sand the page in the book, apply glue and place the page. Never again .....until next time.


  1. OH THAT KELLY GOT TO YOU..CLRANING OUT THE SEWING ROOM! nice effort on books...not THAT late!

  2. Oh goodie! Theyre moving again. I love your door. I like to make flaps on quilts. See my closet door (!!!!) on facebook.
    Jo Rice


Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear from you.