I come from a long line of sign writers and am happiest with a brush and some paint! Add
paint to fabric and I get really excited!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Most quilters are familiar with the term “Round Robin” and many quilt guilds make this project part of their yearly program. Over the years I have both organized and participated in many Round Robins with a variety of quilters with different skill levels. The key to the success of this challenge is to make sure there are compatible skill levels with each group created.

After one rather disheartening project, I decided to make sure I invited quilters whose skills I admired to be part of my group. We became what we jokingly referred to as a “control group”. But, making sure the work that was included on your piece and the piece of every member of your group was of a similar quality and caliber makes for a much more well received final result.

Like everything else in life, there is etiquette involved. Respect for the piece and the person who will own the final product is first and foremost. That means respecting the piece’s theme, color choices and quality of materials. It means keeping to the established schedule and putting in the same amount of effort and time that you would expect be used and spent on your piece. It means keeping the materials safe and well cared for. 

My control group quilts have been exceptional! One of them takes up seasonal residency on my wall and I always smile when I see it. For me it is a daily reminder of the possibility of creativity! I appliqued my section, shared my theme, added some small bits of fabric to set the tone for fabric expectations and sent it off to be built.
The top panel is mine and the theme I chose was “Babes at the Beach”. The sections are added as the owner choses  - they do not have to be added in the order made.

This is how Round Robins work. You chose a size and theme, create the first piece, indicate colors or fabrics you would prefer included and send it off to the next person in your group. This person creates another section using your guidelines, adds it to the package and sends it to the next person, or round. Once everyone finishes their contributions, it goes back to the original owner and she sees it for the first time since she sent it on its way. The owner then takes the pieces and creates her original art quilt. The final unveiling of all the art quilts is usually a grand time as we finally see the pieces together for the first time and see whether our vision meshed with all the others.

Once I had received all the sections, I created this Lifeguard hut with a list of Beach Rules.
Round Robins can be many forms. I have seen quilt tops, wall hangings and table toppers. They have been created in block form or strip form or rules such as use triangles, make 4 corner pieces finished size 4 x 4 inches, or create a border have been set. I have seen and been the recipient of some amazing workmanship. There is no greater feeling than seeing your work treated with respect and knowing that your quilting friends have embraced the vision you have for your art quilt.

Along with the hut and sand on the bottom, I added the side panel with a sun and 3 dimensional kites.


  1. Such a fun piece :) Love the beach hut :)

  2. I really like my 3D kites, too. I used tooth picks for the cross pieces!