There’s a new display in the Handi Quilter Gallery. On the second floor at HQ HQ (Handi Quilter Headquarters) there is a gallery outside of the education studio. It features fabulous quilt displays that change throughout the year. Right now, we have a wonderful display of special group quilts, Round Robin quilts to be exact. And not just any Round Robins, but those created by our Quilt Your Desire Inspiration Squad members. As a way for them to stay connected and have a memento of their time at Handi Quilter, they participated in a Round Robin. You may have seen some of these folks in magazines or on social media.
The idea and project originated with Diana Evans. She wanted to have a “piece” of her fellow QYD squad members.
Round Robin Quilts
Round Robin quilts are medallion-style quilts pieced from the center out. Typically, the “owner” makes the center block. Then it is passed around to each person, one-by-one, who adds a border of their choosing and then passes it along to the next person. The owner does not see their quilt as it is in progress until the big reveal.
Successful group quilts are often more than the sum of their parts and this is evident in the quilts we have in the gallery. Each one is so different and spectacular. You can see the thoughtfulness and intention that went into each round.
Let’s take a look at the quilts. We’ll start with Diana’s, since she was the instigator.
Using scraps of a floral print for her center block, Diana was surprised, delighted and inspired by her finished quilt. She was completely taken aback by the use of the leopard print. It was unexpected and yet, she felt, the perfect direction.
Angie used a piece of fabric that reminded her of her first glimpse of sun during her trip to Salt Lake City. She says her fellow squad members created the perfect quilt for her.
Here is the label that was sent to all the participants and signed by each person who added to the quilt. Each of the quilts has a label just like this one.
Round Robin Gains
Not only do you get a completed quilt top that is a treasured memento of your friends, you also get inspired. And you get a chance to stretch your skills. You work with colors outside of your comfort zone. Plus the satisfaction of knowing you put your best effort into your fellow robineer’s quilt. It’s a total win, win, win, win, win!
Give it a try!
Gather some of you best quilter friends and challenge yourselves. Be sure to have clear guidelines before you start. Diana gave her group very clear instructions and the results are fantastic. The rules included a timeline. So the participants knew when each round should be completed and sent along to the next person. She said, “the timeline quickly got trashed”. Diana also sent each participant a little journal, a fine-line black sharpie, and the printed label. The journal was such a genius idea! The owner explained the significance of the center. Then, that was used as inspiration for the subsequent rounds. And each round maker added stories of how they came up with the idea, or the fabric, or the challenges they experienced and how they overcame them. Love it! Every quilt tells a story and these journals are a record of the interesting story of these fun quilts.
If you have any hints on how to make projects like this work better, please let us know in the comments.
Thank you Quilt Your Desire Inspiration Squad for sharing your precious quilts! Not all of the Round Robin participants have quilted their quilts yet, but we know they will! We are looking forward to seeing more of these fabulous quilts.
by Mary Beth Krapil