Round Robin Quilt Finish


Last year I participated in my first Round Robin. It started with a small group of friends that quickly grew to 12 people. I would recommend doing a round robin with fewer participants. It would have been better doing two groups of 6 rather than one group of 12. Having said that, I LOVE my quilt! We figured out ways to make it work with more people. We adapted it by 1) having two or three people team up to do some of the borders, 2) as in my quilt, doing assymetrical borders – just doing two sides of the border at a time, or 3) having some smaller borders.

We each started with a center. I decided that I would have no control over how my quilt turned out. I decided to go with something that I thought was fun but a simple idea. As a math teacher, I went with a fun number fabric in the center and scrappy color around it.

numbers center

I requested that my quilt be black and white and color, but not rainbow. It then became a running joke that my quilt was being made with rainbow borders. I took this in stride ( I think) trusting my friends to make a quilt I would like.

It took us a little over a year to complete the quilts. They have been finished for a few months now. In the back of my head, I have been thinking about how to quilt my quilt. Nothing seemed right, but I wasn’t thinking too hard. I love how I could think about this without really thinking about it. One day I was working on another project and saw a group of numbers together. It instantly struck me as how I needed to quilt this round robin quilt.

That was the bee in my bonnet. I digitized the numbers and quilted it the next day.

numbers close

I felt like I had to hand bind it because several of us are entering our round robin quilts in the Home Machine Quilting Show (HMQS) in May. Unfortunately, hand binding takes me forever! After two evenings working on it, I had it done.

numbers back

It was fun to quilt and bind it and look at my quilt again. Each border has fabulous details in it. The best thing about this quilt is that it is better than anything I would have made if I had set out to make a medallion quilt from my center. Each person who worked on the quilt thinks differently than I do. All of them stayed true to the quilt and interpreted the theme in their own way. numbers full

The other best part about the quilt is that it is full of personality. There is so much of it that I appreciate that will mean nothing to others. For example, two of the skinny borders are embroidered with bicycles because my friend knows like I like riding bikes. Another friend added a fabric with small orange bikes in it, bikes for me, orange for her. SO FUN!

My quilt “By the Numbers” is done. If you want to participate in a round robin, I think the most important thing is to do it with a group of friends whose quilting you trust. Medallions are tricky to keep flat. Beginners will need help learning how to put on borders correctly.

If you aren’t ready for a round robin, then a block exchange or even a fabric exchange is another way to go. They are all fun ways to create quilts that celebrate friendship. Give it a try!