Friday, July 06, 2012

Revisiting the Cotton Robin

Earlier this year, I participated in a Round Robin, organized by Julie.  Everyone in the group made a center and sent it, with some fabric and guidelines to Julie, who figured out which other people would add the borders (twice) and back, quilt and bind the quilts to finish them and send them home.

Exactly who made the quilts was a big mystery until the big reveal. I really felt challenged and had a blast.

Center #1This was the center I received first.  I loved everything about it ... except that–before I had read the enclosed notes– I wanted to do with it the thing the quilter explicitly said she didn't really like.

And so I decided to add three different borders and add a bit of whimsey to the design ... and some of the bright color she said she did like.  I also changed the proportions and made it a rectangle.  I wanted to leave a lot of room for whomever followed me with the second round of borders.

Below are photos of the quilt-in-progress that I sent on and the finished quilt with second borders by Julie and finished by Gwen.


The quilt went home to Laurina.  I know that everyone doesn't like words on quilts and I was taking a bit of a design risk, so it made me happy to notice that Laurina had also added words in a border for another quilt in the group.

Quilt #1 with my borders




Quilt # 2 as I received it
The second quilt-in-progress had such a great and intricate first border, I wasn't sure how to follow it. 

Andrew designed and pieced that incredible paper-pieced wonder.  As I was considering possible border designs, at times I wasn't sure if I should praise him or curse him. 

I decided that because the piece had such a formal feeling, that I would add classic, framing borders with mitered corners, letting all that work that Andrew did shine, extending his blue outer edge to emphasize all those precise points (surprisingly with a completely different fabric from my stash that was a good color match)  and leaving some space for some pretty quilting. 

Here is Andra's quilt, with borders added by Andrew and me, finished by Laurina.


The last quilt-in-progress I received was a stunning finished top. Begun by Tami, with borders added by Julie and Jay.  I had so much fun finishing it ...  and discovered a trick that I know I'll use again. 

quilt #4 - quilted and bound 
 
Quilting Detail
I wasn't sure how to quilt the polka dot circle in the center of the quilt. I liked the idea of cross-hatching but knew that if my lines weren't perfectly straight, because of those polka dots, it would be painfully obvious.

Here's what I learned: by USING those dots as a guide for my lines, I was able to sew perfectly straight and evenly spaced lines WITHOUT marking.

This was so easy and seemed so cool to me that I imagine myself using polka dot fabric with the intention of quilting it like this.

Another interesting thing about those polka dots.  The fabric in in the center is different than the polka dot fabric in the skinny border and they are both different than the polka dot fabric I chose for the backing ... but even when you are holding the quilt in your hands, you really can't tell.

And then there was my quilt.  I had this crazy idea that was somewhat squashed by two job changes and a long-distance move over the course of the robin.

The TWIN ideaBecause I had TWO sets of these fabric samples, I thought it would be interesting to make two starter blocks and make a nesting robin quilt of my own to see what would happen to my twin quilts, separated at birth.

Here are the blocks I made.

The "twins"

I knew I wanted to do stars with fussy cut diamonds cut from that crazy, not exactly striped fabric you can see at the bottom of the samples ... but I guess because it's been a while, they really didn't turn out as perfect (and flat) as I wanted.

But you honestly cannot tell in the quilt that was made from the star on the right by Laurina, Nan and Andra.  I am calling it, A Star is Born.


It's twin is still waiting to be "born."   I'll be sure to post them both when I'm done.

You can see more of my in-progress photos in my Flickr photoset, Cotton Robin and photos of all the Cotton Robin quilts on the Big Reveal post of the Cotton Robin group blog.

10 comments:

Rian said...

You might get a kick out of this:
http://rianammerman.blogspot.com/2012/07/raven.html

Debra Spincic said...

All 4 quilts turned out super but the bottom quilt definitely has personality!

lj_cox said...

I saw the bottom quilt and thought: "Oh, wow!"

How perfect is that white and black background fabric on the inner border! That just sings.

katelnorth said...

You've reminded me I haven't posted my stuff about that round robin yet - I must remember to do that! Curious to know what it is you wanted to do to the first piece which was explicitly what Laurina didn't want... (I loved that crow quilt by the way - could happily have taken that one home with me, though I am very happy with the one that did come live with me...)

Béa said...

These 4 quilts are wonderful !

Barbara C said...

All these quilts are gorgeous, and you did a great job with the bird quilt--my favorite. I love how you added the sun.

black bear cabin said...

those all turned out great...but i love your "early bird" letters :) too cute!

Quilter Kathy said...

What a great post! I really enjoyed reading about the evolution of the quilts...great fun!

Linda in Calif. said...

WOW!! This was one of the most interesting posts I've seen. So fun, so inspiring and educational! I just love all the quilts.

Laurina said...

I'm glad you put words on my cotton robin quilt. I realised after I made the center block that it contradicted a few of the preferences that I sent through to Julie to start with (like that I did not like pictorial quilts). I figured that would just make it more interesting :-)

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