Round Robin 2011

Round Robins are a great way to play with colors we don't ordinarily choose, use our stashes creatively, hone our problem-solving skills, gain pieces of our friends' work to keep forever, and use up those orphan blocks.

Every month you will get a new project. You follow the instructions of the project you are working on, and swap it out for a different project at the next meeting.

Don't feel overwhelmed or intimidated - all skill levels are welcome. Experienced quilters are available if you want assistance, although no one has asked for help so far - it isn't difficult.

Here's how to play:

  1. Notify that you want to participate before or at the March meeting. This is a five month commitment, but you work on one project per month. Having said that, we know that things crop up. We will work with you if you need a time extension.
  2. Bring your Round Robin project to the kick off meeting, or have a friend drop it off for you. Instructions for assembling your project are outlined below.
  3. At each guild meeting, you will pass the project you just worked on to someone else. You will follow the format/instructions of the project you received, and pass it to someone else at the next meeting. All the projects rotate through the group for five months, and are returned to their owners at the end.
  4. A note about feelings. If the project you received has serious problems, please discuss them with the previous sewer, not with the quilt's owner. Explain what needs to be done to make the last contribution workable. This can be a moment for teaching and skill building. The previous sewer can rework their contribution. Removing an attached contribution without discussing it with that maker can lead to hurt feelings, so think before you launch.

Project Formats

  1. In each of the following Round Robin possibilities, the originator can pick the theme and/or color, provide just the theme fabric or all of the fabric, or all of the above. You decide how much control you want over your project through the format and amount of fabrics you supply.
  2. Formats:
    • Fill in the Block - On a muslin background, the owner marks out a grid with each square the size of the blocks they want to receive. Each person sews the requested number of blocks to fill in the squares. Complete blocks are safety-pinned to the background and passed on. The owner sews them together to complete the top.
    • Row Quilts - Each person completes a row of specified width and height and the owner assembles the rows into a final quilt.
    • Progressive - It starts out just like the Fill in the Block above. The difference is each person decides if they will make 2 blocks measuring 6" x 6", or 4 blocks measuring 3" x 3" - any size blocks, that when combined will fill the 12" x 12" square. Completed blocks are pinned on the background and passed on. The owner sews them together in the order they choose.
    • Medallion - The originator creates a center piece of any size. Each successive quilter sews on a border and passes it on the the next person. This quilt top is actually made as it changes hands and is returned to its owner completed.
  3. Create a kit for your project. Your kit must include:
    • A container big enough for your growing quilt top and supplies. It should be labeled with your name, email address and phone number.
    • Your starting work (blocks, borders, row, etc.).
    • Instructions to your quilt making friends. Do you have a finished size in mind? Color scheme? Theme? Mood? Colors that make you cringe? Do you want others use 100% cotton fabric only? Do you want all fabrics pre-washed? Tell us what you want, or let us use our own creativity.
    • Your Round Robin format stated in your instructions (refer to 2 above).
    Your kit may also contain:
    • A disposable camera to document the steps in making your unique top.
    • A journal to record the thought processes of your quilt making team and/or biographical information about them. This could include fabric swatches.
    • Extra fabric. Or you can let contributors use their own fabric also.
    • A label and permanent pen so your team can sign it.
    • Inspiration: a photo, a poem, a recipe, your favorite tea or coffee!
  4. FAQ answers:
    • The first kit exchange is at the kick off meeting in March.
    • You can always email with questions or help.
    • There will be a catch-up month for those who need it.
    • Really, anyone can do this. Beginners to experienced quilters have fun and build skills - and you get a quilt out of it.
  5. At the July meeting we will unveil the quilt tops and give them to their owners.

    Need inspiration? Take a look at the quilts created for the 2006 Round Robin.

    Click here for a printable version of these instructions.