This is the end result of many months of secrets, sewing, and fun. When Kari, Teri, Gudrun and I began working on Round Robin quilts, it was little more than an idea to have fun with friends and maybe stretch our quilting boundries a little. Who knew it would end in the creative sewing lab at American Patchwork and Quilting magazine? Wow! We were so surprised to see how the quilts turned out. And wow, what an amazing journey together!
Let's start at the beginning. First came the idea: Our Round Robin quilts would start with each of us making a center "block", and the others taking turns adding borders. Next came a flurry of emails back and forth trying to decide on "The Rules" for our Round Robin. We decided to have "No Rules" because we trusted each other to add whatever each quilt needed. Then the fun began! The center blocks were packed up with fat quarters and background fabric and sent off on their journey. Every month a different person would add a border. The end result: four totally different quilts!
If you are familiar with our pattern companies I think you'll agree that we are four very different designers. We'd like to share our process with you - what worked and what didn't, how each of us tackled the design process, and why we chose to add what we did to each quilt. Each week we'll share our thoughts for one of the quilts - starting with Gudrun's quilt today. Visit each blog to see what we each added to Gudrun's quilt.
Center: Gudrun (G.E. Designs)
Border #1: Kari (New Leaf Stitches)
Border #2: Teri (Whimsicals)
Border #3: Me - you're already here :-) (Atkinson Designs)
Gudrun's Rays of Friendship Quilt
I'd like to show you and tell you about how I came up with my border for Gudrun's quilt. I decided to repeat Gudrun's wedge shapes from the center panel (portion shown below) to make a continuous curvy border all the way around the edge of the quilt. Since I was the last one to work on the quilt, there wasn't enough left of any one print to make the border. Nothing in my stash was quite right with these colors - even my black and white prints were either too white or too creamy. I went shopping and found some more fat quarters to add in for a scrappy border. Terry's Tip: If you can't find an exact match, find several fabrics that are sort of right. A scrappy color scheme will look interesting instead of wrong!
Next, I had to do a little detective work to figure out which ruler Gudrun used to make her wedges. I counted 6 wedges in a 90 degree corner (three orange/black and three grey/yellow). 90 degrees divided by 6 equals 15 degrees. I called my local quilt shop and they ordered a 15 degree wedge ruler for me. I think the hardest part of making the border was waiting for the ruler to arrive!
Here is a mock-up of how I wanted the border to look. I used the yellows and oranges in the larger part of each wedge to bring more color out to the edge of the quilt. I planned the size of the green so that it was wide enough to make a strong curve, but also small enough to offset the seams for easy sewing and pressing. HOWEVER, when I started placing the pieces up on the design wall, I realized that the border was way too "busy" for the quilt. Terry's Tip: If you don't like something that you are sewing, STOP and make a change right away. You'll be so much happier with the final result if you listen to your "gut" and let the quilt tell you what it needs.
This is the final border that I made. It turns out that the quilt needed lots of plain black to frame it and set off the center. I probably spent way too much time trying to make the other border work when I knew it was wrong. As soon I was willing to eliminate some of the pieces, everything fell into place. And guess what? There would have been enough fabric without shopping!
If you'd like to read more about our "No Rules" Round Robin, check out this issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine - it should arrive in your mailbox any day!
Photos used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.