Round Robins

This was originally posted on my old MommaQuilts blog.

I was warned that I wouldn't enjoy this, but I wouldn't listen. I was enchanted by the idea of working with different people and seeing their quilting style. I loved the idea of having a quilt that resulted from a collaborative effort. I really wanted a quilt that had signatures and blocks from several ladies of whom I'd have fond memories for years to come.

Little did I know that there are unwritten rules to this type of quilt. Number one should be to ensure that you are on the same quilting level as everyone else. Number two should be to ensure that you have the same quilting style as the others.

Needless to say, I broke both of these rules. I quickly learned that I'm not as skilled as I thought myself to be. I also realize that I have no aspirations to meet the approval of any quilt show judge. While I want to match seams and points, I don't sweat it too much if I don't. I have no eye for color. I'm a scrap quilter and when I buy fabric, I just get it because I think it's pretty - with little to no regard for what's already in my stash.

Since starting this project, I have ripped a countless amount of seams, cried about my horrible workmanship, procrastinated like no body's business and sworn to quit quilting more than once. What makes it worse for me is that I know my center will likely be transformed into some perfect work of art. I am sure that I will love every detail. And this will serve to make me feel even more guilty about how my contributions to the quilts of others were flat-out eyesores. In fact, I'm relatively certain that I will not show up at the meeting where we reveal our work and everyone gets their centers back. I'm way to ashamed to show my face and meet these nice ladies.

I don't mean to discourage others from giving it a go. I'm sure that many of you have fond memories of the round robins that you have participated in. And maybe some time in the far, distant future I'll give it another try and surprise myself. But for now, I am swearing this activity off FOREVER!!
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Sara said...

You are right that Round Robin members are not of all the same level in quilting. Just take that as a GIVEN. Thank goodness I was warned at the beginning..."Don't turn in a center block that you love too much!" Meaning = who knows what will happen to it. But this is true of everyone else, not just you. They may be worrying about their level of expertise.

I also consoled myself when I was really stymied by the received tiem...well, every border can't be the STAR of the quilt. My border/addition may need to be a restful place for the eye to be quiet.

I tried to see each new project as a challenge to my style, to see if I could think a new way to fit the originator's center block, in color, style, etc. And frankly, I critiqued (silently) the work of other people as it contributed or detracted from the whole. Keep thinking to yourself--It's about the whole thing, not just my part.

Sara Ho

Colleen said...


I am a beginner quilter myself and I absolutely love it. Looks like you are having lots of fun quilting. I wanted to get back to you in regards to your question about the Quiet Book I am working on. The original Quiet Book I am using as a template is called The Quiet Book Tutor. It is just a spiral bound book compiled and designed by Norma B. Barnes and published in Bountiful, Utah in 1965. If there is any more information you'd like please let me know. I have just posted an update on the progress of my quiet book at www.craftpad.com. Enjoy.

-C. Warren

spiral bound book compiled and designed by Norma B. Barnes, titled, The Quiet Book Tutor, published in 1965 in Bountiful, Utah.