Round Robin Quilt with a twist

Over a year ago I talked my quilting buddies into a special type of round robin that I had come across on-line.  I would love to give credit where credit is due but all I know it was from a group of women somewhere in BC and because the pictures are no longer on-line I can’t even source it out anymore.

Basically, it is done as a regular round robin but instead of simply adding borders to the project that you receive, you have to follow ‘instructions’ as to what is to be done for that round – things like ” make the project neither square nor rectangular” and “cut and insert fabric 3 times”.

Sounded like a lot of fun and a great way to maybe get out of the quilting box we had put ourselves into.  I bravely (and rather naively as it turned out) offered to make up the spreadsheet for the 9 of us to follow so we would always know what instructions we were to follow and who to send the project off to when we were done.  Sounds pretty basic right?  Wrong.

This ‘challenge’ was going to take over a year to complete.  We wanted to make sure we all had enough time to do the challenge.  We all agreed our starting blocks would be something simple (mine was just a fat quarter of fabric) and not a block that we had spent hours making!  After handing out my rather spiffy looking spreadsheets to everyone my friend said “I don’t think this will work out right”.  I managed to argue loud enough that I was sure it was OK and it was left at that point.  Well, of course a couple months into it we realized that it wasn’t right.  We needed another set of instructions added to the list.  A few months later the call went out that the spreadsheet still wasn’t right because all of a sudden everyone was getting back a project that they had already worked on.  No problem, we decided, we would just carry on.  Lo and behold awhile later it was discovered that the spreadsheet was really messed up because the owners of the project would be getting their own back before it was even finished.  That really had to get fixed so I spent a long afternoon re-working the entire thing and got it straightened out enough that we could complete it.  What a nightmare!! And, that is what I’ve called my finished project.


Here is my finished top.  You can see the different instructions – cut 3 times – add piping – make in neither square nor rectangular and so on.

The vibrating blue in the centre was the fat quarter that I started out with.

Not really my cup of tea!  I was bound and determined I was going to quilt it though, it means a lot to me that we all had a part in it.

I started out by printing out a couple of pictures of the quilt in greyscale and started to doodle.  It finally dawned on me that if it is called What a Nightmare why not turn it into a nightmare!

I must explain that I am terrified of spiders.  Totally.  So – if this top was going to be my nightmare then I guess I had to include a few.  The fat quarter in the centre really does lend itself to a spider web after all.

What a wicked web we weave

I used Superior Metallics in Silver for the web and King Tut Ebony for the spiders and bugs.  It was all done free hand and I went around the bugs and spiders 2 or 3 times each to give them definition and twice on the web.


What else should be in the quilt but my version of Munch’s “Scream”  I used King Tut Limestone for the outline and So Fine! Rose Petal for the background fill around him…her…it.  I really wanted the piece to be kind of wonky and weird so all I did was sketch a rough outline of what I wanted and just played with the machine.

I even put Kilroy ( for those that remember him) in the upper right corner.

Kilroy was here

Fingers are hanging down all around the outside pink border, Red Metallics bats in the Flying Geese blocks and slithery snakes in the Drunkards path.


All in all I had a lot of fun.  Except maybe for the spiders.

behind the scenes

It was a great chance to practice my background fills too!

Thank you to all my 4Qx2+1 quilting buddies – the spiders will only be coming out at Halloween!

Catching up with all the quilts

I can’t believe how long it had been since I last posted.  It is hard sometimes to keep up with it when you are busy with work and life in general.

I was busy all summer with customer quilts and here are a few pictures

Disney Cars quilt

Cars quilt

This was a fun quilt to do.  A little bit of custom work using gold and silver metallic thread as well as monopoly by Superior.

My customer took the panel and added her own ‘wheel’ border and the outer 2 borders.

Appliqued wheel

I have to be honest and say that my husband was the one that suggested how to outline the spokes of the wheel – I really wanted to see a bit of movement there.  Because of the thickness of the applique I wasn’t able to do anything in the black area.

I pretty much just followed the artwork – outlining the label and headlights in silver metallic.

Cars label

The main body is a simple meander with racing flags, the sky done in a large wavy meander following the cloud shapes.  I did crossed racing flags in the border and outlined the large red squares.  Again, a fun quilt to do.

flag border

More finished quilts coming soon!

A few customer quilts

Well, I’m making headway on all the customer quilts that I received after getting home from vacation.  Most of them are ‘edge to edge’ type designs and they do go fairly quickly.

simple loop meander

simple loop meander

This customer just wanted a meander done – I don’t like the traditional meander where the lines never cross.  I prefer a loop meander – I find it more pleasing to look at, it makes your eyes follow around the quilt enjoying the pattern and colours whereas the standard meander makes me try and follow the line of thread much like a maze to see where it comes out!

'edgy' meander

'edgy' meander

This is the same quilt pattern only much, much larger!  This was a fairly new quilter and she doesn’t ‘do’ small quilts 😉  As you can see this quilt took up most of my 12′ frame.  She also wanted just a meander but I talked her into adding a few pointy lines in the meander to keep with the sharper lines of the quilt.

edgy meander border

edgy meander border

Can’t really see it all that well but I simply threw a few points into the mix.  I used King Tut #903 Lapis Lazuli and it popped out beautifully on the dark marble print.

edge meander block

edge meander block

She seemed very pleased with the end result and that is the importing thing!  The pattern did not call for the diamond border.  She put the border together herself and added it.  I think she did a great job all-in-all and she obviously isn’t afraid to try new things 🙂

feather meander

fantasy feather

This quilt is my first ‘out of town’ customer.  OK, it is for a cousin of one of my customers but still! 😉

A simple large block batik that was very pretty – the colours of course don’t show up here very well.  She wanted 2 designs on this on, the Fantasy Feather in the centre and Pansy Meander in the dark border.  This quilt was nice and square so stabalizing the middle border went very quickly.  I really liked this quilt – very bright and pretty.

fantasy feather closeup

fantasy feather closeup

I used King Tut #922 Harem and it blended perfectly with just enough showing to let the feathers pop once in awhile.

pansy meander close-up

pansy meander close-up

The last picture is of the pansy meander, it should show up better if you click on the picture.

Well, that is just a few of the ones I’ve been working on.  Right now I have a custom piece I’m working on, it is for my customers grandson and is a lot of fun.  She’s used a Disney/Pixar panel and increased it with borders.  I’m doing car-themed quilting!  I will post pictures of it and my progress as I go.

Baby Honu quilt

I’ve just started another customer quilt.  She made the adorable Baby Honu quilt by Lisa Boyer.  Here’s a picture of my customers quilt.

Baby Honu quilt. Pattern by Lisa Boyer

Baby Honu quilt. Pattern by Lisa Boyer

Beautiful sea green batiks and the turtles are swimming on a very pale blue background.  We’ve chosen King Tut #971 White Linen for the pale blue background.  I really wanted the quilting to just compliment the quilt and not become a focal point so that was the best choice.  I’m doing what I call a water meander behind the turtles.  The Snail Trail blocks reminded the customer of waves so I’m doing a swirl into them up to the point.  All the green areas are done in King Tut #989 Malachite  and it is blending perfectly.  The outer border is 7″ wide and I’m doing a wavy seaweed pattern all around.  Once I’ve got a bit more quilting done I will post pictures.  The background water meander fill is allowing the loose parts of the turtle (feet, head and tail) to stand out and cast shadows – very nice!

Watercolor wall-hanging

I’ve always wanted to make a watercolor something or other and had even picked up a kit when I was at Quilt Market last year.  The quilting group that meets at our local quilt/yarn shop decided they wanted to make one as well so they planned last Tuesday would be the day.  I guess I was the only one that had a kit and the rest of them arranged to bring their stash fabric and cut their own squares.  I didn’t realize and just brought my kit and so managed to put one together fairly quickly.  I did feel sorry for them as they spent a great deal of time cutting a bunch of 2″ squares!  I finished sewing the grid

Poinsettia Banner, watercolor kit from Whims

Poinsettia Banner, watercolor kit from Whims

 together Tuesday afternoon.  This kit from Whims  is called Poinsettia Banner and comes with beautiful poinsettia fabric to applique on.  I didn’t really want another Christmas wall hanging and because these always turn out so pretty I decided to put some shadow applique on instead.  I don’t know if that is what it is called but all I wanted was black applique work so that I could use it year round if I wanted to.

So – off the Google I went and started looking for applique patterns for butteflies and birds and generally just some ideas.  I ended up finding a bunch from the free coloring book sites believe it or not!  This Free Kids Coloring site has some great ones to use.

I finally decided on a couple of humming birds and the outline of a cat.  Probably not my own as I’m sure I’ve seen similar somewhere! I did use batting, machine appliqued the pieces down and that is the only quilting on the piece. The binding and sleeve are on and I just have to find the right spot on the wall for it.  Mind you , it doesn’t look too bad as a table runner either!  

My version - "A cat's eye view"

My version - "A cat's eye view"

This has been the only sewing I’ve managed to get  done all week.  I have spent most of it planning out the Double Irish Chain class I’ll be teaching the end of March.  My poor quilting machine is sitting idle as well.  I’ve got to get back into the swing of things here!

Fine Line Quilters Ruler

I have been terribly remiss in keeping up with this blog.  What is the saying?  Life gets in the way when one makes plans?  That about sums it up.  I’ve been working sporadically on a few projects, namely Piccadilly Square; a small disappearing nine-patch PACH (PAramedis Care and Help) quilt, and organizing a class I’m going to be teaching at our local Quilt Shop, “Creative Essentials”.  Who said retirement was boring?

What I wanted to post about was the new ruler I was fortunate enough to be a test quilter for called the  “Fine Line Quilters Ruler”.  This ruler is specifically for anyone that does machine quilting on a frame, or; as I’ve heard some refer to it as, ‘stand up quilting’.  Making a straight line is relatively easy (with some practice) when using a domestic machine because you are either following a seam line, a line you’ve marked on the fabric or using the edge of your pressure foot and the dog teeth pull the quilt sandwich through.  When you’re trying to make a straight line with a long arm machine it is much different and requires a lot more practice.  


HQ16 quilting machine and frame

HQ16 quilting machine and frame




Imagine trying to control a 45 pound machine that’s resting on ball bearings and keep it in a straight line!  Pretty hard especially if you are trying to quilt on the diagonal.  We have to add a table base to the machine and use special rulers that are thick enough so that the hopping foot wont go over top of it.  Typically they are 1/4″ thick, some with markings at 1/4″, 3/4″ and so on so we can do grid work and such.  Basically, you just hang on to the ruler as comfortably and firmly as possible and guide the hopping foot along the edge.




Fine Line Quilters Ruler

Fine Line Quilters Ruler

This new ruler was developed by a quilter that was frustrated trying to control the ruler, keep fingers and hands out of the way so you don’t bump the hopping foot and end up with a ‘bump’ in the line that you have to stop, rip it out and re-do.  When you are doing this professionally this all takes time and costs $$.  She developed a ruler with finger and fabric grips to solve these issues.






 I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was to to some background grid work.  My hands didn’t get sore and the ruler was not sliding around on the quilt top and not once did I find my hands or fingers in the way!

Fine Line Quilters Ruler

Fine Line Quilters Ruler

I’ve always stayed away from ruler work because of the frustration level but no more.  I finished up my practice piece and started looking around at what I had ready that I could do some more grid-work on!





If you would like more information about this ruler just let me and I will get it to you.  They are not in Canada yet but I will get the information to you so that you can order directly from the manufacturer.  They are running about $15 US for an 8″ ruler (perfect for mid-arm machines) and she has 12″ as well.  I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with!


Fine Line finger grips

Fine Line finger grips

Win a free cone of King Tut quilting thread!

Win a free cone of King Tut premium quality quilting thread!  



Win a free cone of King Tut premium quality quilting thread!


Michele over at the Quilting Gallery invited me to be a Guest Blogger and it was great to share a little bit of my quilting history with everyone.  As a thank you to everyone I’m offering a free cone of King Tut premium quilting thread to one lucky reader that leaves a comment telling us which one of the delicious colours of King Tut thread she (or he) is planning on using for their next quilt. 

If you’ve never had the opportunity to use King Tut before now is the perfect chance!  Check out all the colours at Baileys Quilting HeadQuarters and then come back and let us know which one you want.  Maybe even tell us a little bit about the quilt you’re working on 😉

I will make a random drawing on Feb 18th, 2009, at 9 p.m. P.S.T. and will announce the winner here.  Good luck!