Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mini Round Robin--Last Round



It's hard to believe but, Cindy, Julie, Sandra and I have entered the last rounds of our Mini Round Robin.  I have mixed feelings about this day.  On one hand I'm super sad.  It has been exciting to see what each of these other artists have created, poof! out of thin air. (I have to say I'm a humbled to be included in this group of amazing quilters).  On the other hand, I'm kind of glad it's over, because, each round the bar was set higher and higher and with it the anxiety level of creating also rose.  At least for me.

Not to sound cocky, but as I was finishing up Cindy's block, I kind of had what I was going to do for Julie's block in the back of my mind and didn't feel panicked at all.  Then on the first day of August we did our big reveals for the July round.

Photo courtesy of mmm!quilts
I had to laugh like a mad woman (on the verge of tears) when I saw a wonky width piano key border...almost the same thing I was thinking.  (Sandra and I laugh and say we share a brain cell, I'm beginning to think it's true)  I loved everything she did in her round.  She started off by making the block "spin" by adding a border of white Moda Grunge then cutting it to off set the block.  Then she framed the block with the multi colored and width piano key border.  Looks like it's perfect and finished to me!  Oh, wait, I still have to add to it...this is where the panic started.

So it was back to the drawing board.  Julie mentioned a wonderful book by Joen Wolfrom called The Visual Dance in her last round robin post.  I decided to take her advice and purchased a copy of the book.  I've only read the small section on round robins as of right now but it has been incredibly helpful even with this last round.  According to Joen, the duty of the last round is to try to tie everything together.  So before I started designing or picking out fabric, I spent some time truly thinking about what has made the block up to this point.

I loved how both Cindy and Sandra added the "spinning" effect with the whitish fabric in their rounds.  It has given the block nice movement.  And the over all theme of the block was a scrapiness of bright colors with a feeling of improve piecing.  Julie started us off with an improv log cabin and Sandra continued the improv with her wonky width piano keys.  Now to decide how to tie these elements together.

So what where my thoughts?  First, to spin the block again using white grunge and again creating some sort of border.  But let's remember technically we had to stay within the rule of only adding 3" to each side.  Three inches sounds like a lot, until you are actually working with it.  When I was working on Cindy's block in EQ7, I ran across a section of Crazy paper pieced blocks.


I thought these blocks had great potential for a border for this mini.  They still had an improv log cabin feel, but with angles instead of vertical and horizontal lines.  So feeling pretty confident about my choices I moved forward and started off by adding a 3.5" border of the white to the block and played with spinning the block.


So to spin or not spin was the question?  I'll be honest, trying to figure out the measurements was starting to hurt my head.  So I regrouped.  What if I just did a small plain border of the white?  This sounded promicing as well, but I felt I needed to justify it and prove to myself I wan't just taking the easy way out.  Since it was the last round, just doing a simple border of the white would help to let the eye know things where starting to level out.  I could still have movement with my improv block border.  This was sounding better.

And so this, is where Tish decides to go rogue and break the 3" to each side rule.  We all knew I was going to do this at some point and quite frankly I'm impressed I waited until the last round.


I trimmed the border to 1.75" which would bring the block to 21.5" and allow me to paper piece my blocks at 3.5" for a nice even number.  I would need a total of 32 blocks.  This sounded easy...until I actually started on it.

I think I used a total of 7-8 different Crazy blocks found in EQ7 to create my border.  I sorted through my stash (and ended up purchasing a few more) for fabrics that would work with the block. One thing I noticed is there was not much blue fabric (actually none) in the block so far.  When I did my fabric pull I made sure I steered clear of this color.  I think introducing a new color at this point would have stuck out a bit.


With 32 blocks each made up of 7 to 11 pieces of fabric, I needed variety to pull off the look I was going for.   So I sorted my fabric into piles and tried to grab randomly as I pieced the blocks.




So a day of on and off sewing found me with only half of the blocks I needed.  I completely underestimated how long piecing these tiny blocks would take.  The next evening I spent cutting out fabrics for the other 18 blocks.  Then the next evening, I sewed the rest together.

Knowing that the clock was ticking down on time, I started chain piecing and not paying attention to what I was doing.


It only took two sessions of picking out these tiny 1.0 stitches to slow my butt down and make sure fabrics where not folded over.  That's a mistake you do not want to repeat.  Yikes!


Several hours later, I've never been so happy to see a pile of blocks in my life!!

The next step was to sew the blocks into rows.  They contained so many bias edges, for stability, I decided to leave the paper on the blocks until the rows were attached to the block itself.


As soon as a row was sewed together it was time to say a prayer and see if indeed it was the correct length.


And it was!!!  After a crazy happy dance with a dog it was time to attach the rows to the block and pick all of the paper off.  

And I could not be happier with the the result of my round.  It turned out just as I imagined.


I can't wait to hear what Julie thinks of my round.  I have much respect for her as a designer and  I've always enjoyed reading about her design process.  I tried very hard to channel my "inner Julie" when working with this block.  Improv is not something that comes easily to me (heck I still used a paper pieced block), but I wanted to do her block justice and try to make everything come together in this round.  I don't feel bad in saying, I think I got it right.  The lesson:  don't be afraid to challenge yourself, you just might be surprised at what you can do.  If you get a chance to participate in a project of this type, go for it!  Don't be afraid to trust your instincts and try new things.  And don't be afraid to allow yourself to feel good about the work you've done.


Please take a moment to check out my fellow bloggers and see how they have wrapped up the minis for their rounds.



30 comments:

Sandra Walker said...

You and I were praying to the goddesses of borders matching quilt centre at about the same time my friend...they must've taken pity on us because we both rocked it. This is FABULOUS, and I cannot BELIEVE how much WORK you did...and I still find it so hilarious and so you who 'runs with scissors' and 'stitches outside the lines' (you sure didn't on this round) that you did improv by EXACT paper-piecing! Wonderful work, and I spotted a 5" charm of a Benartex hot pink I may have sent you for your Rainbow Rose... ;-) So much fun and such a wonderful experience this was! Thank you for having "duck-taped that voice of fear and tied it to a chair" and joined in on this!

Dave S. said...

You failed to mention the back and forth...ebb and flow of the cutting and ironing space that had to go on in our house this past weekend....it added to the challenge. Our quilting space is not near big enough....time to make an addition to the house!

canuckquilter said...

I think you got it! It looks great and fits the quilt just right. I'm impressed with your improv piecing. Improv and/or random is very hard for me!

Lara B. said...

Tish, your round is making me do a happy dance of delight! Wow Wee! I cannot believe how tiny those crazy border blocks are. And yes, itty bitty squares take a whole lot of hours, maybe even more than larger ones. They were the perfect finishing touch! You should be sooooo proud!

Vanni said...

Wow, wow and WOW! You did beautiful work on that mini and hit it right on the spot. As the others have already written: be proud of yourself - you rocked it!

Vanni said...

Wow, wow and WOW! You did beautiful work on that mini and hit it right on the spot. As the others have already written: be proud of yourself - you rocked it!

Lynn said...

That looks amazing, and to me, very brave! The result is wonderful, but a lot of work that does indeed tie things in really well. Stunning!

Stitchin At Home said...

You rocked this round Tish. It looks fantastic and suits the piece beautifully. OMG pulling all that paper off those itty bitty squares must have taken you hours and hours. This was an experience that was made all the better by the ladies involved in it and the thought that went into every round.

Sherry VF said...

Thanks for sharing your insights to this wonderfully creative process. I find it intriguing to see how ideas are researched and meander from the original intent, then, ultimately end up with a something gorgeous!

Julie said...

Since you're wondering what I think...I don't know what to say. I had tears in my eyes! I sent you all the most common improv pieced log cabin, and you turned it into a sparkly palace! This would happen to be the one week when I complained loudly on IG about detesting paper piecing (only if I have to do it!), and you did all that paper piecing for me. I'm nearly ashamed, but still not enough to do it in the near future.

Here's what I love the most: I adore all the fabrics that are so lovingly placed. I am touched deeply that you were thinking of what I would want months ahead of you getting the block. I am grateful for all the time you devoted to making it special. And I love that you feel good about both the process and the finish. Many thanks to your effort, Tish! I truly cannot wait to quilt it, and hang it in the studio!

And by the way, I hear you're getting a house addition out of this! ; )

Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl said...

Wow, Tish, this turned out so beautifully! I just had to read Julie's response and it gave me shivers. This has been such a fun round robing to follow along with. You all did amazing jobs and I can't wait to see how you all finish your quilts. :)

Ruth said...

Yes you definitely got it right - can't believe this wasn't designed as a whole piece it works together so perfectly!

maggie fellow said...

Your border really makes the quilt stand out

Jen said...

So beautiful! What a great choice! I just love those scrappy little blocks.

Susan said...

You did well on the last border, tying everything together. It fits the piece perfectly. Congrats on a job well done!
Thank you for sharing this journey on Midweek Makers

Carie @ Space for the Butterflies said...

That is absolutely stunning! It's the perfect finish to the quilt and just plain gorgeous in its own right - wow!

Quilts and Such said...

Fantastic quit! Your round robin sounds fun but somewhat competitive! LOL Love all the color!

Lisa J. said...

This is a great outside edge to this mini. You did a great job of pulling things together and I'm sure Julie will love it. There is a lot of advice about courage and stepping out of our comfort zone in this post and I thank you for that.

Cheryl said...

Fabulous finish, your border is perfect for the design!

Melva said...

Very nice finish.

Miaismine said...

You are so creative! Perfect border for this quilt so far! Love those crazy quilt blocks!

Gina said...

IT's fabulous. Absolutely stunning. I need to design a quilt just so I can do a border like that

Jayne said...

You did it! I love the addition of the crazy blocks. This as come together beautifully! Rushing always gets me in to trouble...always!!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Wonderful border! I enjoyed reading this post, you put such a lot of time & thought into it and it's perfect!

Grantham Lynn said...

Wow wonderful. I love this. Great work!

Ariane said...

I love the border you added. It looks wonderful!!!!

KaHolly said...

It's perfect, Tish! I'm participating in my first ever round robin and just finished the first round. So much fun to read the block and anticipate the maker when brainstorming. One of us is a modern quilter, two are traditional, and one of us is caught inbetween, so sometimes knowing how to think out of the box will come in real handy. We decided to keep ours under wraps until the final reveal, so it's all 'secret sewing' until spring. Watching your progress and reading about your thought process has been a huge help! Enjoy your day! XO

Sue said...


This is a fantabulous border, Tish! Just perfect for this quilt. Love that Dave left a comment!

Heide said...

You block are such a fun and interesting addition to the quilt! The boarder looks fantastic!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Awesome choice for the border. It's been fun seeing the progress. Can't wait to see how they are all quilted.

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