Round Robin with My Sister

In the middle of 2012, my sister Cathie and I decided to start a round robin. Now, traditionally a round robin has a number of participants, so each person can add something to a quilt top. You can find a description of round robins at my post here.

With only two of us involved, it wasn’t very round. And we didn’t use any formal rules at all, except agreeing to stop when the quilts were “done.” However, we did agree to each begin a medallion quilt with a center block. We traded blocks, allowing the other person to add a border in whatever style they chose. Then we traded back. Once we’d each added two borders to the other person’s top, we were done trading. The originator finished and kept the quilt.

Often Cathie works in a bright, fresh style, with a lot of improvisation and more of a modern feel. (She is very skilled and talented, so her choice of style is her “voice” in quilting.) I usually choose a more traditional feel. It’s interesting that our own center blocks were the reverse.

Cathie finished her quilt early in 2013. After her center block, I added the checkerboard border with appliqued stems and leaves. The sawtooth border that came next was hers. My final contribution to her quilt was turning it on point with the large, leafy setting triangles, and the red-edged border. She finished with flying geese and the unpieced final border.

My quilt was finally done late last year. For the center I used a piece of Mexican embroidery, from a dress Jim bought for me many years ago. Here’s the detail on the embroidery, before trimming for the block:

I turned it on point with purple, and rimmed it with improvised edges and a strong red line. Cathie added the next border, initiating wonderful dots on white fabric, and finishing the corners with gold and pink 4-patches. Wonky rectangles set in dark pink and red were mine.

The next border actually has a longer story. A couple years ago I made a quilt for a friend, and I loved it so much I considered making another one for myself. After piecing more blocks, I moved on to other projects, abandoning the blocks I’d made. Here are some blocks:

and here is her finished quilt (it isn’t actually rounded like that — there was a little distortion in the photo):

I wanted to use the leftover blocks since the colors worked so well. But I didn’t want to be confined to square blocks. So I sliced some of them through the diagonal and sent them on to Cathie. In essence that gave her permission to use them however she wanted. You can see what she did, using several of them as triangles and others as squares in the corners.

I love both of the quilts, and especially because it was a great project with my sister. We’ve worked on several quilts together and we always have fun.


6 thoughts on “Round Robin with My Sister

  1. audrey

    Great quilts–both of them! I really enjoyed reading about your shared project with your sister. Very special!

  2. cheryliowa

    They are both beautiful!! I enjoyed how you related the progress of each round and the end result is stunning. You are blessed to have a sister to share your skills. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these…and the great pictures, too.


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