So first off, I have to get this out there: I hate this quilt. Always have done. I'm still not sure if I've totally stopped hating it, but I think I have. In fact, when I pulled it out of the dryer the other day and plopped it on the hardwood floor, my first thought was, 'Oh! I love it!' It had crinkled up so beautifully and the feathers just popped, and some of the fuchsia quilted designs also popped...looked at it a few hours later, and was back to disliking it intensely.
So here's the story of this Round Robin quilt. I took part in the Round Robin in the guild I belonged to at the time, 1999. I had been a quilter for 4 years, and of the four women besides me in the RR, 3 were pretty amazing quilters. One was a founding member of the guild, another was renowned for her beautiful hand quilting and appliqué, and the other was quite the designer. I was feeling more than just a little trepidation at agreeing to be a part of this. However, I like a challenge, and I always feel that I learn so much when I push myself. I had discovered Bethany Reynolds' Stack 'n Whack method on Alex Anderson's "Simply Quilts" HGTV show, (yup, I'm dating myself) had made a sample block, and taken it to the guild where no one had seen the technique yet, and they were AMAZED and excited. I'd bought her book, and so I decided to make my centre using one of her patterns. I loved my centre!
Here are my contributions to the others' Round Robin quilts. On the first round, I did a flying geese and stars border. This was my first experience with making borders fit, so I was on a fairly steep learning curve. I had been sewing garments, crafts and so forth for over 20 years, though, so I wasn't a total newbie. For the second round for the next person, I did some paper piecing and turned the person's quilt on point. On the third round, I did a very intricate, template-using border from Gail Valentine's Mirror Manipulations book, actually, the one on the cover. I had to modify the corners to make it work. Then for the last round I did hand appliqué. I was pretty proud of the level of work I'd put in; one of the "master" quilters of the guild was the moderator of the RR and I felt my work had to pass her inspection, sort of! Well, when we got our quilts back, 5 months later, I was more than disappointed. I felt I'd been cheated out of the level of workmanship and creativity I'd put in to each girl's quilt.
So what exactly did I hate (and still do) about my quilt?
1. The first round has four strips of fabric sewn to the sides of my block with a pair of diamonds in each corner. Like it took half an hour of work. She didn't even trim the little dogears off the diamonds and I did not notice that until I was quilting that area; the burgundy shows through the white fabric.
2. The second round is a fairly intricate seminole-pieced border, but there was no attempt to make it fit properly, so the corners look stupid. Stupid. It irritates me to no end. She also used PINK THREAD to sew on white fabric, and it still shows even after I've quilted the damn thing! Are you kidding me?
3. The third round is the mountains, and although they aren't always lined up, it was a lot of work.
4. The last girl did an amazing amount of work on everyone's quilt except for mine. When our quilts were unveiled, she even apologized to me in front of everyone, stating that she'd gotten tired of the project, and had lost steam because she put in so much effort on the other three. I got the border strips and friendship stars in the corners. Whoop dee doo. And the points of the stars were even cut off! Here it is at the unveiling in December 1999:
Now I need to let go of that negativity! I do like this quilt now that it is done! Here it is fresh off the quilting machine, October 5, 2013:
I'm impressed with the improvement in my feathers, thanks to great instruction from Angela Walters' Feathers class on Craftsy. Here is a shot when it was still on the Avanté:
So today, October 11, I took it off the spare room bed and draped it over the loveseat in the living area. And I'm posting this lengthy composition about it! No more hiding it away, and letting the cat loll about on it covering it in cat hair! I am going to take it to my guild meeting on Tuesday night! It has value! And honestly, outside of the Frankenstein mouth quilting design (aka "In Stitches", sorry Leah; it's my bad quilting) and the corner motifs I designed myself, I quite like the way the fuchsia thread looks on the white (I wanted to tone down all that white). Maybe I'll even link up to Leah's FMQ Friday...
Okay, I think I did it right...commented on a few different blogs, added my link to Leah's post, and then added a link back to her FMQ Friday. I think. Hope. Fingers crossed.