A round robin is a quilt created from a center block, and then borders are added to it until it gets finished. It is always made by a group of quilters who set rules and a timeframe to finish the quilt.
There are various sets of rules that round robin quilters use. These guidelines help the group of quilters understand the restrictions and potentials of the round robin quilt that everyone is creating.
One person begins the quilt with either a block or a strip of fabric. It depends on the format that you prefer for your round robin quilt. At the first meeting, the quilt group selects the theme or the fabric colors. The group looks at the center block and passes it on to one quilter for the first border. The one receiving the center block or strip adds borders to the quilt.
The top quilt gets passed on to another quilter in each subsequent meeting. It gets passed for as many rounds as the rules describe. The person who began the quilt top gets to finish it with quilting and binding.
If the round robin quilt is a new concept to you, you may want to refresh your knowledge of this technique. Read on for a few rules quilt groups follow to create one-of-a-kind round-robin quilts.
- Cut or create a block that will be the center of your quilt. You are free to cut the size of the starter block that you want. Center blocks usually measure nine to twelve inches.
You can also start with any shape; circle, rectangle, square, strip, or any shape you have in mind. You can use any technique to create your block, such as applique, piecing, paint, etc., as long as it can fit the center block.
- Agree on the number of borders you will add to the center block. Some quilters make 3 to 4 inches wide borders, but other measurements are welcome. The number of borders will also determine the number of people working on the round robin quilt.
The size limits are more like suggestions to keep the quilt a manageable size. If you are enlisting yourself to be a part of a group, make sure that you can commit to meeting the deadlines of finishing your part of the project.
- Remember that a round robin quilt is an artistic creation of various people with different creative minds. The most significant part of a round robin quilting group is the surprise you will get when everyone has put in their time and creativity. Be ready that some quilters may not want to use your preferred fabrics. Leave your fellow quilter be; that is the essence of creating a round robin quilt.
As one quilter puts it, work on another’s quilt as you want them to work on yours.
- The round robin quilt has the premise of having fun while doing your part of the quilt. Making your part of the border should not be considered competing with the other members of the quilt group. The previous border can inspire the design and quilt patterns of the next quilter.
- Give up the control of making the quilt to the one holding the quilt for a specific period. The particular quilter may or may not follow your border design rules. This freedom in designing the quilt by each quilter makes unique creations possible.
- You can choose to show the development of the robin quilt to the starter block owner or wait until all the borders have been quilted to reveal the final picture of the robin quilt. The one who finishes the quilt is usually the one who made the starter block.
A round robin gives a considerable amount of creativity and flexibility to quilters who choose this quilting technique. To develop unique projects, participants of the quilt group assigned to a round robin quilt must work without too many rules to follow and enjoy the process.
Some round robin quilt groups carry out stricter rules but produce remarkable quilts as well. The important thing is that the fun in doing the quilt is always in the equation.
Making a round robin quilt pushes a quilter’s creativity not to impress but to contribute one’s talent to produce a spectacular and unique quilt. It is an excellent way to go out of your comfort zone and experiment with fabrics you may not have worked on yet.
A round robin quilt is an excellent way to showcase individual talents and appreciate others’ work; you have no control over the quilt’s outcome. You get inspiration from the people you work together with.
You can use countless quilting patterns or styles with quilting, especially when doing the round robin style. Some beginner-friendly and often used quilt pattern blocks are the log cabin block and the shoofly quilt pattern. You can find many other exciting designs readily available online.
Why is it called a shoofly quilt?
The shoofly quilt pattern is a 9-patch block named after a wild plant with domed flowers called clover broom or shoofly.
This simple quilt pattern was created around 1850 and became a familiar style in the late 1800s. The design is called Hole in the Barn Door, imitating farm life. The triangles and rectangles around a center square look like a hole where flies can enter the home.
The shoofly block is a simple pattern usually used to teach young quilt learners the basics of construction and quilt design. Because of its simplicity and immense opportunities for color play and creativity, the pattern became a favorite for Amish quilters.
You can also trace the origin of the shoofly name of the quilt block back to a sweet, rich Amish dessert called shoofly. It is a pie with a flaky pie crust with a gooey molasses bottom topped with a spicy cake. And it is said to have attracted flies while it baked.
Though described as simple, you can create many possibilities with the shoofly block regarding color combinations and fabric styles.
What is the most popular quilt pattern?
One of the most popular quilt patterns is the Log Cabin Block, the Nine Patch, Pinwheel, Eight Pointed Stars, and many more.
The art of quilting has been passed on from one generation to another. Many quilt patterns have been created and repeatedly sewn into numerous quilts in recent decades. The culture and history of the people making these quilts are etched into these functional and artful combinations of fabrics.
The most straightforward quilt designs are made from simple shapes like squares and rectangles since they are easier to cut and sew. You never have to worry about cutting or sewing around curves. You can create other quilt patterns from combinations of shapes.
One of the most straightforward quilt patterns is the patchwork, where you sew together fabric squares in a simple grid pattern. You can use a pre-cut fabric bundle called a layer cake for this pattern, or you can use your scrap fabrics by cutting them into squares.
Another easy pattern is the strip quilt, where you sew long strips of fabric together to create a striped pattern. You can find a pre-cut fabric bundle in stores called a jelly roll for your strips, or you can opt to cut your fabrics into strips for this quilt project.
Here are some of the most popular quilt patterns which have worked then and are still in use now.
The Log Cabin name came from the narrow strips of fabric arranged around the center square. These strips imitate the logs stacked to build a log cabin. The pattern uses small pieces and straight lines, so you can use almost any fabric scrap you have.
Most Log Cabin patterns use two color schemes: lights and darks. These two-color arrangements are divided diagonally in the middle.
This pattern is sometimes called the Sunshine and Shadow pattern. The Log Cabin block symbolizes home, love, warmth, and security.
The Nine Patch is one of the easiest and fastest patterns to sew. It is also an excellent way to use up small scraps of fabrics, which is why it is a popular pattern.
In the grasslands, young girls learn how to sew blocks before they know how to read. Sewing is a huge part of women’s lives, so young girls learn how to sew simple patterns such as the Nine Patch as early as three or four years old.
A star is a common theme used on quilts, although it is a fact that a star pattern is difficult to cut or sew. You will need accuracy and precision in cutting or sewing the pieces as inaccuracy increases as you add more components of the star. The eight-pointed star is the simplest among the star patterns, which is why quilters use it most often.
Quilters admit that making an intricate star pattern is a way to determine a woman’s needlework skills.
One of the oldest quilt patterns is the Crazy Quilt. It is usually made from any fabric scraps available regardless of their material, size, shape, design, or color. The Crazy Quit pattern is popular for quilters who want to stitch together bits and pieces of fabric with a personal history. Early quilts using this pattern are more functional than aesthetic.
With modern technology improving materials over the years, fabrics used for Crazy Quilts are richer in colors and textures.
Designs such as leaves, flowers, and vines have long been famous and favorite motifs on fabrics for centuries. Quilts made through the years are no different. Most quilts that use natural designs use the applique style because this technique is ideal for the curved shapes of flowers, vines, and leaves.
Baskets designs were famous in the 1850s but are still popular with numerous varieties of flowers, fruits, etc., and baskets with handles or without.
Quilt designs not only featured the day-to-day work of women in the grasslands but also told of the hard work of men.
The Anvil motif not only did quilt patterns reflect the daily work of the women who helped to homestead the prairie, they told the story of the challenging work of the men. The Anvil pattern signifies one of the early settlers’ most critical daily tasks: blacksmithing.
Many other basic and old-fashioned patterns used by quilters represent the necessary work of men, including the Saw-Tooth, Bowknot, Carpenter’s Wheel, Compass, and Monkey Wrench.