Another branch of New Leaf Stitches

Round Robin Rebels…here we come!

Finally!  After almost exactly 2 years we are able to share with you our fun, crazy, and challenging adventure.  Welcome to the world of the “Round Robin Rebels”!

APQ Cover

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation.All rights reserved.

 American Patchwork and Quilting is sharing our story with you in the February 2014 issue available shortly and on their website,   We will also be sharing our stories on our blogs and our Facebook page.

This story begins back in November of 2011.  I was at a much-needed designer retreat and my friends, Gudrun Erla and Terri Degenkolb were my fun, crazy roommates.

Terri Gudrun

Gudrun had shared with us an idea for a fun project that would stretch our creativity: a designer round robin. This round robin was to have “no rules”.  Well, maybe a few.  But, more on that later.

How I remember one night is reminiscent of slumber parties I had in junior high.  We had had a great day, stayed up late, went to bed and continued our visiting.  Goodnights were said and the lights turned out.  Quiet…  And suddenly in the dark, “Hey, we could do this…”.  More chattering…  Dark and quiet…  “Hey,  what about….” And so it went late into the night.  We were so excited about this idea!

Now to find another designer to join in on the fun.  At the top of our list was Terry Atkinson and we were so excited (and in my opinion, blessed) when she said yes right away! Round Robin Rebel Road Trip

Round Robin Rebels: Terry Atkinson, me, Gudrun Erla, Terri Degenkolb


Oh yes, the rules for the “No Rules Round Robin

Make a center block that would be passed on to the next designer. (no rules here)

Send along 20 fat quarters and 3 yards of background fabric. (okay some rules, but several “rebels” didn’t follow this….)

One month to add our “round” and get it sent off.  (no rules such as size, color, technique, fabric used, etc… Yeah!  so freeing)

One of the agreed upon challenges would be working in different styles and color.  We are all so different in our design aesthetics.  This to me, was the greatest challenge to overcome. As you follow along each week we will share our part  in the story of these quilts.  Hopefully, you will understand the emotions and hard work that came with this project…and our wish is that you, too, will find friends willing to take a similar journey with!

This week we are focusing on Gudrun’s quilt.  Here is my chapter in its story.

I had just stressed (and lost sleep) over creating a center block that I thought would live up to the expectations and quality of my, oh so talented designer friends when a box arrived at my house.

Eagerly I opened it up.  My jaw dropped and anxiety set in.  Oh my gosh!  Gudrun’s center block was amazing.  It was bold, contemporary, unique…so not me.  What in the world could I add to this quilt to do it justice?

Gudrun's Center APQ

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation.All rights reserved.

With a deep breath I pinned it up on my design wall.  I looked at it up close and studied it from afar.  I took a picture of the block and printed several out.  These I used to sketch out different ideas.  Over the next few weeks I would pin different fabric around the block, cut out trial shapes, doodle on my computer and well, fret.

As I reread my journal I recalled how I didn’t want to do anything that would distract from the center.  I wanted to use curves, however, not circles.

Auditioning shapes colors Gudrun'sHere I used shapes I had been playing with. And no, I never considered using pink, I was just practicing to see if the piping would work on those curves.

Piping Gudrun's

 This is a close-up of how I added the piping to the curved piece.

Trying out ideas Gudrun's

Here is a trial of adding the “rays” in the corner.  There was just too much going on so I decided to do this instead…

Up close border  Gudrun's APQ

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2013 Meredith Corporation.All rights reserved.

I just love the exclamation points and they spoke volumes of how I felt to have completed this first go-around.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never shown one of the backs of my quilts, but here goes.

Gudrun's block back

Everything was coming together at the corners: piping, angles, borders.  There was so much bulk at those points that after appliqueing on the circles I needed to trim it out.  Let me tell you, it was scary cutting that fabric after all the work that was put into it!   I’m so glad it turned out okay.

 Completed border Gudrun's

Here is a look at “Rays of Friendship” after my completed round.

I was now ready to send it off to Terri.  This is the order the quilts traveled in: Gudrun,  Kari, Terri, and Terry. Click on each link to see our different perspectives and work.

Don’t forget our journey continues over the next four weeks.  You can also follow us on our Facebook fan page:  Round Robin Rebels.

Gosh, what a ride this has been and to think, I was privileged to do it with my friends!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *