Another branch of New Leaf Stitches

Syn•er•gy a No Rules Round Robin Quilt


This quilt, this project would not have been nearly as successful and fun had it not been for the very talented designers that I call my friends.

Today I have the privilege of sharing with you “my” quilt.   However, when I look at it, I know it is truly  “our” quilt.  It’s so obvious there was a lot of heart and soul put into this.

Front of Synergy

You have learned about the sprouting of the No Rules Round Robin idea from our blogs last week, along with Gudrun’s Rays of Friendship quilt.   The next three weeks we will be sharing about the rest of our quilts.

My story goes something like this….

With rules in hand and no ideas in my head (scary in its own right) I headed off to the quilt shop to buy my fabric.  About the only thing I did know was that I wanted to use batiks because I do not normally use those (Way to think outside the box, Kari.  lol).

In my head I was thinking traditional batiks:  purples, greens, pinks, yellows. You know, bright and bold. But as I stood looking at the bolts of riotous colors, my eyes were drawn to more subtle shades.  I fell in love with a soft turquoise hounds-tooth.

Great, I thought to myself.  I’ve got a start.  Hmmm, turned out not to be so easy.  There were not very many colors that matched my favorite fabric.  Either they were too blue or too green.  Gosh, those darn rules!  20 fat quarters!  Really??

After pondering for a looonnnggg time, I decided I was going to take the “No Rules” part literally.  It was my first rebel move….I was going to buy yardage that equaled those 20 fat quarters.


 My self-talk on the way home was like having two little mini-mes on my shoulders.  One saying, “You shouldn’t have done that. The others might not appreciate this.”  The other saying, “Way to go Kari.  It just adds to the challenge.”

Once home I excitedly pulled out the fabric.  After petting them for awhile, up they went on my design wall.  Now, what to do with them…

It was during this process that the self doubts crept in.  What in the world had I gotten myself into?  Everyone is so talented.  What happens if they don’t like my center?  So here comes a confession…I emailed Terri with these concerns and worries.  And guess what?  She sounded like she was in the same boat.   Well, I thought, if SHE feels this way (because you all know how super talented she is) this must be normal.

So pulling myself together I set out to create my block.  Here’s another confession.  The first block I made was an epic fail!  Okay, it wasn’t too terribly bad, but it failed my expectations. So back to the drawing board (aka computer).

First center attempt


From my journal:

Feeling the stress!

Several blocks designed on paper and did a test run.  Pieces either too small  or center block would get too big (I think) if made them larger.

First one:  too small of pieces, used too many fabrics so looked busy.  Didn’t like.  Started new at midnight.

Pressure to turn something good out.

I seldom use templates so that is what I wanted to challenge myself with.  Because of my notion, Clearly Perfect Angles, most of my design work is using 45 degree angles.  This was going to give me a chance to play with other shapes and wall center block

From my journal:

Larger pieces:  all templates –  What did I get myself into???  Maybe I should have done paper piecing.

Like results, but will have to do another test for  writing pattern.

At least I like the look of the block!  I think it has possibilities.

One of the limitations for me at this point, was in the back of my mind I was always thinking about how I would write the directions, what sizes would make sense for others when they made this, etc. Welcome to a quilt designer’s world.  Copious notes and pictures were taken to jog my memory for when the time came to write directions.  Truthfully, that robbed some of the joy from me.  Thankfully, when you do a round robin with your friends you won’t have to worry about that!

Finished center

 The block is done and off it went to Terri….then Terry…then Gudrun.  Check out their blogs to learn about their chapter in the story.

The next time I would see the quilt was at the reveal during our visit at American Patchwork and Quilting. Please stop by “” to see and hear about our time there.  So, so fun!

In awe 2

After the initial shock and trying to absorb all the detail, I was surprised it read green and brown.    In my head it was going to be blue.  Truthfully, the color was the only preconceived idea I had about the quilt.  How fun it was to be totally surprised.  It was meant to be…I LOVE it!

Terry's border to Synergy

Terri explaining her round

Here Terri D. is explaining to us how she added her round.  There was so much to take in, it was overwhelming!

After getting home and getting to enjoy the quilt a little bit, it was time to prepare the backing.  Gudrun will share with you what happened in her blog, but the mistake was perfect for including in the backing.

back pieces

 There were four of these angled corners.

I ripped apart a few of her blocks and put them back together again (with the addition of the brown center square)  in a size that would work in the backing.  Although there are imperfections, to me, it speaks of how trials and errors can be made into something useful and beautiful.  The back is one of my favorite elements in Syn•er•gy.

piecing the back


The next exciting moment was when a box arrived with this inside.

Angela, box

How wonderful to have the Angela Walters agree to quilt all of our quilts. She did a fabulous job.

I re-hung the quilt on my design wall to choose the binding.  After looking at it for awhile I made the last rebel move, and that was to put a wide binding on it. Front of Synergy

Wouldn’t you agree that the combined elements of each individual designer created a stunning Syn•er•gy.?

This  link to  shows you a slideshow of my quilt.

Look for our story in the February issue of American Patchwork & Quilting that will be on news stands shortly. APQ Cover

We also have a Facebook page, Round Robin Rebels, where you can follow along as well as post comments and pictures of your own round robin projects.

Do you belong to a quilt guild?  Are you on the planning committee for a quilt show?  We are putting together a presentation and would love to come and share our stories and quilts with you in person.  Please feel free to send us an email if you are interested.

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















2 Responses to Syn•er•gy a No Rules Round Robin Quilt

  1. Kari says:

    Cathy, I’m so glad you like the quilt. But, I’m sorry to say that there isn’t a pattern for this. We do have some other ideas brewing that would include patterns. You will just have to stay tuned. 🙂

  2. cathy Hartley says:

    sorry not in a quild BUT would like to know if there’s going to be a pattern for the SNY-ER-GY QUILT. LOVE IT. Would love to make it as a graduation gift for a niece.

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