Another bit of creativity finished

Way back when (like 10 years ago), some members of the Black Forest Quilters banded together to do an Around the Block Round Robin quilt swap, with guidance from Round Robin Quilts: Friendship Quilts of the 90s and Beyond. My quilt is finally finished as of today, and I mean really finished, with the label, hanging sleeves and all.

Around the Block

I remember when we started this project, that I had a really hard time figuring out what to do for the center block, which had to be 16″ square. I actually made three center blocks (or was it four?) and I still couldn’t decided which one to use. The first one I started turned into the little quilt with our old kitty-girl CB rendered in appliqué (years later, obviously). The second one was a watercolor sort of thing, with 1″ squares that I cut out of a fat quarter with fruits on it and arranged them in a heart shape (this block is still sitting in the closet waiting for me to figure out what to do with it). The third and fourth ones were nearly the same; the pattern was a variation of a paper-pieced little girl in a kimono from a magazine, but I made some improvements to the fourth, adding three-dimensional sleeves:

Center block

The Japanese characters on the left translate to Long Life, Love and Happiness. I printed them onto the fabric with a laser printer, and colored over the printing with pigma pen; this was before the advent of Bubble Jet Set! The idea of the Round Robin project was that each person who worked on the quilt would add six 4″ squares to the quilt, in keeping with the theme: two “feature” or more detailed blocks, and four “spacer” blocks.

Pagoda and Lantern blocks

Lots of lovely little blocks were added to my quilt while I was busy adding blocks to everyone else’s quilts. This type of project really stretches your boundaries, and exercises those creative muscles. Every quilt had a different theme, and we had a month to work on the blocks. Sometimes, the night before that monthly deadline was a bit stressful!

Crane, Heart and Butterfly blocks

I loved all the wonderful blocks that my friends added to the quilt. They’re all so unique and creative!

Rose and Fan blocks

Some of the blocks are embellished with beads and embroidery, and some have special fabrics like silks and lamé©.

Fish, Flowers, and Bird blocks

I started the quilting by hand thinking it would be easier to get around the beading and such, but I did finish it up on the machine, figuring it would never really be done otherwise! A journal traveled around with the quilt as it was made, and I made a pocket behind the label to hold the journal pages and some photos of everyone else’s quilts that I dug up earlier today. I sat here for a while trying to think of what to call it, and then decided it had to be Long Life, Love & Happiness, of course!