My first assignment was an 18 inch block for Kerry's St. Patrick's Day quilt. Kerry wanted a celebration of her Irish heritage. She made a six inch block with roadsigns on a potato print, indicating destinations in Ireland. Dorry sent me a tea towel printed with a map of England on Pure Irish Linen and a handkerchief embroidered with shamrocks to use. I cut out the Legend and the Pure Irish Linen label. I used a strip of the green that Kerry had used as the backing of her Round Robin vegetable quilt for the green squares and added a 100% linen for the background.
I never pieced linen before and found it was a joy to work with. It is stable and presses beautifully.
Here's a closeup of that handkerchief embroidery. It floats over the orange dot Kerry supplied.
For my Flat Stanley, I opened the atlas to the map of Ireland. Lu came right over to check it out and Kerry loved cats, so that was the photo I used.
Next I made a block for Jo. Jo and all of our Australian residents said they don't decorate for holidays much, and instead chose holiday destinations for their quilts. Jo's was the coast. She gave us each a different water fabric with waves. Mine was a gradation.
I bought a gradient hand dye from Vicki Welsh and had fun playing with a way to intermingle both fabrics. I took the Ocean Waves block and simplified it so I could leave Jo's fabric in large pieces.
It was a surprise when I realized that when Vicki made the gradient, she took the blue and brown palette from a photo of the same rocky coast Jo used as inspiration for her quilt.
The center of Jo's block is embellished with charms, and a fish net I made with thread on a water soluble base. The net took almost as much time as the piecing.
I took my beach towel outside for my Flat Stanley. I have the rocks of the coast in Jo's inspiration photo, but no water.
My next block was for Dorry's Easter quilt. She supplied a yellow fabric dotted with pastel colors. I made her an Easter Lamb in a grape leaf wreath with a polka dotted sky.
Dorry's fabric wound up in colored Easter eggs for the wreath.
The design I appliqued on the eggs is an adaptation of the Rotorua quilting design I put on the quilt Kerry made for Dorry's son Casey (here are my photos of that quilt).
I couldn't decide between my Flat Stanleys for Dorry -but I'll just show one here, with the lamb nestled among my blooming native iris.
My last block was for Heather who chose a return to Spain on her holiday. My sister-in-law Joanna went to Spain for a study tour during this time, and took lots of great photos I had permission to use. These tiles are in the Castillo de Coca.
Heather supplied us with a rich print by Jason Yenter. Here's how it looks in a Spanish tile design: it's the large ring. The inner circle motifs were from a coordinating print.
I really had fun with my Flat Stanley of Heather's block, taping it to the tile wall at the Pavillion downtown Asheville, with locally made tile. Afterwards, I learned that the ceramic artist studied under masters in Spain and credits their influence in her work.
My assignment for the next round was to make 4 18x 6 inch sashing strips for Rhonda's Christmas quilt. She gave us the red hearts on tan that appears a bit left of center.
These are my four strips arrayed as for the quilt -
The last part I played in this International Holiday Extravaganza was to assemble Judy's vacation trip to Japan. I had four very different, asymmetrical blocks. Two used Judy's supplied aqua dogwood fabric in three inch strips on two sides, and one used it on just one side. Japanese art generally is not about symmetry and I was already feeling challenged by the four blocks. Then Kerry sent me a preview of what she was making for the sashing strips. Kerry was a master with color, and what she was doing with brilliantly colored, high-contrast squares was scary for me. So I changed the rules, and with Kerry's cooperation, we got Judy's quilt together. You probably have to click on this photo to examine what's going on.
Judy's six inch block with magenta and lime green is just to the left and down from the little doll. Rhonda came next with the floral spray on a sashiko-enhanced background that appears in the lower left corner. Heather followed with the six clever paper-pieced cranes that look like origami. Dorry made the adorable kimono-clad doll with her framework of gradated pinwheels, and Jo appliqued the Noshi design near the upper left.
Jo's block had 3-D dogwood blossoms made from Judy's supplied fabric - she shipped her block to me with these foam supports to keep them from flattening:
I mimicked Heather's aqua zig zags with white silk to set some lime folded fabric embellishments
and made white cotton flowers - both of these folded fabric flower designs are from Rebecca Wat's book. You can also see some of Kerry's sashiko embroidery in this next photo.
Kerry had pieced the sashing strips in various combinations following a tentative mockup I had done with the blocks in EQ7, and thoughtfully included lots of extra 3.5 inch squares she worked with, as well as the remaining dogwood fabric from her 1/2 yard piece. My sister helped with the final layout of all the pieces. We tried to balance the bright colors and extended the gradation of Dorry's pinwheels into the connecting strips. I used a strawberry pink gradation (also from Vicki Welsh) for two very narrow border strips and finished with a border limited to two fabrics and a few more white folded flowers.
The Robin quilts were always a challenge - so many talented quilters putting in so much effort really pushed me to my creative abilities. Judy's Japan quilt took me so far out of my comfort zone I can't really say if I like it or not. Two years later, I will admit is is a relief that we have not taken up another project like this, but if such an opportunity comes up again, I'll probably jump right back in.