Sunday, September 8, 2019

Cotton Robin 2019

Six weeks ago the Cotton Robin for this year was finally finished. There were a few lost/delayed pieces that set the schedule behind. These things happen, but since I was the organizer this year, it was up to me to chase things down. I was supposed to work on 4 quilts, but ended up only working on 3. The last round didn't quite make it to my house and was returned to the sender. We decided it was better to not try to send it to me a second time, so I did not get to quilt and bind a quilt this time.

My center block
I looked through the centers that I have done previously and decided that I needed to try something a bit different. As usual, I started out with a really ambitious design - a wonky paper-pieced NY Beauty design that I drafted myself. After considering the size constraints, I realized that it would never work, so I went in another direction and did some skinny bias strip applique. I will save the unused design for another day.

Clare, Nan, and Liz worked on my center block adding two borders and quilting it. This year, I decided to take my center and work through a design for each border on paper (or computer). I was inspired by one of the first years we did the Cotton Robin where the suggestion was made to make 2 centers and do one yourself in parallel. I was too lazy to do this, but I enjoyed the process of thinking how I would approach it compared to how other quilters did. Designing on paper eliminates the restraints of what fabric you might have available and the time/skill to create your ideas. But, I do most of my designs like this before I start, so it's how I tend to work anyway. Here is the finished quilt and my "parallel universe" version.

First border

My first border was added to Terry's center block. Her autumnal color scheme was a bit out of my comfort zone but I managed to pull some fabrics from my stash. I went with some slightly brighter shades of the same colors and I was quite happy with the results. I did two designs for this border using different colors and more/less diamonds. Here is the design I didn't use and the finished border.

Second border

The second border was for Cindy's center. Diana added a two-color border, and this gave me the opportunity to go back to Cindy's multi-color scheme on the second border without the finished piece being too busy (I hope). I decided on an hourglass block using multi-colored strips and a neutral solid. Although they all look the same size, it turns out that the red triangles in the first border do not divide the edge evenly into 4 parts. So my little blocks ended up needing to be squares and rectangles. I constructed them using paper piecing which made the rectangles the precise size I needed. As quilters we know squares and parts of squares so well, but rectangles are not so well behaved!

As always, I really enjoyed the process and the chance to try out new ideas. Check out all of the finished quilts on the Cotton Robin blog site.

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