Sunday, December 29, 2013

special note to Sandra...

Hi Sandra -- yes, you're definitely "in"!  I don't know why you're not getting my emails... is it possible that your blogger account is set to an email address that you no longer use? (or the NSA is blocking my emails to Canada?)  It's very weird!  I have replied every time and sent emails independent of the blog as well.    Maybe we just need to have all our conversations through blog posts?


Friday, December 27, 2013

Email sent...

I sent out an email a few minutes ago to all the participants that I've hear from... if you didn't receive it, please check your spam folder and/or let me know!

At Kristin's request, I've also added a "follow by email" button to the blog, in case you want to try it out.



Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Official 2014 Cotton Robin “Rules”

The Official 2014 Cotton Robin “Rules”

(sorry in advabnce for the very long post -- I tried to capture all the questions that have come up in the last 2 years...)
Your Center Block:
  • It should be no more than 9” square or 8” x 10” (finished size)
  • Use fabrics that you love
  • Use colors you love, as this is your mechanism for conveying to all what your personal tastes are
  • Use one color or use 10 colors; your imagination is the limit
  • Use whatever technique is acceptable to you
  • If you prefer traditional styles, this should be evident in this block. The same is true for other styles.
  • If you paper piece, please remove the papers and place a row of stay stitching 1/8" from the edge of the block to prevent distortion 
  • You may send up to 1/4 yard or one fat quarter of fabric along with your center block, but you don't have to.
  • I ask that you send me $2 in cash or postage stamps to subsidize my postage costs in mailing the blocks out again 
  • Have fun!
The Process:
  • You will send your center block to me and it should get here before January 31. I will photograph the blocks and mail them out to the first-border-makers to arrive by February 10.  
  • You will then add a border and mail it to the next border-maker by March 20.
  • You will mail the finished top (with two borders) to the finisher by April 30, and the finished quilt will be mailed "home" by June 15.
 The Project:
  • This is a MYSTERY project. You will receive a finished quilt that includes your original center block, but you won’t see any of the progress until your quilt comes home to you.
  • You need to either post to the blog or email me when you send or receive a parcel.  If you are going to be late in mailing, you need to let me know before you're late. 
  • This is a 6-month commitment and you'll need to have a very good excuse if you want to drop out in the middle. Having said that... life happens and sometimes there is a good excuse, but if this does occur you need to communicate with me instead of disappearing into the void with someone's quilt! (remember: I know where you live)
  • Once you have signed up for the project, you will be added as an “author” on the blog; let me know if something’s not working!
  • PLEASE do your best work and use good-quality fabric.  This is not as “forgiving” as a block swap, where the recipient can decide to not use blocks that aren’t made well or where the fabric is funky. Everyone will be receiving a finished quilt and it’s not possible to “un-make” it if something is seriouslywrong.
  • The second and third people on each quilt will add borders – these may be all the way around or not, depending on your design decisions. You can include plain coping strips before your borders in order to adjust the size.  The borders must be pieced borders or something else that is not a plain piece of fabric – you don’t have to go crazy, but please do put some effort into it…. 
  • If your border has lots of seams, please put a row of stitching around it, 1/8” from the outside edge, to hold it all together while the next person works on it.
  • Please double-check that you’re sewing on the border the way it’s meant to be (i.e. not upside down or backwards) so that the next person doesn’t have to fix it
  • The finished size of the quilt should be about 16”-20” square or 16”x20”, so plan your border sizes accordingly.
  • The fourth person on each quilt will layer, baste, quilt, and bind the quilt. If you don't know how to do these things, this isn't the swap for you! Quilts may be hand or machine quilted, and embellishments may be added if appropriate.
  • Please do not add embellishments if you’re working on the first or second border – it’s too hard for the last person to quilt around them.  If you have something that you really think the quilt needs as embellishment, you can send it along with the quilt and the last person can decide whether to use it (or not)
~Reminders on Blog posting...
  • Absolutely do NOT post a photo of your center block on this blog or your personal blog, please.
  • I will photograph each block as they arrive to me, and post them on the blog, anonymously. We want the people working on your quilt not to know whose quilt it is.
  • You may post pictures to the blog of the borders you make, but be sure to completely conceal the center block.
- Once you've read through this and want to participate, please send me an email with the following information:

  • your name
  • mailing address
  • email address
  • phone number
  • blog address, if you'd like it listed
  • do you have a problem mailing internationally? (so far we have 4 participants outside the U.S.)
  • Preferences (optional) about types of fabric, quilt styles, would you like a hanging sleeve, does the quilt need to be washable – I will send these out along with your center block 

- Extra “stuff”: In the past, folks have asked about sending extra stuff along with your project, such as

·         a label for everyone to sign

·         -little gifts for the people who will be working on your quilt

·         an anonymous note

·         more fabric
I think that the label is fine -- and completely optional -- but please don’t put your name on it until the quilt comes home to you. In consideration of mailing costs, I’d like to discourage sending anything more. Here's how I feel about notes and more fabric (other than the 1/4 yard that's in the original guidelines):  this is a little bit about giving up control!  It's a small quilt, not a huge commitment, so let the people who are working on your quilt use their creativity.   Relax! 

My email address is  (replace the _at_ with @) -- contact me with questions or concerns. Thanks for playing!

Doors closing soon...

Here's a reminder to let me know soon if you want to be a part of the 2014 Cotton Robin!  I'm planning to get the lists organized right around New Year's Day.

Just to get started: your center block can be any size up to 81 square inches -- that means a 9" square or an 8" x 10" rectangle are the largest sizes. 

You will be sending your center block to me, and it should get here before the end of January.  If you're outside the US, please allow some extra time for the vagaries of international mail...

Please do not include anything on your center block that can't be quilted over (i.e. no embellishments at this point!)  In fact, the new rule is: No embellishments until the quilting round, because it's too difficult to quilt over/around them.

Other than that, the "rules" will be the same as before.

More soon,


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

If you want to join... "Unknown" doesn't help!

If you want to join in the round robin, please make sure I know who you are and have some way to contact you...  "Unknown" -- this is for you!   You need to include your name and email address in your comment, or else send me an email.

Similarly, if you don't have an email address associated with your blog, please make sure I know what it is  (no one else, so far...)



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

should we do this again?

Calling all Robineers!  

Maybe it's just the cold weather, but I've been thinking about starting up a new round of this madness and I'm wondering who might want to join in for the 2014 event?  We would probably have the first block due around February 1 or so...

"Rules" will be pretty much the same, I think, but I'm happy to listen to suggestions. New players are welcome if they have some swapping history and enough experience to work without a pattern!



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Yippee! and I give in

I am so happy that everyone's quilts are finally home!  It felt a little like herding cats at a couple of points, but it's like what they say about childbirth... you forget the pain pretty quickly and jump right in to do it again! 

(I have no personal experience with childbirth, however, so don't trust me on that...)

Anyway, I'm going to give in on you making a quilt for me, and send the "spare" block that Sandra made to Glen. The original plan was that I was going to do a border, and then Glen, and then Sophie would quilt it.  So -- anyone who wants to get in between Glen and Sophie should get in touch with Glen  (go to her blog and check her profile for the email address) and it's up to you if you want to post progress photos or not.  And thank you in advance!


p.s. Jay -- I can't decide which way I like your quilt best.  Maybe you could just rotate it from time to time?

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Wandering Quilt Has Wandered Home!!!

I just received my quilt from Laurina in New Zealand today!!!  I am so pleased it returned to is lovely!!!!  Thank you Kathleen, Sandra, and Laurina for the beautiful work you all did!!!!  Now I have one big decision to I display it with the center block horizontal or vertical!!!!  I hope all you "Cotton Robins" will help me make up my mind!


or Vertical???

Now, Julie...are all the quilts in? and, if so would you be willing to send the orphan block around with a schedule for us all to make for you?????

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

my quilt is HOME!!!!

I just received my wonderful quilt from Nan! 
It is even better in person! 
Thanks again to all the wonderful women who worked on it!
 Nan, Liz and Kathleen-you all did a wonderful job!
<3<3 <3 <3
(a big merci to Julie who is so vigilant and such a great head honcho)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

updates and thanks

So -- the last quilt is in the mail!  (sigh of relief) and thanks for all the perseverance, good thoughts, and whatever else helped get Jay's top to New Zealand after all.

I appreciate Sophie's suggestion that the "spare" block be made into a quilt for me -- you guys are sweet! -- but a) I want to make sure that everything gets home first and b) I'm really bad at accepting gifts...

Sandra's quilt is still in transit from Oregon to Ontario, about ten days so far.   And then there's the treacherous journey from New Zealand to Texas!  I hope there's more good news soon.


Jay's long-lost quilt is finished

I managed to get the quilting and binding done on the weekend and should get Jay's quilt into the mail tomorrow. Because Julie already posted the almost-finished quilt in the reveal, I thought I'd go ahead and post a picture of the finished quilt here (sorry, I chopped the top off a bit).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

IT CAME!!!!!!

Just received Jay's quilt in the mail today. Will get it quilted this weekend! YAY!!!!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

the replacement

This wonderful block arrived from Sandra today, to be the center for Jay's new round robin!

I'll be tracking the progress (all in the U.S. from this point on) and of course there will be a photo of the finished quilt sometime this summer.  Stay tuned!


Friday, June 21, 2013

are you ready? THE BIG REVEAL Is Here!

It's the moment you've all been waiting for! The results of your hard with no further delay:

This was Anne's center
And the quilt finished by Julie, Marie and Sophie:

 Here is Catherine's center block

and the quilt finished by Kate, Mary Jane and Tami:

 Next up is Glen's center

And the quilt finished by Catherine, Kate and Julie:

 This is Janet's center compass
and the quilt finished by Laurina, Rachel and Terry.

 This was Jay's center block

and the top that sadly went astray on the way to New Zealand, by Kathleen and  Sandra:
 Here is Julie's center

and the quilt finished by Marie, Tami and Liz:

Now for Kate's original block
 and the quilt finished by Mary Jane, Terry and Glen:

Kathleen started with a little Mola block

And this is the quilt created by Nan, Sophie and Jay

 Here is Laurina's center block

 and the finished quilt by Rachel, Anne and Catherine

 Next is Liz's bright center
 and the wild finish by Sandra, Catherine and Kathleen:

 This is Marie's center block


 and the finished quilt by Sophie, Glen and Kate

 Mary Jane started with similar fabrics

 And her completely different quilt was made by Tami, Janet and Rachel:

 This one was Nan's center block
And here is the quilt made by  Terry, Jay and Marie

Rachel started with this lovely applique
and the quilt was created by Anne, Laurina and Sandra

This was Sandra' starter block

  and the terrific quilt made by Liz, Kathleen, and Nan:

Here is Sophie's cute skier

 And the snowy mountain quilt made by Glen, Julie and Mary Jane:

 here is Tami's center block

And the quilt made by Janet, Nan and Anne

Last but not least -- here is Terry's starter block
And the fabulous finish by  Jay, Liz and Janet:

For those who are wondering, I am arranging a replacement quilt for Jay and all I know so far is that Sandra is sending me a center block... I'll get in touch with those who have volunteered to do a round, and will post a photo of the starter and the finished quilt in due course.

Thanks to all of you who participated in this folly --   we had a few bumps but I think the results are splendid! We'll do it again one of these days...


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

almost there...

a quick update --  I've heard from all the "finishers" and everything is in the mail as of today. If you haven't yet told me that you received your quilt, please do so as soon as it arrives!    I know you're all anxious to see The Big Reveal...



Monday, June 17, 2013

Another quilt received

Received my lovely quilt today - I'm really happy with it - the borders all work nicely with what was admittedly, perhaps not the easiest centre to deal with. And I really like the quilting (and embellishing) as well. Thanks so much to all who worked on it.  Desperate to share it on my blog, but will resist until the reveal...  Thanks again to Julie as well for all her hard work in organising the Round Robin and keeping us all on track.

Friday, June 14, 2013

today's update

Just checking in to let you all know where we're at with the various robins...

- I have photos from all the "finishers" except Nan and Jay

- I heard from Anne, Glen, Janet, Laurina, Marie, Mary Jane, Sophie and Tami that their quilts are home.

I've heard from Tami, Glen, Sandra, Kathleen, Marie and Janet that they mailed off the quilts they finished (going to Catherine, Kate, Rachel, Liz, Nan and Terry).

If you've received a quilt but you're not on my list, please let me know. 
I know Jay was running a little late, but I need an update, and I need to hear from Nan!

Unfortunately, we have one quilt that's gone AWOL between Canada and New Zealand, which is ultimately destined for Jay.  I'll be organizing a search party, or a sewing bee, pretty soon..

As soon as all the rest of the quilts are home, I'll do the big reveal!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

We got home late last night after the CAAWS Board meeting.  That is always a difficult meeting because of the explosive personalities.  I was feeling drained.

Frank went out to get the mail, and came back saying, do you REALLY need more fabric?  I knew I had not ordered fabric, so there, it was my Cotton Robin!


It is bright, inventive, incredible and amazing.  There is no way I could have done this piece justice, while you made it sing!

Thank you to all who worked on it, Adventurous Catherine (who stepped out by cutting my block and making it better), Princess Kate of Enland (who made the colors zing), and the Amazing Julie (who quilted it and strung the tiny blocks together).

It had the most amazing team! I can't wait for you all to see the transformation!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Finished quilt has arrived home to New Zealand

I came home to my finished quilt. It is amazing (Anne, the orange was inspired). I can't wait for the big reveal to see all of the finished quilts. It is so exciting to see what different creative minds come up with to make a beautiful finish. Thanks to everyone that worked on it (Catherine, Anne, and ???)

Monday, June 10, 2013

On route to the final destination

I finished the quilt early yesterday evening, took a few pics ,wrapped it up carefully and today it went to the post office to make its way home!

Bon voyage!

OH MY!!!

I was having a perfectly awful Monday - Dentist trip on an emergency basis with a promise of 3 additional visits at an extraordianry cost - and lo and behold I open a package from someone I did not know and am blown away.  There is no way anyone else will get this one.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!!  Rest assured it takes a bit of the dentist sting away.  Thank you everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sneaky peek

And here's a little taster of the Cotton Robin I have just finished quilting (and binding, and sleeving, and labelling and all that jazz).  It's off in the post tomorrow - or possibly Thursday, depending on how much time I have - to Someone, Somewhere. Maybe it's you!

Monday, June 3, 2013

We're nearly there...

The date for mailing your finished quilt is June 10. 

My list shows 8 quilts mailed so far
(Liz, Kathleen, Catherine, Terry, Janet, Mary Jane, Anne, and Sophie)

And I think I've only heard from a couple of recipients (Sophie and Anne)

Be sure to let me know when you send or receive -- and please send me a photo via email (not on the blog) before you put your finished quilt in the mail.

If you think you're going to be late mailing the quilt... please get in touch sooner rather than later!


(still need to finish the quilting...)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Quilt is Home!

I picked up my quilt at the Post Office yesterday.  I told myself that I wouldn't start neurotically checking for it until the deadline, so it was a pleasant surprise.

Now my plan is to get it labelled and hung before the big reveal and, in the meantime, to thank Glen, Julie and Mary Jane for my little quilt.

I can't wait for everyone to see it ... but I will be a good girl and do just that–wait :-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Homeward Bound

My finished piece will begin its travel home tomorrow - Good Lord willing!  Since I am very near the east coast of the US, there are very few "east" of me - so Westward HO!!!!
P.S.  If the recipient doesn't like the finished product, return it to me.  I love it!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Another Quilt On Its Way Home

Auditioning Thread for Quilt #3Last year, I was one of the last (if not THE last) to finish, so I was especially motivated to get it done earlier this time around and not become a problem child for Julie.  It helped that as soon as I opened the envelope, I had some ideas about how I wanted to quilt it.

I'll be taking the finished quilt to the post office later this afternoon, after some much needed rain stops coming down in buckets.

Here are some hints to help you guess if it might be yours.

I had considered some embellishment (and asked the question a few days ago), but decided it wasn't needed.  I did add lots of quilting though–here are some of the threads I auditioned. I used all but one of these and a couple more.

The fabric you see in the background is the backing fabric.  You can see it again, below, in a photo of the 2-inch split sleeve I added to the back of the quilt.

Split Hanging Sleeve

Here are some sepia-toned detail photos of the piped binding and free motion quilting.  I thought I had lost my piping trimming tool in my move from Texas last year; I was happy to find it and directions with measurements for making a skinny piped binding.

Sepia Toned hint - piped binding Sepia Toned Hint - bed of roses fill pattern Sepia Toned Hint - Feather Quilting

This quilt doesn't have to travel far–if it's yours, I hope you like it.

Friday, May 3, 2013

McGee Ate My Homework!

I am finished doing the hand work on the Cotton Robin piece for this part of the project.  All I have left to do is to hand sew the binding down on the back.  And get it mailed off!  I am sure it will be loved!  Here is a sneak peak.  I can't show the whole thing, so you will have to wait till the big reveal in June or so.

I want you to know how special this is, I don't hand quilt!  

And in the process of making this McGee (my basset posing as a mountain goat)  ate the color skein I was working with so I had to get more from Hobby Lobby.  And try to remember what color it was since I didn't buy the skeins, but rather won them in the birthday raffle a few months ago. I was pretty sure it would not be usable when I got it back, one way or another.

McGee survived, and so did I. And I sure hope the recipient will love it as much as I do!

glen:  sitting in the very cold (42 degree afternoon) in the south of Louisiana
Baton Rouge, LA

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Laurina ,
Just wanted to let you know that I received the package today!
I cannot wait to get started!  
It is just gorgeous!!!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Progress reports?

By now, all of you should have your finished tops in the mail...  if you have not mailed yet, please contact me right away so that I can update the next person in the process.

Many of you have received the finished tops -- if you've received one but not mentioned it, please let me know!



Friday, April 26, 2013

Second Border Sent and Received

The second border has been mailed off to Liz ... this is just a sneak peek of two parts of the border I added. I decided to go with some 3D action. I wonder how it'll turn out?

In the meantime I received my flimsy and will head to the drawing board for some quilting inspiration. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And in Other News....

This one is from me:

I mailed off my package this week to Merry Old England to Kate.  (I think she is the Princess!)

And I did receive my piece to work on and will   work on it very soon!

I am excited to get closer to my own coming home!

glen in Louisiana

News from the Great State of Arizona

This is from Anne of Quilting in the Desert:

1.  I received my 3rd quilt and it's beautiful!!

2.  I am shipping my 2nd quilt off to Catherine Jarett on Wednesday.  I can't wait to see a picture of it when it's all finished!  

3.  What fun this had been and how sorry I am that the Cotton Robin is over so soon.  :)  Can't we do another one, like really soon?  :)

I'm so glad I got to participate in this, it's been a very interesting journey for me.  :) 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A comedy of errors ... mine

First the important part of the post.  Here's a hint at what I added as the second round on the quilt I'll be mailing to Jay tomorrow.

Clue for Round 2

This ISN'T the actual border--this is from an old UFO that I used to reverse engineer (and resize and change the corners) for a similar vine that was part of what I added to the Cotton Robin quilt (in an entirely different colorway) ... but you get the idea ;-)

As I mentioned on my blog, I originally thought I could simply put this unquilted wall hanging on my light box and trace it.

It seemed like a good idea ...It seemed like a good idea, but as soon as I turned on the light, it was clear that wasn't going to work.

They are pretty simple–if small and fidgety–blocks, so I was able to draw them in a size that would fit the round robin quilt.

It's been a long time since I had done any paper foundation piecing and mistakes were made, ripped and re-made ...  until I got it right.

At one point it seemed my math was wrong and my borders would be too long.  After a little freak out in my head, I suspended disbelief, kept making blocks  ...  and told myself that if they didn't fit, I'd improvise. After a couple days of sewing and thinking that it wasn't going to work ... it did.  I should have known to trust my math skills ;-)

I had used a polyester foundation paper, Ricky Tim's Stable Stuff Poly, that can be left in the quilt, but after the borders were sewn, then ripped and re-sewn to account for my dyslexic quilter mistakes, I decided to remove it all because of weight of it seemed to do odd things to the little quilt top.

It's all good now ... honest.  I really love this little quilt; I hope the owner likes it too.

UPDATE:  I mailed the quilt onto Jay at noon.  USPS predicts she will have it by the end of the week.