In January, I stumbled across a post for a “Round Robin Mystery”. My interest was piqued. Even though it was a day or two past the deadline, I emailed Michele at Quilts from My Crayon Box (who is AMAZING to work with! Thank you Michele!), and she said that there was indeed room for just one more person, IF I could get a center block done and out the door in just a couple days. GAME ON!

We would send out a center block that would travel around to other people. Each person would add 3″ to each side (or 6″ to 2 sides…. no more than 12″) or something close to that *grin* I’m a little free wheeling sometimes…may have been 3.5″…

When our block returned to us, it would be a mini quilt. We were sworn to secrecy or Michelle would confiscate our computer and our sewing machine (not really, but she was pretty convincing that she DOES NOT LIKE spoilers).

I had just participated in a Dresden Plate Blog Hop hosted by Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt. Totally inspired, I decided that *I* could make a dresden plate…and square it off, like I’d seem some on her hop.

So…….with that part of the idea, I thought it would be fun to have a throw that we could use in day to day life. I tried to make it really easy… I incorporated lots of colors, so there wouldn’t be too many restrictions….. I included a note that let them know what I was thinking when I sent it out (The note didn’t come back, or I’d include a copy here… basically it said that I was looking for a blanket that represented the seasons, or activities you’d do in a certain season, told them we had kids and animals…. some of our likes and interests, etc).

This is what I started them off with…..

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The first month, I received this to work on:

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Not sure why this one stumped me…but it did. I think I made about 12 different borders for this one (I wish I’d taken pictures as I was creating, but I was far too involved with what I was doing)…..and every time I thought I had it, I’d come back the next day…and I’d HATE it! LOL!

Let me just make the disclaimer right now that even though this is a MODERN mystery…. I don’t think I am very modern. I kept trying to be funky, and off center…. but I just couldn’t leave it like that. So……

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I had originally repeated the saw pattern with the pieces above…but I just hated it! So, I just kept moving the pieces around, and tried to be modern and leave it like this…. but I just couldn’t, so…..

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I think I was over my size limit, but I could sleep at night. I wish I had come up with something more interesting for this block. It was such a beautiful start! I hope that those who came behind me where able to do more justice to this block that I feel like I did. (You’ll find I’m totally honest, if nothing else). It wasn’t for lack of trying. I can’t wait to see what this turned into! I’m hoping you can see that the yellow pulls the yellow out of the lime green. I added the pink/orange tones to open up the palette a little for the next people.

Next, this stunning piece landed in my mailbox. Tell me how intimidated I felt right about now??

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Again, I plotted and planned and played with fabrics and colors and designs…. but everything I did just felt TOO busy! So, in order to showcase the beautiful center and first row, I opted for simple, but necessary. A place for the eye to rest. (It always feels like a cop out when I say that, but it true. Anything other than what I added would have just added BUSY!), so….this is what I sent on to the next person

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I love this! I can’t wait to see where this went! What I really wanted to do was to turn this on point and repeat the “windows” that were in the center, but I hope you agree that simple borders is what it needed.

 

The next month  brought this…..

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I liked how the pink/red, turquoise and gray were being carried throughout, but felt the turquoise was getting lost, so I decided to emphasize that, and I wanted to repeat the center star as best I could in the space allowed, so…..

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The corners were a little tricky since they were pink squares and I was doing a pink border….but I love how the gray pieces and red dots really make them pop! I was quite happy with this and felt good about sending it on to the next person. Another one I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

This was the next one to arrive…

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I have to say, this mystified me as much as the first block. It’s not that I didn’t like it….I just didn’t know what to do with is. Usually I’d have a few ideas right off the bat….but not with this one. I consulted with several friends to see what they would do with it……and we all agreed that the pastels it started with were being lost, so it was time to “go back to the beginning”. That chose the color palette (turquoise and pink), and I loved the appliqued ribbon, so I wanted to mimic the movement of that border….. this is what I ended up with:

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Honestly, I think this looks better in a picture than in person (my part of it anyways, or it may just be that I was so frustrated with the fabric and the way it handled that I was just HAPPY to send it on it’s way!!). I’m looking at it here and I’m thinking “that doesn’t look so bad!” but I remember when I mailed it, I felt like I should have included a note of apology. I’m curious to see where this went from here, what the next person decided to add!

Lastly, this amazing mini-quilt walked in my door:

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*Swoon* I have a real affinity for black backgrounds and jewel tones. I have to admit a small piece of me thought “I could just say it got lost in the mail….” *grin* true story.

Anyways, I KNEW I wanted to repeat the triangles in some way. I was debating on the best way to do that, when I thought of a technique I had used recently in another block swap I’d just finished. I’m not sure what the technical name is, but what it reminded me of is when we were little, we would color different colors all over a paper and then cover it with black paint and scratch off our design.

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I stitched lots of small pieces of fabric together and then put black over it, I stitched a triangle shape,cut the black out, and went back and zig-zagged over the edges. It took longer than I thought at every step….but totally worth it. I love it! I hope the new owner does as well (if not, at least it was last and she can take it off LOL!)

Remember at the beginning, I showed you what I sent out? This is what came back to me….

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I’m going to add a few more rows to this to make it larger and incorporate more holidays and events. I think this will be fun on our couch!

There were some super-talented people that were adding borders, and I’m so thankful they worked on MY quilt! When I took this picture, I realized how colorful this is. My kids are going to love it! I’m not sure if my favorite is the butterfly, the leaves (? we’ve had a few debates on if they are leaves,fruits, or a multitude of other things…but I love them!) or the piano keys around the outside that repeat the center block. I think my kids will have fun doing an “I-Spy” as they cuddle under it. I don’t know if you can see it or not, but the green with black is actually little ants *grin*

Not sure what I am going to add to it, but it will be fun when I decide to pull it back out. I think I’ll have to pull in fall and winter.

I will DEFINITELY participate again! This was a lot of fun (a little stressful at times, but more fun than stress). I’d like to than Michele for running this! Make sure you visit Michele and see the rest of the quilts!

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