Fun and lessons doing the row robin with the UFO group

It was to take us 8 months for 8 participants working at a pace of 1 row/mo. Each person picked a theme, and decided on  "rules" for guidance in the making of the rows to follow. Some had color preferences , pattern choice(s), or simply an "express youself" attitude. Then the first rows ( acting as each quilt's foundation row) were sent out in Jan. The owners of these rows would not see their rows or even pictures of the rows being added by their friends, until the quilt came home at the end.

   It takes a newbie at row robins a bit of courage ...others would be seeing one's work up close. Yet, we all knew we would do our best ( at whatever skill level we were at), and trust the others to do the same. Then, as the rows came around to us ,we often had to learn new methods, or move out of our color comfort zones.Research, planning, digging through our stash for just the right fabric...hey! this was getting to be fun! Finally the row would be sewn, and a few heartfelt words added to the journal that accompanied each set of rows, and the parcel would go off in the post. Within a week, the next set of rows would arrive, and the process would start over.

   We had our mishaps. One set of rows got lost in the mail ( mine) after 2 additions had been made. lt put us behind schedule, by 2 months as l made a replacement and sent it along to where it should have gone. Besides that delay, some us us found that life got "interesting" , and encroached on our time and/or sewing space. Still, our stalwarth group kept up the route of the quilts, sometimes  a few days late , often foregoing other activities that really needed our attention...because we'd made this commitment, and a quilters word is golden. The 2 quilters who's additions to my quilt got lost were both generous and made replacement rows, for which l'm so greatful. My quilt would not be complete without them.

   This experience has made me a better quilter. l've learned some history of the blocks l've made. l've learned how to use my machine to perform some really interesting stitch effects.  Most of all, l've learned to "lighten up " and not be such a serious quilter. From now on, there are going to be more purple cats , green dogs, and a variety of background fabrics!

   l've gotten to know and appreciate the talents of 7  fellow quilters.We've shared our ups and downs, solved problems, helped each other over "quilters block", and learned from each other. l'm so grateful to have had the chance to participate in this project. My lovely rows have arrived home, and l'm busy planning how l'm going to place them then quilt the whole. Would l do it all again? You bet! ...but not for a while...l need a rest:))

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Comment by Ginny Andersen on October 21, 2014 at 12:47pm

Very well put, Riana. I have tried repeatedly to explain the RR process to non-quilting and quilting friends, even, and finally gave up with some of them, who could not grasp what we were doing. I should have read your story to them. This was an amazing journey and I loved seeing and learning from you all!

I know your Wall will be glorious when finished! It was one of the most unique themes, in my opinion, and also one of the most challenging and rewarding when I accomplished my goal.

Comment by Beth A. North on October 14, 2014 at 2:21pm

Beautifully put Riana.  You do so well at the stories of our Row Robin.  I still love our title by Ginny, "Wild, Wonderful, Wacky Women".  Your quilt did take some thinking on what best to do.  The theme of a garden wall and your story of the whole aspect was charming.  So sorry the first time got lost.  That was so disappointing.  The post office still has no sight of it.  It will be treasure always.

Comment by Vickie Smith on October 13, 2014 at 8:16pm

Yes, Riana, it will take some planning.  But from what I have seen of your work, you will come up with something beautiful.

Comment by Riana Noyes on October 13, 2014 at 7:49pm

Vickie, it's going to take quite some planning to do this quilt justice:)

Comment by Riana Noyes on October 13, 2014 at 7:47pm

Yes Carla l agree. l think it was Mary who once mentioned to me that it was like a live quilting magazine. Seeing new-to-us methods first hand is so much more educational than photo shots.

Comment by carla j walton on October 13, 2014 at 11:03am

well said Riana....the rest of us have enjoyed nearly as much as you all did. i learned a lot following along.  what a fun project and a lifelong memory for you all.

Comment by Vickie Smith on October 13, 2014 at 10:40am

Beautifully written, Riana.  And we have enjoyed following along and seeing the finished quit tops as they arrive home.  Looking forward to seeing the quilts and quilting.

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