Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

Mystery Round Robin reveal

on July 24, 2013

For the first half of the year, I participated in the Modern Mystery Round Robin swap. We had no prior notice of what the others were sending, or whose was coming, so it was fun to get the package each month! Some were easier than others…. Sometimes I knew immediately what I wanted to do, others required hunting for the right fabric or putting some real thought into it. Some were done in a few hours, others took a few weeks of dedicated work. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and had a lot of fun seeing the transformation of each block just with my addition. I can’t wait to see how they each turned out!

I took before and after pictures for each block. I believe once the reveal begins, I can come back here and add the links to the others’ reveals if you want to see step-by-step.

February’s block:


This was my first block I got. I loved the color scheme and the fabrics were darling. It was the same print in 3 colors. I pulled some fabric possibilities and spent a little time thinking about what to do. I ended up going with a checkboard. It took some time, and overall I liked how it came out, though I did have some issue keeping things even on one end. I hope the next person added a lot of white to balance it out!


March block:


My next block threw me off at first. It isn’t so much my style and I haven’t done much in paper piecing or applique. I visited my LQS to pick up a better match for the baby blue, then set to work. I found a 9 patch tulip pattern and a paper piecing pattern for pots. I pretty much knew right away what I wanted to do then. I spent hours and hours on this one. It is one of the ones I am most proud of. I might wish now that I turned the tulips the other way (I tried it both, and liked this better at the time. Now I am not so sure. We’ll see how it looks with the rest of the additions). I also wish I had used more of a green for the leaves.


April block:


As I was embroiled in March’s block, April’s block showed up! I wasn’t ready for it yet, so I set it aside for quite a while. Then, once I did turn to it, I really wasn’t sure what to do with it. I don’t have a lot of browns or batiks in my stash. It was a very geometric pattern, but I didn’t want to add more HSTs (my first inclination), chevrons or squares. I wanted to give it some more interest. This is the only one where I only added to two sides. The rules allow for double the row width if you only add to two sides. So I picked up some of the animal prints in the previous rows and made diamonds. Once I finally settled on what to do, it went rather quickly.


May block:


I loved the colors of this block, but it was very Christmasy in nature. I don’t have any Christmas fabrics. 🙂 I had to go shopping. I was lucky to find some red with gold sparkles to echo the other red with gold in the block. I also had about a week to put this one together because I had been away the entire month of May and it didn’t come til after I left. This one, I had a good idea what I wanted to do, but it evolved as I worked on it. I liked all the HSTs I was seeing, and thought I should reiterate that in my row. At first I was leaning toward a chevron, but as I was browsing through my border book I decided a sawtooth would be a cool way to go. Then, as I was working on my blocks, I changed my mind again from a standard sawtooth to more of a starburst shape. I LOVE this one. I loved how it looked after I was done. I feel like it just works perfectly. I am so excited to see how it ended up.


June block:


This block was also waiting for me when I came home from vacation. Once I finished the Christmas block I looked this one over. I loved it, but was at a total loss what to do. I did some thinking and googling. I was also the last addition to this block. It was going back home after me. It is another one that evolved, and while I like it, there are things I wish had happened differently. First, I decided to make little flying geese to represent schools of fish swimming. That was my original plan and I started making them. I wanted something cute for the corners, though and eventually came across a fish block. First I was going to put a fish in each corner, but then decided to do kissing fishes instead. As I was working on that, I came across the PERFECT fat quarter pack. It had the exact colors and the prints were fish/water related. Oh, I kicked myself. I already had most of the rows made and didn’t want to waste all that and remake everything. I used the cute fish print on the corners, and brought in the fuscia in some of the fish and geese, which I was glad for. I am not so sure now, looking at the picture (with crappy lighting FWIW), that I like the light stripe next to the greenish batik but at the time it was the best option. It may be the lighting. Had I found those other fabrics earlier… I’ll be interested to see what the owner does with this, if she has yet. I still think it is cute.


My block:


And this is what I got back….

IMG_1254 IMG_1255

I love the design – especially the sort of starburst row. The border anchors it all together. It is really a neat design to look at and I like how it plays off my center block. Some of the elements really surprised me, though. First, I didn’t expect the pink. I followed the rules and did not specify that specific colors be used. I had hoped my center block would guide the colors.  Seeing it now, I do like it, it is a pink that plays well with the purple – it just wasn’t what I was planning or expecting. The other thing that really surprised me is that pretty much the entire thing is batik! Only the center piece in my original block was a batik print, and it was just a scrap that I found that had my colors in it. I wanted the center to have both colors since the points were monochromatic. I was surprised that so many people were inspired to use batik. Ultimately, I do really like it, it is very pretty, it just was a surprise and not what I expected. Which is the whole point of the swap. To see what others come up with. I don’t think it will work for what I had planned for it, so I will have to come up with something else to finish it. I appreciate everyone’s thoughtful and hard work. I know from working on all of theirs that it isn’t always easy to know what direction to take the piece.

Thank you also to Michelle for putting it together. I enjoyed this first experience with a round robin. It is fun to get a surprise in the mail and figure out how I am going to work with it. I can’t wait to see how they have all turned out. Want to see what everyone else did? Check here –


11 responses to “Mystery Round Robin reveal

  1. HeatherK says:

    Love your final quilt! The colors and sense of movement are stunning.

  2. Laurel, you improved each one! And I was happy to have heard the backstory…

  3. This was my favorite and for some reason didn’t take any pictures (or at least I can’t find any 😦 ). I am going to link to here to steal yours! I did the last border and had fun doing it – I took some inspiration from your border on my quilt and put yours together. I tried to use both batiks and non-batiks in my border since I saw you used both. I hope you like it, I almost wanted to say it got lost in the mail! Thanks for participating with us!!!

  4. Bea says:

    it looks great! (that one I had a hard time laying flat when I got it) hopefully it worked out though.

  5. Diane-crewe says:

    so glad you like it I loved working on it xx

  6. Rachell R says:

    you did a great job on each one!
    and I adore your quilt that you received back. the purples, blues and pinks on the black really pop, but are so peaceful and pretty. and of course I love the stars and diamonds!
    are you more comfy with paper-piecing now? I love paper-piecing.

  7. carol says:

    Totally love the May sawtooth border addition.

    Your quilt is LOVELY!!

  8. Janet says:

    A wonderful quilt! I love the colour scheme.

  9. Michele says:

    I too love the way this one came out and I’m glad you enjoyed all of it. I hope to see your name on a round robin list in the future.

  10. orange-crumpled-napkin@blogspot.com says:

    The first reaction I had when I saw yours in the envelope was how sparkly it looked! I wanted to make sure I carried those jewel tones into the stars. Your colors were fun to work with. And thank you so much for the fish corners on the last border of my top. They were the perfect ending.

  11. Sartenada says:

    What a great joy for man’s eye – so beautiful.

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