A Round Robin Makes Possum Magic!

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Have you participated in a quilting round robin? Working together to progressively build quilt tops in cooperation with other round robin members involves a lot of trust!

Each quilter designs a center block. The quilt tops are passed through the hands of every quilter in the group, each adding a border (or other element as determined by the group). The quilters are encouraged and entrusted to thoughtfully keep the personality of the original block alive. It’s true collaboration, and it is also a delightful surprise to see the end result when each participant receives her finished quilt top.

I’ve recently become acquainted with Wendy Welsh of Wendy’s Quilts and More. Wendy lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Her round robin group is called Possum Magic, with a nod to the possums that are native to Australia and New Zealand. As the group’s quilts travel around the two countries, they know that magic will certainly be created!

Thanks to Wendy for sharing her blog, My Possum Magic Quilt Returns Home, with AQS QuiltViews! You can feel the anticipation as well as the thrill when her shared quilt top comes back to her. This blog was posted on Wendy’s Quilts and More on September 4, 2015.

Here’s Wendy:

On Thursday I received my own Possum Magic quilt back. More than a year after sending away my little green star block, I received a beautiful quilt back from my fellow Possum, Alice.

Here’s the centre block I sent off back in June 2014:
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And here’s what I received back this week:

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Isn’t that fantastic? Seven lovely ladies, who I didn’t even know a year ago, have each added a border that perfectly captures my tastes and colours. I’m so pleased with how it turned out – the colours, the patterns, the individual fabrics – it’s all wonderful.

Lime green is particularly hard to photograph, so here’s a close up of some of the vibrancy in this quilt (and the highly accurate precise piecing fellow Possums have done):

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I really do hope that the other members of the group are equally pleased with their quilts when they get them back. I think it became easier to think up borders as we got to know the group members better, but some people think it got harder once they knew more about the person and their likes and dislikes.

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My quilt is 84″ square, so it fits perfectly on a queen sized bed.

I’ve started thinking about the quilting and backing already. The predictable choice would be to use Kaffe Fassett Paperweight in purple, but I’ve already used that in another quilt, so may just be radical and use a green version of Paperweight instead. I have a tiny piece of it in Algae and it looks good against the quilt top. I intend to hand quilt this quilt with a variety of my usual Perle 8s, but I may also use some of my Dazzle threads from Wonderfil which have a sparkle in them. I want to bring out the stars and triangles in the borders.

Here are some photos of how my quilt developed. Each person just did whatever they thought was best for the quilt at that time. We could give general preferences, but mainly took inspiration from what other people had done before.

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Our Possum Magic round robin started after we found each other through the New Bloggers group back in 2014. Over 100 people from all over the world joined that online group, but we got ourselves organised and setup a round robin for those of us in Australia and New Zealand.

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Jo had been in a round robin before, so she drafted some rules, and we all set to work making our own centre blocks.

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We had about six weeks to add our borders to each quilt before it was time to send them on to the next person on the list. The dates were all agreed at the start.

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The quilts traveled around in a circle, and the idea was that we would blog about the borders as we completed them. Unfortunately times have changed, and we all spend more time on Instagram than we do blogging now, but we still got to see updates of how our quilts were progressing.

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We have developed close connections with our fellow Possums while working on these quilts. Carla, Serena and Jo are in in Perth so they have met up to exchange quilts and brain storm ideas for borders.

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Rebecca, Alice and I are all in New Zealand. I’ve become friends with Alice because she lives in Wellington. I haven’t met Rebecca yet, but she has a great Kiwi sense of humor, and I’d really like to meet her one day.

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I’m so pleased I took a risk and joined this round robin. I really didn’t know what I was in for, but I’ve met some great people, and stretched my sewing boundaries. Plus, I’ve now got a beautiful quilt top in all my favourite colours. Thank you team!!

The other members of the Possum Magic group are:

Alice of Blossom Quilts and Crafts
Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl
Jane of Where Jane Creates
Jo of Riddle and Whimsy
Rebecca of One Wee Bird
Sharon of Motherdragon’s Musings
Serena of Sew Giving

Click HERE to see the other Possum Magic quilts.

Take a look around Wendy’s Quilts and More. You’ll will find quilting inspiration…and more!

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