while sorting thru years and years (nearly two decades) of pictures i found some very low resolution images of rows for several quilts i helped make almost 15 years ago. i'm hoping that by posting pictures of these rows, someone will recognize them and will be able to help me get back in touch with these friends. these are rows i made for a quilting round robin consisting of members of the rec.crafts.textiles.quilting (RCTQ) usenet group (this was back before there was even a world wide web--back when screennames were assigned to you by your ISP and had all the randomness of car license tags).
the idea was for us to get to know each other more personally by each making one row for a quilt for each participant. we each put together a box that contained some fabrics we'd like included in the quilt, and the coordinator created a shipping sequence so we'd know who to send our boxes to each month. we would get the first box, make a row, then send it on to the next quilter so she could add her row, etc. when all the rows were done our own box would have made it thru the round and back home, where we would each assemble the rows into a quilt.
when the box arrived each month we had the whole month to create a row, using the fabrics in the box plus any other fabrics we wanted to include. some participants had themes they hoped we'd follow, some didn't, but the idea was that the rows we made for each other would reflect both the makers' creativity and the recipients' taste. some quilters wanted their rows signed, and some wanted the quilt label signed, but in the end there would be nine quilts that each had nine different makers involved and documented in their creation.
i felt completely out of my element in this round robin because i was a beginning quilter and i had seen the wonderful things the other quilters had made, but they very graciously let me join the group and over the course of almost a year i got to know each of them so much better and become so fond of each of them (none of us ever met in person--the whole project was all coordinated and conducted via snail mail and email). and by getting to see each of the previous rows as the boxes came each month i learned so much about the art of quilting (or rather the art of patchwork--i never saw the completed quilts in person).
each quilter also put in her box a journal that the other quilters could read and add to along the way. it was fascinating to read the makers' thoughts and inspirations and challenges in their own handwriting--so revealing of the depth of feeling and consideration each quilter put into the row she made for each recipient.
month by month, the boxes grew heavier--because being quilters, we each added a little something to the box for the recipient, and often for the quilters who would follow. i always added a fat quarter of my hand-dyed fabric, and a postcard from nashville, and usually some small token such as a packet of hand needles or a spool of good thread. just something to connect with the quilters down the line who i knew would one day be kind enough not to mock my work out loud. ;)
the following pictures are of rows i made for the other recipients. (edited to add: i can't find pictures of all the rows i made--or at least i didn't find them today. if i do find them, i'll let you know). if you have one of these rows, or know the person who does, please contact me! i'd so love to catch up with old friends. i know the names of the quilters who got each row, but for privacy's sake i will not post them here, only the initials to help identify the owners.
this row was for M.G. who is french i believe and who had such beautiful fabrics that i had my local quilt shop order a yard of each for me. i can't remember the name of the block i made for this row (please feel free to jog my memory). that's my beloved pal fable sitting next to the row, she was one of three resident quilt inspectors at that time:
this row was for "robin" (forgot her last name--so sorry!), i made what looked to me like a heartbeat with a heart intertwined:
this was for S.D., who wanted something for her child that would reflect her christian beliefs. she loved rainbows, so i used the snail's trail quilt block to make multi-colored ocean waves broken up by a rainbow and a dove:
this row was for another S.D., it is the churn dash block with fussy-cut centers that feature cows (the block at the beginning of this post is from this row--i guess you figured that out by yourself). i can't remember why i chose this particular block, maybe i was just in a churn dash mood. i do remember that mood, it was like a lot of my other moods, it just popped up one day out of the blue. (don't you love the sewing area?--that was my entire shop! would that i were still so self-contained and orderly):
this row was made for "mim", it is the TN waltz block, with fussy cut centers that feature things that represent nashville--guitars and cowboy boots. again, i can't remember why i made this particular row or block for her--it might be that she asked for something representing where we lived, although it is just as likely that i wanted to learn how to make a TN waltz block and took that opportunity to do so:
i do hope some of you recognize these rows! i'd like to think there are fewer than six degrees of separation between me and these other beloved quilters.
edited to conceal the names on the photo files--thank you to the reader who alerted me to that oversight!