RCRRv2 - Kathryn's Quilt

So I shared my starter block, the other week, but it's only a round robin if I have something to work on too.  I go the pleasure of being first off the bat to work on Kathryn's quilt.

Now Kath is an overachiever, so her starter is not one block, but SIX.

A full row of foundation paper pieced stars. So gorgeous.  And she also sent along a giant box of fabric - enough that I could make three quilts and still have leftovers, I think ;-)

She said that she wanted something "Fair Isle". A row by row, in the clean black, white, red colour scheme she had. But *not* Christmas.  So no reindeers or snowflakes.  Always good to have clear direction.

So, I took this "starter" home with me and mulled for a little while.  Ok, I also googled "Fair Isle" to try and see if I could work out something from that, but that's not cheating - it's research... and we'll all stick to that story...even if they question us separately ;-)

So from what I can find, Fair Isle is essentially knitting, translated into either a printed fabric or a quilt block, and includes lots of repetition. So patterns which have a little bit of chunk are ok - like a chunky chevron (or blocky hearts), or a row of 9 patches, or plus blocks - things which give the illusion of a cross stich or you know how knitting has that 1-2-1-2-1-2 kind of rhythm to it (clearly I am *not* a knitter lol). It also has a bit of a Scandi/Nordic feel to it and looks like it would fit the "hygge" description of cozy and comfy and warm: stars, and pinwheels and, yes, snowflakes. (go to #fairisle and all you see is comfy jumpers and cozy beanies - that's what led me down this rabit hole!!)

The problem with round robin's are that you never feel like you're doing quite enough... I don't want to make a 9 patch!!! I want to do something *wonderful*!!!!

Now, my googling on hygge, led me to a couple of "how to hygge" posts which all talk about chocolate and fluffy socks... and cups of tea.. Would I be crazy to do a row of tea cups????? Yes. yes I would. I mean maybe...

I actually took my thought to Kath to see if I was crazy or just the right amount of whimsical... >

.... hmm. If she's ok with it, then let's give it a whirl!!

I hunted down some tea cup patterns (a lot of which were dreadful - unfortunately I do not know how to design a proper pattern myself, and so I am reliant on the talents of others. This means I should bite my tongue and not disparage in others what I literally cannot do myself) and the one that I liked the best was a cute little cup with a saucer (I made teacup 2).

I made one and then freaked myself out a little, and had to message Kathryn all over again, just to check that she really was ok with this. Was it too kitsch? Too cutesy? Too "literal representation of things" for this particular quilt?

< This little cross hatch one is my favourite

Kathryn reassured me that she liked the teacups, but didn't want me to do too much work.  In my mind that's code for "do something else", but she assured me that's not what she meant, and so having been told they were acceptable a second (ok, maybe a third) time, I settled in to make a whole row.

Being me, though, I had worried myself over this for 2 weeks before I got the go ahead, and then had a hectic week, and so when did I start on my intricate little teacups? About 24 hours before I was due to hand them over. #thatshowIroll I sewed for 14 hours straight.  I did not leave my sewing room except for food or bathroom breaks from 10am on Saturday morning until 1 am on Sunday morning.  Each cup took about an hour an a half, depending on how much unpicking I had to do (and let me tell you, when midnight rolled past, I was doing a decent amount of unpicking).

All in all, I made 10 little cups.  Each one is different: different colours, some have alternate coloured saucers, or handles, or contrasting bands. 

I chose to add black/grey cups as well as red, just because I like variety.  In retrospect, I probably should have stuck to all red or all black/grey for my row to really fit with the fair isle inspo, but it felt right, and, again, by midnight I was just going with it lol.  And I think it works all together. I think it gives some value change that wouldn't necessarily be there if it was all reds.  (As you can see in this delightfully out of focus full shot - Just look at the values!! That's totally why I took this photo, and not because I can't work my camera properly... :-?)


But, as always, let's see what the next person does with it :-D

~ As an aside, I think that the first round is the hardest, because in some ways you set the tone for how the quilt will grow. Will it be linear, or abstract or whimsical, or precise... Obviously your cue is taken from the starter, but the rest of the quilt takes it's cue from you.  It feels like a lot of pressure.  but then, each round is a lot of pressure, but in different ways... it's still heaps of fun though!

E xx

(Just super sorry about the quality of these photos - they are terribly lit, and totally out of focus. I know. I will do better. #badblogger)


  1. YES. I am feeling this right now! I'm the working on the first round, and I'm totally setting the tone...hopefully everyone else is okay with my plan. Thankfully the quilt's owner is!

    As for the tea cups...SO CUTE. Lovely, lovely business.

  2. Your teacups look fabulous...can’t wait to see the rest of the quilts

  3. wow! very fair isle! I love to stories that quilts hold and how we grow while making them. <3


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