Friday, September 19, 2014

Round Robins

Have you ever participated in a round robin?  I've been in 2 or three now and they are all a little bit scary to start, but well worth it in the end. This one above was stitched over a year with my Monday morning stitching group.  We've been getting together now for years to enjoy each other's company and stitching knowledge.

When we decided to start this round robin we decided to try something different and not the usual sampler type.  I started in the centre of this one by stitching the little house and then 11 others worked the garden around it.  After the main stitching was finished I added a few little bits and pieces to tie it all together like extending the roses on the garden wall and adding the little paths in.

I was extremely pleased with the final result, even if the perspective does defy logic in some places.  It is a lovely memento from my Monday mornings and I smile every time I look at it.

For those of you who haven't heard of a Round Robin, let me tell you about them.  All it takes is a group of stitching friends who are willing to stitch something that will be given to someone else.  Each person decides on a theme for their piece - mine above was cottage garden.  Then you all decide what type of design you want - a sampler, a picture (as above), indiviual small motives - the possibilities are endless really.  Then it is very important to decide how long you are going to take to stitch the piece.  In this instance we decided on one year, with each person having each piece for one month. It is very important to stick to this schedule, so if you don't think you can stitch a small motive a every month for 12 months, then let your fellow stitchers know this.  The idea is that you meet regularly and pass the pieces along to the next stitcher until everyone has stitched on every piece.

It's a nice excuse for a group to get together once a month and have coffee or ice cream.  Since our group met every Monday anyway, it was really easy to pass along our pieces.  I have participated in one where the person to whom  the piece belonged was not allowed to see it, after their initial work was done, until it was completely finished.  We took almost two years to finish that one.

Another nice idea is to have a diagram of the piece that travels with it, and have each person sign in the appropriate place on the diagram.  It is really hard to remember who stitched what when it is all over.

Round robins are great fun to participate in, but you have to be aware that you have no control over what will be added, so you must be ok with that, and they will take a huge commitment on everyone's part, but the end results are usually well worth it.  A few years ago my guild did one where each piece was shaped like a tree, but not all were for Christmas.  One was a Halloween tree, another was a tropical beach tree - they were all so beautiful.  I didn't participate in that one, and I was very sorry when I saw the result.

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