I never know who or what I might find at a local quilt or fabric shop or thrift shop. I see each as a place for a “treasure hunt”. Several weeks ago I ran into a Janet Brown who is a quilter from our guild. We were both shopping at a local quilt shop. We visited some and then she asked if I would look at the Round Robin challenge she was working on. Janet said she was looking for some inspiration for the border she needed to add to the ongoing project. That Round Robin project had begun with a center panel portraying a Japanese woman in traditional dress.
Several simple borders had been added–each pulling colors from the original panel and adding texture to the composition. The quilter before her had added a very wide border using fabric with a black background and a small flower print. I considered the options and suggested she divide the wide border with a bright green batik I had just discovered and was buying for myself.
That green batik has the quality I call “inner light” meaning it moves from darker spots to brief glimpses of sparkling light–similar to what you see in the woods when light peeks through the trees. And it contained a range of green colors allowing it to pick up some of the green in the small flower print. Janet seemed pleased with the idea as we explored the possibilities and considered the width of the insert.
I also suggested that the green insert would look good carried out into the edges thus providing a contrast to the previous square borders. We both enjoyed the interaction with each other. I was pleased that Janet asked for my input that day at the quilt shop–it was fun for me to consider the possibilities and then to search out fabric that might accomplish the contrast she wanted.
Janet took my advice and then added a brilliant idea of her own! She took it one step further by adding the Japanese characters! She paper-pieced these Japanese characters meaning “Japan”. Janet had to decide where to insert this additition in to the green border. She carefully placed those characters off center even as the original panel had the solid black line off center. Asymmetrical design is a common theme in Japanese art. Those bright graphics have now become a focal point–it will be a hard act to follow.
It seems to me that Round Robins are all about exploring possibilities and sharing our ideas. Even though I was not a member of the Round Robin group, I had fun adding my ideas. Additionally I have seen how our shared ideas can spark more creativity–perhaps I will find a way to incorporate Janet’s idea into one of my next projects.