myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

ARRR8 completed

Isn’t this just stunning?! It’s not mine and I can only take credit for a small part of it, but this is the last top in the ‘Around the Bend and Across the Pond’ round robin I have been participating in (an Old Red Barn Company group).
Our group is called ARRR8 (long story and even longer name!) and we have been at this since January and I think I have managed to finish first (a fluke and not really down to me). I last wrote about the group here.
This is Pam’s (uberstitch) top. She made that amazing middle with the most incredibly yummy palette.

Every month a different member of the group puts on a another round and sends it on.
Boy, have these tops grown big! Way bigger than we anticipated I think!
I added that last border of scrappy piano keys mixed in with the black and white floral fabric (Adventures with Alice by Darlene Zimmerman). I think Pam’s top is my favourite of the whole swap. Pam will be getting this back now and will see the finished top for the first time as soon as I get the photos loaded to Flickr (unless she is reading this now!)

Here is Christine’s. Again, another stunning centre piece. The last round before mine was made by Jo (Sewjo) and she totally outdid herself with that amazing paper piecing to echo the centre. I didn’t know how to follow that! In the end I kept it simple with bunting flags and plain pink corners. This still needs one more round.

This is Susan’s, I love her limited palette of black, grey and yellow. Everyone also sent out a little notebooks so that each of us could write about our ideas as we added our round. We also all did siggy blocks for everyone to sign.

Jo had done those amazing flying geese with paper pieced cornerstones (I really drew the short straw having to follow Jo!), the geese are in the sky above the houses Dolores had made (she called them her little villages).  I thought I would continue the analogy and put a starry night sky above.

I machine appliqued them and put the moon in 4 different phases in the corners

This is Nichol’s and is already huge and after my round needs another 3!! Jo had outdone herself again with the quarter New York Beauties *sigh*. I really liked the pinwheels Greta had used on her round so I decided to echo these with mini floating pinwheels on mine.

I think this round took me longer than any of the others!
It has been such a great challenge to work out what to do each month. I think that has been the best bit about this, getting a fat parcel in the post and taking out another half finished quilt top and deciding what you could add to it.
I have really loved taking part in the round robin even if the postage back to the States has been killing me every month! I think next time I might try to get an all UK group going! And possibly make the maximum size for the centre a little smaller!

And now I have the extra delight of getting my top back too! My Frida Kahlo inspired top is looking amazing and still has 2 more rounds to go! I am going to wait till I get it back before I show you, but for those of you who can’t wait, here is a link to the Flickr Group.

Remember the Cygnet Superwash DK I told you about in my last post? The one I am going to use in my Budget Granny Blanket? Well here it is sitting on the shelves in our Edinburgh store. It is also now available on our website. Only £2.60 a ball for 50g 100% pure merino wool!


  1. Oh, you hit the nail on the head with Pam's addition! All your rounds have been top class – going after Sew-Jo obviously suits you. *g* I'm still waiting for August AND July's rounds. Not sure I'll do another, TBH. It's really soured the whole experience for me. :0( Which is a shame coz I've really enjoyed the actual sewing.

  2. WOW these are amazing AND I hear you about postage
    It's the same for swaps and bees etc . . . but it is fun meeting people from different countries
    After all I actually got to 'meet' IRL 2 English bloggers when we were over 2 months ago

    YOU did an AMAZING job – LOVE these

  3. What a great selection of RR quilts – I've still got my hand pieced RR quilt to quilt up, but I'm scared I'll ruin it – someday soon I'll get the nerve up to start it

  4. Oh Jo, what wonderful additions to you have made for these quilts, and such a good idea to post pictures of some previous ones. I have enjoyed this new experience, but probably won't join again. I am now waiting for your quilt to arrive, and am shaking in my boots—– would hate to spoil it now.

  5. Ack! I'm the one that has Jo's quilt at the moment….and I'm a bit stumped as it is phenomenal just how it is….maybe I should just skip myself!;) Naw…I won't do that. I'm going to take it and Sewjo's top to work with me on Friday and get all my coworkers to help me out! I'm sure they will inspire me and calm my fears of messing them up!!!

  6. We did a round robin with our group and it is amazing to see what each individual comes up with to enhance the quilt and pass it on. It is a huge leap of faith to do it but you have all made super efforts and will have amazing quilts at the end of it.

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