The Lone Robin

Julia McLeod’s Lone Robin challenge is part mystery quilt, part round robin—except that you’ll be working solo. You’ll find a new prompt on this page every month, from February through July 2021. August is for catch-up, and September is the Big Reveal.

You can interpret the prompts in any way you like. Use any colors, any fabrics, any techniques, any scale. Use a pattern or work improvisationally. There’s just one rule: Whatever you make in one month must connect to your work from the month before.

Got questions? You’ll find Julia’s contact information in the Membership Directory. Check out her web site, too. She posts as juliamcleodquilts on Instagram. And if you share your progress, please tag your posts #TheLoneRobinQuiltChallenge.

Prompt #1 for February 2021

Create a starting block or section that features any kind of pointy motif. You could make star, a windmill, pinwheels, zigzags, thorns … they all fit this theme. Any pointy motif or pattern could be your starting point. Click here for Julia’s PDF slide show. It’s got some inspirational images and the step-by-step process she used to make the pointy section, shown at left, for her 2021 Lone Robin.

Prompt #2 for March 2021

Add some strip-pieced fabric to the motif you created last month. Strip piercing is an efficient technique for creating checkerboards, nine patches, piano keys and even diamonds. Click here for Julia’s PDF slide show for Prompt #2. You’ll find additional inspiration on Instagram, @juliamcleod and @sfquiltersguild. Tag your posts with #sfqglonerobin so everyone can see your progress.

Prompt #3 for April 2021

Spring is here, and the prompt is organic. Think of vines, leaves, blossoms, blooms, water or waves. Anything with curves rather than right angles. Set aside your ruler this month and let this round unfold organically. Click here for Julia’s PDF slide show for Prompt #3. You’ll find additional inspiration on Instagram, @juliamcleod and @sfquiltersguild. Tag your posts with #sfqglonerobin so everyone can see your progress.

Prompt #4 for May 2021

The fourth Lone Robin prompt is roads, paths, ladders and steps. “This sends me to my old-school quilting block books,” Julia says. “I love names of traditional blocks that reference movement and journeys. Jinny Beyer’s 1979 book Patchwork Patterns is timeless. For those nontraditional quilters, just use this cue as inspiration. Your next round should show us your chosen route, however you take it.”

Prompt #5 for June 2021

The fifth Lone Robin challenge is gradations. “Think of ombré prints with colors that change from dark to light across the width of the fabric,” says Julia. “Jennifer Sampou’s Sky collection for Robert Kaufman is a great example of this, as is Moda Fabrics’ Ombré Confetti Metallic range. Many striped designs also gradate, not just in color but also size, with the width of stripes changing from matchstick-wide to broad bands of color. Find your gradations in fabric, or piece them yourself from small to large motifs or stripes.”

Prompt #6 for July 2021

The sixth and final prompt for the Lone Robin challenge is quilter‘s choice. How would you like to finish your Lone Robin quilt? Go as complex or as simple as you like with this final round, as time and your enthusiasm allows. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a ’round’; you can finish with a strip or panel. The only rule is that it connects with the gradations element from last month.

Catch Up during August 2021

August is a catch-up month, and details are coming soon about submitting entries.

To see the quilts made during the 2020 Lone Robin Challenge, click this PDF .