Online Quilting Classes with Ricky Tims

Mad Adders 2023-24


Gather your six-person team and join the fun in the unique round-robin interactive class.

Class Example Image

Join Mad Adders!
Starts October 4th
Please register by October 1 or sooner
Limited Enrollment 

Each participant will register separately but upon checkout, please add the name of your group.

Learn – and have fun!

A Seven-Month Group Project led by Ricky Tims

Establish YOUR Six-Person Team Today!

Please read the following information carefully, create your six-person team, and establish your team name before registering.


It's like a virtual worldwide tea party for quilters!

What Is Mad Adders?
Mad Adders is a concept to create a wall quilt, primarily created using patchwork, in a round-robin fashion. The six individuals each provide a starter piece and each participant adds to it. The originator should not see their project until the reveal party. After the reveal party, the originator may then alter, change, or add to their quilt top and then finish it as desired. The size of the finished quilt is not limited, but would would likely be no larger than 60” with most quilts finishing in the 36”-50” range


Brief Background about Mad Adders
In the early 90s when Ricky was a fledgling quilter, he started a mini-group within his St. Louis quilt guild called Mad Adders. The group continued for many years. There were usually two partici-pating groups within the guild. The experience was fun and the results were always surprising. Over the years Ricky has wanted to revive Mad Adders on a national/international scale. Current technology will enable this to finally happen. Anyone who wishes to participate can now enjoy the same experience as Ricky’s St. Louis groups back in the 90s.

What Mad Adders Isn’t
Most round robin quilts are created by adding borders and more borders. The Mad Adders concept is completely different. The project that arrives in the tote bag can be changed, sliced, rearranged, or manipulated in any way—but the project should always be passed to the next person larger than it was when it was received. The addition might be to just one side or two sides. The original unit might be cut and used as a new element.

Monthly Zoom Meetings
Each month Ricky Tims will present a one-hour LIVE Zoom lessons to provide insights, techniques, tips and tricks, as well as assignments and criteria for moving forward. Due to time zones and other considerations, not everyone can meet for the LIVE meeting. These Zoom sessions will be recorded and able to be viewed/reviewed anytime. They will also never go away. Email updates will be sent as needed.

Groups could, if desired, set a time to meet together and watch the recording, or they could watch individually at their own convenience and then schedule a time to meet, face to face, or via Zoom. There is no requirement to attend the LIVE session with Ricky. Each group will decide what is best for them

The Manifest
A form will be provided so that each participant can create a manifest (a guide) that states some wishes or guidelines. These wishes could be things like: preferred size limitations (due to hanging space), landscape orientation, portrait orientation, or square. Other aspects such as a “theme” (leaves, triangles, water, Halloween, etc), could be suggested. It is vital that the originator does not request too many restrictions. The more freedom the team has, the more fun the process will be—and the greater the surprise will be at the end. 

Letting Go
It is critical to state that all participants need to mentally prepare to relinquish any vision for what might transpire with their original starter piece. It is also vital to remember that the participants in each group will have different abilities and perhaps different skill levels. The goal is to be creative, innovative, and FUN! There will be lessons on various techniques. Skill-building and original design will also be part of the experience.

The Commitment
It is vital that each participant makes Mad Adders a high priority and does not fail to miss a deadline for adding their portion, passing a tote, or finishing the project. The team is counting on each participant to meet those minimum expectations. Naturally an unexpected health situation or other crisis cannot be avoided and in those rare situations the team will have to determine how to proceed.

Creating Your Team and Choose Team Leader
There will be six people per team. Here are options:

  1. Create a team and choose a team leader, comprised of members from a guild that meets monthly. The six participants would find a time/place to meet and get started, and then pass the totes at subsequent regularly-scheduled guild meetings. A final reveal party would occur at an agreed location. The Reveal Party should not be part of a regular guild meeting.
  2. Members could live in the same town/area and meet privately each month to exchange totes. However, there is to be NO reveal of the starter piece or any progress until the Reveal Party. Reviewing the lessons together and other discussion could be part of the gathering. Of course, quilters like refreshments (hint). Also, it could be that the meetings rotate to different homes for interest and variety. This is all the choice of the participating team. Work out what works best for you.
  3. Establish a team of six quilters who live remotely and meet using Zoom. With this scenario, each person will be required to mail totes at the appropriate time. Naturally, this method would require additional expense as the totes would be shipped once a month over the course of six months. The Reveal Party would be virtual.
  4. Any other scenario that works best for your six-person team is acceptable as long as the work is done monthly and the totes are transferred at the appointed time without delay. There are no reveals, not even for the starter piece, until the Reveal Party.

The Final Deadline
After the Reveal Party there will be an approximate six week to two-month period for the originator to finish their quilt top. The progress photos and finished photo will be submitted together so that all participants worldwide will be able to see the evolution of the work. The details and method for submission will be provided as needed.


  1. Get your six team members and choose a name. Have fun – be creative.
  2. Each person will register on their own at, which is Ricky’s own online teaching website. It will be helpful for our organization if you all agree to registration on the same day. It’s not required – but very helpful.
  3. The cost for each participant is $74.95 and includes participation eligibility and access to all LIVE sessions and tutorials. Once the tutorials are posted, they may be accessed anytime—forever.
  4. During checkout – go slow – and carefully look for a particular information field! There is a place to add the name of your shop/guild/group etc and also state the name of your team leader. This is where you will state the name of your team. Adding your team name will enable us to sort you into the proper team and establish the roster for each participating team.

This is a vital aspect of the process. Back in the day we added a disposable camera to the tote so that the evolution was kept on one camera per quilt—but that is not a reasonable option these days. Each person will be required to take a digital photo their starter piece (smart phone or otherwise). Then, each person will need to take a digital photo once they finish their addition each month. These photo need to be kept and organized (perhaps offloaded into a folder so they are not lost/buried on your smart phone) until the Reveal Party, so that each participant can then see the evolution of their work as it traveled from person to person. The originator will photo their project once they have added all the finishing touches. Photos should NOT be shared during the process. Each participant will be responsible for taking photos and keeping track of them for the Reveal Party. Additional details and criteria about photography will be given once Mad Adders starts.

Photo Gallery
After finishing the project and each person will upload images to an online gallery. All Mad Adder participants (worldwide) will be able to see what all the teams have created. 

Mad Adders is not meant as a competition… but…
There will be two awards at the conclusion of Mad Adders. The first prize team will receive $600 ($100 per person), plus free participation into the 2024-25 round of Mad Adders. Each participant in the second place group will receive free tuition for the 2024-25 round of Mad Adders. Only teams with all six completed quilt top submissions will be considered.

Additional runner-up groups will be highlighted. 

Incentive Pins
Each person on a team whose team members successfully submit their work by the deadline will receive an enamel Mad Adders pin. The pins will change each year. Start your Mad Adders collection this inaugural year. Pins will not be awarded to teams with incomplete team submissions.

Future Shows
Eventually I hope Mad Adders is interesting enough, and of a high enough caliber, that an exhibition of selected Mad Adders works might be possible at various national quilt shows.

The Process

Primarily Patchwork
While appliqué is permissible, participants should plan to be creating patchwork and only add applique when necessary. Adding appliqué to the work doesn’t enlarge the quilt. The goal is to grow the size of the quilt with each addition. Use applique sparingly and only after you have increased the size. Use it only when it seems like the best option for enhancing the project.


The Starter Piece
After the first LIVE session, each person will prepare their starter piece – no larger than 16” x 16”, or 256 square inches. The starter piece can be simple patchwork (squares, triangles, regular quilt block), or it could be representational, such as a house, a tree, an animal, a scene, etc. Paper piecing is an option. Guidance for the starter piece will be given during the first LIVE session. Remember, future participants can slice and divide the work to push forward the project. Having said that, participants are urged to use wisdom and to have a clear purpose for making such extreme changes. 

Each person will assemble a tote bag that includes their manifest, a starter piece, and fabrics that were used (or that the maker would like to see used later in the quilt). Keep in mind, the subsequent Mad Adders will have full reign to do what they wish. 

Each Mad Adder should add to the piece using fabrics from the tote, but also consider using new fabrics and then adding some of those to the tote as well. These fabrics will assist the next person with coordinating the continuity and provide opportunity to unify the overall design. How much fabric should be added? That’s up to each person and the availability of what that person has on hand. It can be a little or a lot. 

The Schedule
The one-hour LIVE tutorials via Zoom will occur as outlined. Again, they may be watched at any time, on your own or with your team. The passing of the totes should occur prior to the scheduled LIVE. They will occur at 9AM Mountain Time (USA) on the first Wednesday of each month.

Each date below is a Wednesday

October 4th, 9AM – Introduction with Ricky – Getting Started
First pass to be received by the LIVE on November 1st, 9AM 
Second pass to be received by the LIVE on December 6th, 9AM
Third pass to be received by the LIVE on January 3rd, 9AM
Fourth pass to be received by the LIVE on February 7th, 9AM
Fifth pass to be received by the LIVE on March 6th, 9AM
Sixth pass to be received by the LIVE on April 3rd, 9AM
Reveal Parties should be held between April 3rd and April 15th

Final deadline for finished quilts, photos, and submissions is May 29th.

Have a question? Ask the Teacher

Included in the Class

7 video lessons
4 lesson downloads