Medallion Quilt – Completed!

Completed Quilt

Here, finally, is the completed, bound quilt. Just finished stitching the curlicues in the center of the medallion. In the end I straight stitched them on the machine, a couple of stitches at a time, in order to stay on the edge of the curlicue. I had set up a single run design to stitch them out as embroideries, but each of the four corners was slightly different, and I couldn’t align the first embroidery to stitch precisely where I wanted it, so I switched to plan “b”. It took lots of twisting and turning of the quilt (thank goodness it wasn’t any larger) to get each curlicue done.

Quilt Back

I used leftovers from the outer border strips to create blocks for the back. Their off center placement is intentional. I could have placed them somewhat closer to one another, but once the back was pinned in place I decided not to bother taking the whole thing apart to make that small adjustment.

Close-up detail of one corner – showing the embroidery in some of the “empty” blocks.

Corner, Showing Detail

The embroideries worked out well – I did seventeen in all (one a test run to make sure the design stitched out correctly). Doing the embroidery proved challenging, not because they were particularly complex designs, but because my embroidery machine decided, at that moment, to be temperamental – the touch screen stopped working properly and precisely positioning each embroidery took patience. (The embroidery machine is now in hospital being repaired and I’m working on a borrowed machine.)

The quilt still needs a label but that can wait until I get my machine back.

Medallion Quilt – Top Done!

Medallion Quilt Top Complete With Border

I adjusted the final corner within the block so that it was better balanced without affecting the outer dimensions. Then I added the outer border, complete with mitred corners. Quilt still square, Yeah! I’ve intended the quilt to be a lap quilt. However, while the finished size (63″ x 63″) is not a full double/queen size it could certainly be used as a colourful spread to focus attention on a bed.

Now I have to think about the back of the quilt. I have a complementary fabric double width so I could just cut the size I need and be done with it, but before I do that I will go through the scraps and other leftover fabric to see if there is some kind of strip I can cobble together to add interest to the back of the quilt. But that’s for another day – likely tomorrow.

Melanie McNeil asked if I was pleased with my efforts – now I can definitely say I am.

Medallion Quilt – Three Corners Completed

Three Corners Completed

Just finished the third corner – one to go; however, I’m thinking I may have to redo the first corner (upper left) because when I’ve finished the fourth I think I’m going to be short on the first side and the panel isn’t going to be square – I might be off as much as 3/4″! Here’s hoping I’m not. 3/8″ – 1/2″ I can fudge when adding the outside border, but more than that will want a redo.

Medallion Quilt VII – Update

First Corner Completed

I have finally got this corner to lay flat – it’s been a challenge getting the sizes of all the elements precise. I’ve sewn, picked out seams, sewn, picked out seams at least three times making small adjustments until I’ve been able to get this corner to work. It’s not perfect but it’s close enough that when the quilt is done and the wide patterned border is added nobody is going to notice the imperfections.

Three more corners to go.

What’s made the piecing so difficult is I wanted the seminole strip to extend past what would have been natural piecing lines so that it remained in one piece. That’s meant fitting overlapping pieces from the upper left to the bottom right. Partial seams everywhere. I’ve discovered I’m getting better results by sewing each seam, then opening the end where I need to make a join, then re-sewing the seam. And scant 1/4″ seams is crucial – by stitching them just a hint under 1/4″ I have been able to align elements where corners need to meet. Very painstaking work. Probably never do another quilt like this again!

Medallion Quilt VII

Corner In Progress

I can go no further until I do the embroidery on the remaining three corners and piece the seminole strips but it’s now possible to see how I can sew all these elements of the quilt together – attach elements, but then open the edges so I can sew the next piece then resew the end of the seam – in other words: partial seams. I now know what the measurements for these corner segments are as well since I’ve been able to fit in the first of the eight which fit between the on-point border and the corner square.

So now, back to embroidery and seminole piecing!

Medallion Quilt VI

Just finished piecing the remaining two parts of the on-point border. Now you can see the effect I’m after. I also added in a narrow (finished width-1/4″) orange/gold border which ties in the center panel with the corners (see lower right corner). I’ve prepped the four corner drunkard’s path blocks – they’re next on the to do list. I’ve added fusible web to the curlicues – I’ll cut them out during the US Open Tennis this afternoon, fuse them to the blocks, then top stitch them and add the embroidery to the curved seam on that block. I’ve also pieced enough fabric to cut and assemble the seminole strips.

On-point Border Pieced

As you can see, there are still gaps between the plain border sections and the corner block…. I want to extend those sections and insert the seminole strip in the middle – the challenge is how to assemble all of that – I’m going to have to work with partial seams! What I don’t know yet are the dimensions I need for that spacer block (with the seminole strip) to have the corner come out correctly. It would be easy to piece it in the conventional way were it possible to put a seam across the seminole strip but I want that strip in a single piece from the wide on-point border to the corner!

I have no idea how to assemble these corner sections. I’m postponing that problem-solving until after I have all the seminole strips stitched and the corner blocks  finished.

Medallion Quilt V – Update

Got it!

Once I thought about embroidery I could consider appliqué. So that’s what I did. I fussy cut two dark scrolls and two light pieces. I glued them in place (I will adhere them with fusible web on the real blocks), then edge stitched them. I started using a double thread but that was too heavy – so I finished with a single thread. Then I embroidered a scroll along the curved edge and on the two binding edges (I will actually have enough of the printed scroll to do two sides – just not four). I also tried a 1/4″ inner border in the orange/golden fabric to bring out that bit of colour – but looking at it now, I think it’s too much, probably will leave it out – just the tiny dots in the seminole piecing).

Corner Block – Detail

Here’s the block in context:

Appliquéd / Embroidered Corner Block

This now has the balance I was looking for. It provides context for the corner block. Next I will have to decide whether to embroider an edge on the seminole piecing – perhaps just a line of straight stitching adjacent to the seam on each side where it’s joined in.

This finally feels right. Now I have to construct four corner blocks.

Medallion Quilt V

The corner has been driving me crazy. My brain has been working on it while I’m sleeping and wakes me an hour early with fresh ideas!

I’m slowly getting there. A couple of days ago I was searching for border ideas and came across photos of seminole patchwork.

Seminole Patchwork Sampler

I particularly liked the middle strip and decided to try it. My fabrics are on the heavy side so accomplishing this piecing when I want to end up with 1/4″ blocks has required quite a bit of careful piecing and pressing. I wanted to bring in a hint of the orange/golden colour which I was able to do. I also wanted to use the white/blue scroll fabric, which I also incorporated. So here is the sample strip; now to make seven more!

Seminole Patchwork

This is how I see using that border strip – I think it comes close enough to the “feeling” of the printed patterns that if I insert it along the middle of the white blocks (on each side of the bargello on-point border) and bring it up to the corner block (on all four corners) it will do a couple of things: first, bring in a tiny hint of the orange/golden colour and second, connect the corner to the on-point border.

Quilt in Progress

This is a close up of the corner as it stands at the moment:

Corner Detail

The single drunkard’s path block here balances the center – and the blue marble is almost right. If I had only bought a second medallion panel! Then I would have had more printed fabric with which to work. I’ve looked online but there is none of this fabric to be had (a few background bits of the brown colourway but no blue anywhere). So I’ve got to improvise.

The dark marble fabric is fine, but I have to do something with the lighter blue – I think the tone of the blue works, but the fabric doesn’t have quite enough detail to balance the rest of the quilt. Maybe this is a place where I might try some machine embroidery, perhaps even using an orange/golden rayon thread, to add detail to the blue marble. I’d piece it, if I could but think of a way to do something based on the quarter circle, but at the moment I can’t see what that might be. Could a narrow border of some sort be enough to tie the block in?

I’ve auditioned the corner with the scroll-y beige fabric but it’s too busy. Even if I were to border it with something it still is too strong.

Corner Detail with Scroll Fabric

Actually, the corner blocks need a border – I’d love to border them with the same gilt strip I used for the center panel but I only have enough border fabric for the outside. So if I were to border the drunkard’s path blocks it has to be with something else….

Medallion Quilt IV – Update

Corner Block – In Situ

This afternoon, I finished and attached a second side border and then began playing with the corner block. I think the Drunkard’s Path is a good idea but the fabric is wrong – much too busy – and I’m not happy with the swirling layout – I’m going to take the block apart and audition the layout to mirror the center with the corner fabric on the outside. I’m OK with the four different fabrics for the outer element of each small block but I need something tamer for the corners, maybe a beige a bit darker than the background fabric I’ve used in the border, or a very pale blue.  I have nothing in my stash that will work here! So it’s off to shop tomorrow.

The outer border will work fine – the swirling design is a bit smaller than in the center but it ties the other elements together.