Medallion Quilt – Carrying On

This project is totally unexpected – I thought I was starting a much larger quilt by building a central block on which I was going to improvise further. The responses I got to the panel were interesting, however – suggesting this was a complete piece as it was.

Medallion Quilt

Worth considering. If it was a piece on its own it still felt unfinished to me – I thought it needed another narrowish border. After auditioning quite a few fabrics from my stash I decided this wild, vibrant batik (which I used in the blocks themselves) was precisely what the emerging piece needed.

I mitred the corners because if this is a wall art piece it needs the finesse of mitres and I’ve overcome the butted piecing of the grey border by stitching in the ditch in both directions creating the illusion of squares in the corners.

I’m not finished stitching in the ditch – I stitched the borders and began on the diagonals. I will continue that tomorrow, emphasizing the squares on-point and the triangles.

It’s so interesting how I start in one direction and find I’m actually going in another – totally unexpected, and yet interesting. It’s about colour, it’s about shape, it’s about visual impact.

I’m not going to do a standard quilt binding – definitely a hidden binding since the outer border stands comfortably alone. The challenge will be establishing a seam allowance that successfully fudges the slight shortfall in a few spots and yet manages to catch the border fabric so it won’t pull out and fray and leave enough width to the border for it to look even.

We’ll see where this goes.

Medallion Quilt II

Funny what calls out to you when you sit down to work. The small triangular cut-offs from the Nine Shades Of Grey quilt said “Play with me” – so I did. I began by sewing them together into half-square triangles, then laying them out in blocks, formed rows, and stitched the rows together. I was trying to mix up the colours so they weren’t adjacent (and I was pretty successful doing that). I ended up with an 8 X 10 array with a bordered square on point in the centre. My piecing isn’t perfect but it’s close enough to live with as it is.

Medallion Quilt – Centre

Once I had the small half-square triangles sewn into a panel, I decided to enclose it with a narrow border rather then a wider one. Had I been doing a wall panel, I’d have used the golden fabric as a piping, but I thought for a quilt it probably needed to be a narrow strip of accent fabric. And then the medium mottled grey seemed to settle the whole panel down – it’s strong enough to stand out and yet sets up the yellow which brings out the golden shades in the batiks.

I have no idea where to go next! Medallion quilts are usually square, but for a comfortable throw/lap quilt it wants to be longer than wider so I went for a rectangular panel. I will see if it’s possible to increase the length with perhaps two insert rows in top and bottom edges as I build the quilt borders out.

Time to look at Medallion quilts and see what inspiration I can find for taking this quilt further. I think I want to keep the “Nine Shades Of Grey” idea going in this project which means whatever I do next should use the grey fabrics extensively with perhaps just hints of the bright batiks – who knows….

Medallion Quilt

“Medallion quilts have a central area that dominates the overall design. Other design elements are added around the center, increasing the quilt’s size as new ‘rows’ are added around the center.”

The center in a medallion quilt is usually pieced, occasionally it begins with a single largish printed element. In this case I have a 24″ printed medallion – a Northcott Stonehenge Medici fabric panel which I bought a couple of years ago along with 1/2m of each of the accompanying fabrics. I thought it might make a nice medallion quilt with the fabric doing most of the work. Well, it will, but the question is do I want to use this medallion at all, or should I do a pieced quilt using the fabrics from the Stonehenge Medici collection building a central motif from scratch?

Northcott Stonhenge Medici Panel

Northcott Stonehenge Medici Fabrics

At the moment the fabrics are sitting on the cutting table as I think about how to proceed. For example, I could do something like the medallion quilt below by Borderline Quilter:

Medallion Quilt by Borderline Quilter

The problem is I’m sure my boredom threshold would quickly be reached attempting all the beautiful but finicky piecing that Kay Bell has done. I can see me building squares within squares, flying geese, half-square triangles, etc. but not tiny ones. What I particularly like about the quilt above are the blocks which create the illusion of the on-point border as background. My fabrics already have an element for a wide outer border (which I used in a previous quilt):

Garden Trellis with Wide Print Border

and will use again here. For now, I will probably go to Melanie McNeil’s Medallion Quilt Lessons to help me think about what I might do with my fabrics.