My Medallion Quilt

It’s funny. Different aspects of quilting appeal to different people. Some enjoy production, seeing a design take life through cutting, stitching, and quilting. Others enjoy the dreaming, buying fabric, choosing patterns, imagining what their quilts might look like, if ever done.

As for me, I like the whole kit and caboodle: design, shopping (when needed,) construction, quilting, and admiring the finished product. My own design is essential to me. I’ve never made a quilt from a pattern, preferring to design my own, though usually from traditional elements.

I’ve been working on a medallion quilt for months now, a little at a time. I love the form, a central block or motif, surrounded by borders of different styles. The possibilities for direction are almost limitless, depending on color, shape, form.

A medallion quilt can be made from a pattern, even using the designer’s color scheme. The quilter can enjoy making it, and whoever receives the quilt gets a lot of love in every stitch.

Or a medallion quilt can be made with one design decision made at a time. For me, design-as-you-go draws the creative process throughout construction progress. For me, it stretches the pleasure of composition out to the very end, including deciding just what the “end” is only when I get there.

My medallion quilt top is done and ready to quilt. The back is prepped and ready to load on my long-arm frame. The wool batting is spread out, tumbled, and relaxing.

Jim helped me choose thread last evening. I got all my spools out and arrayed the quilt top under clear light. Setting aside those that clearly would not work (navy blue, shiny copper, baby-girl pink…), we focused on those that might.

With colors that I think of as “Easter egg” hues, the answer wasn’t obvious. The backing fabric is a pink-tinged red print on vanilla background, and ideally, the thread would work with it, too. I can imagine quilting it with a strong coral-y pink, but I don’t have any in my inventory. (Note to self: look for coral pinks next time shopping for thread…)

I tried a #50 So-Fine thread in olive. It was a maybe. I tried a #40 in beige from another brand. It was a maybe, also, but not very exciting. Last, we tried a Coats & Clarks #40 in a tan with a hint of gold. It’s a little shinier than the beige, and the gold complemented the top’s colors, while disappearing on the back.

Now I am in the final segment of design, determining how I will quilt it. I’ll show you how that goes soon.

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