Design Process — Playing with Ideas for First Border Set

Welcome to one more post in the ever-growing sequence for the Medallion Sew-Along!

If you’ve made it through Medallion Sew-Along #2 — First Border Set, you may be feeling a little lost. (Or you may feel totally stoked!!) A lot of us are used to Blocks of the Month or Sew-Alongs with explicit instructions for what to do next. There is NO PATTERN here! You’ll make your own design decisions, one border at a time. I’m here to help guide you.

So come, dear ones, out of the woods. Let’s make some decisions.

First, did you decide whether to use a straight setting or on-point setting? Did you take a look at pieced border ideas?

Let’s try a few things and maybe you can feel more inspired.


Track 1 assumes you are starting with a 15″ center block, but these concepts can work even if you’re using Track 2 with a center of a different size.

Here is a layout assuming plain strips for both borders. The inner border is 1.5″ and the outer one is 3″.

Here are some ideas of how to jazz this up.

Pretty simple. Center block with unpieced inner border (with corner blocks) and sawtooth outer border.

Same sawtooth outer border. Inner border is flying geese.

Flying geese again for inner border. Outer border is, too. Note color placement gives impression of hearts for the combined border.

Simpler version of previous. The difference is that the inner border is unpieced again, except for corner blocks.

Complex center block. Simple inner and outer borders — just strips with corner blocks.

Same inner border. Sawtooth outer border. This arrangement is different than the one on the other block above.

I’m not crazy about the color play here, but I do like plain checkerboard borders.

This time the inner border is the plain checkerboard. Note that the seams of the inner border don’t match with the center block. This is a good way to hide piecing imperfection — don’t even try for perfection!


Again, Track 1 assumes you are starting with a 15″ center block. Even if your center block is a different dimension, these concepts may help inspire you.

Here is a layout assuming plain strips for the border. The narrow border is 1.375″, taking the piece to a finished size of 24″.

With one narrow border, this is a little harder to play with. But here are a few variations to spur your thinking.

Strip borders with corner blocks.

Simple checkerboard.

They don’t have to be square!

Lots of little pieces… Not sure I would do this, but would leave this plainer and plan bigger impact on the next border. Still, I like the corner treatment, and you could do that without checkerboarding the rest.

What questions, comments, or ideas do you have? Tell me what you’re thinking!

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