Medallion Sew-Along #5 — Final Border Set?

Welcome to Catbird Quilt Studio’s Medallion Sew-Along! This may be the last border set, but you’re not too late to join the fun. Parts 1 through 4 of the Sew-Along, and other resources, can be found under the Medallion Sew-Along tab. To join in and receive updates, just follow this blog.

First I want to announce the winners of the giveaway. Lorene, Barbara, and Angie The Novice Gardener have captured the prizes. Let’s give them a hearty round of applause!

Design Process — Ideas for 3rd Border AND a giveaway!
AQS Des Moines | Traditional Medallions AND a Giveaway!
AQS Des Moines | Modern Medallions
Design Process — Border Size Problems and Solutions
Design Process — Border Inspirations in a Pattern
Design Process — Ideas for Second Border Set
Design Process — Playing with Ideas for First Border Set
Design Process — EQ7 and Medallion Quilts
Pieced Borders

Below, as always, I have instructions for those doing Track 1 and those doing Track 2. I recommend you read both sets, regardless of your own quilt plan.

The first border set, whether you set your block on point or straight, took your center to 24″.
The second border set added a 4″ border, taking the border to a total size of 32″ finished.
The third border set added a 2″ border, followed by a 6″ border. This takes the finished size to 48″. For some of you, the 6″ border might be the last. Most of you will want at least one more.

For the last border set of this sew-along, you will add a border up to 6″. If you add a full 6″, the finished size of the top will be 60″. At that point, your original center block is one-fourth the width of the whole.

You might add a border set. For example, it might make sense to add 2″ and then 4″. Or it might be just one 3″ border, or whatever you like. This time you decide.

As you choose your last border design, remember the design principles of unity, balance, scale, contrast, and dominance. Consider if there are any color issues you need to resolve here. Are there any elements that need repetition? Is this the spot for flying geese all around, or do you need something wonkier, or plainer? Just as before, this border supports everything that has come before it.

I’ve been both busier than anticipated, and less productive with my quilting than typical. In truth, I’ve barely sewed in the last three weeks, and I don’t have samples to show you! And I had to decide that was just going to be okay. (Guilt?? Well, I’m working on not feeling guilty. I hate to let you down!) But I’ll make progress, just as you will, and we’ll share as we get more done, okay?

If this is your last border, do you have a pretty good idea how large the finished top will be? If you remember from MSA #3, a good finished size is no more than four times the size of the center block. So if your center is 20″ square, for example, your finished top might be as much as 80″, or as little as 40″. Exceptions are the rule, though! If your center has been turned on point, you have more allowance for size. And always remember, it’s your quilt. You get to decide what works for you.

Last time I mentioned elongating your quilt, so it is longer in one dimension than the other. Or you might be squaring a quilt that started with a non-square center. You still have opportunity to make those adjustments, but again, proportion is important. Simply slapping on another plain border top and bottom can work great. But maybe that step comes before the very last frame.

The dominating color in the last border has a big impact on how we see the color of the quilt. If you use a yellow print for the last frame, your quilt will show as yellow. Decide if that’s the color impression you want. No matter what color, it needs to complement and support the work that’s come before it.

Again, I have no samples to show!


This is the last MSA blog post with instructions. However, in three weeks I’ll post updates to my samples. MSA Post #6 is scheduled for November 6.

Until then, I’ll look forward to hearing from you. Any questions, comments, great ideas, news about progress, you’re always welcome to stop by and share.

Thank you SO MUCH for playing along with the Catbird Quilt Studio Medallion Sew-Along. I have learned so much, and enjoyed the process. I hope you have, too.


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