Here’s a fun little quilt that started from a pillow panel. Several years ago, on my first excursion into our local Mennonite thrift shop, I found two square pillow covers. With their vintage baseball theme and strong blues, reds, and greens, likely they were used in a boy’s bedroom. Besides the square(ish) panels on the front, the envelope closures on the back were lined with small baseballs on navy blue.
I didn’t have an immediate plan for them, but I knew I had to buy them. Shoot, at $1 apiece, I almost couldn’t lose even if they were turned into dust rags.
More than three years ago I used the first one to inspire a baby quilt for my youngest grandbaby.
But I still had one panel left.
When I began the Medallion Sew-Along, I dug through my stash and oddments to see what things could be used as a center block besides a big pieced block. Look here for some interesting ideas.
And of course one of the things was the second panel. This was a relatively easy quilt to design. The panel had a nice range of color and value, and of course I would continue the baseball and All-American theme.
The first task was to frame the panel to square it. I used a dark green tone-on-tone to represent the grass of the infield, and then mimicked the baseline and bases in the corners with cream and tan.
Spark and movement comes from the simple border of 4-patches and half-square triangles. Note that there are an even number of blocks, leading to the corners being unmatched. That wouldn’t work on every quilt but I think it’s fine here, because the blocks are small and busy. If I didn’t point it out to you, you may not have noticed. But it’s a good thing to consider for other quilts you make. Even number of blocks or odd? They do give different appearances if your block styles alternate. (There are some ideas about alternating border blocks in this post.)
The busy stars print frames all that, followed by borders only on top and bottom to elongate the quilt. This border uses the “economy” block, or square-in-a-square, described in this tutorial. I was able to use four of the fussy-cut baseballs for the corner blocks.
Finally I framed the whole thing with red. This gives a balance between the red, navy, and green in the center panel. None of the colors really dominates, so you wouldn’t say “that’s a red quilt,” for example. While that can lead to some visual confusion in busier quilts, this one is pretty simple, and I don’t think it’s a problem.
Everything in this quilt was from stash, including the binding and backing fabric. I keep using up older stash as I work these medallions. It’s fun to say good-bye to old friends and make room for new colors and textures in my stash. And it’s fun to create with projects like this.
If you’re interested in the Medallion Sew-Along, see posts under this tab. There are instructions, inspirations, design coaching, and a lot of other information. And please be sure to ask if you have questions. I love to hear from you!