Jumping the Track

This morning I finished my sixth Medallion Sew-Along sample.

Medallion Sew-Along finish #6. 34″ square. Finished March 2014.

The center block is made from a pattern I shared here. It measures 15″ finished.

I started the quilt using Track 1 instructions. It uses the 15″ center, followed by the first border set. That set includes a 1.5″ border and a 3″ border. You can see them above as the rust dogteeth against a gold floral background, and the green leafy print with copper corner blocks.  This border takes the top to 24″ finished.

The second border set in Track 1 adds a 4″ border, taking the top to 32″. A 4″ wide block border, if the blocks are square, calls for six blocks per side, not including corners.

But I couldn’t make it work. I opened this sample so many times, trying to decide what to do next. Frankly I haven’t been emotionally involved with this quilt at all, making decisions even more difficult.

I finally decided on the hourglass border you can see. I’ve used it before, and it’s an easy design for execution. With the right color/value combination, it creates a sense of dimensionality. Fine. Whatever. It works, it’s easy, and it looks good. Go with it.

So I built the blocks. And then I experimented. Green against the green leaves, gold against green leaves, brown, bronze. And still I was uninspired.

At that point I could have just given up and put the whole thing away. Or I could have given up and made the strips and sewn them on. Be done with it, already!

Instead, I did something I encourage others to do. I asked for help. I asked my friend Karen to take a look, to help me see something I wasn’t seeing. She is the one who suggested the 1″ strip of brown paisley, between the green leaf border and the 4″ hourglasses.

It was the right thing to do, but it was off track. No, Track 1 has no allowance for a 1″ strip preceding the 4″ border.

So I jumped the track. Instead of the prescribed Track 1, this top finished as a MY-choice Track 2.

Adding the narrow spacer tied the borders to the center, adding unity and richness. The variation of values adds depth and a feeling of light emanating from both the gold and green leaf prints. And though the quilt could have gone larger after that, I decided to stop.

I quilted it with a mid-sized meander, and the binding is attached to the back and machine-stitched down on the front.

No, I’m not emotionally involved with this quilt. But it has gone, in my opinion, from uninspiring to quite pretty. I’ll enjoy using it as a table topper.


4 thoughts on “Jumping the Track

  1. Thread crazy

    Melanie – this is a pretty top and a good example for using what I call a “stop border”. That brown paisley did it and look at the saw tooth against the green – the green made the “teeth” pop! If you’d used another color I don’t think you’d have gotten the same effect. Good job. Yes, sometimes we have to call in help but finished product looks great.

    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      Thanks a lot. Yes, it is a “stop border.” It did a lot of things — give a resting place, make a hard frame, pull colors/pattern from the center…

      I was trying to follow the track, which is why I felt rather stymied. But I’m NOT one to follow patterns! So it’s kind of funny I was so intent on it this time. I guess hearing Karen say not to was the permission I needed.


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