In April and May I offered my Medallion Improv! class. To help demonstrate the range of challenges and opportunities medallions provide, I started two quilts. One was Marquetry and the other was the Fairy quilt.
Marquetry was easy for me, but I struggled with the Fairy. The “template” I provide for my students is a medallion with six borders. After finishing the third border, I tried two different possibilities for the fourth. First, I made 32 puss-in-the-corner blocks, with the intention of alternating the value placement all the way around. They were lovely little blocks, but they took focus away from the center block. [Note about sizing: the border length, not including corners, was 35″. Using 7 5″ blocks on each side covered the length. 4 x 7 = 28 blocks. Add 4 corners for 32.]
That left me with 32 lovely puss-in-the-corner blocks, which wouldn’t be used to frame the fairy. As you can see in the photo at the top, they became part of a baby quilt instead. To 32 pieced blocks, I added 31 alternate blocks. 32 + 31 = 63, which is perfect for a 7 x 9 block layout.
It was easy to decide what to use for the alternate blocks. Last year I bought some bunny fabric from the clearance shelf. The illustrations are from the book Guess How Much I Love You. The colors were perfect to go with the pieced blocks.
As mentioned above, I actually made two attempts at a fourth border. Besides the puss-in-the-corner blocks, I also made strips using halved variable stars. They were a lot of work! At the time, I didn’t have any idea how I would use the strips. However, they quickly found their place. When I began a round robin with my sister, I realized the strips would work well for the first border, once cut to length.
I don’t mind trying multiple options for my medallion borders. I’ve found the rejected attempts, such as the two borders shown above, have their own place. Knowing this makes it easier to stay positive rather than getting discouraged.
What do you do with rejected blocks or borders?