Medallion Quilt Rules — PROOF They Work

Yesterday I posted all the rules I know about making medallion quilts. To prove they work, I want to show you the first two medallions I ever made.

The very first quilt I made was in 2003 for a grandbaby. She was actually the third grandbaby, and when her cousin was born a year and a half later, I made one for him. Not that I wanted to. It was a guilt quilt.

And then the guilt multiplied, because the first two grandbabies didn’t get quilts when they were born. I wasn’t a quilter back then! So when those girls were 7 and 5, I made them baby quilts, too.

They loved the flannel-backed snuggle quilts, babyish though they were. Soon I was enthusiastic enough in my new hobby that I decided to make larger quilts, more suited to their age.

I’m a “self-taught” quilter, meaning I didn’t learn from a teacher in class. And back then there were some great on-line resources, but they were very primitive as compared to what’s available today. No, I learned with the help of a couple of great books, a few magazines for inspiration, and a lot of trial and error.

In fact, I was so ignorant, I didn’t know you could buy patterns. So I designed quilts for those girls using the old-fashioned tools of pencil and graph paper. And without knowing what I was doing, I made medallion quilts. Here they are.

Zoes quiltGeorgias quilt

I wish I had better pictures so you could see the colors, and how pretty they were. The background is a mottled lavender and pink that looks like clouds at sunset. The focus fabric is a bright print with butterflies in hot pink, orange, purple, turquoise, blue, and green. The focus fabric also led to the other prints used to create “butterflies” in the borders, as well as the chunky pieced final border.

See, you don’t need to know how in order to make a medallion quilt!

The rules again?


You can make a medallion quilt, too.

13 thoughts on “Medallion Quilt Rules — PROOF They Work

  1. snarkyquilter

    You have a huge advantage in learning to quilt if you already know how to use a sewing machine. I realize that some younger quilters have never been exposed to home ec and are learning the machine in addition to all the nuances of quilt making. I learned to quilt from library books, especially one by the Gutcheons.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I think that’s true, and I’ve taken for granted that I already knew how to use a machine. I did think about that (slightly) the other day with a thought about just knowing how to thread it. If you can’t do that right, nothing else will work, either. And does everyone know you need a new needle from time to time??? Maybe not!

  2. KerryCan

    I’m self-taught, too, but now that I’ve made a number of quits, I’d like to take a class, to learn some techniques from a pro. Especially cutting. I seem to be very bad at cutting fabric . . .

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      That would probably be a good beginner class, or perhaps just a few sewing/cutting days with a friend who can help. My methods vary substantially from what I saw as “correct” early on, but still I get pretty good results most of the time.

  3. Thread crazy

    I always wanted to learn to quilt, so finally I got with some gals and during our lunchtime, we taught ourselves. My first quilt was a baby doll blanket; I ended up making one for all 6 granddaughters. Looking back, I agree, we didn’t have patterns like we do today and…for the most part we didn’t have quilt shops!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      For whatever reason, it didn’t occur to me that all those pages in the magazines were patterns. I did use them for ideas, but I’ve NEVER made a magazine quilt! The real reason? I can’t read the directions. Really…


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