Medallion Lessons

I made my first quilt in 2003, for a soon-to-be-born granddaughter. I made another and quickly was hooked. I was lucky back then. I didn’t take any classes, and at first I didn’t have books. Internet sites were in their infancy. I didn’t know what a quilt shop was, much less a fat quarter. Without the resources we’re blessed with today, I pushed through on my own, designing my quilts on graph paper, figuring out how to do the math, learning to improve my seam allowance.

I’ve learned a lot since then. And though I’ve been making medallion quilts almost since I began quilting, the last three years have taught me the most. Through my experience and study, I’ve learned lessons on design as well as construction. In those three years I’ve shared many of the lessons with you.

Often people comment that they’re inspired to undertake a medallion, but it needs to wait until … another time. Or they would consider making one, but parts of the process are intimidating. I’ve thought about ways I can help make the process easier for those who want to make one. Certainly one way is to create a bunch of medallion patterns and give precise instructions for what patches to cut, and what order to use them, and what colors or values to use. But I don’t want you to make MY medallion quilts. I want you to make YOURS. And I want you to have the resources to adjust to the quilt’s needs, like what to do when the fabric you MUST use will only make a border 1.5″ wide, not 2″ wide.

A couple of months ago I reorganized my site to make some of those lessons more easily available. If you look at the tabs above, the middle one says “MEDALLION LESSONS”. If you click the tab, it will open a page of links to posts on a variety of topics. As it says on the page, if you have questions about medallion topics you don’t see, drop me an email. I’ll either point you to existing posts or perhaps write one to address your question! You can find me at catbirdquilts at gmail dot com

I’ll continue to edit links to this page through time. In fact, I’ve just added my most recent two posts. As I document the process on my current quilt, I’ll try to create meaningful lessons to help you make your own quilt.

Any questions? Let me know in comments, or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.




11 thoughts on “Medallion Lessons

  1. just carla

    Thank you for these lessons, Melanie! Being a very novice quilter, I can’t tell you how much you’ve both inspired and challenged me to try something a bit more complicated! This will be a winter project ~ Thank you again, Carla

  2. katechiconi

    I have a piece of fabric which said “hello, I’m going to be the centre of your medallion quilt” when I saw it (and bought it, of course). I do want to make the medallion quilt it’s slowly unfolding in my head, but ahead of that I have The List. Next year, I plan to make some time for it, and at that point, I’ll be pleading for Quilt Math help!

  3. KerryCan

    You’re always so generous with your knowledge, Melanie! I’m not sure I have a medallion quilt in my future but I would certainly turn to you first if I did!

  4. denmck

    I have a similar mindset as you Melanie. I like knowing HOW to construct quilts so that I can work with my own designs. You do an excellent job of documenting the process so that one can take their own creativity and run with it. Thank you for putting forth the effort! And this math challenged quilter really appreciates that knowledge as well!

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Honestly it’s easier for me to figure it out than it is to read someone else’s pattern. I know that’s not true for everyone — we all have our strengths. Thanks.


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