Which Class Would You Take?

I regularly teach a class on medallion quilt design. Here is the class description:

This Design-As-You-Go class will show you strategies and techniques to customize a medallion quilt. Whether you love modern style, traditional, or somewhere in between, your imagination and favorite fabrics will create a quilt unique to you! You’ll learn how to create a center block to serve as your focal point and inspiration; choose and size borders to enhance the center block and each other; and lots of tricks for dealing with color, shape, value, balance, and unity. This 5-session class is for the quilter who isn’t afraid to design her own quilts or change patterns to suit her own vision. Class size is limited due to extensive discussion time needed.

I provide students with a “blueprint” that gives sizes for the center block and borders. Though they each design their own quilt, having the sizes removes one decision from the process and allows them to focus on others. (They can ignore the blueprint altogether, too! It is their quilt, not mine.)

For my upcoming class, I’ve changed the blueprint. The change makes some of the block sizes easier, and also allows lessons on using even or odd numbers of blocks in a border.

However, because it’s a new blueprint, I don’t have any samples made! Now I need to make one pronto, so the quilt shop can market the class with a nice photo.

Which of the two quilts (drawn in EQ7) would entice you to take this class? Remember, the content of the class is the same, because the students design their own quilts.

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53 thoughts on “Which Class Would You Take?

  1. jmn111

    I’m assuming you’d like a choice because you’ll piece that top but I’d be inclined to throw out both EQ images along with a third that you actually create.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      The quilt shop will have one photo on the website, so I do need to narrow it down to something I’ll make. These are basically ideas, but whatever I make will be in the same vein. Thanks.

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  2. TextileRanger

    I like the brighter one (top). I never got into quilting until Kaffe Fassett came along with bright colors. And even now at the International Quilt Festival, I skip every booth that has a lot of brown reproduction fabrics in it. Although I do really like the central design in the blue and brown one, that might intrigue me. But I really like the little green stripy blocks between the pinwheels in the top design. I would see that and think “less complicated piecing, and I wouldn’t have to get corners matched perfectly on that row!”

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  3. Nann

    I like quilt #2, especially since you’ll be teaching design principles to students with a range of abilities. (If you offered this class on the road could you condense it into two days?) (I really want my guild to host you!)

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks, Nann. That would be great fun! We could do a smaller quilt in 2 days, if they come with a center block, plenty of fabric, a good sense of humor, and a lot of patience!

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  4. Paula Hedges

    The first one is indeed bright and busy, but with some toning down I like the design. The second one gets my vote for color and style. I also can imagine it in more colorful colors and looking just as good. Whatever you do, it will be great!

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Aw, thanks, Paula! It sounds like your preference would be one that meets somewhere in the middle — a little toned down compared to the first, and a little brighter compared to the second. That would be my personal preference, too. πŸ™‚

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  5. KrisR

    Number 1 does it for me. I like the variety of blocks and the bold color. I also like the patterned fabric and to my mind, it would be a perfect place to show off a fabric that you absolutely loved. It could be the fabric that you pull all the other fabrics from. (Just skimming a few comments above, I might be the odd woman out!)

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Not so odd! But I have found the “vote” interesting so far. πŸ™‚ I have a piece of fabric that has bright, fun colors. It’s easy to match to it with tone-on-tones and more subtle prints. Both the pictures are really “ideas” rather than plans. I think they both have merit, and both would be changed in the execution. THanks for your comments.

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  6. allisonreidnem

    My vote is for the second design. My choice is a bit influenced by the colours (I can’t help myself!) but it is the clarity and overall calm of the design that makes it my choice. Incidentally, what is the maximum number of participants you’d have in this class?

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  7. katechiconi

    I like the light, airy design of the first one, and I am also probably influenced by the colours you used for it, since my taste always leans to a brighter palette. The second one is beautiful, but the first one dances!

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  8. Tamara Hutchinson

    At first I was drawn to the stars and the colors in #1, but after some thought I believe #2 is a more appealing design (to me). So #2 in different colors. Guess I’m of little help!

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Actually that helps a lot. I think the design/layout of the second is simpler and easier to enjoy, perhaps better balanced. But I’m likely to use the colors of the brighter one. That tells me to go back to the drawing board and redesign the one with brighter colors. Your words and my gut instinct… THANKS! πŸ™‚

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Too many pieces? I do love variable stars and often design with them. When it comes to execution, I often “cheap out” and do something simpler. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Tierney.

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  9. snarkyquilter

    I’ll vote for #2 simply because I hate to make pinwheels. The centers are often too lumpy, even after doing that twirly thing. Also, #2 as drawn seems to have more of a values range. Have you tried looking at your 2 possibilities in black and white?

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Pinwheels… yes, I like the look much better than I like making them. I usually press the seams open, which does make them flatter.

      As to checking value, I did not. Will go do that now… Okay. It looks to me like the value range is similar, though #2 is generally darker overall. What it really reveals to me is just how much busier #1 looks compared to #2. I think that might be the biggest problem with it. Part of that is the focal print I chose, which is quite blotchy. (And is not the same as the fabric I’d choose.) Last night I also edited #1 by removing the piecing from the striped spacer blocks, between the pinwheels and between the stars. Replace them with plain white and it all calms down enormously. Thanks, Joanna.

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  10. Stacey Holley

    I like the bright colors. It feels modern and fresh – although maybe just a tad bit busy in the drawing. When it is real fabric it won’t be “busy” it will just be “oooooooh!” πŸ™‚ Wish I could take your class.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      When it is real fabric, it isn’t as busy, correct! With the drawings you see all the seam lines, which aren’t distinct in real life. Good point. And thanks for the vote of confidence. I’d be glad to have you in my class!

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        1. Melanie McNeil Post author

          I don’t have an online class set up. As to patterns, I could give you the center block size and the border widths. However, I really want every student to make their own quilt, using their preferred fabrics and blocks. Each quilt is unique and completely suited to the maker. I can’t pattern for that. πŸ™‚ Thanks for asking!

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  11. Sue

    I like the second design better, but I would probably use a brighter palette if I made it for myself. Somehow, the first design is just, too “pointy”. Reminds me of that line in Amadeus where the Emperor tells Mozart that his composition had “too many notes”! The second one feels more solid and flows better, to my eye.

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  12. Lynda Burns

    The first quilt is a little more dynamic. Brights help achieve this. That’s the one I want I want to be involved in up to my eyeballs! Lynda

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