Tag Archives: Center medallion

A Little Redecorating and a New Class

Now that this house is a whole year old, I’ve decided to rearrange the furniture a little. Okay, it’s not startling. I didn’t change the color of the paint. But I did add a page tab for classes and presentations I teach. At the same time I changed the order of the other page tabs.

I’ll be teaching a new class in the fall, designed for beginning quilters. It will be a real-world class, not online. The class will be held at Inspirations in Hills, IA. Beginning on Thursday, October 16 for five classes, students will learn some basic medallion techniques.

You’ll learn to make puss-in-the-corner, snowball, half-square triangles, flying geese, and variable stars. We’ll cover multiple methods for half-square triangles and flying geese, so you can use what works best for you. You’ll improve your seam allowance, getting those corners to match and points to show. You’ll chain piece, press, and assemble all of those elements to make a medallion quilt top, ready to finish. (The class will not include quilting and binding the top.)

Use your choice of fabrics, in as few as six colors/patterns. Pattern information with yardage and supply list will be available prior to the class.

This class is for beginning quilters but should NOT be your first quilt. You should know your machine, be able to sew a decent ¼” seam most of the time, and be familiar with rotary cutter techniques.

Here is my sample of the class project:

I’m excited about the new class, and excited to offer new quilters a different vehicle for learning than the standard sampler.

If you know any quilters who would like to join me, feel free to forward this information to them. I’d love to have them join the fun!

You can also find me on Facebook at Catbird Quilt Studio!

Medallion Sew-Along Track 1 Finishes

It occurred to me recently that I hadn’t shown you all my finished Sew-Along samples together. I started six samples for what I’ve called “Track 1,” which had prescribed center block and border sizes. And now all six are done. They are SO different from each other, even though the templates were the same!

Here are the basic template instructions from Track 1:
Begin with a 15″ center block. Leave it with a straight setting or turn it on point.
The first border set, whether you set your block on point or straight, takes your center to 24″.
The second border set added a 4″ border, taking the border to a total size of 32″ finished.
The third border set added a 2″ border, followed by a 6″ border. This takes the finished size to 48″.

More borders were optional. As you can see below, I did add more for three of them, and I made one smaller.

To see photos of the finished quilts, click here!

Laughing At Myself

and I deserve it. My last post commented about quilters who put up eye candy of an array of fabrics, claiming they will use it to make a particular pattern. I don’t work that way, always changing pattern and/or fabrics while the quilt is in process. But…

Today I went to Inspirations, one of my favorite local quilt shops, and bought

I intend to use these fabrics to make that pattern:

And these fabrics to make that pattern:

In my defense, I’m developing a class on medallions for beginning quilters. Rather than step them through a sampler, I’ll teach construction of blocks and units in a medallion format. So these fabrics for that pattern will allow me to make samples in two different colorways.

Note the units and blocks they can learn: variable star, half-square triangles, and puss in the corner blocks. Of course the star requires flying geese. And I don’t know about you, but figuring out sizing for corner blocks — even plain ones — baffled me when I was a new quilter. I think it can be fun, challenging, and help them create beautiful quilts.

So yes, today I am laughing at myself. But there’s a method to my madness!

Did you make a sampler as one of your first quilts? What block or technique gave you the most fits as a new quilter?

2014 2Q Review

Wow, what a quarter! I had several quilt finishes and a couple of “almosts.” And besides all that, I’ve had opportunities for some other great quilty stuff! First up, the quilts:

My Harlequin Medallion

My Harlequin Medallion. 55″ x 50″. Finished April 2014.

Genes and A Cute Top

Genes and A Cute Top. 45″ x 60″. Finished May 2014.

Back of quilt. Label is tipped green square in lower left.

Triangles Table Runner

Triangles Table Runner. 32″ x 14″. Finished May 2014.


XOXO. 48″ square. Finished June 2014.

Bright Idea

Bright Idea. 60″ square. Finished June 2014.

Bird On Point

Bird On Point. 63″ square. Finished June 2014.

Round Robin Mini Medallion

Round Robin Mini-Medallion. 14″ square. Needs binding and label.

Mini Medallion Take 2

Mini Medallion with changed corners. 15.5″ square. Needs quilting finished, binding, label.

And what else have I been up to? Well, I added the page tab for free designs. If you look there, you can find designs for 3 quilts, and design ideas for 17 different ways to set economy blocks. Keep checking back as I’ll add more over time.

In early April I gave a presentation on the Underground Railroad Quilt Code. And in late April I began teaching a five-week class called Medallion Improv! I can’t tell you how much fun that was, helping five experienced quilters discover strategies to design their own medallions, as unique as they are.

Besides joining BlogLovin’, I added a Facebook page, to make it easier for you to find me and to comment. Like the page in Facebook to join the fun.

If I think about what was the best part of the quarter, I can’t name one. Instead, my favorite aspect has been trying new things. My “word for the year” is EXPERIMENT. In trying to fulfill the promise of that, I keep pushing a little farther, not striving, but exploring. What would happen if… ? I love finding out. Thanks for joining me on this journey of discovery. ❤

What have you been up to?

Free Quilt Design #2 | XOXO Medallion

Here is another design you are welcome to use. (Don’t sell the design — that would be stealing!) This one lays out the steps for the XOXO quilt top I recently finished. It isn’t a “pattern,” as I won’t include directions or yardage. If you have questions about those, do feel free to ask and I’ll help you however I can.

The design measures 48″ square, which is a great size for a baby quilt or for anyone’s lap quilt. This top is in brilliant colors. You can use any colors you want. Also consider a different final border to vary it more. The design uses the basic template of my Medallion Sew-Along, Track 1. Track 1 has a 15″ center block and borders of prescribed widths, giving a completed top size of 48″.

XOXO top. Sixth Medallion Sew-Along Track 1. 48″.

All sizes below are finished. You may have favorite ways to create the designated blocks, and I encourage you to use whatever method you prefer.

The center block is 15″ finished. It uses the block design and directions you can find here. You can see in that post a number of colorways for the same block. Any other 15″ block will work here, also.

The unpieced borders are great places to adjust sizing, if you need to trim or add width. Don’t cut the borders until you know what size they really need to be. See this post for more information on adjusting borders.

Border 1 is the turquoise border surrounding the center block. It is 1.5″ wide.

Border 2 is half-square triangles in 3 colors. You can use 2 colors, or make it scrappy with a lot. It is 3″ wide. There are 6 HST per side, plus one in each corner, for 28 HST total.

Border 3 is the blue-with-circles print border and corner blocks. It is 4″ wide.

Border 4 is the turquoise print. It is 2″ wide.

Border 5 is the XO border. It is 6″ wide. There are 6 blocks per side, plus one in each corner, for 28 blocks. Of the 28, 14 are X blocks and 14 are O blocks.

X and O Blocks
Each block is made as a 4-patch. I used the stitch-and-flip method to make each unit of the 4-patch. Each unit is made from a 3.5″ cut square of the feature fabric and 2 2″ cut squares of the background fabric. (If you use the same background fabric for all 28 blocks, you need to cut 224 2″ squares.) I always press the triangle over before trimming the underlying fabric, which helps me get a truer square.

Border 5 Alternatives
In truth you can choose alternative blocks or styles for all the borders and even for the center. For border 5, you may prefer 9-patches, plainer 4-patches, hourglasses, or anything else you can build with 6″ blocks. Really you can use whatever you want to get 6″ in width, including piano keys or flying geese. Or you may have a great focus fabric and decide to have an unpieced border, instead. Or use an appliqued border or painted or …

Questions or comments? I’d love to hear what you think.