Tag Archives: Medallion quilt rules

Medallion Quilt Rules

Each year my local guild has a new challenge, and I’m excited about this year’s! The current challenge is to create a medallion quilt. Though I won’t enter, I’m looking forward to seeing the entries and hearing from members as they create their pieces.

We just started our guild year this week, and it will close out in July with display and judging of these quilts. To help my fellow members move through the process, and also to help and inspire others who want to make medallions, I’ve decided to republish some of my prior posts. The best place to start is the beginning, right? Below you’ll see the fundamental rules of making a medallion quilt.

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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.

Medallion Quilt Rules

You know I’ve made dozens of medallion quilts, and I’ve thought about this a lot. Each one I’ve made is different and has its own personality, so distilling down the differences into a rule set has taken a while. But here goes:


There is no need for fear, because you can’t fail. Have fun, experiment, try new things. Don’t stress about borders that don’t fit — add a piece or whack some off. Make it fit but flat. Let it show your spirit, your honest expression of yourself.

You can make a medallion quilt.