A week ago I had the pleasure of presenting to the DeKalb County Quilters’ Guild in Sycamore, IL. My topic was medallion design basics, including examples of design concepts such as unity, balance, movement, and value. I also discussed the components of the medallion format, including the center block, the first borders, intermediate borders, and last borders. Each has a role to play in creating a cohesive design.
Besides the slide show, I brought 11 quilts with me. I asked the guild members to notice a few things generally. In particular, few of my center blocks are very spectacular themselves, though generally they are bold in their sizing and values. Most of my blocks are pretty simple, variations on Ohio Stars or churndashes or the like. None are elaborate Mariner’s compass blocks, or intricately appliqued designs. Those are wonderful centers for medallions, but you don’t need fancy to achieve a great quilt.
What do you need? You need something interesting to look at. The center block is the natural focal point. The borders around the center direct the eye to and from it with differences and similarities in shape, color, and value. Repetition of shapes, especially when varying sizes, creates interest. Repeated similar colors or patterns, with some variations, make us seek out just what the differences are. Diagonal lines are effective in giving a sense of movement, and half-square triangles are an easy way to provide that motion. Variations are as important as repetitions. Too much of one leads to chaos; too much of the other leads to boredom. As with all else, balance is key.
Jim joined me at the meeting, helping to set up and tear down. He also took the following photos.
In addition, Doris Rice, a member of DCQG, allowed me to share her photos. Her complete blog post can be found here. Thank you, Doris! So lovely to meet you.
I enjoyed meeting the guild and sharing my quilts with them. If your guild is interested in a session on medallion quilts, give me a holler.