Tag Archives: textiles

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?

New Fabric, New Plan — Is It Just Me?

I have to admit, I’m always kind of baffled by a particular kind of blog post I see. They feature an array of beautiful fabrics, recently purchased with excitement and enthusiasm. That part I get! The part I don’t get as well is that many of those posts name a particular pattern the bloggers intend to follow, using said fabrics.

In other words, the blogger intends to use these fabrics to make that pattern.

We all have our own ways to make a quilt, all of them as varied and wonderful as we are.

I’ve bought specific fabrics for a specific pattern once, I think. In 2012 my local guild had a red-and-white challenge. We were to use ONE red fabric and ONE white fabric to fulfill the challenge. I designed my quilt before starting, purchased the red and the white, and commenced.

Red and White Challenge Quilt. Finished April 2012.

Otherwise, all my quilts have been all stash, a combination of stash and new fabrics, or occasionally all new fabrics purchased well before having a specific pattern. In other words, I knew the colors to use, but not yardage needed, and I probably bought several pieces that never ended up in the quilt.

In fact, buying for specific patterns is probably more efficient and more economical than my method. But since I’m usually designing as I go, either for scrappy block quilts or my ever-increasing medallions, I enjoy little surprises at every stage of construction.

Sometimes that leads to frustration, when the little surprise is that I’ve run out of a piece I really want to use NOW! But then I turn to my stash, or the stash held by local quilt shops, and substitute. To me, the variety of fabrics make the quilt interesting, both to build and to behold once it’s done.

Do you choose a pattern and then choose your fabrics? Do you choose fabrics and then choose a pattern? Or do you make your fabric selections as you go, as I usually do? Is it just me?

 

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

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?

Playing With Color

Remember how my word of the year is “Experiment”? Well, I have been experimenting in a lot of different ways, some in quilting and others in other parts of my life.

My main quilting experiments have been in teaching. In April I taught one class session on the Underground Railroad Quilt Code. And in April and May I taught Medallion Improv! I’ve taught before, but the subjects were in Finance, not quilting!

But I’ve also pushed my edges a little in my creative work, as well. My Harlequin Medallion led me through quilting with rulers and a ruler base, with a style of design different for me. Genes and A Cute Top (and its back) were a foray into modern quilting, with the plus design so popular these days.

And now that I’ve finished a few other projects, I’m ready to play. For a while I’ve wanted to play more with color and with shape. Triangles are the perfect medium.

This is just a start. I have reds and blues to cut and try in the mix, too. If I sewed this just as shown, I’d have a piece that is about 21″ square.

Imagine the things I could do with that. Perhaps it would serve as the center of a medallion. Maybe it would become a table mat or wall-hanging by itself. Maybe I’ll make a bunch of “blocks” the same size and make a bed quilt. All kinds of possibilities…

What are you playing with these days?

You can find Catbird Quilt Studio at Facebook, too.