Improvising A Quilt

Yesterday, I dropped into Sew With Vision (my local Pfaff/Husqvarna dealer) to check on stuff in preparation for two classes I’m offering this fall. I also needed some variegated thread for quilting the Medallion Quilt. Sitting on the checkout counter was a 2m piece of Benartex fabric for sale at such a ridiculously low price it screamed “take me home”. So I did. Next step: go through the stash to see what might go with it – lots of dark and lighter greys, but nothing in the right shade/print style of the turquoise.

Benartex Cosmopolitan + Stash

So I checked the selvage – found out I had fabric by Benartex: Cosmopolitan. I checked online: Turns out there were I think three colour ways: turquoise, yellow, and lime. There appears to still be some of the lime prints available but almost none of the turquoise.

Benartex Cosmopolitan – Fabric Online

I did find a turquoise from the original collection at Fabric.com – 2 yds for $4.71/yard – it was the shipping that was horrendous! I walked away. But after shopping this afternoon for something that could possibly work (I found a Kona in almost the exact shade of turquoise as well as the turquoise with gold leaves at a local shop, both in the top photo) I came home and ordered 2 yds. To hell with the expense. That fabric is going to let me pull all the others together.

BTW, this is definitely NOT going to be a medallion quilt! Something simple and modern – an improvisation for the Improvise A Quilt class in a couple of weeks.

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Medallion Quilt – Top Done!

Medallion Quilt Top Complete With Border

I adjusted the final corner within the block so that it was better balanced without affecting the outer dimensions. Then I added the outer border, complete with mitred corners. Quilt still square, Yeah! I’ve intended the quilt to be a lap quilt. However, while the finished size (63″ x 63″) is not a full double/queen size it could certainly be used as a colourful spread to focus attention on a bed.

Now I have to think about the back of the quilt. I have a complementary fabric double width so I could just cut the size I need and be done with it, but before I do that I will go through the scraps and other leftover fabric to see if there is some kind of strip I can cobble together to add interest to the back of the quilt. But that’s for another day – likely tomorrow.

Melanie McNeil asked if I was pleased with my efforts – now I can definitely say I am.

Medallion Quilt – Three Corners Completed

Three Corners Completed

Just finished the third corner – one to go; however, I’m thinking I may have to redo the first corner (upper left) because when I’ve finished the fourth I think I’m going to be short on the first side and the panel isn’t going to be square – I might be off as much as 3/4″! Here’s hoping I’m not. 3/8″ – 1/2″ I can fudge when adding the outside border, but more than that will want a redo.

Medallion Quilt VII – Update

First Corner Completed

I have finally got this corner to lay flat – it’s been a challenge getting the sizes of all the elements precise. I’ve sewn, picked out seams, sewn, picked out seams at least three times making small adjustments until I’ve been able to get this corner to work. It’s not perfect but it’s close enough that when the quilt is done and the wide patterned border is added nobody is going to notice the imperfections.

Three more corners to go.

What’s made the piecing so difficult is I wanted the seminole strip to extend past what would have been natural piecing lines so that it remained in one piece. That’s meant fitting overlapping pieces from the upper left to the bottom right. Partial seams everywhere. I’ve discovered I’m getting better results by sewing each seam, then opening the end where I need to make a join, then re-sewing the seam. And scant 1/4″ seams is crucial – by stitching them just a hint under 1/4″ I have been able to align elements where corners need to meet. Very painstaking work. Probably never do another quilt like this again!

Medallion Quilt VII

Corner In Progress

I can go no further until I do the embroidery on the remaining three corners and piece the seminole strips but it’s now possible to see how I can sew all these elements of the quilt together – attach elements, but then open the edges so I can sew the next piece then resew the end of the seam – in other words: partial seams. I now know what the measurements for these corner segments are as well since I’ve been able to fit in the first of the eight which fit between the on-point border and the corner square.

So now, back to embroidery and seminole piecing!

Medallion Quilt VI

Just finished piecing the remaining two parts of the on-point border. Now you can see the effect I’m after. I also added in a narrow (finished width-1/4″) orange/gold border which ties in the center panel with the corners (see lower right corner). I’ve prepped the four corner drunkard’s path blocks – they’re next on the to do list. I’ve added fusible web to the curlicues – I’ll cut them out during the US Open Tennis this afternoon, fuse them to the blocks, then top stitch them and add the embroidery to the curved seam on that block. I’ve also pieced enough fabric to cut and assemble the seminole strips.

On-point Border Pieced

As you can see, there are still gaps between the plain border sections and the corner block…. I want to extend those sections and insert the seminole strip in the middle – the challenge is how to assemble all of that – I’m going to have to work with partial seams! What I don’t know yet are the dimensions I need for that spacer block (with the seminole strip) to have the corner come out correctly. It would be easy to piece it in the conventional way were it possible to put a seam across the seminole strip but I want that strip in a single piece from the wide on-point border to the corner!

I have no idea how to assemble these corner sections. I’m postponing that problem-solving until after I have all the seminole strips stitched and the corner blocks  finished.