Wednesday, April 03, 2013

starting gate


a few weeks back, i had some fun with illustrator. I've never made a medallion quilt before and seeing the burst of Marcelle Medallions throughout blogland made me want to create one. since i don't own that pattern and my contrariness dictates that i try to do something different, i designed my own. I wanted it to be scrappy but with a somewhat restricted color palette. The illustration makes a 72" square quilt.

Medallion beginnings

The center block is called "Four Squares" and it's from the book 501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks. I should really do one of my half-assed reviews on this book, but I will save it for another day. The important thing relevant to this quilt is that despite being called, "Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks," I ended up paper-piecing the center diamond. To get a finished 12" block, the center diamond is 8.5" finished. Dividing it into a 9-patch made for some funky math, so i decided it would be easier and simpler to paper-piece than to try to accurately measure 32ndths and whatnot. i am not ordinarily paper-piecing's biggest fan, but in this case it was pretty easy to do since there are no weird shapes and it was deadly accurate. when finished my diamond measured a perfect 9" without having to trim.

I pulled a bunch of scraps from my stash and I'm using MM bright white cotton couture, my new favorite solid fabric. I didn't even notice until I uploaded the picture but I already made a mistake. the orange/white center block is reversed from the original sketch but i'm not going to fix it now. this is what i get for only glancing at pictures. apparently i can't even follow my own directions.

so the crazy-making part: thanks to the paper-piecing the block went together very smoothly and looked fantastic. i laid out my 12.5" square ruler to trim the block but my ruler slipped and i ended up slicing off the tip of one of the diamond points. i yelled a lot of obscenities and frightened my dog, but eventually i pulled it together, unpicked the offending corner, put a new one on, and stitched the block back together. it really wasn't too tragic because there was no need to disassemble the entire thing and now it looks good as new. hopefully it will go more smoothly from here on out. Right now i'm writing out instructions for each round and then making it as i go, so this will probably take awhile. it's a fun exercise so far.

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. Wow. I love the idea of using Illustrator to pre-visualize your quilt. I had never thought about using it that way. I love the medallion quilt you have designed.

  2. I work with illustrator too! Love your blocks!
    ipatchandquilt AT wordpress DOT com

  3. Love love this.. I need to pull out my Coreldraw and play...

  4. I love your quilt pattern - so many people are on the Medallion craze it is nice to do something that nods to it but isn't literal. I really love your colors as well. I play around with Illustrator all the time for fun graphics for myself and daughter, but my old school ways bring me back to graph paper, mechanical pencil and colored pencils. :) Lovely and I will definitely be following to see your progress.

  5. It is a wonderful start. I can't wait to see the rest of the quilt materialize :-)

  6. Loving all this! The design process, the final sketch and the first steps ;)

  7. This is going to be great! the color palette is fun!

  8. It is going to be (and already is) gorgeous! I'm loving all the medallion quilts as well, though if/when I make one I would also design my own (and probably call it a mandala quilt instead). Yours is one of the most inspiring ones I've seen, I have a serous urge to put aside the two quilts I'm working on just to make one of these now...

  9. I love your initial block and the design you made. It will be a fun quilt, for sure. I really enjoyed the pace of the medallion quilt; I felt engaged throughout the process, since each round involved something new.

  10. This is a beautiful project! Is figuring out the dimensions from an Illustrator drawing fairly simple to do? I'm guessing there's a grid you can lay across your drawing?



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