Thursday, September 1, 2016

Gwennie Inspired Medallion - STAR round reveal

This month we worked on round 4, a star themed border as chosen by Katy.  Check out her blog - lots to see!  If you are wondering what this medallion project is all about, here is how it all started with these five quilters choosing each theme in turn:

Lori at Humble Quilts  (center - May) - BASKETS
Yours truly (second - June) - CHILDHOOD
Cathy at Big Lake Quilter (third - July) - LOG CABIN
Katy at KatyQuilts (fourth - August) - STARS 
Wendy at The Constant Quilter (fifth - September)

For this star round, I knew I'd make casual stars (confession: I hate that other word, wonky)

but I also wanted to introduce some asymmetry, so how about some swirls:

And how about some little minimal row houses...

Will add some sashiko swirls/smoke sometime I think...

This might be shaping into a "starry night" quilt...

So far so good.... except that I have run out of this deep dark indigo.  This quilt has been harder than I'd expected (oh!  improvising isn't all easy breezy!) - I've been swimming in "problem solving" mode, which is both agonizing and exhilarating I suppose!

Speaking of swimming, he he, our next and final round - "something fishy" - was chosen by Wendy (the constant quilter).  She writes:

Being from Maine, my theme choice for the final border is
“Something Fishy”
As with those who have gone before me (Lori, Cynthia, Cathy and Katy), you can interpret this asloosely as you like. Here are a few examples:
Fish fabric or appliques
Sea birds (they eat fish!)
Marine mammals (they eat fish too!)
Lighthouses (they see fish)
Boats (they catch fish)
Ovals and triangles (i.e. fish shaped)

Tartar Sauce – what???

I'm so excited to see what everyone comes up with. 

I will edit this post with a link to Wendy's post here.

Wendy, challenge accepted!  Fun theme... and I need to decide whether to wait for David to pick up more indigo in Japan... or whether a plan B is in order.

Link up on Lori's blog to show your progress with the Medallion.  So much creativity out there - freedom!  All kinds of quilters!  All kinds of quilts!  Thank you Lori for pulling us all together!



  1. Your close-up photos are striking, so much fun detail, but seeing that last photo of the entire top against the white background - wow! Fabulous!

  2. I really like those asymmetrical spirals - great design choice. You are SO right that working this way is much "harder" (more problem solving required) than working from a cut-and-dried pattern sheet - but it is also deeply satisfying and personal (which is more important to me).

  3. your stars and swirls are great. The minimal houses are nice too - love the asymmetry in your piece.
    Oh no - too bad about that indigo. It will provide a design challenge :)

  4. Very creative border. I like how you made your border look like a town scene with a night sky.

  5. I love, love, love your border. Your quilt is so beautiful. Hugs

  6. Yes, this challenge has been hard, and everyone who puts themselves out there on this is quite brave! Love your houses, and I agree, the soft edges on the swirls are a relief against all the angular piecing. Looking good!

  7. Your stars and swirls are so playful--perfect for the rest of the top--love it!

  8. Incredible! I'm sorry to hear that the design process has been a bit difficult. I surely doesn't show. It looks like this one was planned right from the start. I just love it!!

  9. This is just stunning! I love the 'starry night' feel to it - the swirls are such a perfect touch!

  10. I love that you didn't put stars all the way around your medallion (which is what I thought I would be doing). I particularly like your row houses. ;- ) This next round is going to be very interesting, to say the least!

  11. And, I'm sorry to hear you don't like the word "wonky". As slang words go, I find myself using it a lot. There are other modern slang words that I will not use and I try not to use "Awesome" because I feel it is way over used these days. Bla, bla, bla! Your's is one of my favorites so far.

    1. Wendy - I'm sure I completely overuse the word "awesome!" In fact I am certain I have used that word to describe your quilts, more than once! ;)

  12. Love it! How about using that lovely teal from the stars and white for your last round. It sure looks great with the white design wall.

  13. This border is so appealing with its little houses, stars and swirls. I sympathize with your struggle, but you always manage to come up with something wonderful every single time. Well done!

  14. Your problem solving has sparked an "awesome" border with so many design elements. It's really very creative and is one of my favorites.

  15. I love the idea and the challenge that goes with it. How did you get connected into this plan? My friend in MD had a similar challenge among her quilting friends but they swapped quilts from person to person. I think your idea makes the quilt more coordinated and personal while connecting up with friends.

  16. I LOVE it! Part of the challenge for me is to find similar fabrics that work. I hope you find a great alternative. I really love the addition of the houses.

  17. Love love it. So creative. Yes, those row houses are a great addition to the round. That indigo is such a pretty shade :)

  18. I love your setting and your stars ! And I'm sorry for the indigo....

  19. This is amazing! I love the spirals you added as well as the houses and stars!

  20. I really, really love your quilt. The colors, the 'casualness' and the fabrics! Great job!

  21. Each new addition works so well with the previous creation. Nice job.

  22. I love your quilt! The addition of the swirls is really brilliant, and the little houses are great! Your applique is adding some really fun elements.

    I agree...this has been challenging, but in a fun (mostly) way. It certainly makes for a personal quilt, doesn't it?

    Sorry about the indigo - can you find some online? Oh no, another design challenge!

  23. Cynthia, your quilt just sings! It's beautiful. Your stars and swirls are both great but your houses are fabulous! I can't tell you how much I love them. Now I want to make houses -- maybe for an upcoming quilt. Did you applique the swirls (by hand or machine?) and did you applique the doors and windows onto the houses?

    I'm pleased to learn that I'm not the only one who is finding improvising a little challenging. I often improvise when I run out of fabric but somehow, this is different. And yes, I definitely understand being in problem solving mode. (My husband asks me if I think this is fun. I don't think he believes me when I tell him yes.)

    I don't like the word "wonky" applied to stars, either. I've seen these stars also called "liberated" and "maverick." I think the word "casual" is perfect to describe them.

    --Nancy. (ndmessier @,

  24. I had fun with my stars by another name, I don't think any two are the same! Love your spirals and you thoughts on adding Sashiko!


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