Friday, 13 May 2016

Orphan Medallions and how I make them - an example

It all started with this delectable mountain block from  Carina .   I decided it was such a bold block it would make a striking centre of a sizzling medallion in hot colours - orange, pink and maybe some yellow.  

I also found some scrap orange stars that came from the lovely Julie who always seems to conjure up fabulous quilts from scraps - she is truly inspiring and I decided the nine patch and rail fence blocks, also donated by Carina, would feature somehow.  

The centre was quite dark so I thought I should go with something lighter as a contrast and squares of 2wenty Thr33 fabric donated by Emma seemed a good match as the colours are pink, orange, mustard and grey.  The squares repeat the star centres. 

I cut lots out but it seemed chaotic at first (sorry no photo - you will have to trust me on that), so I thought I'd repeat the nine patch that would feature later in the quilt.  This seemed more restful to my eye.

My borders didn't quite fit at first hence the skinny dark pink border round the centre block.  I love those skinny borders that permit a tiny punch of strong colour and help everything to measure up to the same width/length.   

Once those blocks were patched together I added another scrappy thin border which repeated all the colours of my chosen scheme.  It now looked a bit square!   

Time to add in some triangles to repeat the pointy-ness of the delectable mountain centre block and those star points.  I cut lots of triangles from my hot colours scrap box and used a coloured square as my cornerstone.

For my final border I had been thinking about a border of alternating rail fence and nine patch blocks but preferred the more open look of the solid Kona White.  I kept those blocks as my cornerstones - two donated by Carina and two in similar colours that I made to match.  

And here it is ... 

The binding was a scrappy one that repeated some of the 2wenty Thr33 fabric from Emma.  

If you have an odd block somewhere and a few other orphans to match why not set yourself a creative challenge and make a simple medallion quilt - you could then donate it to siblings together! 

Think of what you will learn in the process.  I know I have learnt so much about colour placement, value, positive v negative space, repetition of shapes.  I do seem to like making them.

Here are a few I made earlier:  


  1. I love your Medallion Quilts. Perhaps you have persuaded me to have another try myself. What size do you use for your centre square? I reqlise they are "orphan blocks" so I expect they are all different measurements. A ball park measurement would be a help. Looking at the quilt with a 25 patch centre I'm guessing around 20". Thanks, Nicky.

    1. The butterfly one has a 12" centre, the 25 patch a 20" centre and the others are inbetween those measurements.

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  2. I have yet to make a Medallion ( on my To Do list!) so thanku for the inspiration Nicki :-)

  3. This latest quilt is a triumph Nicky, an Autumn glory - love the wide plain borders that really set it all off and I love that you have a "hot colours scrap box".

  4. Fabulous quilts - on my list!