Although George had a different original intent (chronicled here), he ultimately follows in the 18th century tradition of medallion quilts. Any worthwhile book on quilt history will include a section on this construction and its strong connection to the early printing of toiles, but there are few online sources that present the concept well. Take a moment and read up on them briefly here and view the Google image gallery to get the idea.

These are two examples that I love. The one on the left was made in 1840 and is in the Virginia Quilt Museum, while the one on the right is a contemporary design by Kim McLean.

medallion examples

I’ve been studying the examples in my own library to understand scale, balance and quilting choices. And I finally decided how to finish up the patchwork and chose a traditional quilting design that is also “modern”–namely, crosshatching.

prepped

Assembly line precision piecing of lots of identical blocks is so incredibly not how I like to work these days. Many of my choices in the inner rounds lent themselves well to this in that I didn’t have to make full rounds of the same blocks very often; I could change over to a different one just about when I got bored. This final border of square-in-square will go all the way around and it’s taxing my patience to sew all 48 of those identical blocks.

a step back

Of course, I did audition the border before committing to it. I don’t have a design wall–the pros and cons of which we should discuss sometime–and I actually like some of the resulting “design blindness” because it keeps me from overthinking. But these after-the-fact photos tend to bring me enough perspective and sometimes comfort.

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A brief note: On Sunday I begin six weeks of intensive work in RealJob. Not sure what that means about regular or irregular blogging during that time. I’ve prepared a few post ideas and hope to keep up with what you’re doing all around the web when I get breaks here and there.