Meet our newest addition to our home! After a long string of quilting for others, I relished spending time on us!

Medallion quilt tutorial

This monster's 93"x98" with a total of ~1200 pieces of fabric. It's a 6x7 grid of medallions.

Medallion quilt tutorial

Can you see the subtle color variation in rows 4 and 5? The medallions and quilt back are various Japanese linen prints (see my blog post).

Medallion quilt tutorial

Relatively simple straight-line quilting, with varied angles at the pattern change.

Medallion quilt tutorial

The Making Of

For those interested in the process, read on.

Piecing

This was the first quilt I've done with curves, and it's really not all that bad! I used the Quick Curve Ruler from sewkindofwonderful.com. Her tutorials are great. The curves are slight enough that it's not a hassle to feed through the machine, and the seams lay pretty flat.

Medallion quilt tutorial

Piecing the rows together.

Medallion quilt tutorial

Piecing the back was a lot harder than I imagined. I'm a bit more anile than I need to be with placement, and even after that, figuring out how to piece together without partial seams was like playing tetris (or maybe tangrams).

Medallion quilt tutorial

Making the sandwich

After the exhilaration of finishing piecing the top and back, there's a moment of oh...shit. Making the sandwich entails affixing the front, batting, and back together so it's ready for quilting.

I use Odif 505 temporary fabric spray to make the sandwich. The alternative is to use hundreds of safety pins, which is a royal pain in the ass when you need to quilt and pull those pins out one by one. Trust me, it's worth the can of spray adhesive.

Medallion quilt tutorial

Lay your quilt top (or bottom) flat on the ground, then put your batting on top. I did the top first, and since it's the side that's fixed and perfect in size, make sure the batting goes over each edge by ~3".

Medallion quilt tutorial

Lay the backing on top. The bottom should be about the same size as the batting, about 3" extra on each side.

Medallion quilt tutorial

Roll down the backing in ~12-16" sections to expose the batting. I roll down to the center as pictured. Spray the batting with the 505 spray in 12-16" sections and roll the backing back down over the sprayed section, firmly pressing and making sure there's no wrinkles. Once you've done that half, repeat from the other side to the center.

Medallion quilt tutorial

When the backing-to-batting is done, repeat for the batting-to-front.

Medallion quilt tutorial

Trim excess. I leave ~2".

Medallion quilt tutorial

The Quilting

I love designing quilting. It's a subtle addition to a quilt that can completely change its feel, and doesn't hit you in the face. My favorite quilts are those that you see the major piecing design, then on second look notice the quilting. It's like a treasure hunt!

For this quilt, I had a couple requirements. First, the quilting had to be really simple since the top piecing was already busy, and more practically, I didn't know if the quilt would fit into my machine. Second requirement, I wanted to help differentiate the color variation in the 4th and 5th rows, which didn't turn out as contrast-y as I thought it would've. My final design:

Medallion quilt tutorial

I had a few moments of fear wondering if the quilt would fit in my machine. Thank goodness it was only straight stitching. I used a dual feed walking foot to help, but the stitches were still varied in length and wobbly in places.

I should mention that this time I used a water soluble marker and yardstick to measure out the lines. Normally I don't mark anything for quilting.

Medallion quilt tutorial Medallion quilt tutorial

The binding. Simple 4 colors. I didn't make any effort to line up the colors with corners.

Medallion quilt tutorial

All Together


  • Mental. You've got to be prepared. Super fun, but it's a lot of piecing.
  • Linen. We'll see how it wears, but I'm quite happy with it! It was easy to work with, though I prewashed and shrunk everything. Note: linen frays a lot so you'll lose up to 1/2 inch on every edge from washing.
  • Wool batting. Love the thickness. Quilting shows up really well, and it's a perfect weight for summer!
  • Size. I wouldn't do anything larger or with more complicated quilting until I get a long arm, heh

Medallion quilt tutorial Medallion quilt tutorial Medallion quilt tutorial Medallion quilt tutorial