Friday, February 3, 2012

Medallions onward

Finally I have finished this medallion quilt top. However, it is turned on its side. I ended up making it big enough to fit my bed.....not king size thank goodness. I am still fascinated with  medallions. It is such an old style and definitely was imported from England when America was in its beginning.  Then in the 2nd quarter of the 19th century Americans started to design and make block quilts. Alot of those first blocks were made of elements from all those pieced medallion borders. I made mine a little more contemporary by using different borders but not always round and round.  I am not sure if I have this out of my system yet.
I definitely used rust a lot in this quilt. It is one of my favorite colors. I don't any one else who like it like I do.  With some thought I realized that this color impressed me a lot as a kit. First in the red clay soil of coastal Mississippi and the sandstone rock outcroppings in Colorado.  To me rust just seemed so vibrant in the sunshine. The rock outcroppings seemed like miracles.

In another moment of lunacy I pieced this star.  It is actually 20" across. I figured if I made the finished block 22" and turned them on point I could make 5 and have a quilt. I figure that by then I will have had enough of piecing it.  The inside is simple with large pieces, but when I got to the triangular border yikes.  Needless to say it is hand pieced.  Hand piecing is a  part of my quilting life.  It is just so relaxing and I can't just sit still.

I have been working on a couple of thing that I can't show yet, but the time will come.

I have been continuing to volunteer at the MSU Museum.  The last month I have been sorting thru the patterns designed by Herbert Van Mehren.  A name little known today.  He had a business to market his quilt designs called Home Arts Studio in the 1930's and 40's. He designed amazing mediallion designs that were 72" square. The most well known is Giant Dahlia.  I don't think I have seen quilts made of these patterns except Giant Dahlia and Star of France. However, it seems plenty of quilters bought the patterns and kept him in business.  Each pattern is a circular design made up of a complex star pattern. You would have to be quite the expert quilter to make one as there are no instructions just pattern pieces and a partial drawing of the complete quilt.  Sorry, but the museum doesn't allow photos.  If you have The Encyclopedia of Pieces Quilt Patterns or Block Base the blocks are in those publications.


  1. It's nice to see you again! I love your medallion. Those round pieces really add so much. And the irregular borders. Beautiful star too!

  2. Now that is a volunteer job I could really enjoy!
    Well mine is fun too but it always involves digging in the dirt :0).
    Love this medallion.
    Maybe you need to study those quilts and write the patterns again like the "Jane" quilt :0).

    Happy Sewing

  3. You sure have been keeping busy. Love those big stars.........share the pattern??? I started what is really a medallion - love to keep adding borders - with no planning beforehand - just add when i get there - I'm on the last border and it will be king size......and foolishly i want to hand quilt it to keep it soft...we'll see about that one!!!.........Linda