Saturday, 14 April 2018

floral medallion, an adventure in improv

While unpacking my quilting books recently, I came across "Liberated Quiltmaking II" by Gwen Marston and I was once again captivated with Gwen's free-form, innovative approach, especially with her liberated medallions. Further improv posts recently by Ann from fretnotyourself and Kaja from sewslowly have inspired me (again) to try a bit of improv.

This idea of a floral medallion quilt has been simmering away in my mind and down on the 'desigh floor' for a while now. 

Fabric selection started with using my stash. I chose a lovely 18" floral outbackwife fabric  for my centre. And then I've been slowly planning one border at a time.
The first border was an easy decision for me. I had two pieces of fabric in my stash, and while years apart, I felt they worked well to bring out the colours in my centre section. I've used a small print "Christine" a recent Outback Wife fabric and an older fabric, 'Dashing Roses' from Art Gallery.

Next up, from the 'spare parts' basket, a crazy pieced border
made up of quirky vintage fabrics, ginghams and modern prints.

Then things got a bit tricky. I don't know about you, but I can't seem to be able to sew a bit and then work out the next bit as I go. I like to have an overall idea of where I'm heading before I sew anything, so I lay everything out first on the 'design floor'.
Plans do have a way of changing. And, to be honest, these borders have changed many times over the past week, thank goodness I didn't actually cut & sew anything together - improv is certainly not as easy as it looks {sigh}.

I audtioned several fabrics for the third border, but most seemed to me to swamp the centre floral piece. At the moment I'm thinking of using a variety of yellow fabrics, to help draw out those warm golds in the centre. They will all be in different lengths as I don't have enough of anything to go all the way around, the main one here is Bari J. Ackerman, Sage, Yuma Lemons in Mist . . .

Some of my strips of fabric ran short so I added a few wonky corner flying geese and extra fabric. I also want my borders to all be different widths and I'm really excited about adding some 'kantha' style quilting to the centre floral square, but that's a little way off yet.

. . . and then another border of an oldish Anna Maria Horner fabric from the stash basket,
something a bit crazy different, maybe

I haven't yet figured out what happens after the fourth border, I keep telling myself evaluation & consideration are all part of the process. After several changes & some discussion with my "personal colour consultant" (aka my daughter), I think I can now safely say I'll be stitching this up soonish . . . it's either that, or I continue to walk around it for a few more days/weeks!

Linking up with Myra from 'finished or not Friday' here at busyhandsquilts     
- I'd love to hear about your experiences with improv too


  1. It looks lovely together. I have tried improv style once but found it very difficult.

  2. I like the idea of a floral medallion a lot. My favourite bit of this is the little flying geese section and the way there is a tiny bit of the same fabric on the left hand side, at the top of the lemons. I love that sort of repetition. I would have caved in and sewed some bits together by now, but patience is not my strong suit!

    1. Thanks for the +ve encouragement Kaja. It’s been quite tricky actually, lots of 2nd guessing myself. I’m planning on sewing it up today sometime. I think I’ll need a calmer border next, no idea what though!

  3. Love the bold choices of fabric and the utilitarian look to your medallion. The florals are fabulous here and I love those flying geese units at the bottom right!

  4. JUST KEEP GOING!!! This is absolutely wonderful - you're doing Gwen's legacy proud.

  5. You're really zooming ahead with the Medallion quilt. Love your idea of extending the border with the Flying Geese section.

  6. I think sometimes we "over think" things too much. Just "going with the flow" can be very liberating and surprising. Well done.

  7. I absolutely love it so far. Every border, I went ‘yes!’ as you showed and explained it.

  8. This looks like fun. I think you have been very successful so far.

  9. I love,love this! Very inspiring!!

  10. I read somewhere once that every quilt should have some yellow. I like a bit of black, you have nailed both. It's a striking fabric.

  11. This is beautiful Linda and to me it doesn't need another border, I think your last one hold everything together wonderfully.

  12. I enjoyed reading this post very much. I love hearing about quilter's process in choosing what they do. Gwen has a fabulous philosophy doesn't she. And this piece is really coming together beautifully.

  13. Your 'outback wife' floral medallion is gorgeous. I love what you've done with the borders too.
    Very nice.

  14. Such a fun quilt! Looking forward to seeing what you add next.

  15. You're really zooming ahead with the Medallion quilt. Love your idea of extending the border with the Flying Geese section.
    Genting Crown


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