Tag Archives: medallion

New Life

Sunshine Quilt by rarebird detailGoing to try to breathe some new life into this old project. The truth is, my life went through many changes since the day it was conceived — and so quickly seemingly abandoned. It wasn’t,  in my head anyway.

The last time I wrote I showed you my bionic gear bag, which has become my very best traveling companion. I made it to take on a trip to the northern redwood coast of California. Little did I know that a year later, I’d find myself living in NorCal with light, cheerful sewing room and much more time to run the needle through fabric. I haven’t been here long so don’t expect too much yet, but let me catch you up on some projects:

The Sunshine Quilt

Sunshine Quilt by rarebird

Right before we moved, I finally finished this quilt-as-you-go medallion. I absolutely love the color. It just reminds me of sunshine and hopefulness. Unfortunately, I made a rookie mistake on the green border. Those are quarter square triangles instead of square-within-a-square blocks. QSTs are super stretchy and it took me a while (and several more borders and quilting) to realize why the quilt was puckering in the center. The QSTs had over stretched and were causing it to bubble. I guess I could have taken it all apart and started over, but I prefer to keep it as a reminder of a hard lesson learned.

Abby’s Birthday Quilt

Abby's birthday quilt by rarebird

A dear friend’s daughter just had a baby girl, so one of the first things I made in my new studio/home was this baby quilt. It’s Zig Zag Love by Hope Nelson.

Gypsy Queen

Gypsy Queen wk 5

And now I am working on the Gypsy Queen Mystery Quilt along on Cora’s Quilts. I learned about this quilt-along from an old SoCal friend that I recently reconnected with. After we both moved away, we ended up in neighboring states but lost touch for some time. This past summer we both moved to opposite coasts, reconnected (now that we are farther away than ever), and realized our mutual love of all things quilty. So late though we are in the actual quilt-along, we are both working on the Gypsy Queen. Should be interesting to see how they turn out; her quilt is in wonderful green & purples whereas I am all about the hot oranges and pinks still.

Stay tuned for the progress!


Starting Out Stuck


 I started this quilt some months ago. There are a lot of new techniques in it for me–liberated piecing, quilt-as-you-go, and a medallion style.


The center of the medallion is a piece of 60s Hawaiian bark cloth that I found years ago at an estate sale. I always pictured it as the “cheater” center of a quilt. Last winter when I was going through a hard time, I picked it up and began quilting it without much thought as to where the quilt would go next. But then I dug out a bunch of orange and blue scraps and added the borders. The orange radiated happiness and it lifted my spirits. The freestyle piecing was so quick and satisfying. But since then, I’ve been stuck.

Every time I head into my studio, I just end up folding yardage and pinning it to the wall in various configurations. Sometimes I piece a few blocks and arrange them. I drink a glass of wine and stare, rearrange, and repeat. I’ve done this endlessly. I can’t figure out what or where to go next. Here is how it looks at the moment:

photo 1

The fabric on the left is another vintage find which has a terrific bold print that is reminiscent of the center medallion yet quite different. The top has a couple of border auditions of Kaffe Fasset fabrics. I think I have to decide if I want to do another intricately pieced border–or several and “busy it up”–or if I’d like to let bold fabrics do the talking. One thing I want is to keep the vibrancy. In my head, this is a happiness quilt and I don’t want to lose the gift it gave me last winter by dulling the palate. I also don’t want to fall into an orange blue orange blue pattern.

Any ideas most welcome!