If you have one true friend you have more than your share. -Thomas Fuller-
I feel immensely lucky to have my friend, Carol, in my life. We met two decades ago when I was living in Marin County, California and our friendship has never wavered in all those years. We’ve laughed, celebrated, cried and commiserated together. We share a profound love of animals (for a long time Caribou and Argus, and Carol’s dogs, Sarah and Kodi, were the best of friends too…and now Raven and Leah are developing their doggy friendship). We have a friendship filled with honesty and love which has stood the test of time.
I’ve been wanting to make Carol and her husband Gregg a quilt for some time now. Several months ago, I finally settled on some fabric by Bonnie and Camille and found the perfect pattern for it.
Medallion quilts gained popularity in America from the late 1700s to mid 1800s. They are constructed around a center design and grow larger with the addition of pieced borders. The one I selected for Carol and Gregg is a modernized interpretation of a traditional design and uses a Jelly Roll of fabric along with solid yardage (a Jelly roll is made up of 40 strips of fabric which measure 2.5″ wide by WOF long). The pattern I used comes from the fabulous book: Antique to Heirloom Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.
This is one of the more challenging quilts I have constructed. Medallion quilts require very precise piecing and cutting in order to have everything line up. I made some minor changes to the pattern to fix some cutting errors on my part – but if you think I’m going to tell you what they are, forget it! I ended up adding on two more borders to make this quilt large enough to fit on Carol and Gregg’s bed (the outside white and coral solid borders are my additions). I also cut the pretty turquoise print fabric an inch wider than the pattern called for. Here is the front of the quilt (it is actually square, although it looks wavy in the photo – it is only because I had to hang it off my porch to capture the entire quilt):
The quilt measures a generous 96″ X 96″ which fits a king bed. The primary fabric used is from Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille for Moda – but there is also some of their other lines in there, too, including Marmalade. The solids are Bella Unbleached White and Kona Coral.
I pieced the back – making “piano keys” with some left over jelly roll strips so that when the top is folded down, there is a nice design. The rest of the back uses a large piece of fabric from Bonnie and Camille’s collection Scrumptious.
Quilting this monster took some time and I did it on my home machine. Here is what it looks like when one quilts a huge quilt like this on their home machine:
I used Tuscany Cotton batting which is lighter weight than other 100% cotton battings, and makes it a lot easier to quilt such large quilt. I did a meandering stipple pattern throughout the quilt.
The binding is a sweet peachy-pink fabric from the Snippets collection by American Jane (Sandy Klop) for Moda.
I decided to use the special settings on my sewing machine to make a custom label:
I was so excited to give this quilt to Carol and Gregg. My husband and I made a trip down to their home in Marin County so I could hand it to them in person and see it on their bed…and it just so happened that it was Carol’s birthday weekend which seemed like perfect timing!
I hope they will enjoy it for many, many years to come…and that it will remind them of a very special friendship.