Medallion Quilt Along


Back in the beginning of the year, one of our guild members suggested doing a medallion quilt along with our guild. She had recently been inspired by the book, “The Modern Medallion Workbook” and felt it could be a fun group activity. The board was excited to try something new and jumped on board. With our fearless member leading the charge, we kicked the medallion quilt along off in June. We’ll be sharing our center blocks at our upcoming meeting in September, and I can’t wait to see what everyone is doing!

If you want to join us, it’s not too late! Below is more information, as provided by the quilt along leader, Sue.

First, let’s start with the general overview:

This quilt project is intended to stretch your creativity and design skills, while working within a framework and with some structure. While sizes and dimensions are given, you have the opportunity to change any or all pieces of this project. You may use any size at any time and your own quilt can be whatever size you decide. However, dimensions are given to give a base or framework to start from, or if you do not want to think too much. 

Curiosity piqued?! Here’s a bit more:

We will start with a center medalion block and add borders each month. The completed size of the project as planned is approximately 52”x52”. The amount of fabric to buy is difficult to estimate, as it depends on whether you use multiple background fabrics, many pieced blocks, or not. The best suggestion might be to select fabrics that are readily available to repurchase in the future or be willing to use additional similar fabrics as the project progresses. Also, keeping up each month may allow fabric to stay on the store shelf during the project timeline.

And now, a general schedule:

Month 1: We will make a center block that measures 12.5” x 12.5” (or will finish at 12” x 12”). This block should make a statement, and use colors that you would like to repeat throughout your quilt top. It can be set on point if you like, but will need setting triangles to make it fit properly into the center of your quilt.

Month 2: In this month, we will add narrow borders for a total of six inches on all sides. These may be solid or pieced, totally pieced, or partially pieced and partially solid. You may use one fabric for a border, or many. We will make 3 borders that will finish at 2” each. One idea is to make the first solid, the second pieced, and the third solid again. You may miter your corners, use cornerstones, or do whatever you like. Or you can divide the total 6” border into 2 parts instead. Or you could make a 1 “, 4” and 1” borders if you prefer. Creativity is encouraged.

Month 3: This month we will make 2 borders. The first will finish at 4” and the next at 2”. You will probably want to add pieced blocks to the 4” border – either make the border of all pieced blocks or some pieced and some solid. The 2” border can be solid or use a variety of fabrics. Or you could just add one 6” border. You get the idea.

Month 4: This month we will make 1 border that finishes at 4”. Again, you will probably want to include at least some pieced blocks. Cornerstones, assymetry, randomness are all possibilities.

Month 5: This is the final opportunity to be creative. We will make another 4” border with piecing or not, just like we have been doing all along.

Month 6 and beyond: Quilitng, binding, and showing.

Our final reveal will be at our February meeting… it’s going to be a fun one!

In June, we officially kicked off the quilt along, and provided members with the following instructions:

Month 1 — June:

  • Choose a theme if desired

  • Choose a color palette

  • Select at least some fabrics

  • Make your central medallion block.

The central medallion block is suggested to finish at 12” x 12”. However it can be really any size. It does not have to be square, it can be a different size, it can be set on point with setting triangles.

Use any resources you like to choose your center. It can be a modern block, a traditional block, a traditional block made wonky or modern. It can be pieced, appliqued or even a fabulous piece of fabric that you can't bear to cut up. Maybe you have an orphan block that you love but never used in a project – you can work with it to make it fit into your plan.

The center of the medallion is important in that it sets the tone for the rest of the quilt. It should make a statement about your quilt and the fabric/color choices you will use in the rest of the quilt. If you do not want a square quilt at the end, you can address that here and make your medallion a rectangle, or change things later. You could use a circle for the medallion, and use curved piecing to fit it into the quilt.

The point is, use your imagination to make something unique and cool. Have fun and be creative!

We will be sharing our progress here as we go! We hope you will follow along with us as we quilt along!

Upcoming Meetings and Events


While it’s still technically summer here in Rhode Island, our guild is prepping for an exciting fall!

First up is our September meeting, which will be held on Saturday, September 7th at the Cumberland Public Library in the Community Room from 10:30 til 12:30 (ish). We are excited to be hosting Lisa Mason (IG: @theredheadedmermaid) from the NYC Metro Guild for a trunk show. Aside from our normal business portion of the meeting, we will be having show-n-tell as always… and… the reveal of our center medallions for those of us doing the medallion quilt-a-long. I’m excited to see what everyone is working on!

Several members have expressed interest in going to the Sewing and Quilt Expo in Worcester, MA later that week… if you are one of them, plan a road trip with some friends!

Our October meeting is going to be a good one as well! We’re thrilled to be hosting Deborah Fisher of the Fish Museum and Circus for a trunk show and sale of some of her goods! (IG: fishmuseum) We’ll be meeting at the Centenary United Methodist Church in Attleboro. The address is 15 Sanford Street, Attleboro, MA. (Look for Studley Hall on the second floor.) This meeting looks to be a busy one since we will have business at the beginning, followed by our medallion quilt progress, followed by our quarterly WIP finishes (and drawing!) and our amazing speaker! Please let us know if you plan to attend this one so we can ensure seats for all!

We’ll be posting again soon with some more information on the medallion quilt-along as well as some other fun, non-meeting updates!

Who else is looking forward to some fall fun?!

July Meeting Recap

We had a great turnout this month, and we had FIVE first time visitors! 

Meeting Recap:

Special Events Committee Update: August retreat is fast approaching and will be so much fun! We will also be planning a Happy Hour in Downtown Providence for a social meet up; look for the date/location in an upcoming newsletter.

Activities Committee Update: Next month is our "Quilting Notions Yard Sale"; we will be hosting our monthly meeting at Lincoln Woods Park (exact location to follow in newsletter) for a potluck lunch, yard sale to benefit the guild, and usual meeting activities. If you have anything to contribute to the yard sale, please bring it ready to go so that we can get it priced quickly. Please bring personal checks or small bills to pay for items.

Charity Committee Update: Continually collecting blocks (from print out template), backing fabric, and batting. If you are interested in piecing/quilting, we have enough blocks to make our first charity quilt! See a committee member or guild leader to participate.

Modern Bee: Jenn and Charity are leading our guild Modern Bee; if you signed up, look for an email from Jenn to coordinate. We decided to do a 6-month Bee, so that participants could finish their quilt faster. This will require each participant to make two blocks per month. We are so excited to see this come together and look forward to seeing the blocks/quilts that result!

"Getting to know you" Interview Series: Sue was the first member highlighted in this new series (see previous post!) We thought this was fun and we learned a lot about her! Look out for another member to be highlighted this month and see a guild leader to volunteer to be interviewed for future months!

Michael Miller Challenge Quilts
** we forgot to take a guild photo of our challenge projects!! please bring your project to our next meeting so that we can get a group photo for our Facebook page **

Tara had a lot of negative space and filled it with dense and varied FMQ patterns

 Tina shared this mini quilt that she designed on EQ7 using HST's

Jill shared a mini quilt that she applique'd hexagons; demo coming soon! 

 Jodi embraced the negative space challenge too; with this creative display of plants and a kite

Desirae and Suzanne improv designed this quilt; very modern use of improv piecing and off-center white borders

Jenn shared her shooting stars quilt; the FMQ makes it look like they're shooting!

Leslie is getting creative with different FMQ patterns with this awesome take on a Dresden plate

Tara made use of that negative space to showcase a sampler grid of the challenge fabrics

Suzanne made these circles pop with a black contrasting background

Mary made a bag and used different FMQ designs in each column

Sue let the fabric patterns make the shapes of the butterflies, tree, and sun. The mailbox even says "Michael Miller!"

Lisa used different sized pinwheels to showcase the challenge fabrics

Becky embraced the modern layout and did some "echo" quilting

Carole Ann did some nice applique of these petals and did a ton of swirls for her FMQ

Wow! so many challenge projects!! thanks to everyone who participated and we look forward to doing this again next year with the MQG, and later this year within our guild!

Show and Tell projects

 Tara used the inspiration from Carole Ann's grid-interfacing backing to make this baby quilt

Tara also finished the quilt top from the "100 Modern Blocks" book! 

Pat showed this impressive improv applique wall hanging

Ken showed a kids quilt with dinosaur panels

Tina made this wall hanging using paper piecing

Sue compiled the blocks from the Color Theory instructional on Craftsy

Carole Ann finished the grid-interfacing blocks and added some solids to frame them out

Thanks to everyone who came out to the meeting; we look forward to seeing you all at Lincoln Woods Park next month, August 9th at 2:00pm. Look for the specific location in our newsletter and bring a chair or picnic quilt to sit on.  Don't forget to bring food for the potluck if you signed up (comment on the Members Facebook Page to bring something) and be ready to buy some quilting notions from our yard sale to benefit the guild!

Next Meeting: 2/8 at 2pm

At our next meeting, we'll be focusing on: Needles & Threads!

Discussion: What kind of threads and needles do you use and why?  We all have lots to learn about the benefits and drawbacks of using different types of threads and needles on different machines and during different parts of the quilting process.  We'll pool our collective knowledge to come up with some answers and tips!

Demo: Kathryn will demonstrate how to bury your threads when quilting.

WIP Switch Challenge: Shake up your inspiration a little!  Bring one of your WIPs (works in progress) that you've lost momentum on, and swap it with another member's WIP.  You'll finish someone else's WIP and gift it back to them, and you'll get yours back as a finished quilt, too.

Show & Tell: Bring something finished or in progress to share with the group.  Be ready to share your thoughts on what makes it modern.

See you on Saturday, February 8th at 2pm at Ryco Creative Sewing Center.

January Meeting Recap

Thanks to everyone who came out to our January meeting!

We started the meeting by sharing some of our favorite quilting tools:  

Here are a few of the suggestions to add to your next shopping list:

  • Handi-Bobs & Bobbin Buddies - for your thread needs
  • Red binding clips - for holding your binding in place as you sew it on
  • Mechanical pencils - for drafting awesome modern quilts
  • Accuquilt - fast/accurate cutting (can be rented at Ryco) 
  • Pool noodle - for storing quilts, keep wrinkles out
  • Thread Cutter Gizmo - great for chain piecing
  • Comic book boards - organizing your fabric
  • Quilt Halo - to assist with your FMQ 
  • Teflon washers - relieve friction in your bobbin casing
  • Quilting gloves - for getting a good grip during FMQ

Next, we shared what we came up with for the January Wholecloth Quilt Challenge:
(Suzanne's quilt)

(Lisa's quilt front - above & back - below)

Becky made a wholecloth quilt inspired by the RIMQG's logo!
(Becky's quilt)

(Kathryn's quilt)

(Carole Ann's quilt)

Next, we brainstormed some awesome ideas of challenges, demos, workshops, and activities we want to take on in 2014.

Lastly, we shared some beautiful quilts that members recently finished:

Thanks again, everyone, for sharing your beautiful quilts and inspiration with the group!

November Meeting Recap

We had a lot to cover at the November meeting! If you weren't able to make it, here's a recap:

1) We introduced the RIMQG's first Board of Directors:

      Carole Ann Penney, President
      Kathryn LeBlanc, Vice President
      Tara Coogan, Treasurer
      Jodi Meenan, Secretary
      Coco LeClaire-Conway, Membership
      Karen McCann and Sherri Noel, Communications Administrators

2) Tara did a free-motion quilting demonstration of some designs, ranging from basic stippling to dogwood flower. Here's some action shots of "wonky boxes":

2) There is a Free-Motion quilting challenge due in January. The parameters are to create a whole-cloth quilt (or table runner, wall hanging, etc.) and get creative with your free-motion quilting. Whole-cloth means the quilt will have no patchwork; we suggest using a solid fabric or a subtle print that will allow your quilting to be the star of the show. If you need some inspiration or have questions, take it to our Facebook page and get feedback from the group.

3) To prepare for the challenge due in January, we are practicing by bringing a 10x10 mini quilt sandwich to the December meeting (no binding necessary) with a free-motion design that gets you out of your comfort zone. Try something new! See the photos from the demonstration for reference. Our goal is to toss all of the mini's on the table at the next meeting and see what the group came up with. The mini's will be collected and we will make a booklet of sorts, from which we can refer to if we need quilting design inspiration. Bring as many as you'd like! 

4) Here are some links to some our favorite FMQ guru's:

5) Here are photos of the November challenge, Design Your Own Quilt:

6) And last but not least; show and tell!

Thanks to everyone who made it out to the meeting!
Please keep an eye out for our newsletter with more details about the 
membership forms that will be submitted before the end of the year.
Keep on quilting and see you next month!

Upcoming meeting: November 9th at Ryco

We have some exciting things going on at our November 9th meeting!! We hope you can join us :)

1) Introducing RIMQG membership forms
2) Presenting our Board of Directors 
3) Sharing the Design Your Own Quilt challenge projects
4) Announcing our Modern Fat Quarter Swap in December
5) Announcing the Free-Motion Quilting challenge due in January
6) Presenting a Free-Motion Quilting demo

We will have a busy meeting, so plan for a bit more than the usual hour! 

See you November 9th at Ryco!

September Meeting Recap

We had another great meeting this month filled with inspiration and goals for the coming months. We shared our "make it modern" challenge items, as well as other show-and-tell pieces.

We also had a great demo by Coco on improv quilting. She showed us some famous quilts that were modern before their time, and she took us through her improv process using a design wall.  By the end of the demo she had a gorgeous modern improv quilt (that we can't wait to see finished!)

We issued a new challenge for our November meeting. As we continue to explore our goal of "designing your own quilts", our challenge is to bring an item that you designed yourself. We will dive into this during our October meeting with a "3x3" (three individuals who talk for 3 minutes each) about their design process.

A lot of great resources and ideas came up in the course of the meeting - here are some links to help you track them down:
  • A new quilt shop called Knit One Quilt Too is opening in Barrington on September 24th.
  • For longarm resources - our members SueAlison, and Pat all offer longarm services, or check out Mad About Quilts in Mansfield where you can rent a longarm machine for your own use.
  • Craftsy is a great resources for online quilting classes.
  • Ningret Quilters has an upcoming show from October 18-20 in Westerly.
Feel free to post any additional resources to our Facebook page!

Our next meeting will be Saturday, October 5th at 2pm at Ryco. Bring a show and tell piece, work in progress, or even the November challenge project (if you've finished early!)

Happy quilting!

Join us this Saturday!

Meeting this Saturday - 9/7 at 2pm

Show & Tell: Bring something in-progress or finished to share with the group. 

Make it Modern Challenge: Our challenge for this meeting is to take something that's usually "traditional" in quilting and make it "modern" - whatever that may mean to you.  Bring your project and we'll continue our exploration of what defines Modern Quilting.

Improv Quilting Demo:  Coco will demonstrate the process of improv quilting, or quilting without a set pattern/plan in mind.

AND mark your calendars for our upcoming meetings this fall:

10/5 at 2pm
11/9 at 2pm
12/7 at 2pm

As always, we'll be at Ryco Creating Sewing Center.

August Meeting Recap

Thanks to everyone who came out to our meeting this weekend!  We had a great group and a lively discussion of what makes a quilt modern or traditional.

Below is the list we came up with.  The MOST important thing to remember is that our guild does not see modern as "good" and traditional as "bad" - we don't exclude anyone from our group for being "too traditional."  What we all have in common is that we're all interested in exploring the modern aesthetic.  So much of our inspiration comes from tradition techniques and patterns!

This list is the basis for our next challenge: MAKE IT MODERN.  For our next meeting, we're challenging our members to take inspiration from traditional quilting and update it to make it modern. Becky brought a great example of this to our meeting this weekend: she updated a traditional dresden block by using bright chevron fabric, and by using all the same fabric around the plate.

Here are some more photos from our meeting (blame my dead camera battery for the low-quality photos - I had to use my iphone.  Still, these modern colors really pop!).

Our next meeting will be on Saturday, September 7th at 2pm.  We'll continue our exploration of what makes a quilt "modern" by sharing the results of our "Make It Modern" challenge. Then we'll have a demo by Coco on improv quilting. Don't forget to bring something to share at show & tell. As always, we'll be at Ryco Creating Sewing Center.  See you there!!