January 31, 2021

Marcelle Medallion Quilt

Three years in the making, my Marcelle Medallion quilt is finally finished. I'm a little embarrassed by how long this one took me to make, but it's a lot! All those pieces and borders! It was on my to-finish list for 2020, and it feels so good to have it done and be able to move on.

By Green Bee Patterns

In September 2017, two of my fellow Knoxville Modern Quilt Guild members and I drove to Nashville for the day to join the Nashville guild's workshop with artist and designer Alexia Marcelle Abegg. We focused on the foundation paper pieced center medallion during the workshop and came home inspired to keep going around and around with all the borders.

One thing I really liked about the pattern cover quilt is the radiating cornerstones in darker value fabrics, so I tried to replicate that with my choices. My fabric pull started with Elizabeth Hartman's collection Pond, and I added low-volume prints and a few prints and solids in similar colors to expand my options for all those borders.

(If I could change anything, it would be that center and definitely that reddish border.)

With each border, it was fun to play around with my fabric choices and color options, changing my plans a little as I went. Here's more of the process as it grew:

Rosy pink? Nope. Try something else.

When I got to this stage above, the pattern called for just one more solid border. But I considered adding another one or two pieced borders to make it larger, and I played around in my EQ8 design program to see what that might look like. For the record, I'm not great at EQ8 and this took SO MUCH TIME. But I was able to see a couple of my ideas (I'm terrible at envisioning how something might look) and then decide with confidence that I didn't like them! So I guess it was time well spent.

So I returned to the original pattern and added the last border, making it just a little wider.

For the backing, I decided to make it pieced and use as much of my remaining fabric as possible. Typically I hate how my pieced backs turn out - I see other people do them well, but I'm never happy with mine. They always look too messy. But for this one I tried to create a little order by using softer colors and arranging the larger pieces in columns with neutral dividers. It's still kind of crazy, but organized crazy (?). And it was economical, which is always satisfying because so much of quilting is kind of expensive.

For the quilting, I sent it to a longarmer, Sterling LaBosky (@sterlingquiltco on Instagram) in South Carolina. I scoured Pinterest and Instagram trying to find someone else's Marcelle Medallion with an allover quilting pattern that I liked. I saw one with this square maze design and crossed my fingers that it would look good on my quilt too. Guess what? It does. :)

For the binding, I kept it pretty neutral with a subtle low-volume print because there's so much happening in the medallion. The binding complements the last border, so they sort of blend out together. I'm really pleased with how this quilt turned out -- and the pure fact that I managed to finish it after 3 years! It's a nice accomplishment for 2020.

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