Monday, October 3, 2016

Log Cabins and Stars

For the Gwennie-Inspired Medallion quilt along, the theme for Month 3 is log cabins, and the Month 4 theme is stars. I hoped that my bear claw blocks, that I rejected in Month 2, would still be useful. This is their chance! Mama bear and baby bear are now Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, the two most familiar constellations in the northern sky.

In North America we know the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper, which are the brightest parts of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. In Europe they see it when it is rotated around, and call the Big Dipper the Plough.

The Big Dipper has seven stars, and the Little Dipper has six, so I chose seven big bear claws and six small ones, and filled them out with some log cabin piecing. Two for one!

But really, it was the "log cabin" theme that unlocked the entire design for me. I thought it would be different to wrap strips around the whole medallion, log cabin style. A few others had the same idea! From there it was a short hop to the idea to continue the light/dark layout through all the borders.

I also sewed together all the small "crumbs" that were left over from the log cabin strips, and used them to fill in a few of the gaps.

And I used the brown and grey printed plaids from the centre block to make two 1/4" (6 mm) key line borders. I've been keen to try this tutorial by Barbara Robson for a skinny border, and I'm happy to say that it is easy and it works!

Those are the same plaids, by the way, that I've been using to make rosettes for Brinton Hall.

The last theme, for Month 5, is "Something Fishy." That will fit perfectly on the remaining two blue sides of the medallion! It's all coming together now. :D

Fortunately for me, Lori says the final link up will be open all month. I'm going to take a week or so to finish it up before my next post. Might as well do it right!


  1. this is looking so good wold never have thought of adding log cabin strips to a block it works so well and I think I will be doing it myself and the scraps you use to fill in the gaps look very much at home can`t wait to see this completed

  2. It's great, Monica. I love the movement and gradation of colour - so harmonious ( as usual).

    1. Thanks, Jillian! I was afraid, in the wee hours last night, that it was losing some of its energy. But, when I see it again today, I think it will hold up. The last fishy borders will help!

  3. Very nice! It all is working together so nicely!

  4. Monica this is wonderful! Living on the west coast where the Bears love catching salmon as they return to spawn I can see an idea of where you might head next. I look forward to seeing your top once you've got it together. Next up for me is deciding how to quilt these beauties! Perhaps you should have made salmon berries in your basket but then your knock knock joke would not have worked. Scrap that suggestion.

  5. I especially like the filler strips. And only working two sides of the quilt this round.
    Perhaps you should mix some blueberries with the olives and a bear joke.

  6. I love understanding the design process behind something. It makes the work come alive for me. Your concept is working very well for you.
    Your Brinton Hall hexie quilt is also amazing. Great choice of fabrics. I especially like the way you fussy cut them to create the secondary designs from the pattern in the fabrics. Love the vibrancy of colours in both quilts as well.

  7. Combining the two border ideas together was a fantastic solution with the bear paws and log cabins. Plus having them on two sides rather than four is really thinking outside the box. Thanks for sharing your thought process. It helps me, clearly a follow the black line kind of person, to see other exciting options.

  8. Oh I love the colors you used and I can't wait to admire your finish !!
    Very nice border Monica ! :)

  9. Oh my goodness, I love how this is evolving. I like how you have used the big and small bear paws, and really like the little crumb bits. Your tiny plaid strips work very well too.

  10. Love the blues and reds in this quilt. Your last border turned out beautifully. I like how you decided to use the bear claw blocks. Very fun medallion.

  11. Love this. Bright, bold and improv. Hits all the marks!

  12. Oh my gosh these colors and your design are awesome!


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