Blog Hop and GIVEAWAY: The Modern Medallion Workbook

(Drawing Closed)

Medallion quilts have been all the rage over the last few years. A medallion quilt generally starts with a center motif and then multiple borders are added until you have your quilt.

I loved that Janice Ryan ( and Beth Vassalo ( wanted to write a book where we could explore medallions even further and so they put their heads together and invited 11 amazing contributors and produced  The Modern Medallion Workbook (Stash Books).  And I was of course honored to be asked to be a part of this book. The best thing about this book is that it IS a workbook! So, if you want to you can make one of the quilts exactly like they are made from the book – and they are amazing as is. But, the book is made to inspire creativity and to encourage the quilter to step outside of just making a pattern and create their own. You know I love that!

Book cover

My contribution to the book is a quilt called Zen Medallion. I really wanted to include my version of bias tape applique in my quilt so I built the design around this technique. It is top-stitched bias tape applique. I also included a bit of lightweight paper piecing as well. I quilted it in my go to when I really want the quilt design to sing – an all over organic crosshatch.


(Picture courtesy of C&T Publishing)

Now this quilt looks like a medallion but, it isn’t built like most medallion quilts. It is built in wedges. And, I know I always promise this but, it is much easier than you think!


There are even coloring pages for each of the quilts so  you can explore color and pattern even before you pull out your fabric. Ya’ll know I have a crazy color sense but, I love that I would be able to try out my colors and fabrics before I commit to them.

Coloring Page

Since I don’t have the actual quilt back yet I’ll show you these. I had a bit of a disaster when making this quilt the first time (Hint: coffee and quilt tops don’t really mix) and had to remake the top. But, I cut up the old top and will eventually make pillows out of the salvageable portions. I’m pretty excited about them!

Cut up Quilt

If you love a book that will explore a ton of different techniques and encourage you to step out of your box to make amazing quilts then you’ll love this book.

Now, for the giveaway. C&T Publishing is providing one lucky winner a copy of this book. To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post telling us about  your worst sewing or quilting disaster (so I wont feel alone about my quilt top turned pillows)! A US winner will receive a hard copy and International winner will receive an electronic copy. Drawing ends on Thursday, May 28th.

Drawing ended! Thanks everyone for playing along. Congrats Pat (number 91 of 101 selected by Random Number Generator). Check your email for an email from me so that we can send your book to you! Capture

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog hop for more chances to win and to see all the other quilts:

May 11th:  Janice and Beth at C&T/Stash
May 12thMelissa Richie-
May 13thAmy Sinibaldi-
May 14thChristina Lane-
May 18th: Erica Jackman-
May 19thBecca Bryan-
May 20thKaren Anderson-Abraham-
May 21stLatifah Saafir-
May 22ndKerry Green-
May 25thBeth-   and

Comments 104

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  3. I am so excited to win this amazing book! Thank you very much!!! Although I have been quilting for 30+ years, I am new to modern quilting and I love your designs!!!

  4. I guess it’s good that I can’t really think of any major sewing or quilting disasters… The one thing that jumps to mind is the time I was cutting something (probably fabric) on my bed as a child. It wasn’t until many hours later that I realized I had cut through the baby quilt my grandmother made me. Luckily, it had just gone through one border, and my mom was able to help me mend it (I was probably about 6). To do this day I am super-paranoid about trimming quilts or near quilts or anything like that. Lesson learned!

  5. My worst sewing disaster – taking so long to make baby clothes that the baby is too big for them. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  6. My most common mistake is to sew a right side to a wrong side even though I diligently try hard for this not to happen.

  7. I have a confession, the only quilt I’ve started is for my daughter’s 21st but I lost confidence. I really want to learn to quilt so fingers and toes crossed that I win this book! X

  8. My worst quilting disaster is when my sister and I joined forces to sew a quilt. We both used different seam allowances and had to readjust our plans to make it all work out.

  9. The first few quilts I quilted have major tension issues – one that I still have has a bunch of threads that have broken, and I ended up with a bunch of puckers in one that I gave to my sister – luckily she loves it even though it’s very imperfect!

  10. When I first started quilting, I used any fabric available, not just cotton. I made a quilt with variety of fabrics that looked ok, until I washed it. Many of the fabrics responded differently and it really looks wonky. Lesson learned. Thanks for the chance to win this wonderful book!

  11. I have made so many…most recently, sewed wrong side and right side together by mistake. I’ve certainly learned to stop when you start getting tired!

  12. I’ve had my share of slips of the rotary cutter, sewing something on backward or upside down, and bleeding of fabric. I think my worst is to not have ever made a muslin before. So many beautiful items that don’t quite fit. At least the quilts always fit!

  13. I super want this book, it looks amazing!! I once spilt red wine on a finished quilt top that was mostly white. I still have it tucked away because I’m too angry about it to finish. I guess that’s what I get for quilting while drinking, lol.

  14. I was trying to make a minkee throw and by the time I got it all together, every piece of fabric had twisted and stretched. I finally cut it in half since some of it looked good. Made a nice small baby quilt.

  15. O maior desastre que cometi foi fazer um corte no quilt ao cortar a linha do último ponto do quilting à mão. Foi um grande susto!

  16. Well, there was the time I used a cotton knit for the back of a baby quilt, quilted it on my long arm and watched in horror as it crumpled together when I released the tension on the back. Luckily for me it was a cheap printed panel, when I saw I couldn’t salvage any of it I cut it up for dust cloths. There are still several in my sewing room and they remind me to always use good fabric.

    I do think quilting is always iffy. No matter how I plan and measure and think I’ve thought it through, there are always adjustments and fixes to make. The cute little stripe that really sets everything off: ran out of fabric , had to substitute. That star with the wonky point: ruler slipped. The day everything turns out perfect I’ll probably die of shock! Thanks.

  17. My worst disaster is after putting on and mitering a corner. I went to trim off the excess seam allowance, and accidentally cut into the quilt. I’ve done this several times!
    I’d love to win a copy of this book!

  18. My worst blunder in quilting is still in progress. I’m making my youngest great-granddaughter a quilt out of inexpensive flannel, and I did not wash it before cutting the pieces. I have a lot of blocks made (which were supposed to be easy, but turned out not so easy for me), and am trying to decide what to do. Maybe some WIDE sashing….lol. Would love to win this book. The Medallion quilts are calling my name!

  19. LOVE the medallion block, my disaster would be in measuring I had a quilt when I began came out quit nice until I noticed 2 corner blocks alot smaller then the rest now I make sure I triple check before cutting to me it was enough to believe I should give up sewing but my husband talked me “down” and not to give up so quickly. I thank him and YOU for the giveaway chance and all your inspiration. Becky

  20. I once made a baby quilt that was made in 3 sections. When I took a photo of the finished quilt I saw that one section was upside down! My MIL said just leave it, no one will notice. I couldn’t stand it though, and took off about half the binding, picked out the quilting, took that section out and turned it right side up. Then I re-did the ripped out quilting and binding. I was much happier with the quilt then, but I hope to never do that again!

  21. I’ve been pretty lucky in my sewing adventures so far, but I did recently discover one week before a first birthday party that the panel that was to be the feature of the baby quilt I was going to make had been cut 18″ too narrow. I did not have time to order another, plus the place where I had ordered it was out of stock. There was a lot of last minute adapting! 🙂

  22. Having dozens of pieces with a finished size ending in one eighth and unthinkingly adding two eighths for the seem allowance instead of two quarters! Had to redo them all but once I got over my spleen I used the rejects to make a sewing machine cover.

  23. My worst sewing disaster was an Easter coat I made. It was the first and only coat I made. I had it to the point of the hem and being short, when I cut off the excess hem, I accidentally cut on the wrong side of my marked line for the hem and cut into the coat into the excess hem. I was still living at home with my parents. My dad commented that when he left to go to town, I was in tears and when he returned, I was replacing the panel in the coat and almost ready to remark the hem. Thankfully, Mom always bought plenty of fabric and there was enough for a new back panel where I made the mistake. Yes, it was a lined coat and I only made the cutting mistake in the outside panel of the coat.

  24. My first commissioned quilt was when I had my worst quilting disaster! I had finished the quilt top and was squaring it up. I started at the bottom and began cutting. When I got half way up, I realized that I had somehow forgotten that I’d intentionally made the top row wider so the sashing was now going to be too narrow at the top. (I must have been working late at night!) So….I had to rework the top row and it all came out fine, but oh those were some frustrating minutes trying to figure out how to save the quilt!

  25. I like to use a sheet of plastic overlay on top of my quilt and test out various fmq designs my drawing on the plastic with dry erase marker. Sadly, if in the heat of the moment a swooping dry erase line goes beyond the edge of the plastic and on to the quilt, it won’t wash out of the fabric. It’s game over. 🙁

  26. Well, I’m not an engineer, so that might explain how I get myself into this predicament ….after all of the measuring and piecing, more than once I’ve found my quilt top was lopsided. So an unplanned boarder is added to the short side and it looks like a decorative element. Voila! I turned lemons into lemonade!

  27. I was making my first paper pieced medallion quilt. It was almost done and I had to stitch the two halves together. (you guessed it) One half was upside down… now to take out all those stitches through all those hundreds of seam …. well tomorrow is another day!

  28. My worst sewing episodes have always occurred around making clothing — specifically costumes! I usually end up rushing and messing up a critical step. Several times, I’ve had to stay up all night finishing something.

  29. My most recent one was just the other day! I was making myself my first t-shirt and all was well until I realized I sewed the sleeve on wrong (so the seam would be on the outside!)- I’m still working on ripping out the black thread stretch stitch from the black interlock!

  30. I have had a couple of times when some stray piece of fabric managed to jump into my sewing project and i didn’t notice until I looked at the back of my project. I don’t know how this happens but maybe it’s my version of raw edge applique, unwanted of course, because I have to take it all apart. Maybe static cling is to blame. LOL

  31. I haven’t made too many BIG mistakes, but I’m still learning as I get more into quilting. One of the first things I made was a table runner. I had it all sewn together, including the border when I decided to machine quilt just the inside patchwork. Well, that left the border all wonky and funky shaped. I still use it, but I’m always reminded of what I did wrong!

  32. I’m pretty good keeping my drinks out of the way but cutting errors on fabric that can no longer be found is a problem!

  33. After reading others, I realize I haven’t had any disasters – just lots of silly mistakes, which have sometimes resulted in design changes

  34. I can’t think of any thing disasterous I’ve done. I hate it when seams don’t line up or one side ends up longer than the other. This seems to happen to me a lot. Lol

  35. Hmm — aside from a couple of free-motion disasters that resulted in a LOT of frogging, I’d say my biggest quilting mistake was buying a machine I really don’t like. (now trying to sell it… not sure how that will go!)

  36. Sewing, like anything creative, always has some disaster or another. We must modify what we do. The thing I get frustrated with the most is when the bottom layer of whatever I am sewing gets caught up, the top layer is sewn perfectly , and it all has to be unpicked! I really like your pattern and its construction method.

  37. I placed my iron, which I thought was barely warm, onto the seat of my husband’s recliner – but it was still hot! Uh-oh! Scorched!

  38. Mine is actually my grandmothers – but since I own the quilt now…. My grandmother was a handquilter only (no piecing). She gave me a beautiful embroidered quilt that she was saving for me. I guess she never washed the quilting markings off and now they seem to be permanent!? I’m afraid to mess with it too much. It will always be treasured despite the lines though.

  39. Not listening to teachers early on about seam allowances & accurate cutting. There are few very wacky quilts out there.

  40. It maybe wasn’t the worst episode ever, but it wasn’t a great outcome. I finished quilting a large quilt on my domestic machine, only to see that the back had flipped onto itself, so that the back was half right, but the other half was batting only. Argh!

  41. My worst quilt disaster was having to rip out the quilting on 3/4 of a queen size quilt because I could not get the machine tension right, but had refused to acknowledge it wasn’t going to work for that long…

    I too am an engineer, and am retiring in June. I’m really excited about the prospect of finally being able to take weekday quilting classes!

  42. I have participated in a couple of Round Robin groups and no matter how carefully I plan things, I almost always have to redo or switch to plan B (or C!). Usually my math is off…but I try so hard!

  43. HELLO, if one has sewn any length of time>mistakes have been made! My latest was having not enough pins for basting+sewing the backing in a huge triangle shape across the back of my sandwich>Ugh!

  44. Thanks for the entry. I’ve learned to prewash all my yardage as I’ve had multiple fabrics bleed after washing the final quilt and give me a lot of headaches.

  45. I am about to retire from a lifelong career in engineering, and hoping to improve on a lifetime passion for sewing! My worst quilting disaster involved breaking that rule we all have heard over and over, “Measure twice, cut once.” Yes, I rashly cut into a nice piece of fabric, and got all of the pieces cut for a massive patchwork only to find that the corresponding seams on Piece 1 were 1/2″ longer than those on Piece 2. Boo hoo…and I should certainly have known better.

    Yet I persist. I am fascinated by these medallion quilts and if I get lucky and win a copy of the book, I won’t have to figure it out myself by trial and error! Sign me up!

  46. I made a baby quilt, nautical with white, blue and red, I washed it and all the red bled everywhere, I now only use kona cotton in my quilts and don’t have this problem anymore, that is the difference from good cotton and bad cotton lol.

  47. Oh, there are lots of examples. *gg* one was, that I had to rip of meters of a quilt, becazse I sewed a very long pieced strip the wrong side up.
    Thanks for the chance!
    Greetings, Rike

  48. The recycled jean quilt I made for a friend’s wedding! The top went together with no problems, but the back required 4 trips for more fabric because I couldn’t manage to measure or add correctly. Also, they didn’t have the same color fabric on any of the trips! Luckily I was just tying it since I was up until 4am the night before finishing it. Ended up looking great though!

  49. When quilting, I didn’t realize the backing had flipped back on itself. Unsewing was the order of the night. Love your design and the coloring page.

  50. Mis-cutting seems to be my go -to disaster. Although I recently tried to skimp and make a very narrow binding on a double gauze throw I’m making, and didn’t come to the conclusion it was too narrow to work until I had it all sewn down on one side. I ended up cutting the binding off, since ripping out from double gauze is a nightmare!

    FYI- for all of you who have bled on a quilt or fabric – hydrogen peroxide will take blood out in a jiffy!

  51. I have always been an ambitious person so when I started sewing/quilting I had also had my 1st child. So I thought I’d make her a Halloween costume of a frog. It was from felt and it looked like a dinosaur not to mention it was 96 degrees on Halloween. It was the worst costume ever and I’m glad she was 2 so she doesn’t remember.

  52. I guess the worst thing I did, (and there are a lot of choices here) is to sew through a quilt for my son’s kindergarten class where the kids had glued down pieces of fabric and painted over them. I had asked that they use fabric glue but they didn’t and I had no choice but to sew it to get the quilt done in time for the auction. My machine saw some time with the repair man after that.

  53. I was making a quilt as you go quilt when I sewed a whole row on backwards. Can you say “seam ripper”?

  54. I have had a few (or more), but since you only asked for one…whew! Nearing the end of FMQ a mini, I decided to do one small section with tiny pebbles. Great idea, looked perfect. Then I turned it over to discover that the backing was folded leaving a gaping hole of batting and pebbles showing! Horrible! Because it was a gift, I painstakingly became one with my seam ripper for what seemed like hours and hours!

  55. My worst disaster was when quilting a top made with my precious Bonnie and Camille’s Vintage Modern. The quilt was lovely but when I quilted it – what a mess! I used a variegated thread which showed up too much and the design was inconsistent and didn’t look at all like Angela Walters sample. I had done a small practice piece and all was good. On the real thing – it didn’t even look the same. I forced myself to finish it, and I will give it away when there is someone needy who wants it, but I was so very disappointed. lynnmcindoe at gmail dot com

  56. How about when I was making my 2nd quilt and you let me borrow your silicone slider to make quilting easier and it got stuck (as in quilted) to the back of my quilt? I’ve since done it again with my own silicone mat.

  57. I once made a few blocks in a quilt with the wrong sides facing out. Fortunately it was just a lighter version of the real thing. Make mistakes work.

  58. I’ve never lost a whole quilt top, but I did come home once and found that my cat had “lost his lunch” on a just finished quilt block. That was a tosser…haha, no pun intended.

  59. I’ve only been quilting a few years and my first quilting teacher taught me to embrace any mistakes and keep them in my quilt…so in my first quilt (a sampler) one of my pinwheels definitely doesn’t look anything like a pinwheel as I sewed one of the HST’s the wrong way around. My teacher called them “Amish moments”…and I would say there is an “Amish moment” in all of my quilts 🙂

  60. I’m sure I’m not the only person that has sewn through their finger – in the nail and out the flesh. Ouch! I also made a plaid flannel shirt for a boyfriend in high school that had two left arms. Thanks for the chance to win!

  61. Probably my first quilt top. I started cutting without a ruler, and didn’t know I should press anything. I discovered both of these facts halfway through the process, so I still ended up with a useable quilt. I like being able to look back and see how far I’ve come!

  62. Let’s see: it could be the time I cut my thumb with the rotary cutter and bled all over my fabric, or the time I cut the fabric the wrong size, or…….get the picture….I have had a lot of disasters!
    P.S. I love your quilt!

  63. In one of my beginning quilts, I used flying geese template. However, my flying geese turned out to be”headless” flying geese. The top points of all of my triangles were cutoff. Good learning experience and, yes, I still have it.

  64. many minor disasters, but the worst was when my dog bled on my half-quilted top. It mostly came out after soaking and washing and spraying and washing etc, but still a slight shadow. It was on the white background, too. Dogs!

  65. oh good lord I just wrote a long comment and it has disappeared. Short story then: My 90-minute shirt (by Made by Dana) that ended above my toddler’s navel. A midriff top for my little boy. It was very ridiculous so of course I put it on Flickr immediately.

    I want this book SO BAD, I have entered right and left. I love all the quilts I’ve seen. Can’t wait to win my copy!

  66. I spilled hot chocolate all over the quilt top as I was basting it. It was a light pink quilt and it was real hot chocolate. I cried a lot.

  67. A few years ago my friend and I participated in a BOM at a LQS. Due to circumstances in our families we were not able to keep up and when we got back on track we found that several of the patterns were incorrect in their measurements. We went back to the LQS to get the corrections and xtra fabric. But, by this time it had been either discontinued or sold. We were able to go through her scraps to get some pieces but neither of us has ever finished the quilt.

  68. I haven’t had any irreparable major disasters, but I do make a practice of having a bit of extra fabric for those times when I should have measured twice.

  69. My worst sewing fail was when I was trying to make my first version of a blouse — I didn’t make a muslin, and I was using lightweight, easily frayed fabric, so I used French seams. But I didn’t try it on until it was finished, and it completely didn’t fit! >_<

  70. My worst disaster was happened more than ten years ago. I made a bed size quilt with logcabin pattern, with browns and beges. When the top was finished, my first teacher and I decided to quilt is with straight lines in diagonal way, with brown quilting thread. I quilted all the bed size quilt in my domestic old singer machine. When it was ready, I put it on the floor, look at it and felt very disappointed with what I was seeing! The dark brown quilting thread changed the visual effect that I wanted!! So I sat down in a chair, on my pourch, took the seam ripper and took of all the quilting. I spent a whole Sunday to make this. And then in the other day, I quilted it in the ditch and voilá: It turned very beautiful!! 🙂

  71. I ripped a HUGE hole into my favorite quilt top while ripping stitches. It still sits in a crumpled heap on my sewing table today because I have no idea what to do about the whole and I’m too afraid to keep ripping out stitches!

  72. This is a really interesting design. I hope it really is easier than it looks – it looks hard! I have a funny disaster. I got this awesome, but huge, turquoise cabled sweater at a clothing swap and decided it should really be pants. (What was I thinking!) I cut off the sleeves and turned them into legs, and used the rest of the fabric for the crotch. That was the ugliest pair of pants, probably in the history of the world. And they didn’t stay up, since they were made of a knit sweater. Luckily I had a chance to wear them to an “ugly contest” at a rollerskating rink before I finally cut them into rags.

  73. Somewhere between always seeing everything backwards and most recently an online ordering fiasco resulting in a solid color palette far from what I imagined for quilt I had a week to finish. in the end I scrapped the whole thing and started over in a completely different and awesome direction. Mistakes not always bad. Just like your pillows! They are gonna be awesome!

  74. My worst sewing disaster happened recently. I had a cut on my finger and didn’t notice that it had opened up and that I was bleeding all over the quilt on my lap. Luckily, it was my own quilt and was able to get the blood out after many soaks in cold water. I admit I had a bit of panic — first because I was bleeding so much and then because there was blood all over my quilt. LOL

  75. My worst…. pressing the quilt top prior to pin basting… getting distracted and scorching a section of the border! Much to my horror, even tho it didn’t show much, after quilting then giving to my grandson, the necessary multiple washings that ensued caused the scorched fabric to disintegrate!

  76. Hmmm…. quilting or sewing disaster. Well, there was an HST quilt I intended to give to my aunt. She had a sunroom filled with plants than she decorated with an African Safari theme. Think elephant planters and wooden giraffes. The top included zebra print, tiger print, leopard print and a dark green fern print. Hideous does not fully encompass the magnitude of my fabric selection folly. My bee mates actually cringed when I pulled it out of my cupboard years later.

  77. My first time on a rented long arm I loaded my batting wrong and ended up about 20″ short of the end of the quilt! I ended up finishing the quilt at home by fusing more batting and FMQing the rest of it on my domestic machine. (My first and last long arm experience since the shop went out of business.)

  78. Wow! I think this is my favorite medallion that I have seen in this book. It is amazing. My worst mistake is always having a seam open after I’m done quilting it or cutting the fabric wrong and trying to piece it to the size I needed:)

  79. I have a quilt top I started years ago with zero quilting knowledge, a pair of scissors, a school ruler and a whole lot of plaid. Each block is a different size! If I can even manage a baby sized top out of it I’ll be over the moon!

  80. I agree about the seam ripper. I’m always doing things backwards. Maybe I’m dyslectic ,seriously.

  81. The worst mistake I’ve had has been cutting the wrong size pieces and having to buy new fabric and start over. Such a bummer!

  82. Hmmm, my worst sewing disaster to date is when I spent some good amount of time working on creating a pattern, measuring every block, and then cutting and sewing all the wrong measurements. Which I didn’t realize I had done until about halfway through sewing the top together. Let’s just say migraines and sewing don’t go together. That quilt top was sewn upside down, backwards and the wrong measurements!

  83. Oh this is my specialty. I’ll just share two: once I set a quilt on fire with a candle on my sewing desk when I was doing FMQ.

    And one time some chocolate got inside the batting? ? And when I ironed the binding on (which I do sometimes) it melted the chocolate and created a huge brown smudge. Smelled good anyway!

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