Friday, August 10, 2007


As a pattern proofreader for Designers' Quarters Magazine, I only work two weeks, every three months. But during that time, I'm focused on checking the accuracy of 10 new quilt designs featured in each issue of the magazine. It's a dream job for a former English teacher and longtime quilter who loves to stay in her pajamas all day!

So for the next couple of weeks, while I'm calculating yardage and double checking measurements, clarifying directions and liberally wielding my red pen, I won't be writing blog posts. Instead, I thought I'd post photos of a quilt I've been working on. It might be fun to watch the progression as I add border after border to a medallion style quilt.

The toile type fabric for the center of the quilt was designed by Jinny Beyer to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' voyage to North America. I bought one yard of the theme fabric in 1992. It sat in a cupboard for years while I collected a variety of "watery" blue prints to accompany it.

Collecting fabrics was not as easy as you might think. For one thing, I'm not particularly fond of blue. The other problem was that shades of color change from year to year in the quilt fabric industry. I had to be patient in order to find turquoise blues in classic prints.

I also had no particular quilt pattern in mind when I bought the toile. Nautically themed blocks like Mariner's Compass, Ocean Waves, and Storm at Sea were obvious choices but wouldn't show off the various scenes in the toile. It wasn't until 2005 when I saw this simple medallion quilt in Designers' Quarters Autumn issue that I figured out how to showcase the Columbus fabric.

The large center square and triangles of this antique medallion quilt (circa 1840-60, owned by Penny McMorris) became my starting point. Follow the next few posts to see how I adapted and changed borders as I went.

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