Tag Archives: medallion

Arbor Lane Initial Sketch

Arbor Lane’s humble beginning started with this lovely rough sketch.  Every one of my quilt designs starts with my own hand, pencil, and paper.  I spend so much of my day at the computer, I welcome the back-to-basics of sketching and playing in my journal.  And that’s exactly what I was doing here:  dreaming of a medallion design I would love to make.

I wanted it to be a quilt that a beginner could make, especially since the blocks are pre-cut.  While the piecing and applique would be simple, I wanted a sophisticated look to the quilt.  No sampler look here:  I wanted a beautiful harmony in the design.

Ten designs were ultimately offered to JoAnn’s, and they selected mine.  The process was much like Project Runway, but we were each in our own studio, sketching, measuring, coloring, and giving it our all.  Our own version of Tim Gunn would guide us in the right direction:  center design too similar to what had been done before, tweaking color schemes, sending block designs every week to my tester Scarlette for her wonderful work.  Every moment of dreaming, design, and making Arbor Lane was a joy.  I learned much and grew as a designer and an entrepreneur

See that vase and those birds?  While JoAnn’s didn’t use them, I did later in my table runner series.  The vase shows up in Petite Pineapples and a simple version of the birds is in Winter Bird and Petite Pineapples.  You never know where a creative journey will take you.

Remember, you have until the end of the week to guess how long it took me to make Arbor Lane:  cutting, piecing, and applique.  Some lovely fall fabric could be coming your way!

A Big Debut

I am thrilled I can finally announce my big news:  this beauty is mine.  Arbor Lane, JoAnn’s 2010 QuiltBlock of the Month quilt design, is mine.  My goal for this quilt was for it not to look like a Block of the Month.  I wanted to develop a design that had never been done before.  I love medallion quilts, but had never made one, let alone design one.  Why not?  A girl can dream, can’t she?  I must admit, the team was skeptical.  Designers had tried to fit a medallion quilt into monthly kits before, but it hadn’t ever worked.  Too many restrictions on shapes, number of pieces, and a lot of behind-the-scenes details.  But I was determined.  After all, nothing presents a challenge like hearing “that’s never been done before.”

Here’s are photos of the quilt top in my home, before it went to the longarm quilter to work her magic:


I’ll be sharing the genesis of Arbor Lane with you each day this week.  I give you a sneak peek into my design process, unveil thumbnail sketches, alternative color palettes, and designs that ended up on the cutting table and never made it into the quilt.  It’s going to be fun week:  don’t miss it!

To kick things off in a grand scale, let’s have a contest, shall we?  I’ll be giving away a fall color palette of fabric to the lucky quilter who can guess how long it took me to make this quilt.  Leave your guess in the comment section and I’ll award the fabric at the end of the week.