Solstice Medallion Quilt Pattern

Friday, July 18, 2014

Two weeks ago, I found myself aimlessly rummaging through my basket of super-special-awesome fabric scraps. I keep most of my scraps organized into plastic containers by color, but the SSA basket is reserved for pieces that need special attention. I've been on Heather Ross and Munki Munki kick, scouring Etsy and Instagram for those hard-to-find pieces for sale in a manner not unlike...a junkie really. So that's the main contents of the basket at the moment. I've been a HR fan as long as I've been quilting, but reading How to Catch a Frog really put me into overdrive. Being able to recognize elements in her prints that she describes in her book brings a whole new level of appreciation. 

This block is one of my favorites!

I designed this medallion quilt with the intent of featuring some of my favorite HR pieces along with a few others. Patty's mini quilt for the Schnitzel and Boo swap made me want to use the evening star block from Swim Bike Quilt as my center. From there, I just sketched until I had a design I liked. I named it the Solstice Medallion because it reminds me of our solar system with the sun at the center. Plus, it's hard to be in Houston and not be painfully aware of the seasons! It's just too damn hot! 

I can't get enough low volume

A couple of people on IG asked me if there would be a pattern, so click below the image for the quick and dirty pattern for the Solstice Medallion!

Name: Solstice Medallion
Size: 53 x 53"
Fabric: Lots of Heather Ross/Munki Munki, but also some Tula Pink, Patty Sloniger, Teagan White were featured pieces. Assorted low volume fabrics.
Pattern: Solstice Medallion (by me!)
Quilting: Spiral
Completed: July 18, 2014

I use a .25" seam allowance throughout. However, I'm not a robot, and sometimes things don't square up (as you can see in my photos). Luckily, I'm not the type to care! This pattern works by the math, but your mileage may vary based on your precision.

Medallion Center - Evening Star
First, you'll need to go to Swim Bike Quilt and download the paper piecing template. Follow her instructions to make  your 12.5" square block (includes seam allowance). Go ahead. I'll wait here.

Border 1 - Economy Blocks
You need to make 12, 6" finished economy blocks for this border. For each block you will need to cut:

    • (1) 3.5” center square
    • (2) 3.5” squares (cut in half diagonally)
    • (2) 4.5” squares (cut in half diagonally)

        Assemble your economy blocks as described in this tutorial by Red Pepper Quilts, but do not use her measurements. Once you have attached your first set of triangles, trim the block down to 4.75”, making sure to leave .25” seam allowance around the points of the center square. Then attach your last set of triangles and trim down to 6.5” square. 

        I used cute fussy cuts for my centers and used other colorful fabrics for my triangles. If I were to make this pattern again though, I would have made my outermost triangles low volume instead. Just a thought.

        Border 1.5 - Low Volume
        Not much of a border. Simply piece together 1.5” wide low volume strips together until you have 4 pieces long enough to attach to the outside of your economy block border.

        Border 2 - Patchwork Stars
        For this border, you need 12, 8" finished stars. For each star you need:

        • (1) 4.5” center square
        • (4) 2.5” squares - low volume
        • (8) 2.5” (unfinished) HSTs, half color, half low volume (using your piecing method of choice)
        For the space between the stars you will need the following low volume pieces:
        • (8) 3.5 x 8.5” 
        • (4) 4.5 x 8.5” 

        I made my stars from fussy-cut centers and similar colored scraps for the HSTs. I wanted to make the outer points look truly scrappy, so I made most of my HSTs individually as opposed to the commonly used method that yields two identical HSTs. I used scraps that were almost 2.5” squares, but had one buggered corner. Simply stick a low volume square and color square right sides together, sew straight down the center (blue dotted line in the illustration on the right) on the diagonal, trim the seam to .25” (red line), and press open. This way, I ended up with unique HSTs and little waste since they weren’t perfect squares to start with. Once I had all my HSTs ready, I pieced my start together as pictured below:

        Once i arranged my stars, I pieced them with the low volume “bricks” as pictured to make the 4 border strips. I attached the left and right sides to the quilt top first, then the top and bottom.

        top & bottom strips
        left & right strips

        Border 2.5 - Low Volume
        Same thing as border 1.5. I know. Exhilarating. 

        Border 3 - Low Volume
        You will need:
        • (88) 2.5 x 4.5" (unfinished) flying geese (using your piecing method of choice)
        • (4) 4.5" squares
        I made 22 sets of flying geese using the no waste method that yields 4 identical flying geese. 
        This yields 88 total flying geese in 22 different fabrics if you use different fabric for each set.

        To make the borders, sew 22 flying geese together in a row. Attach a 4.5” square to the beginning and end of the top and bottom border strips. Attach the left and right strips to the quilt top first, then the top and bottom strips.

        Then your top is done! Or, you could just add more borders if you'd like! Your top will be about 52" square when it's done if you don't add more borders.

        Please share photos of any finished quilts. I'd love to see them! You can leave a link in the comments, or IG users can use #solsticemedallion.


        1. Hi Felice! I love it! The use of LV is perfect! When I'm ready to tackle this Ill use LV for the outer triangles in the Economy Blocks. My daughters first quilt was a Far Far Away II one. I can see this one as her second! Yummy!!!

          1. Thank you! I love LV fabric so much more than using solids. It makes even the negative space so much more interesting! Do share pictures of your quilt when you start. I'd love to see your progress!

        2. Thank you so much for sharing your pattern. I'm just thinking about making a medallion quilt myself and can well do with some inspiration. Your quilt has turned out very lovely! Thank you!

        3. I've always liked medallion quilts but can't stay focused for long so I've never attempted one. Yours is by far my favorite and looks like it will be fast enough for me to actually finish! Can't wait to try it!!

        4. Love this quilt! So glad I found it. (and if I just commented three times, I'm sorry!)