Build a Medallion Quilt with Elizabeth and BlockBase+

Sunny Flowers • quilt #246 • 54″ square

Welcome back to BlockBase+ Week! In this post, Post #2 of BB+ week, we’ll build a medallion quilt.

UPDATE: Giveaway Contest is closed. Thanks for entering!

Sunny Flowers was a fun quilt to make, but I think using BlockBase+ (BB+) enabled me to move a little faster on some of the borders, and I’ll tell you why: I could just decide what size I wanted a certain border, head into BB+ and choose a type of block, then re-size it easily.


In many medallions, the center is where you start. A lot of moderns have been trying centers off to the side, but however its placed, usually there is a larger catch-your-eye-and-set-your-theme block to anchor the quilt.

I have a few more center ideas in my free TipSheet for Sunny Flowers Quilt (details in a minute).

Here are the two centers I mentioned in the kick-off post for BlockBase+ week: a spring/summer block and an fall leaves Autumn block. There are tons of possible centers, and since you can size them, your options are wide open. I begin my designing more easily in an illustrative digital program (Affinity Designer, if you want to know), so that’s where I start. But if you are a quilter who works in EQ8, all of these blocks are available to you in that program.

This was my first version, but it just didn’t work well. Cute, but in my world I like stronger colors and stronger contrasts. I give you my final measurements in the Tip Sheet, but I did keep track of how wide the plain strips were, so I could choose blocks that fit.

I refer constantly to the wide body of work that Melanie McNeil has posted on her blog Catbird Quilt Studio. The first page you should visit is a page listing all her topics, called Medallion Lessons. She has links to everything else on that page–a wonderul resource! She and I have corresponded for years, so when I hit this impasse, she had all sort of tips and tricks for me to try. Some of my angst is written about here.

Version Two. Remember, that I had determined what size all those borders were, and then went into BlockBase+ to find blocks I liked. I would then resize them, and make a sample or two or five.

I had been cleaning out photos and saw a quilt that had shapes I liked (we’re talking about the orangey-pink border). I found a similar block in BlockBase+ and since I wanted a four-inch block, I re-sized this Brackman ID 1194 block to print out at 8″ so that part in the aqua circle would be the correct size. I changed the corners from the photo, using a Drunkard’s Path block (again, from BlockBase+), written about in this post. Moral of this story: take photos at Quilt Shows, get ready for your future.

This was The Plan.

Yeah, okay, and this total wreck was The Plan, too, as I tried out different borders.

I kept trying to go farther with those crosses. I really really like them. But the bold orange-pink border was too strong, so it became the last pieced border. I had the brain flash to use violet in that outer border, so I stayed up one night searching online shops for violet; however, this is not the color this year.

I was madly going through my stash one early morning, and had a stack of fabrics neatly lined up on the ironing board when my husband walked in. After explaining that I’d gone through everything, he reached over and pulled out a piece of fabric from the ombré bin. “You mean, like this?” he asked. I pieced it in the middle to get the darker outer corners, and it was done.

Get Your Tip Sheet for Free

I’ve compiled a little TipSheet for you for this quilt, which is free, if you use this coupon code:

Just enter it in at the checkout spot at PayHip, where I sell my patterns, and it will download for free to your email. I do have plans to make this a full-fledged pattern, but just like The Plan above, it may go awry. But for now, get your free tipsheet for Sunny Flowers.

UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered. Winner will be announced on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Yes, the giveaway is still going strong. Please leave a comment below about how you will use BlockBase+: would its be a baby quilt for a new niece or nephew? Would it be a medallion quilt? Or do you need a fun picnic quilt for summer?

If so, maybe this Brackman ID 912 Mayflower is the one for you?

Leave me a comment below. I will be combining all the comments from everywhere before I pick the winner, so, I don’t mind if you leave one here, too!

13 thoughts on “Build a Medallion Quilt with Elizabeth and BlockBase+

  1. Your process on this is just amazing and the end result is even better knowing how you got there!!!!

  2. I still say that outer border is stunning–hooray for the husband pulling out the fabric! I have made some medallion quilts, but I’m much more likely to make sampler quilts, either with BB+ or with EQ. I have the Brackman book and use it to find interesting options for blocks when I’m stuck on a design, but I’ve been just drawing them in EQ8 since I don’t have BB+.

  3. I have a stack of blocks that planned to use as a sampler quilt, but they are different sizes. I would use blockbase to help create a layout for them and to figure out filler blocks.

  4. I still think that border absolutely nails it! It is a perfect ending for bringing all the elements together. I can see where BB would come in handy for sampling various projects and likely easier than graph paper! 🤔

  5. I love the design & the story of how you got there! I would use Block Base+ to make a medallion quilt too. I have this crazy idea for the center but can’t seem to get it right on paper. I am sure it is in BB+ & would just need to find it, then add borders.

  6. Recently I’ve been considering a medallion quilt using some Kaffe fabrics so am finding this series about how you chose borders very informative. Off now to checkout the Medallion Lessons link. Thanks

  7. It’s funny that you said do you have a new niece or nephew. Why, yes I do! A great-niece is due in October, and I can’t wait to get started on a baby quilt for her!

  8. It is so helpful reading through your design process! Thank you for taking the time to explain your steps, including the things that didn’t work out as you thought they might. That ombre border puts just the right finishing touch on this quilt.
    I would like to design a flower twin quilt for a sweet granddaughter with middle name of Marigold who is ready to move out of her toddler bed. Her father is a botanist/biology professor, so the quilts for this family need to be reasonably botanically accurate. 😉

  9. Great ideas, tips and suggestions. I think my first project if I won Block Base would be a quilt I’ve in mind that uses 4 blocks for my grandson and his young ladies’ wedding next fall 😁

  10. I would like to use Block Base to design quilts for gifts. I hope to soon be able to visit family and friends again, and I am so excited about it that I think giving quilts as gifts for every occasion (or no occasion!) is what I want to do. It will be fun to come up with new designs to make.

  11. I agree with Mary (above)- the border is a real winner in this quilt! When I went to Payhip, it says the Tip Sheet is $3. Is that correct? Does the charge go away when I add the code? (Sorry to be difficult, but I’ve not used Payhip before). I’ll go and check out Melanie’s site!

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