Free Pattern: Starry Night

Starry Night, a free pattern by Better Off Thread

I wanted to let you know that my Starry Night pattern is now available as a free PDF download on the Robert Kaufman website!

Starry Night is an intermediate level, paper-pieced project that works great with fat quarters and/or scraps!  My version was made using Jennifer Sampou’s newest fabric line: Shimmer 2 (which just hit stores this month!).

Starry Night Quilt, a free pattern by Better Off Thread

If you decide to make it, be sure to send me a photo!






Making a Right Round Medallion: A Sort of Tutorial


I promised that I would share the measurements for making my Right Round Medallion, so here they are!  These are very basic instructions.  If you don’t know how to make a particular block (HST, Economy Block and Drunkard’s Path), you will need to look up a tutorial.  Let me know if something is really unclear!


Finished Quilt measures about 73″ x 73″


Center Medallion

You will need to begin with a center medallion that is 24-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ (that’s including seam allowance).  You can use my Right Round pattern, my New York Beauty pattern, or any other pattern, as long as it is 24-1/2″ x 24-1/2″.  If it isn’t quite measuring up, just add a border around it, to bring it to size.


Border 1

This is a plain border.  Cut two strips 4-1/2″ x 24-1/2″ and two strips 4-1/2″ x 32-1/2″.  I would actually cut them each a bit longer and trim as you sew them on.  When you sew borders to your center ALWAYS lay the pieces flat on the table or floor and pin.  If you don’t, your edges will stretch and you will end up with a warped, concave medallion.

Alternate Suggestion:  If you like, you could make this border from twenty-eight 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ blocks.  YOU pick the block!


Border 2 (Economy Blocks)

Border 2 top and bottom: make 2
Border 2 Sides: Make 2

Make twenty 8-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ Economy Blocks.

I included a paper-piecing template here, but if you’d like to rotary cut and free piece them (save a tree), here are the cutting measurements (Per 8-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ Block):


Once you make the blocks, sew them into border strips.  The sides borders have four blocks each and the top and bottom border have six blocks each.


Border 3: Drunkard’s Path Blocks

Border 3 Top and Bottom: make 2
Border 3 sides: make 2


Make forty-eight 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ Drunkard’s Path Blocks and four 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ Corner Blocks

Use this template to cut the pieces for both types of block.  You will also need to cut four strips from the background fabric measuring 1-1/2″ x 48-1/2″ (piece the strips to make them long enough and as with border 1, I like to leave extra length)

job_928 RightRoundMedallion
Corner Block: make 4

The corner blocks go together like the diagram on the right.

Once you have your blocks made, sew the drunkard’s path blocks into four border strips of twelve blocks each.  Then sew a 1-1/2″ x 48-1/2″ strip to the top of each border.  Trim the excess fabric from the sides.  Sew the corner blocks to two of the border strips (use the Border 3 images above as reference).


Border 4

This is another plain border (woo-hoo!)

You will need to cut two strips 1-1/2″ x 58-1/2″ and two strips 1-1/2″ x 60-1/2″ (again, piece as needed and cut them longer than needed. Trim as you sew them on).


Border 5: Half-Square Triangles (HSTs)

Border 5: Make 4

This is the tricky border!  You will need to start by making sixty 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ HSTs.  To do this, cut thirty 4″ x 4″ background squares and thirty 4″ x 4″ squares from your main fabrics and make those HSTs!

Next, cut twenty-eight more 4″ x 4″ background squares and cut them in half diagonally and cut thirty-two more 4″ x 4″ main fabric squares and cut those in half diagonally too.

You are going to very carefully piece each border like this:


Sew diagonal strips with a HST in the middle and triangle on the top and bottom, then sew the strips into a border. I did another pattern with a border very much like this and you can download it for free here for more information.

Once the borders are made, sew them on, stopping 1/4″ before the end of each seam.  You are sewing bias, so the border is going to look too long, but it will ease in.  Pin the middle of the border to the quilt top, pin the ends and then gently ease the rest in with it laying flat.

Once you sew the borders to the quilt top, then sew the mitered sides.


Border 6

You almost made it!  This is another plain border.

Cut two strips 3-1/2″ x 69″ and two strips 3-1/2″ x 75″.  You’ll obviously need to piece them to make them long enough.  I would cut them longer, but mark the exact length on each strip.  Border 5 was all bias, so you want to make sure you don’t stretch it when you sew the Border 6 on.  Lay your quilt top flat, pin the middle and each end and then ease in any excess fabric.


You did it!!!

Below is a diagram of how the entire quilt goes together.  You can print it out, if you like, here. assembly

Do not be surprised if your last border is a little wavy, or your center is a little concave.  Once you quilt the top, you won’t notice.  I also had you cut Border 6 extra wide, so you can true the quilt up once quilted.

Enjoy your quilt and if you post photos on Instagram use the hashtag #rightroundmedallion and tag me (@betteroffthread) so I see it!

For reference:

Economy Block Templates

Drunkard’s Path Templates

Assembly Diagram

If you want more information on making Medallions, check out my book: The Modern Medallion Workbook.

The Modern Medallion Workbook Blog Hop + a Giveaway

The Modern Medallion Workbook by Janice Ryan and Beth Vassalo

Today is the last day for the Modern Medallion Workbook Blog Hop and I hope you have enjoyed hearing from the contributors and seeing each of the quilts!  
Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 8.34.54 AM The quilt I designed for the book is called “Migration Medallion”.  I wanted to create a medallion that was light, airy and had movement to it, so there is quite a lot of negative space and flying geese!

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The quilting was done by Angela Walters.  Isn’t it gorgeous?!  She really went all out with it and added so much more movement to the quilt.


The Modern Medallion Workbook by Janice Ryan and Beth Vassalo

One of my favorite sections of the the book are the coloring pages.  You can photocopy them and color them with pencils or markers, or you can scan them to your computer and use a paint program to play with the look of the quilts.

The Modern Medallion Workbook by Janice Ryan and Beth Vassalo

I had fun playing around with “Migration Medallion” and seeing what it would look like with a tighter color palette and darker background.  I think I know what my next project is!


Would you like to win a copy of The Modern Medallion Workbook? Comment below and I will pick one winner to be mailed a copy by C&T.  International winners will receive an e-copy of the book. I’m going to be traveling all summer, so I’d love it if you could suggest a hand-sewing/ embroidery project (pattern or book) I could take with me, if you know of one!

Contest will be open until Friday, May 29th at 9pm and the winner will be chosen randomly.

While you are waiting patiently to see if you have won, check out the previous stops in the hop and you can enter their giveaways also!

The Modern Medallion Workbook Blog Hop Schedule:

May 11th: Janice and Beth at C&T/Stash
May 12th: Melissa Richie-
May 13th: Amy Sinibaldi-
May 14th: Christina Lane-
May 18th: Erica Jackman-
May 19th: Becca Bryan-
May 20th: Karen Anderson-Abraham-
May 21st: Latifah Saafir-
May 22nd: Kerry Green-
May 25th: Beth- and

The Modern Medallion Blog Hop

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 8.54.35 PM

Today marks the beginning of The Modern Medallion Blog Hop!  Beth and I are starting off the hop with an introduction on C&T Publishing’s Blog.  Please pop on over to check it out and enter to win a free copy of the book!

Each of our contributors will be posting on their blogs over next two weeks, so you can get lots of sneak peeks and inside information on the book.  Follow the schedule each day to meet the designers and enter their giveaways:

The Modern Medallion Workbook Blog Hop Schedule:

May 11th:  Janice and Beth at C&T/Stash

May 12th: Melissa Richie-

May 13th: Amy Sinibaldi-

May 14th: Christina Lane-

May 18th: Erica Jackman-

May 19th: Becca Bryan-

May 20th: Karen Anderson-Abraham-

May 21st: Latifah Saafir-

May 22nd: Kerry Green-

May 25th: Beth-   and

Have a wonderful week!  Happy sewing!

Spring Bloom Winner!

Windham Circle #

Thank you for all of your lovely comments on my Spring Bloom Blog Hop post.

The winner of the Fat Quarter Bundle of Spring Bloom is:

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.50.51 AM

#38: Lisa Burger!

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.49.50 AM

Congratulations Lisa!  I’ll be emailing you shortly.


Right Round Medallion Progress

I finally found time to finish up the quilt top for my Right Round Medallion!  The center is my Right Round Mini pattern and I made up the borders as I went.

Right Round Medallion Quilt by Better Off Thread

 I decided to go all out with the colors, but leave plenty of negative space to rest the eyes.  It reminds me a little bit of a circus, especially those wide stripes and the triangular “bunting” borders.  I was listening to “Water For Elephants” while I sewed it, so that probably influenced me!

Right Round Medallion Quilt by Better Off Thread

I think my favorite part is that tiny little smiley face.  I didn’t even know it was there until I pressed the quilt!

Next month I have a book coming out on Medallion Quilts (more on that later!) and I was thinking of releasing this pattern in May as a cross promotion for the book.  Would anyone be interested in a pattern?

I’m going to try to get this quilted in the next week and then I’ll post better photos of the finished quilt!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!