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Swallow Medallion Quilt

January 10, 2019

Hi friends! It’s been a while since I blogged. So here I am playing catch up:

Since I last posted our family moved back to Vancouver. (That was an awesome 10 day awesome road trip from Toronto!) But moving house and home is hard and quite emotionally unsettling. While I was excited to be moving back to my lovely old fiends and neighbours in Vancouver, I was really sad about leaving the beautiful people who had become my new community in Toronto. They had given me a real sense of belonging. This made me think about what it means to belong, to have a purpose, and to feel safe, secure and welcome. Thinking of how people in my life had helped me go from feeling completely lost in a big unknown city to feeling that I was an integral part of something so awesome filled me to the brim with love. And so of course I had to design a quilt for that!

Swallow Medallion Quilt

This Swallow Medallion Quilt design was inspired by community spirit: the way in which a community rallies around each other, creating a centre hub of love.

The swallows represent the close friends and family that hold us close to their hearts.


The HST border represents our immediate community – the people we work and play with – which for me on this project is the kind & generous quilting community.

The squares with windows represents the homes in our neighbourhood that give us a sense of belonging.

The outer multicoloured stripe border represents the circle of people from all walks of life that make up our extended communities, held together by cornerstones of love and good intentions.


Exquisite quilting by Carol Chernov of Twin Creek Quilts. (

The semi-circles represent the landscapes in nature that connect communities globally. We are sometimes far away and yet we are still ONE human race. We all need to look after each other.

The fun thing about this quilt is that each border covers a different technique. I taught workshops in Toronto to a group of wonderful ladies who started with little or no knowledge of quilting. They kept coming for 3 years and we all became tight friends. These borders are a summary of some of our classes. I designed this quilt for them – they are my swallows. ❤️  It’s a fantastic quilt for learning new skills. (Regular piecing, curve piecing, accuracy & skant seams, half square triangles and Foundation Paper Piecing)

Here are my swallows after I had embroidered their eyes on:




Given the success of the Badass Quilt Project ($2,228 donated to the Woodgreen Foundation Homeward Bound program) I decided to partner with Daryl from Fabric Spark again to sell kits with 30% of the profit of kits sold by the end of June 2019 going to a charity. Since this quilt is about community spirit, we decided on the Food Bank – an essential support system in many communities to those struggling to feed their families. We’re excited to be raising $ for such a great cause.


This kit sample pieced by the fabulous Shirley Dawson and quilted by Sandy Lindal. (Toronto)

Two SIZE options:
72″ square (incl “People” striped border)
88″ square (incl “Mountains” half-circle border)


Free Spirits Solids solids Dove background with Makower Linen texture (printed texture on quilting cotton) Lovely rich colours against the gentle soft grey background.
(Side note: Although I made my sample with Essex and Kaleidoscope which we had originally intended for the kit, I found the linen and cross weave combo, although quite beautiful, it can be a tad stretchy for the accuracy required for a medallion quilt. Fine for more experienced quilters, but when you sell a kit you need it work for all. For this reason we picked a linen look instead.) Makower makes gorgeous quality quilting cotton, and their Linen Texture has a beautiful smooth hand and intense rich colours.

Anyone who bought one of the Badass Quilt kits from Fabric Spark will know that there were surprise extras. (Custom labelled glue sticks with pussy hats and Badass stickers for your machines.) When I was a kid in South Africa we used to buy “Lucky Packets” for 5c with our pocket money. Inside you got a candy and a surprise toy. I always loved that element of surprise. So when I partner with Daryl, we include a lucky packets. We really went all out on the ones coming with this kit! Sorry ….no clues! 😉

Here is Shirley’s sample on a bed. I think some accent pillows made with the L-O and V-E may be in order! Wouldn’t this make a beautiful wedding or anniversary quilt?!


Pieced by Shirley Dawson. Photo: Daryl Aitken. Snow backdrop by Mother Nature. 🙂

If you’d like to be a part of our Swallow Medallion Food Bank Project, pop into Fabric Spark and purchase a kit BEFORE JUNE 30. 

The stand alone PDF pattern will be released sometime soon. If you plan on buying the PDF pattern and would also like to contribute to our Food Bank project drop me a line.

For more pics see: #SwallowMedallionQuilt on Instagram.

#happysewlucky #modernquilt #quiltkit #medallionquilt #swallowquilt

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine SIRVEN permalink
    January 10, 2019 1:33 pm

    Wonderfull! Very nice quilt!!!

  2. January 11, 2019 7:18 am


    I admire your work so much because of the way it represents who you are. From the cheerful colors used to your thoughtful designs and inspiring messages, each thing you make clearly comes from your heart. Bravo, my friend! The quilt is so lovely and has now moved high on my bucket list! (And those Lucky Packets? They’re GENIUS!!!! I want to succumb to buying a kit just to get one!!!)
    Much love to you and congrats on another beautiful design!


  3. Judy Kowalski permalink
    March 24, 2019 9:00 am

    Hi Berene. I know you from the TMQG and have recently seen a photo of this gorgeous quilt at QuiltCon. I would love to know when exactly the PDF pattern will be released as I would really like to make it for my son and future DIL.

    • March 24, 2019 9:08 am

      Hi Judy. Swallow medallion didn’t actually make it to quiltcon, only Badass quilt did, so perhaps you saw it somewhere else? However the pattern is available in my Etsy shop. You can see other people’s fabric choices for this quilt on Instagram with the tag #swallowmedallionquilt Thanks!

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