True North

True North quilt

About this Quilt

quilt-true-north-flatCreate a family heirloom with this charming medallion design. Sharon’s scrappy quilt is constructed using a variety of fun techniques. English paper piecing is used to create unit 1’s–3’s. Notice that the centers of the unit 1’s and unit 3’s both have blue A patches.

Sharon used a variety of cream fabrics in different sizes to construct border #2. To simplify our directions, we have you cut patches of the same size for this border. For the unit 5’s, you will use the dark H’s and cream I’s. The matching sets of H and I’s are used to make the unit 7’s.

Designer Inspiration

We asked Sharon Tucker to share her process of designing True North with us.

I was first introduced to medallion quilts by Gwen Marston in 2013 when I attended a four-day workshop on Lopez Island, Washington, and created my first medallion top. I pored over Gwen’s samples and soaked up inspiration from the pieces being created around me. I quickly got started on parts and pieces for a second top, as I found this method of creating to be perfect for me.

For this piece, it was all about the center star. After making the 20” block, I knew it would be the jumping-off point for a medallion piece. The beauty of working in this style is that you can try new blocks or applique or English paper piecing without having to make a whole quilt with the one style. You will also create a one-of-a-kind piece and you get to make every decision along the way.

Each border gets to shine on its own, and using Flying Geese provides visual movement around the center. To lighten up the next round, scrappy shirtings were used as backgrounds and a simple vine was created using English paper piecing for flower buds. It’s a very simplified applique border but still packs a punch when set between the graphic Flying Geese.

I’ve seen this chevron-style Flying Geese border on antique quilts and used it for the first time here. Notice the geese in the outer border are traveling in the opposite direction of those inner geese; this will keep your eye moving around the quilt.

After using the Grandmother’s Flower Gardens for corner motifs, my last design decision was to add Grandmother’s Flower Gardens to the center star. It ties all the rounds together and adds interest to the center.

Pattern Details

Made by: Sharon Tucker (
Skill Level: Challenging
Finished Size: 52″ x 52″

Get the True North pattern and More from Quiltmaker May/June 2018