When I first saw this quilt I thought how contemporary it looked. I made a quilt using this layout as a pattern only with contemporary fabrics. I showed it at my guild's Show n' Tell and asked if people thought it was a new or old pattern and everyone agreed it look new! I think the use of stripes and simple applique shapes (circles and ovals) gives the design a very contemporary look. But as Gwen points out in her book, Martha was probably just being practical (or "liberated"). Fitting borders like those above is a lot easier than making perfectly fitting pieced borders. And I think the applique was simple for the same reason.
Besides the above vintage fabric version I have made 3 other contemporary fabric versions of this quilt. Here's the most recent one which has a "Paris" theme.
I have modified the layout somewhat but the general features are still evident. Medallion quilts are a great way to feature that fabric that you just can't bring yourself to cut up! cheers, CW