I am often a "transitional" quilter (or you could call it modern traditionalism)- relating to sewing between traditional quilters and modern quilters. I love to make more traditional quilts, but I also enjoy how modern quilts can allow you to express your creativity in a different way!
For some people, modern design can be a bit intimidating. They may only know of more improvisational modern quilting and not have comfort with improv. However, modern quilting doesn't have to be difficult or intimidating. You also don't have to use a complicated pattern to get that modern look. To help you embrace the modern quilter that is within you, I am sharing one of my easy modern quilt patterns which creates a stunning quilt with tools that you have on hand and no matter what fabric you choose to use!
I enjoy a modern quilt design that is not overly complicated. In fact, I often feel a simpler, pared down design will have a more modern feel. I wanted to come up with a modern quilt that would allow you to easily create with fabrics you may have on hand, utilizing scraps, yardage, or even precuts (and precuts as small as a 5" square Charm Pack). I combined curves and squares into striking modern blooms in this geometric garden. This is Mod Flower Box, ready to bloom upon your wall!
I'm showing two versions of this modern quilt in these photos. You can see how it still has a striking composition whether done in all solid fabrics or a combination of prints. This version on the chair is made with Carolina Lilies. This collection is scheduled to ship to shops in November 2021 and features spotted lilies, paisley prints, vines and ferns. Rich teal and green colors mix with spicy reds and peach tones reminiscent of my Painted Meadow collection. I chose to keep the background a dark soft black so there is high contrast with the colors and they really pop! I like to see the different ways that light and dark colors change up a quilt (keep reading for a lighter version below).
The wall/lap quilt in Carolina Lilies uses Thatched Soft Black 152 for the background and borders in Thatched Lagoon 199 (the teal color) and Dashed lines 48705-21 in Teal. The flowers and leaves are made from one Charm Pack of 5" squares. You can also use a Layer Cake of 10" precut squares and cut them in half both, horizontally and vertically.
Another option for making this quilt is using Fat Eighths. My favorite version of this modern quilt is the one that looks like solid fabrics. It is actually using Thatched basics for the fabric. I've paired a use of bold colors with this subtle textured fabric to make the hues really stand out in a dramatic way. With the floral groupings all in the center, the outer borders create balance with a more expansive negative space that can be good for specific border quilting or just a breathing space and strong framing device. To get the look of these graphic areas of solid color, I've used a mix of 14 Fat Eighths, with 9 for flowers and 5 for leaves. For this version, I wanted to emphasize the corners and really play with the spaces left from the curved blocks by "boxing in" the flowers. That is where the name Mod Flower BOX comes in (plus the extra outer border).
The background is made with Thatched Chalkboard Scribbles 187 with curves and inner border using Soft Black 152. The flower and leaf blocks use a mixture of Blizzard 150, Washed Linen 158, Toast 156, Gray 85, Early Dawn 122, Sugar Rose 127, Citrus 123, Clementine 138, Fuchsia 62, Green Curry 177, Sunlit 142, Grass 197, Dewdrop 143 and Brook 198.
There are two different sizes of Mod Flower Box. The wall/lap size is 51" square with borders. If you choose to not have borders for a smaller wall quilt, the inner part is 34 x 34". The large quilt sized 78" square, uses 4 units of the rotated Mod Flower Boxes.
Depending on which quilt size you choose, the Mod Flower Box pattern can be made with a Charm Pack or Fat Eighths for the wall/lap size or with a Layer Cake (or 4 Charm Packs) or Fat Quarters for the large size.
I am planning on starting this lighter color version of Mod Flower Box, probably with a Washed Linen background or maybe Sandcastle 157 flipped to the backside and accent corners for curves in Blizzard 150.
Speaking of colorways, this is actually one of my favorite things about this quilt design! You could create your own quilt top in almost any color scheme! For instance, you could use solid colors, different styles of fabric within a particular color palette, ombre fabrics, or simply your favorite colors. Color always gives me a new way to look at modern quilt designs.
Needless to say, the color choices you have are absolutely endless!
I've made lots of quilts with curved corners and I DO include a paper template you can work from in the pattern (or pattern downloads if you buy the pdf file version). I do prefer to use a specialty ruler for doing curves and know of a number of them. I usually go to my trusty Creative Grids Circle Savvy Ruler since it has every size I want and I know I will get a really good result cutting with these! I note which slots in the pattern if you have this ruler too.
Since we are talking about curved corners, many beginner quilters stay away from modern quilts due to ''sewing curves''. I took this fact into consideration, so if you are new to curves, this is a great pattern to try since it only uses quarter circles vs half or full circles!
Quarter circle curves are not very hard and I'd suggest making a practice quilt block or two first and then go for it! I love the look of curved blocks- so soft and curvy and gentle. They are a fun thing to experiment, plus, it will make you more confident in your quilting skills!
So, if you are ready to take a break from traditional quilts and want to create your very first modern style quilt, then the Mod Flower Box is a great place to start!
Above I have included additional information on quilting materials and specifications. However, since this is only a blog post, I highly recommend that you check out my shop to learn more about this fun quilt pattern!
If you are interested in the pattern, it is up in my shop at RobinPickensInc.com!
Chunky leaves in curved friendly shapes with graphic triangular blooms. Say hi to Beanstalk! This is a leaf/vine quilt made with Painted Meadow fabrics. The selection of fabrics and instructions use fat quarters for the leaf and bloom prints. The green stems and background are indicated as yardage.
I wanted some growing, garden themed quilts. Beanstalk and my Picket quilts were a direct reflection of the desire to marry plants and quilts.
Beanstalk has chunky, curved leaves made with 4" radius quarter circles (8" full circle size) that make the gentle sides of the leaf shapes, meeting half square triangles to finish off the leaves. You can play with the leaves by putting all dark colors to the bottom for a more shaded look or doing scrappy piecing with color and light/dark values.
The Beanstalk pattern comes with a paper template to make the curved blocks. However, I made the blocks for this sample using the Creative Grids Circle Savvy Ruler and I recommend it! Cutting circles with a ruler like this makes them so accurate and easy to sew together. I also have a number of Drunkards Path and quarter circle rulers in different sizes and one of the reasons I like this Creative Grids one is that it has ALL the sizes I use in one ruler! I can design with it, try different sizes with it, and translate a pattern for applique vs piecing with it too (different sizes minus the seam allowance).
When I started the plans for this quilt, I thought I would make it in only green shades for the leaves. But then I mocked it up with the teal and red shades and loved the graduation amongst the color families. It reminds me of fall and changing leaf colors. I think the reds add a lively touch!
Because I try different blocks to figure out my sizing, I usually make a variety of sample blocks. It seems like such a shame to waste these so I try to incorporate them into the backs of my quilts when I can. For this Beanstalk quilt, I used leaves that were too big and too small and a larger bloom as a pieced block in the center of my backing.
This quilt was longarm quilted by Marion Bott and the pantograph is a Sand dollar design. I love the pretty flower shape and the orange peel structure of this design. It makes such a lovely texture on the quilt!
I'm trying to decide what Beanstalk quilt will be next- one from Thatched basics? One with grays and muted colors? I'm not sure but I'm looking forward to planting a new Beanstalk! Visit my shop for this pattern and more that are made with the Painted Meadow collection from Moda Fabrics (shipping October 2019 to quilt shops). Happy sewing!
Harlequin is a quilt pattern I designed that uses Half Rectangle Triangles and I get quite a few questions about which ruler I recommend for it. The pattern does come with a paper template so you can make your own plastic template for cutting out the shapes. However, it is easier with a specialty ruler!
I love this quilt because it symbolizes collaboration and community to me. I had it pieced by Terry Bowman because she is more accurate and more experienced than I am and before Quilt Market we have a LOT of sewing to do in a small amount of time. So luckily for me, Terry was willing to help me out. We met at the Quilt Emporium and Lisa, the owner, also came to the rescue by getting her Bernina out of her car so we could sew up some samples in the back classroom. Lisa saw us figuring out the rectangle size that would make sense and she brought over the solution...the Creative Grids Kaleidoscope Triangle Ruler. It was a great moment of brainstorming and solutions coming together and that is a lot of what is so exciting about sharing the experience of sewing and quilting with others! Quilters are often collaborators in creative ways.
The ruler is the actual height of the pieces you cut for this quilt so it really works with the pattern well. Thank you Penny Haren for designing this lovely tool! Just like other Creative Grids rulers it has some circles of texture on the back to help hold fabric without slipping too.
Any time you are making a block that is new to you or different in trimming, etc, I suggest you make a sample block first. Some of my first samples are with my Blushing Peonies left over scraps and I am hoping to go back and make a nice springy version with pinks and oranges in my "spare time." You know how that goes... I did make this block first and make mistakes on the trimming and had to start a new one. So I'm serious when I recommend making a sample and measuring your block size end result before progressing on a pattern. It can make a big difference! Half Rectangle Triangles need to be trimmed up in a particular way so you have correct seam allowance to maintain your triangle points.
Check out the Harlequin pattern at my shopify store!
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Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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