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!
Modern graphic blooms stand tall, reaching for the sun. This is the inspiration for my Towards the Sun quilt pattern.
I wanted a quilt to go with my Dandi Annie fabrics that reflected the round spheres of the mature seed puffs of the dandelions. The main prints have a play of large circles behind the plants and I thought they would play nicely within larger circle shapes. This became the overall composition for the blooms within a grid structure for mixing in coordinating prints. With such a graphic and geometric structure, I felt straight sectioned lines as stems would work well to support the blooms and add a new graphic element to contrast with all the circles.
This was my first time making a quilt with half circle and full circle blocks. I created a paper template to go with the pattern that you can use for making the blocks or if you'd prefer to use a specialty ruler template I'd suggest the Creative Grids Circle Savvy Quilt Ruler (CGRSAV1). It has a large range of circular sizes and I used this ruler to make my 6" finished circle blocks. Working with circles was actually quite fun and I found I was most successful with my shapes when I slowed down my sewing a little and lengthened my stitch length to help with the give and stretch going around curves.
This quilt can be made as pieced blocks or as applique, either fusible raw edge or turned edge. The white and yellow quilt here is pieced using the Creative Grids circular ruler and the pink and gray quilt is made with the fusible raw edge method. I top stitched on my machine close to the edges of the shapes after fusing.
The quilts were long arm quilted by Sally at Corona Quiltworks (IG @coronaquiltworks) using pantographs that also use circular shapes and lines, further reinforcing the graphic shapes. Towards the Sun is available at Quilt shops when it ships with Dandi Annie from Moda Fabrics in November. It is also available at my etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/robinpickensinc. If you get the digital PDF make sure you print out the template at actual size or 100% vs letting a printer resize. You can double check the sizing with the 1" marker on the template.
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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