Last week Modern Quilts – Fabric Part I was published and this week we are continuing the theme of fabric.

So far I have talked about solids or fabrics that read as solid but that is not to say that prints cannot be used in modern quilts.  They most certainly can!

My On the Plus Side quilt uses Alison Glass Sunprints set in lots of negative space and gives a very modern feel to a simple plus block design:


uilOn the Plus Side made and quilted by me; pattern Paige Alexander; fabric Alison Glass Sunprints and Kona Snow

the negative space does not always have to be solid.  This great example shows a pieced background: 

Unexpected Blooms by  Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild hanging at QuiltCon 2016

or maybe there is no negative space as such:

Log Pyramids by Liz Harvatine from Modern Quilts – Designs of the New Century

The colours also don’t always have to be bright and graphic.  There are lots of gorgeous soft muted tones out there that translate wonderfully to modern quilts.

Improv Journal Quilt by Heather Hasthorpe using Oakshott fabrics

I hope that has given you something to think about when it comes to choosing fabric for moerdn quilts.  Any questions?  Please do ask in the comments below.


And now for the project ….

I am going to make some basic units in a variety of sizes with no end quilt in sight. I am just going to make and then decide where things will go in a week or two. The units will be constructed using traditional techniques which will be available as free downloadable pdfs from my shop.

I would love to have some company on this journey – do you fancy joining in? There are no hard and fast rules and no fabric requirements. What you will need is a sense of adventure, who knows where we might end up, and, for some, a bit of leap of faith into this world of modern quilting.

I am going to make some samples in various fabrics in order that you can see how different fabrics work.  I know that to jump straight into solids may be a step too far but there is always the choice of choosing something softer to start with and you know what I said earlier there are no quilt police and prints are fully welcome in modern quilts!


The fabrics that are I am going to be using were generously supplied by Makower.  They are, from top to bottom and left to right:

Spectrum – this is Makower’s range of solids

Charcoal 2000-S63 / Vanilla 2000-Q60 /  Citrus 2000-G74

Linen Texture – this range reads as a solid but has a very subtle linen effect printed on them

Slate 1473-S8 / Vanilla 1473-0Q1 / Turquoise 1473-T5

Linea – this range is a tone on tone range

Ebony 1525-X / Vanilla 1525-Q1 / Ebony 1525-X / Pumpkin 1525-N5

The full range of colours available can be seen by clicking on the range name above.

So for the start of the project I have made half square triangles (HSTs) 8 at a time.  This is a lovely way of making lots of accurate HSTs in a relatively quick time.

The tutorial for making these can be found in my shop – it is a free downloadable pdf called HSTs 8 at a Time Tutorial.

Here are the results of my making – the top two rows are Spectrum, the middle two rows are Linen Texture and the bottom two are Linea:

Linen Texture

Do you prefer the solid or the softer result of the linen texture or linea.  Everything about quilting should be  personal choice – so feel free to use what you like.

I initially made 8 HSTs in each colourway but will make some more and might make some in a different size, for example cutting the initial squares to 8 1/4″ to trim to 3 1/2″.  Obviously you can cut the initial squares to whatever size you like and trim accordingly.

And then I had a play!

Next week I will be looking at the design aesthetic in modern quilts and providing another free pdf tutorial to make some more blocks for your improv quilt.