Dip a toe in the modern-quilting pool (+ sale!)

Do you find negative space intriguing? Want to try classic blocks with a twist? How about improv piecing or intentional imperfections—do these ideas make you stand up and cheer? Modern quilt designs can be an exciting experiment for traditional quilters, and they often rely on the ideas mentioned above. Right now, we have not just one modern quilting book on sale, but four!

Save 20% + free shipping on select books

Each book is chock full of simple modern quilt patterns. Take a look at how the designers of the quilts below use the unruly “rules” of modern quiltmaking to achieve attention-grabbing results.

Capitalize on neutral grey to create a generous swath of negative space.

Improv Color Blocks quilt
“Improv Color Blocks” quilt by Kati Spencer, from
Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

Embrace imperfections to create a charmingly wonky house, bird, and flowers.

The Birdhouse Quilt
“The Birdhouse Quilt” by Carrie Bloomston, from Modern Baby
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Jennifer's birdhouse baby quilt
Martingale Publisher and Chief Visionary Officer Jennifer Keltner just finished her birdhouse quilt top. She dipped a toe and loved it!

Reimagine classic quilt blocks like Dresden Plate with strikingly modern flair.

Princess Crowns quilt
Imagine Quilts by Dana Bolyard
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Here’s another example of turning a classic quilt block on its head:

Sliced quilt
“Sliced” from
Modern Neutrals

In “Sliced,” Amy Ellis makes asymmetrical Log Cabin blocks, slices them diagonally, and then sews the halves together in different pairings. Then she tops it all off by setting the resulting new blocks on point too.

Improvisational piecing sound too out-of-the-box for you? These happy, scrappy, free-form triangles are a great introduction to the technique. Plus, you can further express your own creativity through colors and layout. In this case it’s not what the designer says—it’s what you say that goes!
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Tree Quilt
“Tree Quilt” by Jolene Klassen from
Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

Modern or traditional quilts: which do you prefer to stitch—or do you dabble a little in both styles? Tell us in the comments!

Save 20% + free shipping on select books

20 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I dabble in both. I find the more modern quilts give me an air of excitement while the more traditional equal comfort.

    —Erin on September 28, 2015
  • I like the traditional patterns the best. But modern designs have their charm also.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on September 28, 2015
  • I am definitely a traditional quilter. And scrappy traditional quilter to boot. Not saying the modern quilts don’t pique my interest — they are nice but they just aren’t me. Everyone has their favorites and there is no knocking them for it.

    —Sue Fender on September 28, 2015
  • I started out only traditional, but as I have gotten experience, I now try some modern styles. I have wanted to make "Sliced" with batik fabrics and oak leaves, but the Log Cabin sliced on point is very appealing and calling to me.

    Carolyn on September 28, 2015
  • I’ve only accomplished a couple quilts so far and I would say they are traditional. I like the look of the modern though. I would have difficulty with improv. Can’t seem to let myself be free enough.

    —Kathleen on September 28, 2015
  • While I enjoy viewing the modern quilts and appreciate their simplicity, my time is spent on traditional designs.

    —Sandy W. on September 28, 2015
  • I prefer traditional but some of the modern quilts catch my eye. The "sliced" quilt is one I would put on my list to make.

    —connie b on September 28, 2015
  • I’m more of a traditional quilter.

    —Virginia in AK on September 28, 2015
  • I like a bit of each. Traditional sometimes requires more precision work, but non can be more playful.

    —ADKKate on September 28, 2015
  • It is hard to know where you are going unless you remember where you came from.
    There would be no modern quilting if there wasn’t traditional quilting. Whether your quilting was learned from Carrie Hall, Georgia Bonesteel, Alex Anderson, or the many talented bloggers who generously fill our inbox we are all quilters.

    —Pat G on September 28, 2015
  • I have honed my skills learning traditional quilting techniques / blocks / quilts. I love both the traditional and am loving the choice to do traditional or modern. I’ve done many traditional and am now trying out some modern ideas. I think some of the modern ‘ideas’ are very freeing, but I won’t stop also making traditional quilts.

    —Marion on September 28, 2015
  • I like both depending on my mood but I would love to have all 4 of these books.

    —Chris on September 28, 2015
  • A little of both but I like the more modern approach!

    —Ali on September 29, 2015
  • Love that Dresden plate quilt!! I immediately saw a superman quilt using that design as kryptonite!

    —Cathy on September 29, 2015
  • I’ve been tying whole cloth quilts for 46 years and piecing quilts for 15 years.

    —Susan Allen on September 29, 2015
  • Traditional. The most modern I get is using a solid white on rare occasions! Haha! The log cabin on point is really cool!

    —Sara on September 30, 2015
  • I like to take the traditional blocks and find easier ways to make them by using the modern cutting techniques. Then with new color combinations and quilting the "modern style" bring them into a new era.

    —dunlapquilter on September 30, 2015
  • I’m more traditional, but I really like the Sliced Log Cabin. All the empty space on many modern quilts scares me. I don’t FMQ and the thought of drawing lines on all that space intimidates me. Once the top is completed, I want to quickly quilt it so I can have it finished.

    —Joanne Scott on October 2, 2015
  • I prefer traditional. I do like some of the modern quilts but they just are not me.

    —Renea on October 2, 2015
  • I enjoy designing my own quilts, and usually stick with the traditional block format, but have recently started exploring the more modern vibe. Table runners are one place to experiment that don’t call for a huge amount of time and fabric. Love the simple, almost stark look of Sliced.

    —Linda Towers on October 3, 2015

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