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Tutorial-Canadian Girl Quilt Part One

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This New Modern quilting tutorial got started after I heard from several locals and received some emails from my blog readers that they are confused with the "New Modern Thing" and rightly so.

I kind of knew something about the use of 'negative space' on quilts, as in this pillow cover I made many years ago now.



Who wouldn't be if you have been learning how to make quilts the 'old fashioned way' and then came along the gadgets, rulers, etc. So I've had some time to reflect on this and did suggest in previous posts that some tutorials were coming and here is one!

Modern Quilting has taken a great run at the the establishment of traditional quilters!


Modern Quilting seems to be driven by young women and men that like to use 'negative' space in their quilt making process. There is nothing wrong with this, its just what it is. The same rules apply if you are looking for a great quilt that will last many generations and be handed down to your kids. The basic rules of quilting still apply, make 1/4 in. seams, press well, measure correctly and cut after measuring twice.

I personally love it, as I'm a past recovered victim of the 'quilt police' and had to defend my methods from some kindly quilters who thought I was slightly not all there! They tried they're best to help me as I happily went my own path. This is where Modern Quilting really unfolds for me and perhaps its why many are drawn to it today. It appears to have no rules.

Canadian Girl Quilt Tutorial

So this is where this tutorial starts. I did not measure all the fabric used in this little quilt, so you can decide how much of each, the most fabric you'll need is for the background color, I chose off white and for the backing, binding. I always use up scraps for both backing and  binding as I love scrappy bindings. You can choose whatever you like, but if you're thinking 'modern' then go with new collections from recent designs. Fresh, inviting and playful seem to be very common in modern quilts.


Get yourself 16 (5 inch) squares of different colors. I chose the Geo Grand collection from Daisy Janie. I have 6 of these sets in my studio, if anyone wants to use them in this tutorial.



Sew the 5 inch sq.'s together into (4) Four Patch blocks, then choose random plaid fabrics from your stash and cut strips into 2.5 in. wide and I sewed on different strips on each side. 


Then decide on how wide you want your background solid color to be, I made these additional strips ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 inch wide and used them randomly to border the Four Patch blocks. 


As you can see these turned out to be not measuring up evenly as in most traditional patterns. This is where the 'negative space thing' comes in. Some have said that modern quilters just didn't know how to make things square and went with what they made. But I disagree with that, some very sophisticated  traditional blocks have found homes in many modern quilts, what is paramount is the willingness to experiment and take risks.

Its OK, just let yourself trust the inner modern quilter inside you. More on Part Two....

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