Quilts Made Modern: 10 Projects, Keys for Success with Color & Design, From the FunQuilts Studio

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Sophisticated Style with Simple Piecing. Multiple sizes, alternative colorways, and design tips are included for all 10 project quilts. Patterns range from "quick and easy" to "involved but inspiring". Learn about color theory, fabric selection, and elements of design. Build your skills with step-by-step instruction and tips on piecing, hand or machine appliqué and quilting, and finishing. This is your "go-to" book for contemporary quiltmaking! You'll love the dramatic results you get with this modern approach to quiltmaking. Popular author/designer team of Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr present their design and construction methods with 10 projects, then show you how to transform their ideas into quilts that truly express who you are.

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Regardless of your background in design, how well you draw, or whether you think of yourself as a creative type, you can learn to make good design decisions when making quilts. Although there are no formulas or recipes for good design, there are tools that can help you make better design decisions and get you unstuck when you can’t figure out how to fix a problem with the color or composition of your quilt. For each of the ten original patterns in this book, we have provided opportunities for you to make design decisions that will make each quilt your own.

This section of the book reviews the design principles that will help you make good design decisions, regardless of your design aesthetic. We will delve into color theory and concepts such as figure/ground later. For now, the most important aspect of design is having a vision or a source of inspiration. Sometimes that vision is what we refer to as “The Big Idea”—an idea, a memory, or a metaphor that serves as the inspiration for your quilt. In some instances, the vision is inspired by the feel or mood of a collection of fabrics. Sometimes the vision is highly intuitive and is difficult to articulate. Sometimes it is a person or place.




Many quilters love big prints but often can’t figure out how to use them together without producing visual chaos. We designed Fashion District as a fast and easy-to-sew solution to this problem. Be sure to spend some time making sure you have the right fabrics (see Fabric Selection on pages 51–52 for more details). Sew and arrange a few sample blocks before you cut all your fabric to make sure the fabrics work well together.

Once you settle on a group of fabrics that work well together, you’ll find that this quilt is fast and easy!






29″ × 40″

55″ × 78″

89″ × 106″





Field fabric

1 yard

2¼ yards

3¼ yards

Lighter tone-on-tone fabrics

4 fabrics for a total of ¼ yard

4 fabrics for a total of 1 yard

4 fabrics for a total of 2 yards

Large-scale prints

9 fabrics for a total of 1⅛ yards

9 fabrics for a total of 2½ yards

9 fabrics for a total of 4¼ yards


½ yard

¾ yard

1 yard


1¼ yards

3¾ yards

8¼ yards


33″ × 44″

59″ × 82″

95″ × 112″


Before you decide on the final fabrics that will go into the quilt, make sure the prints look cohesive as a group when viewed from across the room. Look at the various scales of the fabrics you’ve chosen. Audition a few smaller-scale prints to see if they help the interaction among the fabrics. Are there any that stand out too much? If any can be taken out of the mix and not missed, replace them with something else. Every fabric should relate to the other fabrics in the palette.




There are three main reasons you should always prewash fabric before you use it in a quilt. The first is that different fabrics shrink at different rates. Even if you don’t plan to ever wash your quilt, at some point, decades from now, that quilt may need to be washed. Prewashing and preshrinking your fabric now could save a lot of heartbreak down the road.

The second reason is that manufacturers use finishing agents on fabrics to make them easier to roll and package. In addition, fabrics may spend months in a shop picking up dust. For the sake of your lungs and whatever unknown issues there may be with those finishing agents, you want to get that fabric clean before you start working with it.

The third reason is to rid the fabric of excess dye that may run when washed. In the time that we’ve been working on this book, we have had three different people ask us for advice on how to remove stains left by dyes running. In all three cases, the quilters hadn’t planned to wash their quilts or thought that they had prewashed all the fabrics but hadn’t. In one instance, a quilter simply sprayed part of her quilt with water to remove the line from a water-soluble marker. The spray wicked through the fabric to another part of the quilt, and that was enough to cause one fabric to run.




The Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr

The Quiltmaker’s Color Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr

From Fiber to Fabric by Harriet Hargrave

This is the seminal book for quilters on understanding the manufacturing and care of quilting fabrics. Note: This book is available as Print on Demand from C&T Publishing.

American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine


This magazine has a wealth of tips and often features our latest patterns.

Quilts and More

Several of our beginner quilts or other sewing projects have appeared in this magazine.

International Quilt Study Center & Museum


This website has a wealth of information about traditional and antique quilts.

The Textile Museum


The Textile Museum offers guidelines for caring for antique and fragile textiles.

Cherrywood Fabrics


We used Cherrywood’s beautiful hand-dyed fabrics for Small Change (page 108).

Jim White Photography




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