Modern Tree of Life

Our Modern Quilt Guild has a monthly mini-challenge.  For October it was to create an 18 inch (or larger) Modern quilt block from one of our most disliked stash fabrics, incorporating a solid/low volume fabric.

Hmmmm – you know how there are some fabrics you can’t figure out why you bought them in the first place?  This was it for me:

ugly fabric...

ugly fabric

This was part of a fat quarter set that I had partially used and wanted to get rid of.

At first, I was going to pick a Modern block from a book or online but since our September workshop had been about improv piecing, I decided to go with the flow.  Some of the fat quarters had already been cut in strips so I made strip sets out of them, not caring if I had a perfect 1/4 inch seam (perfection is so yesterday…).  I did wonder, however,  which way to press the seams and I decided to go with “all in one direction” on the strip sets.

When I laid them out on my cutting mat, I thought they looked a little like an abstract tree so I decided that a mottled grey fabric would make a great autumn sky and provide good contrast.



Now last night before going to sleep, I was looking at a traditional Tree of Life block and was wondering if I should try one.   All of a sudden (an AHA! moment for sure) I realized this was my Modern Tree of Life!

I pieced together a backing with the remaining fat quarter set and sandwiched it by doing a pillowcase turn. pushing out the corners with my now beloved Purple Thang (a waste of $4,  I had originally thought).

And there you have it, my Modern Tree of Life:

Modern Tree of Life

Modern Tree of Life

Now the only thing that remains is to quilt it…….


Is My Quilt Modern?

You may be asking yourself:  “Is my quilt modern?”

The word “modern” means “of or relating to the present time;  characterized by or using the most up-to-date techniques, ideas or equipment”.

Let’s look at this quilt:


I made this quilt top this year so that must surely qualify as the present time, right?

I used all new fabric and pieced it with a machine, thereby making use of up-to-date equipment.

But I used a very traditional Ohio Star block as the center medallion – the Ohio Star block dates back to the early 1800’s – that’s not very modern, is it??

But wait, I improvised the setting and the border on my own.  I didn’t use a pattern, just kept adding sashing and borders until I liked the look of it:  using my noggin, that’s got to be an up-do-date idea, right?

So I vote “yes”  but you may have a different opinion:  here’s a poll – what do you vote?

Southern Ontario?

This MQG chapter is not in Ontario, California nor is it in Ontario, Oregon LOL  It is in the province of Ontario in Canada – particularly the southern part of the province.


There is a chapter in the city of Toronto and one soon to begin in Barrie but what about the rest of Southern Ontario?  What about us?

Quilting is as much about socializing as it is about the quilting.  We need to come together to share ideas, techniques, projects and to have a few laughs and maybe shed a few tears and oh, did I mention, food???

Problem is, many quilters are barely able to get to a local quilt shop when they live in rural areas.  City people too can have the same issues.

It is the intention of this MQG chapter to come to you.  Where we can find a venue (hopefully free LOL) and find a quorum of members (more than 5), this guild will come to you.  So if you have a group and a location, let me know.

Hoping to hear from you 🙂

How is it different?

There are many things that differentiate modern quilting from traditional quilting.  One format does not necessarily exclude the other!

A very obvious difference is that modern quilters tend to use new fabric.  Traditional quilts were often salvaged from garments that were no longer wearable or items (like feedsacks) that had been previously used.

new fabric

new fabric

old fabric

old fabric

Although there is an increase now in the use of vintage fabrics and upcycled items, what is your preference?

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