Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Free pattern day: Easy Modern Quilts (1)

Here are 25 free and easy patterns for modern quilts, for a ton of quilt inspiration! Underneath each quilt we note what we like about the design and construction, and what makes it easy to sew.  For more free patterns see Easy Modern Quilts: Part 2.

Note: Please check out our eBay shop for great bargains on quilt patterns, fabric, and unique vintage jewelry ! (We are Top-Rated Sellers !)

Scroll down the page until you see the quilt you like, then click on the colored letters of the link to the pattern.  

Modern Maze quilt, 60 x 80”, free pattern by Art Gallery Fabrics (PDF download)

With 5 different graphic fabrics (12” x 8” rectangles) placed in frames, the Modern Maze quilt goes together in a hurry.

Crossroads quilt, free pattern by Jessie Kurtz of Harding Hill Designs for Camelot Fabrics (PDF download)

In this Crossroads Quilt the interior of the cross is filled with half-square triangle blocks. As a quick alternative, you could simply use a favorite graphic print. As of the writing, many different color versions of the quilt can be seen on the Camelot Fabrics website.

Chameleon Quilt, free pattern at Fat Quarter Shop  (PDF download) + (YouTube tutorial)

The use of similar prints in different colorways provides a cohesive appearance.

Locally Grown quilt, 52 x 67”, by Marisa and Creative Thursday for Andover Fabrics (PDF download)

The Locally Grown quilt is made from 6 fabrics with minimal seaming. The large off-center medallion is cut from one yard of fabric and finishes at 27 x 34”.

Lattice quilt, 60 x 80”, free pattern by Art Gallery Fabrics Studio (PDF download)

The Lattice Quilt features 12 framed squares of fabric. The current pattern version, top photos, is shown in the Succulence fabric collection by Bonnie Christine. The original On Safari version, bottom photo, was published in Quilt Trends Magazine, Spring 2014.

City Cycles quilt, 50 x 60”, free pattern by Tammy Vasser for Windham Fabrics.

These framed fabric boxes are cleverly connected in a maze-like fashion, consistent with the transportation theme.

Baker’s Dozen quilt, free pattern by Sherri Bain Driver for McCall’s Quilting

Made with tall rectangles, this lap quilt pattern owes much of its modern appeal to its randomly-pieced block centers. The instructions explain how to cut and piece all block centers in one specific manner, but you can vary the cutting and piecing any way you like.  It makes a great scrap quilt.

Layer Cake Lemonade quilt, made by Brigitte Heitland in Sphere collection fabrics by Zen Chic, based on a free pattern by Fat Quarter Shop (PDF download)

This pattern is a great way to use layer cake (10”) squares.  The rows are staggered, so there are no seams to match. The original quilt was made in pink (shown below), hence the "Lemonade". The free downloadable pattern includes directions for several quilt sizes; there is also a video tutorial by the Fat Quarter Shop.

Nine Patch Rearranged, 57 x 71”, by Vivika Hansen DeNegre, tutorial at Quilting Daily

This large scale variation of a disappearing nine patch quilt was published in a 2012 book called Modern Patchwork: 37 Contemporary Projects to Make Now. Starting with 10″ layer cake squares, Vivika made huge nine-patch blocks, each with a solid pink center square. Then she cut each nine patch into quarters, rearranged them into a 4 x 5 grid, and sewed them together to make the quilt top The success lies in the complementary colors and arrangement of dark and light fabrics.

Kim’s Hand Dyes - Series 1, 50 x 70”, free pattern by Kim Schaefer for Andover Fabrics  (PDF download)

This is an appliqued quilt!  Pinked raw-edge rectangles are stitched to 10” background squares, which are then joined to make the quilt. (Did you know they make pinking blades for rotary cutters?)

There's No Point, free pattern by Stephanie Prescott for Hoffman Fabrics

“There’s no point” means there are no triangles to piece. Classified as a beginner pattern, this jelly roll-friendly quilt features vertical lines with surprising undulation.

Double Dash quilt, 60 x60”, free pattern by by Salty Oat for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

The Double Dash quilt alternates easy rail fence blocks with identical blocks set on point, so the blocks appear to tumble. The pattern level is designated “enthusiastic novice”. Interesting!

Blended Squares quilt, 30 x 31”, free pattern by Angela Walters for Robert Kaufman Fabrics,

This project looks more like a painting than a strip quilt! It uses Kona solids and blenders.

Delft Sapphire quilt, 52 x 60, by Karen Schleier for Studio E Fabrics (PDF download)

Circles of various sizes, from 2” to 5”, are appliqued to a simple pieced background. The arrangement of circles reminds us of a mid-century modern “Sputnik” lighting fixture (like this one).  It would be fun to pick the fabric motifs for this quilt. Use fusible applique to make it quick!

Halfway Home, 60 x 72”, free pattern by Heather Jones for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

The quarter-square log cabin blocks in Halfway Home are constructed improvisationally, so there is no need for precise measurements and cutting.

Electric Avenue quilt, 64 x 72”, free pattern by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller Fabrics (PDF download)

The strips in Electric Avenue finish at 4”. Made with dotted fabrics and solids, the use of lightly textured (dotted) fabric in the center strips helps continue the vertical lines of the darker strips.

Picket Fences quilt, 68x74, free pattern by John Q. Adams at Quilt Dad, free pattern at Quilters Newsletter (PDF download)

Large strips and quick-corner piecing with no matching seams mean instant satisfaction. This quilt has a great pedigree. The fabric is from a 2012 collection by Denyse Schmidt,  the quilt design is by John Q. Adams (Quilt Dad), and it was quilted by Angela Walters. Angela Walter’s quilting design is included in the pattern diagram.

Palisade, 45 x 60”, free pattern by Erin Underwood for Windham Fabrics

Slightly more challenging, Palisade is a quilt-as-you go project. The points are constructed like Dresden Plate points, so the ends are finished. You can see another neat picket fence quilt pattern at Erin Underwood’s website.

Geese Take Flight, 64 x 84", free pattern at Riley Blake Designs

This is a super simple quilt featuring five 4" wide strips of fabric, cut from pre-printed flying geese “cheater” cloth from the Sashing Stash collection by Eleanor Dugan at Riley Blake Designs (sold out, but still available at some sites online).  Alternatively, use your own pieced blocks or fabric stash.

UPtown quilt, 50 x 60”, free pattern by Elaine Theriault for Northcott Fabrics

Here is another modern cheater cloth variation. The Mod fabric panels are printed to look like complex piecing projects. UPtown was featured in Modern Patchwork, Spring 2016.

Block letter quilt, 50 x 60”, free pattern by Susan Terpin for Connecting Threads

Solid color fabrics are strip-pieced to create a rainbow, then sliced into ribbons of various lengths. The pieced strips are cleverly placed in the format of a typed letter.

Cinema quilt, 60 x 66”, free pattern at Riley Blake Designs [PDF download]

The Cinema quilt strips are made from 9 different fabrics in an ombre series. They are made by creating a single strip set, which is then sliced into different sized ribbons.

Frameworks quilt, 58" x 58“, free pattern by Nydia Kehnle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

The Frameworks Quilt, free pattern, black version

The Frameworks Quilt is constructed by making strip sets, which are then sliced into ribbons and re-cut into shorter lengths.

Tribute Star quilt, 60 x 60”,  by Rebecca Bryan at Bryan House Quilts, free pattern download at Denyse Schmidt Quilts

One of our favorite big block quilts, the beautiful transparent-looking star is made with half-square triangles set against a teal background. Fabrics are by Denyse Schmidt.

Nine Patch Stashbuster quilt, free pattern at JoAnn (PDF download)

These nine-patch blocks are made from strip-pieced sets.The open white center squares make it modern.

Courtyard quilt, 46 x 55”, free pattern by Michelle Engel Bencsko at Cloud 9 Fabrics

In this simple yet effective design, each of 30 blocks is comprised of a pair of rectangles.

Supersize Shoo Fly quilt by Malka Dubrawsky, free pattern at All People Quilt

The supersize shoo fly blocks are nearly 3 feet square, making this quilt super simple. The king size version using 9 blocks, shown above, was first patterned in American Patchwork and Quilting magazine in August 2012. The free block pattern can be found on the All People Quilt website.  A tutorial by Malka Dubrawsky is also available at Sew Mama Sew.

Image credits: Individual images are copyrighted by their owners. Please respect their generosity in sharing their free patterns, and the restrictions they have placed on the use of these designs; complete information can be found at the designers' websites provided in the links. The photo montage shown on this page is a derivative work that is the property of Quilt Inspiration. If any links are broken, we'd love to know so we can fix the problem. Please email us at QuiltInspiration {at} gmail {dot} com. Note:  This pattern was updated on November 21, 2017.


  1. Thank you! I feel like I've just been on a huge shopping spree!

  2. Thank you! I always love the inspiration you give us.

  3. great modern quilt inspiration!

  4. I am inspired and ready to try a modern quilt . . . Thanks for this fantastic post.

  5. What a wonderful assortment! Thank you!


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