techniques and projects
for improvisational quilts

ja c q u i e g e r i n g
k at i e p e d e r s E n

f r e e p ie c in g

Urban Garden Quilt
We were inspired to make the Urban Garden Quilt by fields
we saw from the window of a plane. We took handfuls of
orange, green, and brown scraps and started working on
our design wall. As we placed and arranged the scraps, the
fabric combinations began to appear to us as little plots in
city gardens. We embraced the look, and a quilt was born.
f i n i s h e d s i z e : 31" × 51" ( 7 9 × 12 9. 5 c m )

material s
All fabric amounts are for 45" (114.5 cm) wide fabric.
++ 2½ yd (2.3 m) beige fabric for background
++ ½ yd (46 cm) total of several orange, green, and
brown fabrics
++ 1⅔ yd (1.5 m) fabric for backing
++ ⅓ yd (30.5 cm) fabric for binding
++ 39" × 59" (99 × 150 cm) low-loft cotton batting
tool s
Modern quilter's toolbox (page 12)


cut the fabric

(48.3 cm)

(39.4 cm)

(45.7 cm)

From binding fabric, cut 5 strips
2¼" (5.5 cm) × width of fabric

construct the quilt
Note: All seam allowances are ¼"
(6 mm). Press seams open unless
otherwise indicated.
The Urban Garden quilt is constructed in three columns containing a total of eleven panels, as
shown in the construction diagram
at right. Construct one panel at a

(25.4 cm)

(43.2 cm)
(20.3 cm)

(28.6 cm)

Begin by reviewing the Free Piecing
technique on page 35.
1. Tape the perimeter of one panel
on the design wall. The area
within the tape should equal the
finished size of the panel.
2. Gather the fabrics and sort by
color. Place scraps or pieces
cut from various fabrics on the
design wall within the panel,
arranging the pieces into small
groupings and leaving plenty of
open areas for the background
fabric. Create contrast and
interest with the arrangement
of colors and values. Consider
the ratio of colorful fabrics
to background fabric in each
panel. As you build your design,
keep in mind that you will lose
½" (1.3 cm) of each fabric in
both dimensions to seam allowances, so the design will
shrink significantly as you sew
it together.

quilting modern

(50.8 cm)

(40.6 cm)

(35.6 cm)
(18.4 cm)

11" (28 cm)

15½" (39.4 cm)

11½" (29.2 cm)

Urban Garden construction diagram

3. When you are satisfied with
your arrangement, sew the
patches together, adding background fabric as needed. As
you join pieces, return them
to the design wall and monitor
the shrinkage due to seam allowances, adding more pieces
around the edges as needed.
Construct the panel a bit larger
than the taped area and trim
back to the panel size plus ¼"
(6 mm) seam allowance all

4. If a section is too short, add to
it; if a section is too long, trim
it back. Trim each panel to size
as it is constructed, adding
¼" (6 mm) seam allowance all
around, and place it back into
position within the quilt layout.
5. When all the panels are
complete, sew the panels in
each column together in order
from top to bottom, with right
sides together and raw edges
matched. Press.

f r e e p ie c in g

How to Build a Panel
Your scrap sizes and placement
will differ from ours. Follow these
steps to see how we would create a
panel for this quilt.

1. Construct the center area first.
Join pieces 1 and 2 along one
long edge. Sew pieces 3 and
4 together, then add piece 5;
join the unit to the 1 + 2 section
(fig. 1). Add piece 6 to the upper
2. Sew strips 7 and 8 together.
Extend the top of this section
with background fabric so it is
the same height as the center
section and sew the two sections together.
3. Sew small pieces together to
form the strip marked by the
bracket. Extend the top of this
section with background fabric
to reach the height of the center
section and sew it to the right
side of the center section.









fig. 1

4. Extend piece 11 by anglepiecing a strip of background
fabric to its right side. Add
piece 12.
5. Extend the 11+12 section with
background fabric to equal the
width of the top section.
6. Sew background fabric to
each side of piece 10 so that it
measures the full height of the
panel. Sew it to the right side
of the assembled patches. The
panel is complete (fig. 2).

fig. 2

urban garden quilt


galler y

Im p r o v i s at i o n a l C u r v e s:
S t i t c h a n d F l i p T r i a n g l e S q u a r e s:

M o d e r n C r a z y P i e c i n g:

winter windows quilt

F r e e P i e c i n g:

winging it pillows

sardinia table runner

supernova quilt

Im p r o v i s at i o n a l L o g C a b i n:

lilac crush quilt

S l i c e a n d I n s e r t:

shattered quilt

I n t r o d u c t i o n : Th e I m p r o v i s at i o n a l Pat h

1 Tools and Materials for the Modern Quilter
2 Quilting Basics: Sew, What Do I Need to Know?
3 Beyond the Crayon Box: Color and Design
4 Complete Your Quilt: Backing, Quilting, and Binding
5 Free Piecing T e c h n i q u e a n d P r o j e c t s
Urban Garden Quilt, Sea Glass Quilt, Winging It Pillows

6 Improvisational Log Cabin T e c h n i q u e a n d P r o j e c t s
Lilac Crush Quilt, Tunnel Vision Quilt, Mod TV

7 Slice and Insert T e c h n i q u e a n d P r o j e c t s
Shattered Quilt, Add It Up Quilt, Southwestern Pillows

8 Stitch and Flip Triangle Squares T e c h n i q u e a n d P r o j e c t s
Supernova Quilt, Blind Co-pilot Quilt, Swirling Medallion Quilt

9 Strip Piecing T e c h n i q u e a n d P r o j e c t s
Fiesta Wall Quilt, Fractured Quilt, Stepping Stones Quilt

10 Modern Crazy Piecing T e c h n i q u e a n d P r o j e c t s
Me and My Arrow Quilt, Blue Ice Quilt, Winter Windows Quilt,
Going Crazy Placemats

11 Improvisational Curves T e c h n i q u e a n d P r o j e c t s
Sardinia Table Runner, Tipsy City Quilt, Illusions Quilt
Inde x


break free, go bold
From two pioneers of today’s modern quilting movement, Quilting
Modern teaches quilters how to use impro v is at ion a l t echnique s
to make gr a phic c on t emp or a ry quilt s and quilted projects. Explore seven core techniques and multiple projects using each technique, presented with detailed instructions. Authors Jacquie Gering
and Katie Pedersen offer step-by-step advice on quilting basics,
tools, and materials and share their knowledge of color and design.

Jacquie Gering serves on the executive board of the National
Modern Quilt Guild and is founder of the Kansas City Modern
Quilt Guild. She is also a board member of the popular online
store and community Sew Mama Sew. Her work has been
featured on Apartment Therapy and in Stitch magazine. She
frequently speaks to quilters and exhibits her quilts.
K atie Pedersen is a founder of the Seattle chapter of the
Modern Quilt Guild. She teaches quilting locally and is a featured artist for Amy Butler Software.
Paperback  ::  8½ × 10¼, 176 pages
ISBN 978-1-59668-387-7 :: $26.95

Ava il a bl e A pril 2012

New and seasoned quilters will love making each s t unning
bed quilt, wall hanging, pillowcase, and table accessory with
this must-have resource. Quilting Modern is a field guide for all
quilt lovers who strive to bre a k free from the constraints of
tradition and yearn to successfully make contemporary, exciting, beautiful projects.

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