Modern Fat Quarter Quilting
What is Modern Fat Quarter Quilting with Batiks
Modern fat quarter quilting is all about personalizing your quilt with some different techniques. The term modern is broadly used here to mean non-traditional in quilting terms. Modern fat quarter quilting with batiks includes as many or as few different modern methods you choose to use to create a unique quilt. For me, this means the use of contrast through color, patterns and asymmetrical design elements.
Quilting A Showpiece
Walking through aisles of displayed quilts at a quilt show is incredibly inspirational, to say the least. Sometimes they are traditional blocks made from patterns that date back over a century. Other quilts are contemporary variations of those same patterns. Then looking at modern quilts gives us another glimpse into a completely new style. I marvel at how the art of quilting has transitioned and enjoy seeing the results.
What intrigues me in viewing all these different styles of quilts, is what makes one stand out from others. Do you ever wonder why one quilt will draw your attention more than another? While quilts in my favorite colors of blues & greens always grab my eye, some are so stunning I need a closer look. So, what makes a quilt a showpiece that everyone wants to see more of?
While I don’t profess to have all the answers, there is one special design element that always works for me. My personal quilting journey has evolved tremendously with my focus on Batik Fat Quarters. From the first patchwork class I took over thirty years ago to my current modern style of quilting, I see what works for me and I know it can work for you. Apply this simple concept to your quilting designs and you’ll see some spectacular results.
My Journey into Modern Fat Quarter Quilting with Batiks
Modern Fat Quarter Quilting with High Contrast
Do you buy fat quarters and precuts more frequently than cut yardage? I certainly do which is why I needed a pattern just for my batik fat quarters! You can check out my personal story and how I collected more than 1,000 fat quarters. It just sort of happened. Well, it took a few years to accumulate them all, but there were some extenuating circumstances, naturally! This abundance of batiks fabrics inspired me to design a pattern specifically for them. Of course, cut yardage works just as well, but there’s something special about curated Batik Fabric Bundles (aff link). Don’t you agree?
My ‘All Blocked In’ pattern is intentionally designed to use batik fat quarters. The goal is to use a group of fat quarters without repeating the same fabric layout in any block. This way each fabric is showcased as a large square in one block and used for smaller areas in the others. Sometimes, cutting up beautiful fabrics can be hard because they can get lost in the mix. This block gives each fabric a place to shine, which is what I like best about it.
Making Your Quilt Special
Quilting has been a personal hobby for years. First, I started teaching friends to quilt, then selling my own quilts, and before I knew it quilting became more than a hobby. It truly has become my passion and I want to share what I know with others who want to quilt. The most important lesson I’ve learned in quilting is the use of contrast. Contrast is the element that transforms a pretty quilt into a spectacular quilt. Don’t be afraid to use some bold color and contrast in your designs. The difference will amaze you. It changed my quilting style dramatically and I love it!
When I was quilting and teaching regularly with a group, I realized some of our quilts weren’t as captivating as others. For me, it came down to contrast. Beautiful fabrics and wonderful color combinations make a great quilt, but without enough contrast they just look flat. Ever since, I’ve always used extra batik fat quarters to bring in some pizazz.
FREE Batik Fat Quarter Quilt Pattern
What is a Batik Fat Quarter?
A batik fat quarter is a specially sized precut of batik fabric for quilting. A quarter yard of fabric is 9” x 44”. While it’s a very cost-effective piece of fabric, the narrow size limits its use for quilting. A quilting fat quarter is a single yard of fabric that is cut into four equally sized pieces. Instead of the traditional 9” x 44” quarter yard strip, a fat quarter measures 18” x 22”. While still the same amount of fabric, the size is more practical to use for quilting.
My ‘All Blocked In’ modern fat quarter quilt pattern includes multiple quilt sizes and layouts. The single, repeating block is quick to sew and has minimal matching seams. This is a quick and easy quilt you’ll love to make again and again. You’ll see in the images below, each quilt looks distinctly different while still using the same block.
Modern Batik Fat Quarter Quilts
How Do You Use a Fat Quarter in Quilting?
Modern fat quarter quilting with batiks is a great option to try something new. Each of us has a unique approach to starting a new quilt. Color primarily leads my direction in fabric choices. While a specifically planned color scheme may be my guide, color contrast also plays an important role. Batik Fat Quarters (aff link) are a perfect choice for adding lots of interest to your quilt. Instead of repeating the same fabric throughout your quilt, consider using similar batik fabrics with different patterns and accent colors. This is a great way to add more visual interest to your quilt top.
Batik Fat Quarter Quilts
You can use fat quarters for any quilt pattern. My approach to batik fat quarter quilting is not about finding a specific fat quarter quilt pattern to follow. Instead, I find the quilt fabric I want to use and pull in more batik fat quarters to complete my yardage.
My quilts are generally filled with lots of color. To avoid an overwhelming jumble of prints that look too busy. I like to bring in pops of color on a small scale. Since I use lots of batiks, there are usually multiple colors in each fabric. My favorite technique is pull out a small area of a bold color from one fabric by placing an adjacent fabric filled with that color. They blend well next to each other and the larger, bolder fabric draws more attention, adding some great contrasting interest.
Best Quilt Pattern for Batiks
How to Quilt with Contrasting Colors
The single greatest element in modern quilting is contrast. My favorite choices have ranged from bright splashes of bold colors blending across a quilt top, to vivid black and white graphic prints offset with a vibrant, bold, contrasting color. Adding selective contrast to your quilts will make an incredible difference in your finished quilt.
The ‘All Blocked In’ pattern provides plenty of contrast. The batik accent strips create perfect contrast which is balanced throughout your quilt top. Remember, you can get too much of a good thing. Let some aspects of your quilt set the stage for viewing. Create areas within your quilt that blend and add balance to your overall design.
How to Quilt with Contrasting Patterns
Fabric patterns become a contrasting element when varying their style, scale and density in your selection. Combining different patterns adds so much interest, but there needs to be a good balance. Use both large and small prints, heavy and thin lines, and ensure some open background is visible for the viewer to rest their eyes. You’ll see that the ‘All Blocked In’ pattern manages varying patterns with size by allowing some fabrics to dominate while others recede into the background.
A couple of my quilts shown are more modern using bold, graphic patterns and designs in black and white. Some are organic meandering patterns, while others are very strong and angular graphics. Also notice the variation in the density of the fabric patterns with either more visible background or close, tight graphics reducing the background area. Mixing these patterns together with balance make for a very dynamic contrast that holds the viewer’s eye just a bit longer as they look more closely at what they see.
How to Quilt with Asymmetrical Blocks
None of my recent quilts are made with traditional blocks that repeat throughout a quilt top. Instead, I prefer asymmetrical blocks with unequal proportions. These blocks add contrast simply by their design. I especially like indiscernible blocks turned in varying directions that make the viewer look and find the block I use.
My ‘All Blocked In’ modern fat quarter quilt block is simple to piece. The secret to this pattern is how a different batik fat quarter is emphasized in each block. Plus the contrasting accent strips add bold pops of color that bring in great visual interest.
I really like blocks that are asymmetrical and even a bit wonky. Not every seam has to be perfectly angled the same in each block. Getting a bit of an improv feel can be lots of fun and add some great contrast. Whether you use little corners here and there or add a wonky star just for interest. Stepping outside the box can add some fantastic contrast in your quilt making it not only unique, but a more personal representation of you.
How to Quilt On Point
There’s something special about seeing quilt blocks arranged on point. The design changes dramatically into a completely different quilt. This ‘All Blocked In’ pattern is transformed when assembled on point. Just a little twist of the blocks changes the look completely.
Many quilters keep away from setting a quilt on point. The triangles along the outer edges add a level of perceived difficulty. That’s really no surprise. Have you ever read directions for cutting the correct size for those triangles? It scares me, and I’m usually okay with doing quilting math! Believe me when I say that an on point quilt can be very easy to put together.
There are a couple easy tips to setting this quilt block on point. Fortunately it’s not about the math. This pattern shows you how to quickly make your side and corner triangles without any fractions or algebra. I promise! Give it a try. You’ll learn a new technique and will love your beautiful quilt! Remember, it’s a free pattern so be sure to check it out.
Make Modern Batik Fat Quarter Quilts
Fabulous Fat Quarters
I love fat quarters because they are small enough to justify buying a few, yet large enough to impact a pieced quilt. They can provide a beautiful shaded array of your focal color or be blenders that bring all your colors together. Whatever your reason is to purchase batik fat quarters, don’t forget to use them and enjoy the beauty they will bring to your quilts.
Do you already have a quilt in mind when you select your fabric? Or are you more driven by the fabulous fabric you just bought and can’t wait to get started quilting? Well, either way you’re beginning with the right pattern. The ‘All Blocked In’ pattern is a winner and is perfect for so many different styles of fabrics. It works great for modern graphic prints, traditional fabrics, and bold batiks. You’ll see in my quilts below that I’ve used a combo of all the above.
What Can You Quilt With 6 Fat Quarters
Here’s another question, how many fat quarters do you need to make a baby quilt? You’ll love this baby size quilt pattern made with just 6 fat quarters. Modern fat quarter quilting with batiks for babies has never been easier. The quick assembly will have you finishing a new baby quilt in record time.
Here are some suggestions to think about while you’re planning your next quilt. This graphic black & white baby quilt has a wonderful modern look and highlights the fun design elements of this pattern. The prominent color of a single bold batik adds amazing contrast to the black and white fabrics. The narrow accent strips in each block enhances the asymmetrical layout while adding a bold design element to make these blocks pop. Keep that in mind when you’re selecting your accent fabric. It’s my favorite component of this pattern.
Low Volume & Batik Fabrics
This low volume & batik quilt is a gorgeous, soft floral. With just enough color and pattern contrast, it carries the color scheme across the quilt top nicely. I love how the low volume prints bring in subtle color that plays off the bold batik accent design. This is a perfect way to carry a specific color scheme across your whole quilt top.
Modern Fat Quarter Quilting On Point
If you’re up for a wild adventure, give this on point version a try. Quilting on point dramatically changes the look of most patchwork blocks as it certainly does here. This is probably my favorite version of this pattern so far. The combination of the fabulous modern floral prints and the graphic black & white batiks are a dynamic duo. This quilt just screams to be looked at.
Combining Batik Fat Quarters with Asian Prints
These beautiful Asian prints were a gift from a dear friend who visited Japan. Ordinarily mixing such different fabrics isn’t a choice I’d make. But there’s something wonderful about combining a red print with black and white batik fabrics. What makes this quilt such an exceptional design is how the small scale red design is showcased by the surrounding graphic prints. Remember to be a bit daring occasionally and step outside of your comfort level. You may discover a new favorite combination!
Optional Batik Fat Quarter Border
Generally, modern quilts do not have traditional borders as a repeating design element on all four sides. My modern twist is to add a border to just a single side of the quilt top. It emphasizes the asymmetrical layout and gives a fantastic design opportunity for your quilt top.
This border is improv pieced with most of the leftover fabric. It’s a creative way to add a border that enhances the modern look of this quilt. This improv piecing method is what I call my ‘Stash Quilting’. It has evolved from using my scraps creatively into becoming a design component in my modern quilts.
Whether you choose to add a border to your quilt or not, take a step outside the box and get creative. You will love the adventure, you will learn so much from the experience, and you will be excited to get your next modern quilt started!
Final Note on Batik Fat Quarter Fabric Selection
These suggestions may not make your fabric choice any easier but will get you on the right track once you get started. If you’re not sure what fabric to use, choose a great print to set you color scheme. That’s my favorite starting point. With a beautiful focal print in hand, I just start grabbing fat quarters that work with it and provide some great contrast. Before I know it, there’s a stack of fantastic choices to decide on.
I’m excited for you to download my updated ‘All Blocked In’ pattern. It includes all four quilt variations shown above. I’m anxious to see what you design. Please be sure to post your fabric selections, blocks or finished quilts to Instagram #allblockedinfreequiltpattern.