Wicked and Wonderful

As many of you know, I have been evolving from making mostly traditional quilt blocks to building beautiful modern quilts over the last 4-5 years.  While I love this new aesthetic, there are some things about traditional quilt-making that I cannot say good-bye to.  In particular, I have a weakness for sampler quilts.  There is nothing that stops me in my tracks quicker than a quilt that showcases a dozen or so beautifully bewitching, absolutely unique quilt blocks.

I wonder, do sampler quilts have a home under the umbrella of “modern quilting”.  Lets see.  Below is an excerpt from the Modern Quilt Guild.

Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. “Modern traditionalism” or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.

Alrighty then, question asked and answered. Sampler quilts certainly fall under the heading of “Modern Traditionalism”.   Next question is….Can I do this?  Can I build my own personal version of a modern sampler quilt.  And if I do…which of the defining elements do I want to showcase in it?  Well,  my quilt will absolutely have loads of bright bold prints (and I swear there will be solids in it too….because the point is to challenge myself…and solids are so freakin challenging). There will definitely (possibly…probably…maybe…likely) be a graphic element to the setting I choose and the blocks will obviously be traditional in nature, but updated in a marvellously modern manner.

Will I design the blocks myself? Maybe yes….maybe no.   I probably will take a couple designs from my sketchbook,  but I want to use this occasion to build some of the gawjus blocks out there in the quiltiverse that other talented designers birthed.  And naturally if I do use someone else’s creation, I will give them credit and point any readers to their site.

Will there be appliqué….No, there will be no appliqué.  ’nuff said about that!

Will there be paper piecing?  Yes….because I’m trying to improve my skills!

Will I give myself a definite timeline to finish this?  Yes Yes YES.  This quilt must be pieced, quilted and bound by December 31, 2018….because there is a quilt show coming in 2019 that I want to enter a sampler quilt into.  Stay tuned!

So….do you want to see the first block I’d choose to make? Of course you do.  Here it is.


Its a 12″ finished, paper-pieced block from the Block Rock’n series by Julie Hirt. Here is a link that will take you to the spot where you can download this pattern yourself. FYI, the block is called Mercury and its a shout out to the Rockn’Roll legend, Freddy Mercury.  I love it and cannot wait to see how it fits into my Wonderfully Wicked Modern Sampler.


  1. thedarlingdogwood says:

    What a fabulous block!! I love your colors! Can’t wait to see what else you add to your Modern Sampler Quilt!


  2. Oh that is a WONDERFUL block! No way could you look at that and not think “modern”. It is so fun and bright! By the way, I mailed your Bee block a week ago and they told me it would probably take 2 weeks to get there. I couldn’t remember if I told you that I had mailed it or not.


  3. I love it! I need to check out that sampler.


  4. FANTASTIC Velda!! The contrasting blues and oranges mixed with the paper pieced points of the star just pop out of the Block while the low toned creams all around are equally well pieced, but they stay back and let the brights play lead. I definitely see why this is called a Mercury Block! I’m excited to see your next modern addition to the quilt!😊❤️


  5. Tish says:

    I am a sucker for a sampler quilt too! Traditional or modern, it just doesn’t matter. I think this is a marvelous idea to create a sampler quilt for yourself and I cant’ wait to watch it come together.


  6. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Velda,
    What a fun challenge for yourself! I can’t wait to see what follows Mercury! No appliquéd blocks, huh?! It seems there are only two sides to that particular coin – either you love it or you hate it. No middle ground. I’m looking forward to block #2. Happy Tuesday! ~smile~ Roseanne


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