It’s time for our January Modern Block of the Month! Alissa Haight Carlton from Handmade by Alissa shows us how to create a new block every month so you can grab your favorite fabrics and sew along.

Our BOM series was inspired by Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee: The Journey of 12 Women, 1 Blog & 12 Improvisational Projects, the book Alissa and Kristen Lejnieks wrote together in 2011. We can’t wait for Alissa’s next book due out early this year, Modern Minimal: 20 Bold & Graphic Quilts. (Our Reflections + Predictions interviewees were just as excited!)

Modern BOM Information:

Add the Modern BOM button for your site: You can also share your progress in the Modern BOM pool on Flickr; we love to see your blocks!

Welcome to the first block of 2012!

This block design does not include any negative space. As a result, I think that the pattern the block makes shines when pieced with small scale prints or solid fabrics.

Fabric requirements:
(Based on fabrics that are 42” wide)

Fabric A

      : (Crossweave – Blue Blue) 2” wide width of fabric (WOF) strip and a 2” x 5.5” scrap

Fabric B

      : (

Kona Cotton – Bone

      ) 2” wide width of fabric (WOF) strip and 2” x 5.5” scrap

Fabric C

      : (Shot Cotton – Galvanized) 2” wide WOF strip

Fabric D

      : (

Kona Cotton – Butterscotch

    ) 2” wide WOF strip and 7” x 3” scrap

Note that if you don’t have a long strip of one of the fabrics you’d like to use you can use scraps. Please refer to the cut list below to know how big they must be.

Cut list:

1. Sew together the A & B WOF (width of fabric) strips and the A & B 5.5” scraps.

2. Cut 7” off of the Fabric C WOF (width of fabric) strip and sew together with the 7”X 3” scrap of Fabric D. This is Portion 9.

3. Sew together the remainder of the Fabric C WOF strip with the Fabric D WOF strip.

Cut the A/B strip into portions of the following lengths:

      Portion 1: 5.5”


      Portion 2: 9.5”


      Portion 3: 12”


      Portion 4: 12”


    Portion 5: 5.5”

3. Cut the C/D strip into portions of the following lengths:

      Portion 6: 7.5”


      Portion 7: 10”


    Portion 8: 10’”

Portion 9 is already at the correct size.

Assembling the Block:

1. Sew together portion 1 and 6 as indicated

2. Keep building the block by adding on portion 2.

6. Following this same building pattern, switch from side to side as you sew on portion 7, then 3, then 8, and finally 4. Press after you sew on each portion.

7. Next, finish the piecing by sewing on portions 9 and 5. Line them up so that portion 9 is set 2” down from the top of the piecing and portion 5 is set 3” in from the left edge of the piecing.

8 Now, finish the block by first rotating your piecing and then trimming it down to 12.5” square. Your block is all done!

Note: This is just the sort of trimming where a 12.5” square ruler comes in handy. If you don’t have one, I’d suggest you draw the 12.5” block onto the piecing before cutting it out. You wouldn’t want to trim too much off of one edge and not have enough piecing remaining to fit the full sized block.

I created some digital quilts using this block in a 4 x 5 block layout:

Here is the block made with different fabrics:

I used:

Fabric A


Motherboard Black – Mechanical Genius
Fabric B


Kona Cotton – Medium Grey
Fabric C


Snakeskin Green – Backyard Baby
Fabric D


Garden Spiral Apricot – Monkey’s Bizness

And here are more digital quilts with these fabrics:

We can’t wait to see all of your versions of the block!