Susanne Woods, founder and publisher at Lucky Spool Media, compiled the Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making as an all-inclusive guide. Through the book’s 10 workshop chapters, expert quilters teach you modern quilt-making design principles, providing support as you practice a variety of quilting techniques and concepts. Including in this informative guide are 16 new quilt patterns. Susanne and Lucky Spool are sharing excerpts from the Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making in a weekly series at Sew Mama Sew.

Learn more about the book and find the first excerpt on Principles of Color here. The second excerpt from Alissa Haight Carlton covers straight-line quilting, and our third excerpt from expert Dan Rouse focuses on working with prints. Dan Rouse incorporates a variety of techniques in his work, but really leads the charge in creating stunning pieced backgrounds using a variety of prints. He lives in the East Bay, CA and blogs at Piece and Press.

Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making brings an authoritative voice from modern quilting leaders, putting their expertise in your hands for access and success any time!

Goals of the Workshop: Working with Prints, Curved Blocks

The third workshop in Essential Guide to Modern Quiltmaking acts as the counterpart to Alissa Haight Carlton’s previous chapter on Working with Solids.

Dan explains how to work with the properties that are unique to prints like scale, repeat and determining value placement. Here, Dan shows you how to create a curved block of made fabric, or strata, from a variety of prints to use in place of a single manufactured fabric (as he did in the Skylights pattern he designed for the book). Check out the book for Dan’s workshop on selecting prints, building a stash, tips for sewing strata curves and instructions for creating the Skylights pattern from your own collection of prints.

1. Stack six yellow fat quarters on a cutting mat with the 18″ edge at the bottom. Using a rotary cutter with a sharp blade, make five gently curved cuts from bottom to top to create six stacks of curved strips.

2. Divide the strips into six sets, one strip from each strip stack and from each fat quarter.

3. To make one curvy yellow block of fabric, sew the five strips from one set together to form a block approximately 18″ × 191/2″. Press each seam to the inside of the curve.

4. Repeat Step 3 for the remaining five sets.

5. Take the six curvy yellow blocks and stack them on the cutting mat with the corresponding seams in each block more or less aligned.

6. Cut the blocks again as in Step 1, intersecting the new cuts with the completed seams. Avoid creating tiny fragments of prints that will get lost in seam allowances.

7. Repeat Steps 2 through 4, aiming for a fairly even distribution of prints in each block.

8. Sew blocks again as in Step 3 to make six yellow blocks approximately 17″ x 18″.

Dan used this technique to create two colors of curved strata for this beautiful pattern from the book.

Lucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making compiled by Susanne Woods (192 pages, $28.95, published in 2014 by Lucky Spool Media, LLC) has lots more information on working with prints, plus many other great workshops.