Michelle from Factotum of Arts creates something special every day of the week in her Quilt Design A Day group. We asked Michelle to take her designs to reality with a new pattern every month here at Sew Mama Sew. Her first pattern was the Succulent Quilt and now we have Mod Squares, a variation on a 9-patch quilt block.

Find out more about Michelle in her introduction, and take a look at all of her QDAD designs thus far at Factotum of Arts.

Update: Here’s a PDF template from Michelle so you can work out your own Mod Squares design!

Design to Reality: Mod Squares
Fall (Autumn) is ever so close here in North Carolina. I chose a design this month that I could use for the perfect sized lap quilt for sitting on the deck on the slightly cooler mornings. Of course, made from perfect fall fabrics. With that in mind, this design is my take on a 9-patch block. It uses thinner strips for the middle and center pieces of each block, and plays with fabric/color placement.

The original color palette from Design Seeds was very vibrant and strong.

For this quilt though, I wanted a softer look. After playing with the fabric selection and introducing the use prints, low volume prints and several neutral solids, the look of the design completely changes.

Fabric Requirements:
Fabric A: (Low Volume Prints)
– 24 5” Squares
– 5 2.5” Squares
– 15 2.5” x 5” Strip
– 2 24” Square (Back)

Fabric B: (Main Neutrals – mixed)
– 9 5” Squares
– 3 2.5” Squares
– 8 2.5” x 5” Strip
– 1 11.5” x 24” Strip (Back)
– 1 24” Square (Back)

Fabric C: (Background Neutral)
– 24 5” Squares
– 5 2.5” Squares
– 27 2.5” x 5” Strip
– 2 2.5” x 54.5” Strip (Sashing)
– 5 2.5” x 50.5” Strip (Sashing)
– 12 2.5” x 11.5” Strip (Sashing)
– 1 11.5” x 24” Strip (Back)
– 1 24” Square (Back)

Fabric D: (Indelible Plum)
– 2 5” Squares
– 2 2.5” Squares
– 13 2.5” x 5” Strip
– 1 24” Square (Back)
– 1 11.5” x 23.5” Strip (Back)

Fabric E: (Indelible Teal)
– 5 5” Squares
– 1 2.5” Squares
– 1 2.5” x 5” Strip
– 1 11.5” x 24” Strip (Back)

Batting: 58” Square

Binding: For 2.5”, 1/2 yard

It is important to plan your layout for your blocks. Here is the layout I used for the above fabric selection.

Block Assembly:
(16 blocks, unfinished 11.5”)

Always use a 1?4” seam allowance while piecing.

1. Each block consists of 4 5” squares, 4 2.5” x 5” strips and 1 2.5” square. The layout for all the pieces is represented below.

2. Sew the pieces of each row together. Press your seams.

NOTE: My preference is to press my seams open.

3. Sew the rows together (Row 1 2, Rows 1:2 3). Align the seams and pin in place to hold the alignment. Press seams.

NOTE: To hold seam alignment in place, an alternative pinning method is glue.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 for the other 15 blocks.

Quilt Top Assembly:
5. Add the 2.5” x 11.5” sashing strips to the 11.5” blocks as depicted below.

Press the seams.

6. Add the 2.5” x 50” sashing strips to each of the block rows. Press the seams.

7. Final Step, is to add the top and botton 2.5” x 54” sashing strips to finish the top.

Quilt Back Assembly:
8. The quilt back is a larger version of the smaller blocks that are used in the quilt top. The back consists of 4 24” squares, 4 11.5” x 24” strips and 1 11.5” square.

9. To construct this block follow steps 1-3.

Final Quilt Assembly:
10. When all rows are joined and all seams are pressed, baste and quilt your sandwich. Square your quilt and bind it to finish your quilt.

Finished Details:
Size: 54” x 54”


  • Variety of Neutral Kona Cottons (Bone, Parchment, Silver, Stone, White PDF, and Oyster for Background Neutral)
  • Variety of Low Volume Prints,
  • Doiland Gloss in Plum, Indelible, Katarina Roccella,
  • Doiland Gloss in Silver, Indelible, Katarina Roccella,
  • Floret Stains in Tealberry, Indelible, Katarina Roccella,
  • Flutter Folds in Ash, Indelible, Katrina Rocella.

Quilting Method:
A mix of straight line quilting, 1?2 “ spacing + Free Motion Quilting (Squared Chains)

Quilting Thread:
Aurifil 50wt; Light Beige (2310)

This is a great quick quilt top to put together, and a perfect quilt for your sofa. Also, you can easily make it your own based on your fabric choices. Have fun!