Stretching Into Modern Quilting – 100 Modern Quilt Blocks – Tula Pink’s City Sampler – Book Review

I began quilting a little over 20 years ago when modern quilting did not exist as a new part of the quilting world. The patterns I chose to make were ones that appealed to me and my husband. I am not a super traditional quilter, and I don’t chose fussy embellishments because we have pets, and our quilts go into the washer and dryer.

When I discovered modern quilting a few years ago, I read blogs, looked at many books and magazines. I poured over google images and pinterest pages.
My style is still always evolving and changing, and I’m sure I will always create traditional and modern quilts. 

I recently came across an outstanding book, 100 Modern Quilt Blocks, by Tula Pink. For me this is a book is perfect tool, that is helping my eye transition to create modern quilt tops, and inspired my creativity in general. (My observation is that the more books and magazines I read about quilting, my creative thinking tends to grow and widen).

This book is divided into two parts; “100 blocks,” and “The Quilts.” 

The 100 blocks section are divided into patterns of 15 crosses, 20 rectangles, 20 triangles, 15 blocks made from stripes, 15 squares and 15 Haiku blocks. Tula encourages readers to use the pages of the book as their own. Each design is shown finished on the right side of the page. The left side shows how the pieces of the blocks would fit together using a piece of graph paper. It includes the numbers of different fabrics needed to make the block and how many pieces the reader will need to complete the block. Very easy to follow, clear and clever.

There is a place for the reader to name the block. The right side provides an area for the reader to add notes and footnotes on the page, which I personally love. I do that in all my quilting books. But I really appreciate, (actually I love it), that the author/designer left me room to do that and in the introduction encourages the reader to do that. 

Graph paper side for notes.

Love this illustration of how many different fabrics needed to make this block, and how many total pieces.

In part two of this book, Tula covers three methods for choosing colors that eventually translate to three quilts that are made using these blocks with different themes; a Trellis Quilt, a Gridlock quilt, (which is scrappy and uses all 100 blocks), and a Skyline quilt, which uses neutral colors. 

This section also discusses sewing tools, finishing techniques and quilting. There is great information for a beginner and intermediate quilter. I like when an author does this, because she or he is sharing their personal opinion of what works for them.

The photos of the blocks and quilts are the stars of the show. And what makes this book spot on, is that the text is perfectly spare and clear. Along with this, the layout and flow I found myself thinking creatively in a different way.

I have not yet had a chance to make a few blocks based on the directions. But I am looking forward to doing that in a future post in the next month or so. Look for a few blocks from these beautiful pages. It’s hard to choose which ones to make!!

This book is smart and Tula inspires the reader to be creative, inventive and make these blocks the reader’s own. For someone who has been doing much of the same type of quilting for 20 years, and is trying to stretch their aesthetic, that is a great book.