How to Modernize Traditional Quilts

Today is the day! The “Show Your Stripes” Blog Hop kicks off! Carla Henton of Creatin’ in the Sticks has gathered a multitude of creative folks to share inspiration with you. Grab your notebook. The week is going to be filled with quilting ideas featuring STRIPES.

While we had great plans to share multiple finished quilting projects, due to a serious rotary cutting accident three weeks ago, it has hindered accomplishing much of anything. On the bright side, it has given me a month to slowly organize my sewing space – and more assistance from my husband and daughters with the task. Truthfully, I had forgotten some of the supplies available. While the stitches are out and my hand is healing so much better than anticipated, I am still quite limited. So, we are taking a bit of a different approach.

So, let’s get started brainstorming ideas to create with stripes. No, I am not talking about using striped fabric. We all know that can be a bit challenging to cut, right?

Let’s talk about ways to highlight stripes of color in your project.

My initial thought for a striped project was the basic crib quilt created using a jelly roll (2-1/2″ wide x WOF pre-cut stipes). With this project, one simply arranges the fabric stripes and sews together. It is a fantastic beginner quilt to learn a consistent 1/4″ seam allowance. Using a jelly roll eliminates choosing multiple coordinating fabrics since the product is of a pre-set fabric line. Basically, we find a desired jelly roll, arrange, sew together, and … TaDa! Your quilt top is completed.

But let’s take the stripes idea a bit further …

Imagine a quilt consisting of the same block repeated. Let’s take the following block for example. It is a simple design.

We often think of these as traditional quilts being made with only two fabrics. Generally they are made with a combination of red, blue, or green with a white background. The bold contrast of a pop of color with the simplistic background creates a dramatic effect.

But let’s change it up a bit. What if we designate a color for each row. To make it more interesting, let’s use different shades to add character. Here’s the same quilt pattern with new fabrics …

Notice how the block remains the same, but by choosing slightly different tones for each element, the color gradient creates the illusion of movement throughout the quilt. Color has a huge impact on the appearance. What was once a traditional quilt has been modernized.

Are you looking to update your quilting style yet enamored with traditional blocks? Color is the solution! Whether using shades of Robert Kauffman’s classic solids or tone-on-tone prints, you can update a quilt to fit your style.

Have you sewn any projects featuring stripes? We would love to hear about it in the comments below! We have a surprise goodie package to send to a lucky winner! On Friday, February 25, we will announce the winner! Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Happy Sewing!

Crystal Drummond

Each day checkout the blog and social media posts. Click on the links to visit their websites.

Monday, February 22nd

Tuesday, February 23rd

Wednesday, February 24th

Thursday, February 25th


  1. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons…having an organized sewing room is the way to do it. Not that it was worth the rotary accident, but… Hope you are on the mend soon and back to using your newly clean sewing room.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been organizing my sewing room and can’t imagine doing it with an injured finger. I’m glad you’re mending! I love the way a quilt can take on a whole new look with a variety of fabrics. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the color idea. ‘Would never have thought of that. I participated in the blog hop also. Hoping you are all well from the rotary cutter accident. Those things surely are sharp. (This is Danice from Homespun Hannah’s Blog).


  4. So sorry to hear about your hand. I know the pain. I haven’t cut myself with a rotary cutter, but many years ago I did cut my hand with a knife while trying to core a cabbage. Ended up cutting an artery and a tendon which required surgery. Luckily my hand is fine now. As you can tell, the cabbage won.

    Very cool that your husband and daughters helped with the organization.

    Give it time to heal and you’ll be back to sewing in your organized space very soon.


  5. wow your quilt is gorgeous. no i have not made a stripes quilt yet. seems I need to fix that.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net


  6. Oh, Crystal, I’m so glad you are on the mend. Thank you for a great post. Color is amazing to change things up. I have been striping up a storm and can’t wait to show my newest project!


  7. Thanks for your stripe-y ideas! Sure glad your hand is mending. I should have participated this year because I have been using my strings to make many quilt blocks (I think 30 so far) for a quilt. I have made several table runners using those strings and have made some jelly roll race quilts in addition to some bargello quilts. All stripes. Glad you could share!


  8. Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear of your accident. Things can happen in the blink of the eye. I like stripes but I find that I stay away from them cuz I know they can be challenging. Your thoughts/ideas are spot-on. Thanks for giving me another way to think about stripes.


  9. I have used stripes for binding, and recently in a baby quilt which had little pieced elephants and I used a turquoise stripe for them–turned out great–it was two little elephants following mama elephant who had turquoise dots!!

    Liked by 1 person

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