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Making your first modern quilt place mat

Yesterday, you learned some general guidelines for modern quilt design. Let’s put that information to work in making your first modern quilt place mat.

I started with one of my favorite blocks (#60) from the 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book by Tula Pink. All the blocks in this book are 6″ square. I wanted a 12″ x 18″ place mat, so I drew the block using EQ7 (Electric Quilt) and then re-sized it to the correct size. This program also told me the size to cut each piece. If you don’t use EQ, you can draw the block on graph paper (all the measurements are given in the book) and then enlarge it to the right size by using a photocopier or scanner.

Here’s the original 6″ block.

Block #60 from Modern Quilt Blocks by Tula Pink
Block #60 from Modern Quilt Blocks by Tula Pink


And here’s how the 12″ x 18″ place mat will look.

Block #60 re-sized to 12" x 18"
Block #60 re-sized to 12″ x 18″


Cut these pieces for place mat #1 and you can get started right away! Of course, you can use different fabrics if you wish.

Red:   1 – 3″ x 12½”
1 – 4″ x 12½”

Blue:  1 – 6½” x 6½”
1 – 3½” x 8½”

Yellow: 1 – 3½” x 12½”

Orange: 1 – 2½” x 6½”
1 – 2½” x 3½”

Green: 1 – 2½” x 3½”

Purple: 1 – 4½” x 6½”

Cut these pieces for place mat #1
Cut these pieces for place mat #1


Sew the pieces together to make vertical rows. Press seams as desired.

Sew the pieces together to make vertical rows.
Sew the pieces together to make vertical rows.


Sew the rows together to make the place mat. It should measure 12½” x 18½”. Press seams as desired. And there it is – your first modern design!

Finished place mat
Finished place mat


Making your first modern quilt place mat is really easy. Join me tomorrow to get the cutting and sewing instructions for 3 more modern quilt place mats.

Jean has been designing and publishing patterns since 1997. For the past 10 years she has been designing patterns for new fabric collections by Northcott Fabrics. Her work has been published in several magazines in both Canada and the United States. Jean holds a Fiber Arts Certificate in quilting and has taught extensively throughout Canada, including six national Quilt Canada conferences. She was named "Canadian Teacher of the Year" in 2003 by the Canadian Quilters Association and has won numerous awards for her quilts.


  1. Michele T

    I am always looking for different ideas to brighten up our dinner table… This is perfect!!! My family will love them! Thanks for a great idea!!

    • Hi Michele
      Thanks for writing. Glad you liked this project. I love the bright colors too!

  2. Kathy E.

    This is great idea to enlarge a block! I don’t have EQ, so I’d need to enlarge the pattern with a copy machine. I hadn’t thought of this idea at all! I am making Tula Pink’s 100 modern blocks and just finished #54 today! Thanks for sharing.

    • Glad you are enjoying this blog post. The Tula Pink book is one of my favorites when designing modern quilts. The possibilities are endless when you realize you can re-size and combine the basic blocks in the book to create a whole new design!

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