Browse our favorite minimalist modern quilt patterns and make a simple geometric quilt. Learn how to make a quilt look modern by choosing the right pattern and fabric.
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If you ever thought that quilts are outdated I am here to tell you they are the exact opposite.
If you share our minimalist aesthetic there are so many amazing patterns you can use to create the perfect minimalist modern quilt.
What’s even better is that usually, these super modern quilts are super beginner friendly. They often feature simple geometric forms and large blocks. This means you can make them quickly (a great point on the beginner-friendly checklist) and they don’t require advanced sewing skills (another great point).
How do you Make a Quilt Look Modern?
Before I give you some of our favorite minimalist modern quilt patterns, I thought we’d do a quick overview of what makes a minimalist modern quilt (or quilt pattern).
I feel it’s necessary to add, at this point, that the definition of minimalistic and modern might be different depending on who you ask.
Coming from a rather minimalist school of architecture, we probably take the word – minimalist – pretty seriously compared to some other (quilt) artists. In fact, many of the principles I list below can also be applied to minimalist architecture and I guess that’s no surprise given our background.
Choosing a Pattern for a Minimalist Quilt
First, you’ll need to choose the right pattern to create that minimalist modern look (we’ve got some great ones in this article, so keep reading). There are certain design principles that all patterns I consider minimal have in common:
1. Using basic geometric forms and quilt blocks
Unlike traditional quilts, which sometimes use more quilt blocks than you can name, minimalist quilts often make use of one single geometric form or basic quilt block. So whether it’s a half-square triangle or a simple rectangle, a minimalist quilt pattern will take this one element and create something new just by the clever composition of the blocks.
2. Large blocks and uniform surfaces
To create a modern effect, pattern designers often use oversized blocks and large uniform surfaces. This takes away the ‘unnecessary’ ornaments and lets these basic shapes do the heavy lifting of the design.
3. Use of negative space
Negative space is just another type of a large uniform surface but is usually perceived as a ‘background’ or ‘white space’ which allows the main design to come forward.
Choosing Fabric for a Minimalist Quilt
Regardless of the pattern you choose to make your quilt, the choice of fabrics will play an immense role in creating that minimalist modern look.
As I’ve said before, we all have a different interpretation of what modern and minimalist means, so here are my tips for choosing fabric going from the most minimalistic to – well, the least:
1. Monochromatic Palette
A simple way to ensure your fabric choice goes with the minimalist aesthetic is to choose a monochromatic color palette. You know all of those ombre quilts you’ve seen around? That’s just one (great) example of a monochromatic palette.
A monochromatic color palette consists of all the varieties of a single hue. For example, navy, baby blue, and cobalt blue make a monochromatic (blue) color palette.
Choosing only varieties of a single hue creates a modern look even if the pattern itself is not super minimalist.
2. Want more colors? Choose solids!
Of course, if you’ve been around here before, you know we looove colors and we still consider ourselves to be minimalist quilters.
A simple trick that I find makes colorful quilts look more minimalist is the use of solids. So don’t be tempted by those pretty patterns in the fabric shop. For a truly minimalist quilt, you gotta let the shapes and composition do the talking. And using solids is the easiest way to do so.
3. But I need those printssss
OK, OK, I’m not saying I never surrender to the pretty prints in the fabric shop calling my name. If you really want to use prints, consider using simple geometric prints that won’t take away from the shapes in the design. Low-volume prints work great in minimalistic quilts, as do stripes, grids, and other simple shapes.
Now that we know the theory behind creating minimalist quilts, let’s take a look at some of these designs in action. Here are some of my favorite minimalist modern quilt patterns. Some of these are even free, so scroll through and get inspired!
Minimalist Modern Quilt Patterns to Make
If you’re looking for some modern quilt inspiration, Purl Soho is definitely worth checking out. This Diagonal Stripe quilt always comes up when I’m searching for inspo (or falling down the quilts-of-the-internet rabbit hole) and I am not complaining. This design relies solely on stripes to create a modern effect and the choice of colors here takes minimalism to the next level. There is a step-by-step tutorial right on the Purl Soho blog, so you don’t even need to buy a pattern.
Speaking of stripes we’ve got a stripey minimalistic quilt pattern of our own. It looks complicated but is actually constructed using two identical sets of large stripey blocks. So it’s a fairly easy make, especially if you follow our strip piecing tips (also included in the pattern).
The pattern is available as a free download for our newsletter subscribers, so if you’re not in this awesome group already, sign up here.
True to its name, this quilt really is an explosion of colors. And we love it! The minimalist effect here is created by using large (almost oversized) blocks and a harmonious vibrant color palette. Again, all fabrics used here are solids, which instantly makes it more modern. If you want to use prints, make sure you place them strategically and possibly mix them with some solids to creat a balanced contemporary look.
Put the skills you learned with our half square triangle tutorials to the test and sew this ah-mazing Playful Triangles quilt. I love how this design takes one of the most basic quilting blocks and turns it into a modern composition. Plus, I am a sucker for bright bold colors, and this quilt delivers! If you decide to buy this pattern, it even includes a tote pattern with the same triangular design, so it’s a two for one kind of deal.
Another great example of what a basic geometric shape can do is this Spectrum quilt. It features simple lines placed in the shape of arrows forming a strikingly contemporary design. What makes this specific quilt top contemporary is also the use of bright bold colors and plenty of negative space. All fabrics used in this example are prints, but because the prints themselves are very geometrical, the overall effect remains minimalistic and modern.
And a bonus point – this pattern is free! The link above will take you straight to the download.
This minimalist triangle quilt is the definition of modern. It uses one simple shape repeated throughout the quilt top to produce a contemporary patterned effect. If you decide to make this one, I suggest choosing solid fabrics (with an optional low-volume print, if you like). This will help you create the modern minimalistic vibe you’re going for.
Another HST-inspired masterpiece, this Modular Blocks quilt pattern lays the playful half-square triangles against the most basic solid squares. By doing so it creates an inspiring contemporary composition that can evoke so many different associations. Is it a small town with little houses and roofs, or are they kids’ building blocks? Or just an exploration of surfaces? I am in love!
The Deep Diving Quilt is actually the first pattern that we designed, and it set the tone for everything we’ve been doing since. Basic geometric shapes and large surfaces along with solid fabrics are what make this quilt ‘us’. It’s definitely our take on a minimalistic modern quilt pattern. If you want to make your own, the pattern is available in our shop.
Sometimes the simplest forms can create the most stunning effect. This Simplicity quilt by Alderwood studio is just what its name promises – simple, but contemporary and fresh. While I wouldn’t call all of her patterns minimalistic (although definitely modern), this one fits the bill.
If you want a truly minimalistic quilt pattern, then Riding Mountain might be what you’ve been looking for. As Erin describes in her shop, this pattern utilizes large half-square triangles and sashing to create a geometric design. And I think it does an amazing job!
Of course, you can’t write about modern quilt patterns and not mention Suzy Quilts. She has influenced so many modern quilters (ourselves included) and there is a galore of modern quilt patterns by Suzy you can choose from. If I had to pick the most minimalistic one, I’d say it’s this Sugar Pop quilt. Again, a clever composition of simple lines, laid upon a large negative space, creates a stunning contemporary quilt.
Which one of these amazing minimalist quilt patterns are you going for? Report back if you decide to make one of these, we can’t wait to see 🤩