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Modern Patchwork Book Review and Giveaway (CLOSED)

Today I am going to be reviewing Elizabeth Hartman's new book Modern Patchwork, but before I do I wan't to tell you a little bit about her first book The Practical Guide to Patchwork, which I find is a prerequisite.

When I began sewing my very first quilt back in December I was looking for resources to help me learn. And if I had not stumbled upon Elizabeth Hartman's book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork, I would have never discovered the Modern Quilting Movement—and perhaps even given up on quilting.

The Practical Guide to Patchwork is an absolute must have for all new quilters. Elizabeth walks you through all the basic steps of quilt making from choosing fabric, fabric vocabulary, batting, quilting supplies, planning a quilt, construction of a quilt, basting a quilt, machine quilting, and binding. The book also provides 12 projects each falling into 3 categories: Projects to Get Your Started, Projects for a Confident Beginner, and Intermediate-Level Projects.

One of the most important things about Elizabeth's books (and the key thing that sets her apart from others) is that with each pattern she includes a design for the quilt backing. If you have spent anytime reading beginner quilting books you will see that most often the patterns only include directions from the quilt top, leaving you with no clue what to do on the back. Even now, as an intermediate quilter, I am sometimes stumped on what to do on the backs of my quilts. Also with each pattern, she includes alternate ideas for fabric options, which can really help you step out and make the quilt your own.

Modern Patchwork

Once you have read The Practical Guide to Patchwork, you will have all the basics you need to begin quilting and to progress to an intermediate level. Once you feel you are at an intermediate level, than I would strongly encourage you to check out Modern Patchwork: 12 Quilts to Take You Beyond the Basics. The title could not be more accurate for this book, it will take you beyond the basics.

Modern Patchwork

Elizabeth follows through with her goal which she clearly states:

"My Goal with this book has been to create a set of modern patterns for intermediate-level quilters that promote precision piecing and thoughtful fabric selection, introduce new challenges, and–most important–produce beautiful, stylish quilts that will fit into your modern home."

Modern Patchwork


If you missed The Practical Guide to Patchwork, Modern Patchwork does still have some important basic information on choosing fabric, pre-washing fabric, thread and batting, basic supplies, making templates, making a design wall, keeping things organized, rotary cutting basics, piecing basics, appliqué basics, making a quilt sandwich, machine quilting at home, free-motion quilting, and binding.

Modern Patchwork


There are 12 projects in this book, each project has six sections, all with wonderful "tip" boxes throughout the book. The six sections are

Selecting the Fabric

What fabric was used and how it was chosen.

Materials & Cutting Instructions

A materials list and very thorough cutting instructions.

Making the Blocks

Wonderful illustrations to guide you along the piecing process step by step.

Making the Quilt Top

Once your blocks are pieced there is step by step instructions with illustrations for piecing the quilt top.

Making the Quilt Back

As said before this is one of the most helpful sections and really sets Elizabeth's book apart from others. She takes elements from the front of her quilts and repeats them on the back, with the same thorough instructions and illustrations as the front.

Alternate Ideas

With each pattern, Elizabeth create two mini quilts using two different alternate ideas. Such as using solids instead or making it scrappy.


Modern Patchwork

One of my favorite patterns is her Xylophone quilt. It is a massive 92" x 88", and when I get up the courage to make a quilt that size, this is the one I'll want to make. I would love to have it on my bed.

I'm not ready to tackle the whole quilt, however, I decided to make one of the large Xylophone blocks and give her instructions a test run.

The instructions are very descriptive and include very well designed illustrative diagrams. I was able to easily analyze the instructions and take out what I would need for a single block as opposed to the whole quilt.

Pulling Fabric for a Xylophone Block from Modern Patchwork

I cut into some of my precious Flea Market Fancy, some classic dots and Kona Cotton.

Xylophone Block from Modern Patchwork

The techniques in this book are definitely intermediate, and the challenges are so much fun! I don't do a lot of improvisational quilting, but after this block I think I will be doing it much more often.

Xylophone Block from Modern Patchwork

I plan to make this block into a mini quilt just like Elizabeth has done for the Alternate Ideas section. And hopefully one day I can tackle the whole quilt!

Xylophone Block from Modern Patchwork

This block only took me about 20 minutes to make which got me thinking… If I made one block from each of her quilts in this book and made mini quilts with them I would learn a ton and have wonderful decor for my house! I could practice different piecing techniques and even quilting patterns. So I might have just added more fun to my massive to-do list!


Modern Patchwork Book Review & Giveaway!

Today C&T Publishing is offering a copy of Modern Patchwork to one of my lucky readers!

Enter to Win!

Here's how, use the Rafflecopter Widget below. Simply add a comment to this post telling me the name of the first sewing book you ever bought.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end Thursday, July 5th, at 12 a.m. EST. Mr. Random will choose one winner and I will announce the winner in a new post here on the blog, later that Thursday. * Note * This giveaway is only open to US residents. If you're a "no reply" or an anonymous commenter, remember to include your email address in your comment so that if you win I can contact you!


You can purchase Modern Patchwork at for $24.95 and let me tell you it is worth every single penny! Considering the price of just one quilt pattern which is typically $7 - $12 and that you are getting 12 patterns in this book, it is an amazing deal.


Stash Books provided a complementary book for me to use for this review. As with all reviews I vow to give my honest true opinion no matter what the compensation (see blog disclosure).
Alyssa Williams

Alyssa Williams

Creator of Pile O' Fabric

Alyssa Lichner is a graphic designer turned avid sewist. She writes modern quilting tutorials and shares techniques and inspiration on her blog, Pile O’ Fabric. Alyssa has a passion for exploring different techniques and applying them to modern designs. She is thankful to have the opportunity to share these techniques, through her tutorials, patterns, and classes with quilters around the world. She always encourages her readers and students to challenge themselves to try new things and to approach quilting with a fearless attitude.