Modern Quilt Workshops

modern quilt workshop

Fibonacci Quilt #1 OR Table Runner & Place Mats: Improv Made Easy

This one–day workshop is a surprisingly easy approach to modern quilting using just a few basic blocks. Block sizes are based on the Fibonacci sequence, a number series common to many things in nature. Bring your creativity, but don’t worry about the math—I’ve done it all for you.

And, if you don’t want to make the full quilt, you can use the blocks in a Table Runner and/or set of Place Mats!

You can create a quilt that looks modern, random, and improvisational quickly and easily using this method. Use all solids or a mix of solids and prints. Directions for fabric selection will be included in the supply list.

During class, students will learn options for easy customization—including a fast way to improvisationally piece the block centers. You will develop confidence for intuitive design and piecing, alternate grid layouts, and negative space. By day’s end, you‘ll leave with several blocks completed, full instructions for completing the quilt top, and suggestions for quilting.

My thanks to my friend and fellow quilter, Sheryl Schleicher, who started me on the path to designing quilts Fibonacci style!

In progress sample
modern quilt

Parisian Curves #1 Quilt:  Improvisation with a Plan!

In this one-day workshop, you will learn to sew freehand cut curves with no templates required! I’ll give you some basic tips–and remove your fear of piecing curves forever.

After piecing your curves, you can create a quilt that looks random and improvisational quickly and easily—no Y-seams required! Learn the FreeForm Pattern technique to disguise some of the seams, and adapt the layout to make this quilt uniquely your own! After piecing the curved blocks, you’ll use the remaining fabric to cut and piece improvisational borders for the quilt.

Several quilt layouts and sizes will be provided.

This is a wonderful project to show off that wild and bold modern print, and then tame it down by pairing it with more neutral solids or near-solids such as grunge or hand-dyes. Or you can use all solids and even throw in some grays as neutrals.

MidCentury Modern Curve Quilt MiniQuilt #1

This is a super fun mini-quilt project that can be completed in a full day (or started in a half-day workshop).  With just a little bit of at-home preparation, you will create your mini quilt..

I’ll also give you alternatives for making a large version of this quilt by making multiple blocks using the same process.

You’ll learn how to piece a quarter circle curve without templates or pinning.  You’ll also practice improvisational cutting and piecing.  And each block you make using this process will be unique and exciting.

modern quilt


This quilt is ideal for a two-day workshop (although it can be started in an intensive one-day class).

While this quilt is improvisational, careful intention goes into the final layout to achieve color and value balance.  On Day 1, we will begin by practicing improvisationally pieced blocks and planning the overall layout. (My sample quilt is only one option–I will discuss and provide examples of other alternate grids.)

On Day 2, you will select your blocks and continue piecing the top.  Be prepared to change your mind about your planned layout as surprise options emerge. we will also plan options for quilting the top. Fast sewers, or those working on a wall-size quilt, may have time to begin quilting.

Prior to the workshop, you will receive supply lists with options for working with a combination of ombres, batiks, solids and a focus modern print. This workshop is designed to build your confidence in planning and executing a modern improvisational quilt filled with color and complexity.


This workshop shows how negative space can be used for a modern quilt-sized take on a classic design. Quilters will bring several “base” Nine-Patch blocks with them to the class. During the workshop, we will use improvisational cutting and piecing to ‘fracture’ each of the blocks.

This project can use any combination of fabrics, from bold focus prints to neutral backgrounds and coordinating solids or near-solids. As a new twist, I’ll show you how to add interesting angles and curves to your 9 patch blocks (see sample block at right).

I’ll also show you ways to design and piece asymmetrical borders, bindings and even start on your backing using scraps from the project. This is a fun project that will use a color palette based around a focus bold print, a neutral background fabric (grey in this example), a geometric print, and coordinating solids or near-solids.


Patriotic themed quilts can now be made modern! In this workshop, you will learn how to select a mix of patriotic themed fabrics and coordinating prints and solids that have a modern look. I will then instruct you on how to design a modern layout.

Groups can choose from one of several patterns for the workshop, one example of which is shown above.

This is also a great workshop for groups that want to make Quilts of Valor.


Who doesn’t love a project that can be finished in just one day? With just a little bit of at-home preparation, you will create your mini top and quilt it in a one-day workshop! Simply bring a large Nine-Patch block with you to the workshop, and leave with your own modern mini quilt.

Nine-Patch quilts can be modernized in lots of fun ways. The ‘Disappearing Nine-Patch’ has become a standard block for modern quilts, but we will take it a few steps further. In this class, you’ll learn several improvisational cutting and piecing techniques to completely ‘fracture’ a premade block. The workshop also includes instructions on walking foot quilting with little or no pre-marking. It’s quite a bit of fun to see how different each finished quilt will look!


I’ve gotten a few questions about my permissions policy.  Contact me if you have any questions!

In general:  I highly encourage any of my students, or anyone who buys my books, to make and enter their quilts in shows.  All I ask is that you provide a credit if you are inspired by a pattern or technique you learned from me.

1. The supply lists and all other handouts provided during lectures and workshops are proprietary materials and may not be duplicated or shared with anyone other than attendees at the scheduled event without express permission of Modern Quilter Media LLC.

2. The photographs provided on my website or provided as separate jpegs may be used in the organization’s publicity and promotional materials, including websites or blogs, to promote the event.
3. Any images used must be clearly identified as ©Carole Lyles Shaw.

4. During the workshop and lecture, the organization may take still photographs of my quilts for use only on the organization’s blog, newsletter or website or on social media such as Facebook or Instagram. However, in all photographs, I must be included in the photo and credit given with my name. Links to my website are appreciated. Feel free to contact me by email or phone to obtain permissions.

5. I encourage workshop participants to take photos of their own work and publicize them in social media. I highly encourage workshop participants to enter their quilts in quilt shows. I request that you give me credit for the design or otherwise note that the quilt was made during or as a result of attending my workshop or inspired by my design. Feel free to contact me by email or phone to obtain permissions or if you have any questions. Links to my website are appreciated. Commercial use of my designs is strictly limited by copyright law.

6. Workshop participants and lecture attendees may not make a video or audio recording of any aspect or component of my workshop, lecture or trunk show.