I fell in love with Mid-Century Modern (MCM) interior design years ago (I’m the ultimate hipster for saying this but it was before it was cool again). I loved the curves, the vibrant colors, the space-age quality that each piece of furniture held. Was that a space ship? Or a sofa? Either way it was beautiful in my eyes.
MCM Modern Quilt Pattern
I wanted to create a modernized quilt pattern that utilized one of the most iconic symbols in MCM: the breezeway cement blocks. More than simply recreate their likeness, I wanted to breathe fresh air into the design.
And of course, create a pattern that would be fun for quilters and sewers to make (because really isn’t that the most important thing?).
The Origin Story of Roma: The Quilt Pattern
Roma was born. She went through many iterations. More than I can count! I slowly tweaked each element to make it more balanced and cohesive.
Finally, after months of designing, I decided that she was complete. Roma was finished and now the fun part could begin: pattern testing!
Creating Roma: It Took Longer Than a Day
It turns out that advanced beginner/intermediate patterns require a bit more finesse, and a lot of organizing small pieces. I always spend a considerable amount of time optimizing the fabric and cutting requirements to ensure that every. Single. Strip. Is accounted for in the pattern.
I want the pattern to be near perfection by the time it reaches any quilter ready to try it out.
(NOTE: if you're a beginner wanting to try Roma, I suggest the PDF+ version of Roma which comes with video tutorials! You can get it here).
After a month or two of testing and editing, I decided on my first colorway.
Roma in Leather + Charcoal
What a fun way to highlight all those clean lines! I love a good dark background in my quilts (can you tell yet?) and Kona Charcoal spoke to me. Despite the gray in its name, Charcoal has a navy blue quality that really shines in large amounts. It was a dream.
And to offset that dark navy/gray, adding the Kona Leather was sheer perfection. Not as bright as some other colors, Leather made an exciting statement. And it matched some of the leathery elements in my home, a perfect addition to our space.
Whenever I pick colors for a quilt, I am particularly concerned about where the quilt will live. Will its new home be in the living room? In a master bedroom? What kinds of colors are in that space? By doing that, each quilt is bespoke for each room and situation.
The Fabrics included are:
- Kona Charcoal
- Kona Leather
- Kona White
- Kona Silver
- Binding: Kona Charcoal
- Backing: Art Gallery Fabric Wild Forgotten Bluebells and Buttercups in Heron by Bonnie Christine
Creating Roma: The Blocks
As I completed the quilt top, I kept thinking, this looks crazy similar to the mockup! It was so nice to see it in real life rather than on a small computer screen. Each block was beautiful and so fun to put together.
Roma utilizes some really fun skills and techniques. The blocks are a mix of log cabin (such a classic!) and economy style piecing. It requires a concerted effort to maintain even seam allowances (scant ¼”) and consistency during piecing.
Another fun technique is the “stich and flip.” This refers to when rectangles/strips have a square or other piece sewn on in a diagonal way so that square then becomes part of the piece. Roma uses this for many of the blocks, so it’s a fantastic way to learn how to do stitch and flip that is low stakes.
Lastly, this quilt pattern is on point! Don’t let that scare you, it’s also a great way to learn! The blocks are large (clocking in at 15.5”) it really is a breeze to put together. You’ll have to match the centers for each corner piece, which is slightly unusual, but still so fun.
With custom side blocks, Roma is rare. Rather than cutting a block in half and losing part of the design to seam allowance, Roma has specially designed side pieces that will ensure that your quilt has perfect points around the exterior.
After choosing a gorgeous backing (AGF, you get me every time with those florals!) I went wild with the binding. I added a big V stich, literally for no reason other than it added personality and I was experimenting.
The big V stich binding is really one of my favorite elements of this version of Roma and I can't wait to do it for another quilt! I couldn't find a V stitch in embroidery that did what I needed it to do (aka attach the binding in very few steps!) so.. I made up my own stitch! And it's awesome, tag @quiltdstudios in social media if you do the V stitch so I can see your beautiful binding!!
I am so proud to share this quilt pattern with you. It has my heart, and is truly a fun quilt to master. I am so happy to share my love of MCM and quilting with you.
And stay tuned for another warmer colorway: a collaboration with Art Gallery Fabrics!
If you'd like to make your own Roma, but need help picking out colors, check out Tacoma Fabric Co. and the Roma kits! Also Pasadena Quilt Studio has a kit for my Desert Rose colorway which you can see here