Checkerboard Quilt

Checkerboard Quilt by Lisa Swenson Ruble

About this Quilt

Finished Size : 60" x 75"

Finished Blocks : 20" blocks

Rating : Confident Beginner

Designed By : Lisa Swenson Ruble

“Checkerboard” combines so much about what we all admire in the modern quilting movement: bold color choices, simple improvisational construction, enlarged traditional blocks, lots of negative space for quilting, and modern design all in one quilt.

Let’s start with color and technique. If you’ve spent any time contemplating how to make the colors in your quilts sing, you know that color choice is imperative, and color value plays a big role too. Lisa Ruble’s design moves the color across each block from the center to the edge, all while intensifying the value of the hues. It is an easy technique that adds sophistication to the design. The blocks are also trimmed at an angle during construction to add a bit of improvisation and interest to their simple form. In addition, the background changes color in a checkerboard pattern, providing more interest and more opportunity for the fabrics to shine.

Big designs call for bold elements throughout the quilt. Each enlarged traditional log cabin block was altered through improvisation, then made square. Positioning the blocks near the bottom of the quilt allows for a large swath of negative space, perfect for auditioning favorite quilting designs.

This fast, fun, and fabulous quilt comes together quickly and would make a great addition to any modern décor.

Download this quilt pattern plus a dozen more in the May/June issue of Modern Patchwork.


  • Charm Square (5″) each of yellow and navy for block centers
  • Fat Quarter* each of light orange, medium orange, deep orange, dark blue, medium blue, light blue, and pale blue for blocks
  • ¾ yard red-orange for blocks and binding
  • 1-5/8 yards white for background
  • 2 yards gray for background
  • 4 ¾ yards backing
  • Twin size batting

*Fat quarter = 18″ x 20″

Pick up your copy of Modern Patchwork for this pattern and more!