A change in scale makes a quilt look quite modern,
as in this early 20th-century four-block quilt.
Four Blocks have a lot of modern appeal. The relative size of the blocks to the composition looks quite fresh.
Here's another out-of-scale quilt
with wonderful effect. A crazy quilt from
about 1930 in the collection of Jan Masenthin.
The bright colors, the solid fabrics (cotton sateen)
make it look modern but so does the relative scale of the pieces
to the whole composition.
Many crazy quilts are full of small patterned pieces,
far more romantic than modern.
from the Kentucky Museum collection
End of the 19th century?
It must be the contrast between fussy and plain that makes
this mid-20th-century quilt look modern in scale.
Here it's the contrast in image to the scale of the block,
to say nothing of the high-contrast plain fabrics.
This mid-19th century applique
has an impressive scale, possibly again the size of the image
filling out the block, but also the unusual abstraction..
This quilt was shown at the Bush House Museum in Oregon.
Those giant tulip-shaped florals
can make for perfect compositions.
This one was the cover quilt on the Georgia Quilt Project book.
Sometimes the scale is only visible with
a figure in the photo to show how big it actually is.
There's just something about a lot of solid color
that looks big.
Ruby McKim's Pansy pattern
from about 1930.
Here's one from eBay recently.
Someone following her own muse?