Scared to choose colors? Try neutral quilts (+ fabric giveaway!)

Bee-U-tiful table runnerThink neutrals are drab, dull, and only for guys? No way! A “neutral” is anything that’s not on the color wheel—and that leaves a lot of choices. Fabric makers are stuffing quilt-shop shelves with more striking, high-quality neutrals than ever, and Pat Wys became one of the reigning queens of the neutral look with her first book, Spotlight on Neutrals. She continues to inspire with her new sequel, Knockout Neutrals, coupling cottons with decadent wool, silk, and linen.

Pat says if you want to build your color confidence, make an all-neutral quilt. She guarantees you won’t want to stick to a single fabric line any longer. Instead, you’ll be grabbing fabric from all over the store! Read on for Pat’s compelling case for why every quilter has just got to go neutral—starting with the ability to make peace with value.


Brewer Quilting and Sewing SuppliesOur friends at Brewer Quilting and Sewing Supplies have generously donated beautiful stacks of Stof neutral fabrics to give away to you! Find out how you can win a stack and Pat’s new book at the bottom of this post.

Stof neutral fabrics courtesy of Brewer

Pat WysHere I am again all giddy with excitement over the publication of my second book, Knockout Neutrals. You’re probably thinking, how in the world can anyone be giddy over a bunch of quilts with no color? HOLD ON NOW! Neutrals are all the rage—have you been to your local quilt shop? Have you seen the neutral fabrics that are coming into the market by the truckload? Let’s just think about neutrals and their use. Come on now, give me a chance to further convince you to make an all-neutral quilt. You seriously need to do this.

Here is my ground-breaking, life-changing, you-better-listen-up statement: If you want to learn about COLOR, make a neutral quilt!

Mist quilt
“Mist” quilt

What??? Yes, I said that! You’ll learn more about color if you work with a no-color palette for a while. In other words, when you limit your palette to no color, you are FORCED to deal with value and value only.

Value is contrast, or the degree of lightness or darkness of a color. Talking about value is an area that tends to make quilters’ heads spin off their shoulders! They’ve been known to trot around quilt stores saying, “Can somebody help me pick out fabric for my quilt, because I’m sooo bad at it!” Maybe you ARE THAT PERSON! (You don’t have to admit this right now; you may remain anonymous, as the quilt police have been silenced.) I would argue that it’s not that quilters are bad with color; they just don’t understand how to use value in the choosing and placement of fabrics.

La Belle Fleur quilt
“La Belle Fleur” bed runner

Value is the central key to any quilt. I like to tell people that it pays to know who you are as a quilter. Do you like blended quilts? My quilt “J’Adore”  is a bit of a blended quilt; it’s quietly elegant.

J'Adore quilt
“J’Adore” quilt

Do you like quilts that POP with movement? Check out “Road Trip,” which is the cover quilt of the book.

Road Trip quilt
“Road Trip” quilt

Choosing fabrics and thinking about value is crucial when building a quilt that pleases you. It is often said that color gets the credit but value does all the work. Making an all-neutral quilt is the best lesson for learning how to use value to your advantage. Once you study and learn about value, the sky is the limit for how you can make value work for you in all future quilting projects.

Back Porch Basket pillow
“Back Porch Basket” pillow

You’ll also find that you do NOT need to make “line-specific” quilts all the time. You will find yourself putting together all kinds of fabrics from various fabric companies using your newly found confidence with value. This is something for your quilting brain to ponder. I have found pondering it is best done while sewing, and it pays to have chocolate nearby.

I have been on a three-year mission to convince the quilting world that neutral quilts are for EVERY PERSON, EVERY DECOR, and EVERY QUILTING TECHNIQUE. Yes, they are! I won’t rest until everyone in the quilt world has made a neutral quilt. (That’s me being dramatic like Scarlett O’Hara.)

When I ask people to describe what neutral means to them in one word, they often say things like “boring,” “guy quilts,” “ugly,” “too modern,” and “blahhh,” along with many other negative adjectives. But Knockout Neutrals has a project for so many favorite styles of quilts. If your quilting tastes are traditional, take a look at “Feels like Home.”

Feels Like Home quilt
“Feels Like Home” quilt

If you like a modern look, how about “Dominos”?
Dominos quilt
“Dominos” quilt

If you prefer ease of construction, you’ll love “Day and Night.”

Day and Night quilt
“Day and Night” quilt

Prefer a bit more of a sewing challenge? “Arboretum” is just the ticket for you.

Arboretum quilt
“Arboretum” quilt

The designs in Knockout Neutrals have it all, and they’re timeless. You’ll see, go on now, get the book and check it all out. I think you’ll say I’m right in the end and you’ll want to run out and get some fabulous neutral fabrics. If you don’t agree, please don’t contact me—I’m in my sewing room “pondering.”

Knockout NeutralsYour quilts are stunning, Pat—thank you for sharing your enthusiasm for neutrals with us!

You can find Pat online here; visit her blog here.

Who would you like to make a neutral quilt for? (Answering “myself” counts!) Leave your answer in the comments and you could win a copy of the Knockout Neutrals eBook plus a stack of Stof neutral fabric cuts from our friends at Brewer Quilting and Sewing Supplies! We’ll choose  random winners one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winners are Bari and Amy.

Bari writes: “Love those quilts…and of course I would like to make one for myself and my family! Except I couldn’t stop at just one…LOL”

Amy writes: “I am new to quilting and struggle with selecting colors. These quilts are beautiful and may allow me to gain some confidence as I am learning.”

Bari and Amy, we’ll email you about your prizes. Congratulations!


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