Book Review: Modern Neutrals, A Fresh Look at Neutral Quilt Patterns

QuiltNotes Learning Center

Last Updated May 13, 2018

Modern Neutrals book reviewI purchased Modern Neutrals, A Fresh Look at Neutral Quilt Patterns a few years ago. On Pinterest, I saw a picture of Placid Curves, the quilt on page 32. This book includes instructions for 15 quilts. Each quilt is made from neutral fabrics. One of the things I like about this book is that all 15 of the patterns appeal to me. These simple, easy to make patterns are  presented with easy to understand instructions and plentiful diagrams.

Written by Amy Ellis, Published in May 2013 by Martingale, That Patchwork Place, 80 pages. All images of the cover and quilts are used by permission from Martingale Publications.

Although this is a book about using neutral fabrics, any of these quilts would look fantastic using any fabric at all. My favorite quilts are scrappy and bright. Another thing I like about Modern Neutrals, is the short first chapter. Amy talks a little about choosing fabric. Images of all the fabrics used in the sample quilts are included. Immediately following the first chapter, Amy gets right into the projects on the next page. Some projects include instructions for using your GO™ if you have one.

Modern Neutrals Quilts

Pleated patchwork modern neutralsPleated Patchwork is, I think, a great beginner project. The simplicity of block -to-block construction is enhanced with the technique of pleating fabric. Many quilters don’t care for quilts with 3 dimensional features, such as these pleats because it’s difficult to quilt over the pleats. Amy comments on how this quilt was quilted.

circuit board modern neutrals

Circuit Board is eye-catching. You might ask yourself “How did she do that?” Strip piecing and stitch-and-flip techniques will have you smiling as you piece this lovely.

Pivot quilt modern neutrals

Pivot has no inset seams, but you will learn how to properly sew bias edges using Amy’s tips.

waves modern neutrals

Waves. If you look at it just right, it appears to be 3 dimensional.

sliced modern neutrals

Why do we piece a block only to slice it up and piece it back together again? Because we love how it looks!. That’s exactly what you do with Sliced.

quadrille modern neutrals

Quadrille is easy to cut and easy to piece. Options for two quilt sizes.

placid curves modern neutrals

I bought this book after seeing Placid Curves in red, white and blue on Pinterest. Instructions for two sizes.

whispered lace modern neutrals

Whispered Lace is such an elegant design. I might just make this one before Placid Curves.

in motion modern neutrals

See the motion in this quilt, In Motion. One block and two quilt sizes.

prism modern neutrals

The construction of Prism includes bias edges.. Use fabric starch to make things easier and more accurate.

Digital pinwheel modern neutrals

Another easy, strip pieced quilt is Digital Pinwheel. Fabric Choices make this quilt pop.

double diamonds modern neutrals

Double Diamonds gives your eyes a workout. Different places for your eyes to land and see different things.

triangle fury modern neutrals

Triangle Fury. Consider using vellum for your foundation.

piked peaks modern neutrals

Piked Peaks. Piece as shown or strike out on your own with scrappy fabrics.

shifting sands modern neutrals

Use squares and rectangles to construct Shifting Sands.

Additional Information

The last few pages contain some basic tips for quiltmaking. I love to purchase quilt books. The first thing I do is quickly flip through the pages looking at the quilt pictures. It is rare for me to like more than a few quilts in any book, but out of the 15 quilts in this book, I would love to make more than half. These include Circuit Board, Waves, Quadrille, Placid Curves, Whispered Lace, In Motion, Digital Pinwheel, Piked Peaks and Shifting Sands.

I recommend Modern Neutrals, A Fresh Look at Neutral Quilt Patterns for several reasons:

  • Not only are the instructions well written, the diagrams are informative.
  • It shows that neutral fabrics can become striking quilts.
  • Additionally, simple block construction means resizing a quilt is easy. Just make more or less blocks, depending on the size you want.

More Amy Ellis Books

Click on the image for more information.

Modern Neutrals book review

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