Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
on May 17, 2013
If you have not yet caught the mod bug, Amy Ellis' Modern Neutrals will have you happily "infected" instantly. But be warned: the only inoculation known at this time is _more_fabric_.
The quilt on the cover - "Whispered Lace" - is the one that hooked me. I love its lattice structure and hefty 16 inch blocks. It's the largest project at 96 ½ inches square. Like several other projects, its palette of greys and creams is punched up with warm golds and near-yellows. The remaining projects feature mostly shots of black and sepia. At first, all of the colorations looked very similar to me, and I was a little disappointed. But as I spent more time with the book and really studied each fabric, I began to see subtle variations in hue. Then the patterns on the fabric became more distinct, perfectly matching the spirit of each project. I've always loved neutrals, but only recently started collecting modern/contemporary fabrics. Putting the two together with Ellis' striking designs makes for one really, really lovely book.
The first project - "Pleated Patchwork" - is extraordinary. As its name implies, each block is pleated. You start with a 10 ½ by 18 inch rectangle and pleat it down to a 10 ½ inch square block. So be prepared to use quite a bit of extra fabric on this one. The author also notes that the pleating makes for a heavier quilt than we are accustomed to. It is a reasonable size and small-arm-friendly at 60.5 by 70.5 inches. Also noteworthy is "Placid Curves" with its Bargello-like blocks. It's got a super simple strippy construction and is 84 ½ by 96 ½ inches. Its hues of creams, taupes, and soft gold make me think of butterscotch sundaes and bread pudding. The smallest project is "Triangle Fury" at 45 by 54 inches. This one uses paper foundations since it is loaded with bias edges. It's got a sophisticated zig-zag effect and is striking in black and white.
Beginners will find several skill-level-appropriate projects to choose from. More advance quilters will be challenged by color-play and figuring out how to quilt these unusual projects. Each project has a small inset close-up so you can see the fabrics better, and in some cases, you can see the actual quilting. Most of the projects have an Eastern feel to them (to me, anyway). All are beautiful.