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Thread: Neutral colors

  1. #1
    Super Member judykay's Avatar
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    Neutral colors

    I want to make a quilt using neutrals and would like others opinions on what they consider a neutral besides the basic browns, beige's, blacks and greys. I would like to add color but am not sure what is considered neutral. I recently read a post about making wedding quilts in neutral colors as young brides often change their taste after a few years.
    Happy Quilting
    Judy in Lower Michigan

  2. #2
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    I consider dark navy as a neutral. Don't forget white, cream and ivory.
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

  3. #3
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    this is my idea of neutrals, you probably won't like it
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    I would consider using any color and calling it the "neutral". It would simply be the unifying color in the quilt. Honestly, the traditional colors considered as neutrals aren't my favorites in the color world.

    I've used yellow paint as a wall color and it worked as my neutral for the room decor.

    Check the definition of neutral and apply the concept to your fabric colors. You can see how different ones can be justified. Others may disagree but it works for me. Go ahead and have fun with your quit design.

  5. #5
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I think lots of colors can be neutral depending on the intensity of the hue. Sage green can easily be neutral if it's grayed down. I think many other colors can, too.
    Patrice S

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  6. #6
    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
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    Pick a multi fabric You consider neutral then use the colours in it. They can be sold or other multi s . Try and keep the palette to that original choice.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 03-13-2018 at 01:03 PM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps
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  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I have a friend who steadfastly claims that orange is a neutral, and uses it that way very successfully. It's all in your definition.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    I saw a picture online and the sashing was a light peach. It was terrific!
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  9. #9
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    so to clarify, are you talking background or light neutrals?
    I love grey as a background because it really seems to define the patchwork part.

  10. #10
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
    I think lots of colors can be neutral depending on the intensity of the hue. Sage green can easily be neutral if it's grayed down. I think many other colors can, too.
    I agree with Cashs mom. Just about any color can be considered a neutral if it is muted down and not saturated. Think Japanese taupes. I consider them a very neutral palette but they contain many muted shades of color with occasional pops of a saturated neutral like rust, indigo blue or brown.

    Google images of "Neutral color quilts" and you will be amazed. Now some of the images are not at all what I would consider neutral but others that I would have touches of turquoise, orange, peach, green and yellow in them. However the overwhelming majority are done in semi-monochromatic color schemes of beiges, browns, tans, creams, grays, soft golds and ivory.

  11. #11
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    I think of two sets of neutrals, the browns, beiges, taupes, creams and the black, greys, whites. But if you center it around a focus fabric that has both it can work out. Pat Wys has two neutrals books they may be in your public library.

  12. #12
    Super Member judykay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    so to clarify, are you talking background or light neutrals?
    I love grey as a background because it really seems to define the patchwork part.

    . Four squares = 1 block 4 different white tonals and 4 different neutrals. 4 half square triangles (like a pinwheel) in the center. one on each side and end of block and one colored square to match color in pinwheel on each side and one white tonal in each corner. I would post a picture but don't know how.
    Happy Quilting
    Judy in Lower Michigan

  13. #13
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    Just about any color can be considered a neutral if it is muted down and not saturated. Think Japanese taupes. I consider them a very neutral palette but they contain many muted shades of color with occasional pops of a saturated neutral like rust, indigo blue or brown.
    I agree.

    Alex Anderson wrote a book about using neutrals, maybe you can find it in your library or at Amazon. She stresses the need for a little white to be included to make the quilt "sparkle", otherwise it just looks dull and muddy. After studying the pictures included in the book, I realized she was absolutely correct.


    https://www.amazon.com/Neutral-Essen.../dp/1571204180

  14. #14
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    I have a friend that thinks Red is a neutral.HaHa
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 03-13-2018 at 01:04 PM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps

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    I frequently read the advice on here to make a neutral quilt if you aren’t sure about colors. I disagree. I quilt because I love playing with color. If I was given a brown or white or cream quilt, it would just get put in a closet. Not everyone likes neutrals. Whereas, I would be thrilled with any “color” of quilt.

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    Can't wait to see the finished product. I have made several black and whites. Neutrals is on my bucket list.

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    Patrice, you mean red is not neutral. I'm like your friend - I try to get a bit of red in quilts I make. Sometimes it's just the thread off an almost empty bobbin that I finish off by using it to piece, but it's in there.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  18. #18
    Super Member d.rickman's Avatar
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    I had a sister whom was educated in her field of art, she suggested that if you look outside you will see lots of colors and it depends on the density of the color which you could consider a neutral color, and yes, even red. She also helped me when I was first quilting and putting colors together, to always use uneven numbers, such as 3, 5, 7, etc., in choosing my colors and to vary the depth of the shades I chose.
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  19. #19
    Junior Member Quiltlove's Avatar
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    This is a subject that is dear to my heart. I teach color theory and there is little information to be found for the concrete use of neutrals. Let me say this....A neutral is any color that is not on the color wheel. The color wheel only contains pure color and those pure colors that have black, gray or white added to them. Neutrals are bias with colors from around the color wheel. The key to using neutrals is the same for all colors. That is to make sure your selection has varied value and the largest proportion of color choice shares the warmth or coolness of the neutral.
    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

  20. #20
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    What an interesting discussion, thanks for starting it.
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  21. #21
    Super Member judykay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feathers-N-Fur View Post
    I frequently read the advice on here to make a neutral quilt if you aren’t sure about colors. I disagree. I quilt because I love playing with color. If I was given a brown or white or cream quilt, it would just get put in a closet. Not everyone likes neutrals. Whereas, I would be thrilled with any “color” of quilt.
    I agree with you 100% about the standard neutral colors being boring which is why I was seeking others opinions. I finally broke down and asked what her favorite colors are and will work with the information I received back Thanks everyone for your input, it was very much appreciated. As for the red being a neutral I too have heard that and it came from a professional quilter/teacher.
    Happy Quilting
    Judy in Lower Michigan

  22. #22
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    A neutral for my quilting is any color lighter then a brown paper bag.
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  23. #23
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    I think any light color contrasting to a dark fabric is maybe considered a neutral. I remember hearing that Freddy Moran called Red a neutral so I think whatever you like as a neutral then it is.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltlove View Post
    This is a subject that is dear to my heart. I teach color theory and there is little information to be found for the concrete use of neutrals. Let me say this....A neutral is any color that is not on the color wheel. The color wheel only contains pure color and those pure colors that have black, gray or white added to them. Neutrals are bias with colors from around the color wheel. The key to using neutrals is the same for all colors. That is to make sure your selection has varied value and the largest proportion of color choice shares the warmth or coolness of the neutral.
    This is what I learned too.
    So.....are we discussing neutrals here? Or low volume? What is the difference?
    I have a low volume quilt on my bucket list, and have started collecting fabrics for it. Many of them are not what I would have called neutral. They're just very pale colors. Maybe it doesn't matter so much to me as long as I like the combination.
    Always love to learn something new.

  25. #25
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    I have a quilt, made by a member here, that uses multi colors of deep burgundy as the background, and bright celery as the foreground color. I love it. Truly, any color can be used as your neutral unifying color.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

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