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Thread: A totally off-the-wall question: How to get past "boring" neutrals & solids?

  1. #1
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    A totally off-the-wall question: How to get past "boring" neutrals & solids?

    First the disclaimer: I'm not ADD; I just can't stand "boring."

    I see so many GORGEOUS, STUNNING works here, and wonder if any of you actually get bored while piecing whites, neutrals, solids, etc.

    I have yet to start my first "real" quilt (by that I mean after studying so I do it RIGHT and not "winging it" like I did with my first 2), but I found that just putting a solid color backing on bored me to death.

    My issue is how do I get past this "fear of the boring and uninteresting"...because it is these solid background colors, borders and edges-of-blocks that make the most LOVELY quilts!

    Am I destined to have a room full of UFOs?

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I very rarely use a solid. I use tone on tone prints or marble type fabrics. They add movement and a depth of color that a solid just can't do. If you think it's boring, change it.

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I rarely use a solid or neutral for a backing. My backings are completely different then any color on the front. Block backgrounds are different, most times you need a neutral for that.
    Got fabric?

  4. #4
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    If you want to do something spontaneous, get yourself 20 wonderful absolutely gorgeous prints, geometrics, solids, textures that all somehow go together. Choose a color scheme you would not ordinarily use. Make a complex Turning 20 type quilt and just go for it. I do this once each year and I have to say that I love these quilts. One year the color was orange and this year it was a bright poison green or chartruese. It has flowers, dragonflies, birds, geometrics in that green, pink, yellow, white, etc.

    It has helped to widen my horizons.

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    not many people use a lot of solids or neutrals anymore- there are tons of fabulous prints on the market and we tend to take advantage of that- i don't think i've used a solid backing in years. there is no reason to (consider) limiting yourself to anything you find 'boring'. get as 'wild & crazy' as your imagination & desire takes you.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  6. #6
    Senior Member craftygal63's Avatar
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    Use "blenders" instead of solids. Or reverse your pattern. Use a bold pattern in place of a solid and small prints or tonal patterns for the primary on your quilt. Think outside the box.

  7. #7
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    I have been quilting for a while and just made the most stunning baby quilt - all with neutrals: cream, white, beige, light tan in different prints. It was gorgeous. Bordered in the palest blue with a pale blue fish applique in lower corner. It was not boring to piece at all.

    It got ohs and ahs at the shower.

    So don't push those neutrals out of your life!

  8. #8
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    make a scrappy quilt where there is no "real" background. use "lights" and "darks" instead of plain solids.

  9. #9
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I rarely us just a plain colour unless the pattern requires it. Tone on tone, batiks and small floral look solid from a distance or a photograph so don't be fooled by pictures. Find a pattern, look up free ones, especially with loads o f pattern fabric and try to reproduce with same fabrics or similar. From your local shops. Or buy a small quilt kit in which you can see plenty of different patterned fabrics. Look up quiltville with loads of different fabrics scrappy. If you are in a group ask for a free handful of small pieces from friends and others in group and make a quilt from quiltville. It's like marmite love or hate.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  10. #10
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    Piece your back. I've just pinned a Red & White quilt this afternoon (so no pics yet) and the backing was made from all the leftover fabrics. Even though the sashing is white I didn't use any in the backing.

  11. #11
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teeler View Post
    First the disclaimer: I'm not ADD; I just can't stand "boring."

    I see so many GORGEOUS, STUNNING works here, and wonder if any of you actually get bored while piecing whites, neutrals, solids, etc.

    I have yet to start my first "real" quilt (by that I mean after studying so I do it RIGHT and not "winging it" like I did with my first 2), but I found that just putting a solid color backing on bored me to death.

    My issue is how do I get past this "fear of the boring and uninteresting"...because it is these solid background colors, borders and edges-of-blocks that make the most LOVELY quilts!

    Am I destined to have a room full of UFOs?
    Maybe this is too simple an answer for your question--------but use tone on tones instead of solids-----------or simple batiks. Or find a neutral with a tiny figure.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  12. #12
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
    If you want to do something spontaneous, get yourself 20 wonderful absolutely gorgeous prints, geometrics, solids, textures that all somehow go together. Choose a color scheme you would not ordinarily use. Make a complex Turning 20 type quilt and just go for it. I do this once each year and I have to say that I love these quilts. One year the color was orange and this year it was a bright poison green or chartruese. It has flowers, dragonflies, birds, geometrics in that green, pink, yellow, white, etc.

    It has helped to widen my horizons.

    Poison green????????? Never heard chartreuse called that before. Surprisingly, I use a lot of chartreuse in garments.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  13. #13
    Senior Member craftyheart2's Avatar
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    Sewmary your quilt sounds gorgeous. Do you have a photo to share?

  14. #14
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    I am with others who rarely use solids. Tone on tones, blenders, marbles, and so on do add a lot of interest. Even the neutrals can be fun... white on white, cream on cream and very pale blenders are among my favorites when I need a background or something to go with other colors.

  15. #15
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teeler View Post
    First the disclaimer: I'm not ADD; I just can't stand "boring."

    I see so many GORGEOUS, STUNNING works here, and wonder if any of you actually get bored while piecing whites, neutrals, solids, etc.

    I have yet to start my first "real" quilt (by that I mean after studying so I do it RIGHT and not "winging it" like I did with my first 2), but I found that just putting a solid color backing on bored me to death.

    My issue is how do I get past this "fear of the boring and uninteresting"...because it is these solid background colors, borders and edges-of-blocks that make the most LOVELY quilts!

    Am I destined to have a room full of UFOs?
    First off, there is absolutely nothing wrong with 'winging' it in quilting. It's called improvisation and is a highly desirable aspect of both modern and art quilting, plus it adds creativity to any other style of the craft. Don't be too eager to follow what someone else says is the 'right' way to do things. If it doesn't feel right to you, it's usually not right for you, no matter what the 'experts' say.

    While you may find it boring to piece whites, neutrals and solids, I find it mind-numbing to piece the same block over and over and over again, no matter what the fabrics are. My solution? I stopped doing it. I work with my own designs for functional and art quilts and haven't had a boring day in the years and years I've been playing by my own rules.

    If something bores you, find a substitution. A different fabric, a way to avoid hand stitching, a different way to baste the sandwich, there are numerous ways to accomplish whatever it is you want to do in the quilting world...and almost everyone here can give you personal examples.

    I have to say, I use solids extensively...along with prints, tonals and batiks that read as solids...because fabrics are my 'paint' and I don't want individual fabric designs taking attention away from the overall quilt design. It's clearly my style, but I have good friends who are all about big, bold, blasting prints and I love their work (just wouldn't want to make it). We're all very different, yet have much in common...and that's exactly as it should be, worldwide.

    Bottom line: Trust your gut, experiment, never stop learning, and have a good time. Never be afraid to fail, for failure makes the path to success so much clearer. Not every quilt is a masterpiece, and not every quilt has to be finished. In fact, not every quilt even deserves to be finished!
    Last edited by ghostrider; 01-10-2013 at 03:23 AM.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  16. #16
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Poison Green and Turkey Red are old terms for the dye colors used in the 30's. The green is a dull med. light green.
    Got fabric?

  17. #17
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    Poison Green and Turkey Red are old terms for the dye colors used in the 30's. The green is a dull med. light green.

    I guess I misread--------------I assumed the poster was using poison green as another name for chartreuse-----------which is NOT a dull green.
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