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Modern Neutrals Author Amy Ellis Visits See How We Sew–Giveaway Today!

Book-J:  Modern Neutrals by Amy Ellis

Buy book . . . succumb to new neutral prints at the quilt shop–the leftmost pair are fresh from the store.


Ooh, have I got a scoop for you dear See How We Sew readers. Amy Ellis, an up-and-coming quilt designer, has published her third and best title to date, Modern Neutrals:  A Fresh Look at Neutral Quilt Patterns from Martingale & Company. I was hooked when I spotted the book’s promotional images in the Martingale catalog last month; imagine my delight when I leafed through Modern Neutrals at my local quilt shop.  Genius! Her first two books, Modern Basics and Modern Basics II, delivered terrific quilt patterns, but this book is even better.

Why my raptures? I’ve been pondering my obsessive attachment to this book because it’s been ages since I’ve been so dazzled. I’ve come to the conclusion that pared-down modernist geometry looks incredibly elegant and timeless when matched with the simplicity of neutral colors and I don’t think I could ever tire of the pairing. Adroitly placed neutrals also deliver lovely shadows and depth, as you’ll see here in Amy’s Prism quilt. It’s so sculptural. The quilt block calls to mind Old World architectural motifs that you’d find in cathedrals and palaces (my milieu, of course).

Quilt-J:  Amy Ellis's Prism

“Prism” from Amy Ellis’s “Modern Neutrals”

Here’s Martingale’s promo for Amy’s book:

Best-selling author Amy Ellis has outdone herself with this amazing collection of new blocks and quilts. With her spot-on design sense, she shows how to use neutrals–including large-scale prints, solids, and tonal fabrics–in stunning quilts.

  1. Choose from 15 extraordinary quilt patterns that range from simple to intricate

  2. Discover Amy’s secrets for using graphic quilt designs stitched in neutral tones to add sophistication and texture to living spaces

  3. Find an assortment of great gift ideas, even for guys (Gotta agree, male-friendly designs here)

Without further ado, let me introduce you to Amy Ellis who, today, is going to give us the inside scoop about her newest book. Make sure you scroll to the end where you’ll find the details of the Modern Neutrals e-Book giveaway sponsored by Martingale & Company.

Quilt-J:  Amy Ellis's Whispered Lace

The cover quilt “Whispered Lace” from “Modern Neutrals” by Amy Ellis

Amy, you are on a roll, three books in how many months?  Do you actually find time to sleep?

He-he 🙂 Two books in the last six months, and my first was two years ago. I do sleep, occasionally, and I have found ways to be super productive, including asking for help!

Tell us about your latest (and fabulous) title Modern Neutrals.

Modern Neutrals was initially a challenge issued by my husband, who always supports me and is always full of great ideas! But as I started working on the neutral patterns, I became more and more excited about them. The subtleties in the fabric and patterns are very exciting to sew up!

You mentioned that your husband inspired you to delve into neutral prints and solids. What did you learn about these fabrics that surprised you? Also, any quick guidelines or shopping tips to pass on to readers who might be interested in experimenting with neutral fabrics?

I really love the subtle changes in the fabrics and how they work together, which surprised me! Having used lots of prints or bold solids mostly in the past, I thought the quilts might be boring—that’s not the case at all!

When shopping, look for neutrals with the same undertones.  Some are truly neutral, but there are lots of green or blue undertones in the taupes and grays. For best results, group your fabrics and look for the oddball, then find a replacement if necessary.  In many cases, I used multiple prints of the same depth in my quilts, which adds an extra layer of interest, and sometimes movement.

Quilt-J:  Amy Ellis's Waves

“Waves” from “Modern Neutrals” by Amy Ellis

 I’ve got some faves from the book (Placid Curves, Whispered Lace, and Prism) that are absolute must-dos for me. Do you have particular favorites?

I can’t wait to see your versions of those quilts! Along with those you mentioned, I love Circuit Board, In Motion, Waves, and . . . it’s hard not to love them all!

Quilt-J:  Amy Ellis's Placid Curves

Nary a curve in the construction but wavy in result–“Placid Curves” from “Modern Neutrals”

Please tell our readers a little about yourself, your quilting interests, and your blog.

I blog at where I love encouraging and teaching quilters. I host an online Quilt Festival twice yearly, complete with sponsors and prizes—the best part is the friendships made, and inspiration found!  I’m also a mom to four kids (6 to 13) and work at the kitchen table so I can be there for all their important moments.

What’s up next?

I’m working on my next book with Martingale, and having a fun summer with my family!

Quilt-J:  Amy Ellis's Circuit Board

“Circuit Board” from “Modern Neutrals” by Amy Ellis

Giveaway Details Here

So you think you might like to enter the drawing for the Modern Neutrals eBook? I’m all for immediate gratification giveaways:  leave me a comment by Thursday, June 13 and I’ll announce the winner in my Friday post, June 14. Here’s your question:  In honor of my mother, who my husband describes as “The Queen of Beige,” what’s your favorite neutral tone?  I’m fond of silvery gray and a range of khakis–green and mocha varieties.

Coincidentally, today’s post is not the first time we’ve taken a look at neutral color palettes. Our blogging sister emeritus, Christie Batterman, posted images of her neutral quilts last yearthose images have been pinned and re-pinned at Pinterest (click the link to visit our blog boards).

Till next time, happy stitches!

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