'Neutral Essentials' by Alex Anderson

C&T Publishing $17.95

ISBN 978-1-57120-418-9 (s/b 55 pages)

For full details of all C&T Publishing books, please see their website: C&T Publishing

One of the first books I bought was by Alex Anderson and this latest is of the same high quality. I was a little nervous of a book which is entirely about working with neutrals, as I do like a splash of colour (to say the least).

Neutrals are white, grey, cream, ecru, beige, tan and the skill in working with them is to achieve a balance which does not simply leave the eye with sludge. This relies on the colour, the value and the character of print of the fabrics involved. I found this section fascinating as it has relevance to any quilt of any colour. Indeed, much of the advice about design was significant for any quilt and perhaps made more visible when looking at the neutral tones and seeing the effect different values or patterns offer to the same block.

The seven projects are a good showcase for the lessons in the early part of the book and it certainly seems that when you slightly bend the neutrals to allow a colour or one or two much deeper shades that the neutrals quilts really shine.

One exciting aspect is that these quilts provide a canvas for the quilting as it is much more visible than in many quilts. Im now thinking of using a neutral background and quilting in deep or distinct colour.