Monday, February 20, 2017

White, White or White?

When I need solids for a project, my go-to fabric choice is Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman. There's a store not too far from me (though not close enough...) that carries all the colors of Kona cotton (more than 300!), and it is a joy to behold.

Quilters often struggle to find the perfect white. You don't want a fabric that is blinding, but you don't want one that is too creamy, either. The three neutrals I use most often are Kona White, Kona Snow, and Kona Bone.

Kona White is a true white. It's great when you need a really white white, say for autograph squares. It pairs wonderfully with cool colors, but I find it to be too stark for most quilts. Even when you think you want a white, you probably want a fabric that is slightly off white.

That brings us to Kona Snow. This is a pretty perfect neutral, and it is insanely popular among quilters for good reason. Perfectly blendable, the fabric is not too stark and not too yellow. It's white enough without being glaringly white. When in doubt, reach for Snow! I've used it as a background fabric many times and it hasn't failed me yet.

I'm also a big fan of Kona Bone. Slightly more antique feeling, it has a touch of warmth, making it a perfect complement for reproduction prints or warm fabrics. I use Bone when I want the background of the quilt to have the slightest bit of creaminess. 

I recently used Kona Silver as a background fabric. While certainly not white, the light gray was an ideal modern neutral. I like using a non-white for backgrounds, and the Kona Silver allowed the main fabric to pop while providing a bit more visual interest.

The right neutral background is such an integral piece of your quilt. What are your favorite neutrals?