Saturday, November 21, 2020

Sewing Saturday exploring light neutrals

It's been a busy sewing week here

the color of the month at the rainbow scrap challenge is light neutrals, and I made a number of foundation pieced geese to explore the concept. I say concept because as Joanne reminded me, lime green is my usual neutral!

I pulled fabric scraps from four bins... white/beige, white with busy patterns, and brown (for light tan) and gray

while I'm sewing it gets very messy
but it starts out sorted

The concept of doing blocks with neutrals made me pause. How will I get strong graphic lines with lower contrast since I use neutral grounds in all my colored blocks for the year?

 What is neutral?  (when I said that out loud, DH said, LIGHT neutral....)

while watching Milo playing out back, I looked down to the stones around the patio and thought, these are all light neutral. And beautiful in their mix of color. What makes them so pretty however is the shadow line around each stone, dark black, that gives them shape to our eyes. 

I like contrast generally, and like to make sure anything I paint or sew has a mix of light to very dark tones. 

Neutral is not a color, so while I initially thought beige, that's just a light version of brown. Then there's gray (version of black) but it can have undertones of blue or brown. Few people would see pink as neutral even though it's a light version of red... and can easily be used as a neutral background to strong colors forming the block image. 

free pattern from createwhimsy

I also tried this pattern.... first trying it here with two fabrics fused together, edges sewn with zigzag, then beaded... it is flimsy but cute as a pin cushion.

  Then I fused two fabrics to peltex and zigzagged along the top edge, sewed the petals together to form a dish.

which had more substance. I loved doing the buttonhole stitch with beads by hand along the tops of the petals, going down the sides of the peltex version. I noticed my glass fit perfectly in the first one! 

Back to the study of neutrals I worked on regular flying geese blocks, a big variety in size and shape, printed from SewPrecise software in different widths and lengths, mixing browns and grays against really light whites

see my finger near bottom, to show how small some blocks are

I am listening to Origin by Dan Brown being read to me on audio library book while working this week

I also made some improv log cabin blocks, and found it hard to see the contrast up close but when the block was larger, the design showed up nicely! I have stored these busy prints on light backgrounds for a long time, unsure how to use them. This works well if you only use really light tone on tone fabrics to contrast.

I was shocked at how much I like this look!!!

especially these geese. I think I might piece in a light light really neutral background between these blocks, keeping them in this orientation while making a rectangular quilt. 

Who knew the queen of contrast would enjoy seeing the lines emerge in neutral colors?!!

I heard from a friend this week, that her parents came down with covid but next to no symptoms. Her father died 3 days from finding out, the mother still has little sense of smell and depression after 7 months. I had meningitis and lost the ability to sleep soundly as well as now have dyslexia with numbers. Stop playing around with this. You can help the world by keeping your distance and wearing masks to slow the spread until a vaccine is developed. Then get it.

Linking to

oh Scrap Sundays 
 slow stitching Sundays

design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts


  1. You are always SO INSPIRING< Leeanna ! I am working on 3 months behind on my rsc projects. can't seem to want to work on them right now. so now they will carry over to next year, along with the few from last year that will also carry over. HELP> lol

  2. Your gray and tan flying geese in different sizes are really appealing! They really do remind me of the river rock in your photo. It will be fun to see how you use them!

  3. I love your neutral blocks. I've always wanted to make a neutral quilt, maybe in 2021. Happy stitching!

  4. I'm with you on the need for contrast, and the black shadow around the rocks was an excellent lesson. Thanks!! I love all of the neutral blocks you've been playing with.

    This has been a crazy week and sewing has been how I've tried to lessen the anxiety. A friend lost her husband to Covid this week. A HS classmate lost a sister to Alzheimer's on Thursday, and her brother went into ICU for Covid same day. Another friend's father-in-law was placed on hospice after just mild Covid symptoms. But he is failing quickly and luckily now the family can go in to visit him. My brother-in-law with ALS has Covid but seems to be recovering and his wife refuses to be tested as she feels "OK". What a crazy world!!

  5. Now that the cold weather has arrived and I have time to sew again, I've lost any motivation to do so. I can't wait to see how your starry block quilt comes together. You must be near the end on that one.

  6. The geese are so pretty! And I love the stars too! I have a friend that loves sewing with neutrals and calls her finished projects "champagne quilts". Cheers!

  7. Your improv log cabin blocks caught my eye. I LOVE THEM!

  8. You did very well finding contrast in neutrals. I find neutral combos can be very calming. Love your little flower coasters.

  9. I love all your “every which way” geese! There is lovely calming contrast, there!

  10. Hi LeeAnna,
    Love how this new found creativity with neutrals turned out !
    Great combinations and effects :)
    Do you Skype ?

  11. It makes me supremely happy that you decided to come play in the LIGHT Neutral scrap bin this month!! Your exploration broadened the scope of my own neutral play, such that I might even include some gray in the quilted scrap basket currently under construction. Those geese?? LOVE!!! (Also love that bit of lime that you worked into an Endless Diamond block.)

  12. Oh my those neutral flying geese are just awesome. Stay safe.

  13. I like these neutrals. I tend to use a lot of color so it is nice to see them for a change!

  14. Ooh - lots of pretty projects you're working on!

  15. Be still my heart over those neutral geese blocks. . . .stunning!!!!

  16. I love your exploration in light neutrals. It makes me want to make a whole quilt of them. The patterns you chose were great too.

  17. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your neutral blocks. As someone who works a lot with bright and bold color palettes I never would have thought of using the neutrals for anything other than backgrounds, but that color scheme really works and there really is a contrast between the really light and the darker neutrals.

    I hear you on the Covid. I have been preaching stay home and wear a mask to everyone who will listen since March when we got the first cases here. I am sure most people are quite tired of hearing it by now, but with numbers super high in Iowa right now people seem to be taking it a lot more seriously. I am glad they are. There's a vaccine on the horizon. We just need to keep ourselves and each other alive until we can all be vaccinated.

    Take care and be safe!

    Laurie at Lauries Place dot net

  18. I am in love with your neutral geese blocks. I look forward to seeing them all together. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

  19. Your neutral - light neutral! - blocks are beautiful, I love the variety of fabrics and colors. Good idea to mix yellow in it.
    Thanks for sharing!

  20. Love, love your neutrals! I love your sense of color. Can't wait to see you put them together into something...I know it'll be beautiful. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.