5 Different Ways to Use Solid Fabrics in a Quilt

Solid fabrics are undoubtedly essential in every stash, but sometimes it’s hard to know how to best utilize them in quilts. Maybe you don’t like solids, or only see them as background fabric, or just aren’t sure how best to incorporate them into your quilts. Here’s 5 of our favorite ways to use solid fabrics!

1. Use solids as a background

Maybe the most common use for solid fabrics, a smooth, unobtrusive background lets the prints shine and provides a place for the eye to rest between blocks. For this quilt made by Brenda using Liberty of London Tana Lawn, the white offers a separation of the very detailed prints so each one can be appreciated without distraction.

Liberty of London Quilt at Pink Castle Fabrics
Chocolatier BOM at Pink Castle Fabrics

2. Make the solids your focus by using a print background

For an interesting twist on tradition, try using a print background and use solids for the feature elements in your blocks. Here in the Chocolatier quilt by AnneMarie Chany, solids make the blocks look graphic and bright while the busy print background keeps the eye moving away from pesky background seams. Look at how the custom quilting shines within the solid spaces!

3. Use a solid where you would have used a print

It can be tempting to pack as many favored prints as possible into one quilt, but adding in a few solids actually gives the prints a greater impact. In this half-square triangle quilt (made by me!) white and blush pink solids are randomly scattered throughout the blocks, allowing the subtle prints and hand quilting to pop. If you want to showcase your most precious stashed prints, adding a few solids next to them will boost their impact.

Good Hair Day Baby Quilt at Pink Castle Fabrics

Aura Quilt Kits at Pink Castle Fabrics

4. Use only solids

Without prints to distract the eye, all-solid quilts look clean and smooth. Solids give you the opportunity to play with color value, hue, and shade to create interesting shapes and even optical illusions. The Aura Quilt by Nydia Kenhle uses a balance of bright and neutral Kona Solids to make her quilt look complex (though it’s contstruction is anything but) yet still modern.

5. Use solids for backing/binding

Using one solid fabric as the backing for your quilts lets you emphasize a color from the quilt top, like this stunning emerald green (similar color here.) Sometimes I use solid backings because I want to use a favorite color in a pure, unobtrusive way. Solids also help show off interesting quilting. This photo is the same quilt as #1– now you can really see the floral quilting! You can also see the binding is the same white as the background, which prevents a hard visual outline around the quilt that can sometimes be distracting. 

Liberty of London Quilt at Pink Castle Fabrics

Thank you to all of you who contributed to our solid fabric survey. Stay tuned for more posts about how to use this essential part of every stash. 

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