Black + White: A Colour Blog Series

This month past month (September), Christa (@christaquilts) showed some amazing examples of her use of black and white. To close out September, here are some of the projects I have used black and white.

Making a Statement with Stark Contrasts

I love the use of black and white as a statement. These first two examples are using the whole quilt as a statement. Both the back and front of a quilt,  used to show contrast/differences.

Phased Circles

This quilt was designed using all Carolyn Friedlander prints (Botanics and Architexture). The front of this quilt plays with color and saturation.


The back though, I wanted to show take out the play of color completely from the quilt. I used black, grey and white on the back for a stark comparison.
Phased Circles Block1 Quilted Back

Sunday Best

Sunday Best quilt is an experiment of using scrap solids, almost blindly, in this improv project.

The introduction of the black and white into the front of this quilt, had a lot of meaning. I added the pieced B&W pieces the week I was feeling down and processing some very sad feelings. I did not feel like color.

Once I added these sections I liked the look of them, and decided to also add some stripey B&W fabric as filler and to help balance the small B&W inserts.


For the back of this quilt, I made the decision again to add that stark difference between color and non-color by adding very graphical B&W prints with the various B&W stripes. I used some of the left over string/strip pieces blocks from the front to add those pop of colors and tie the two sides together.


Making a Statement with Pops of Color

The other way I use B&W, is with quilts that are predominantly neutral but then a pop of color adds interest and somewhere for the eye to settle on.

Cheri D’Amour

One of my favorite quilts is Cheri D’Amour. This is made with Frances Newcombe’s Cherie fabric line. The play with the B&W fabrics highlights dark vs light, also brings the industrial feel / structured feel to the quilt.This industrial look is important as it was inspired by a building/warehouse. The pops of pink and blue, I feel, brings so much to this quilt to bring a focal point into the quilt.

Cheri DAmour

Scrappy Pin Cushion

This pin cushion is another example of adding interest with a pop of color. Using the B&W scrap pack from Umbrella Prints with the lime green print of Alison Glass Handmade adds interest to this simple pin cushion and provides that place for the eye to focus on.B&WPinCushionPleatedPocket

Making a Statement with Monotone Quilts

Lastly, the use of graduating non-colors – Black, White and Grey, are one of my favorite things to experiment with. It is very easy to show how color gradients show movement or to play with saturation levels (high vs. low).

Lunar Lines

Lunar Lines is playing with both of these, gradients and saturation’s. I loved playing with various prints from my stash for this quilt. I believe that prints can be used in a modern quilt, and this limited palette helps keep that modern aesthetic.

Tip: When playing with saturation and/or gradients use black and white photographs (using digital filters) to play with placements and see of it reads the way you think it reads. I used this technique in this quilt and it helped a lot.

patchwork projects shot in the studio

Photo Credit: Love Patchwork and Quilting

Negative Crosswalks

The last project I have to share, is one that highlights minimalism. I loved the idea of a crosswalk in which I inverted like a photo negative (the old photographs, before digital). I keep the palette simple, Black, White and Greys in line with the minimal design. Again, I played with the gradient possibilities in this solids only quilt. I do not think that if this was in other colors it would look as simple, minimal as it does in B&W.


Getting started with Black and White: Fabric Lines

First off, it’s not hard to find black and white prints but it is important to note that there are underlying tonal colors that impact how black and grey’s play with each other. The blacks/greys tend to be in a blue or a brown family. It is not easy to recognize when purchasing fabric, you will need to place them side by side, and assess, and remove them if they don’t fit.

Where to start from fabric selections….

Solids: My favorite  solid line for B&W (and Grey) is based on the variety of selections at the moment: Robert Kaufman Kona Solids. Take a look at Pepper, a blue black….amazing!! I bought a bolt.

B&W Fabric Lines, some of my favorites include:


Anyway, that catches us up on the Colour Blog Series. Next week, I will post the October Color and a giveaway for all. Stay tuned.





5 thoughts on “Black + White: A Colour Blog Series

  1. Karen

    I’ve been wanting to make some pillows or a throw for my daughter’s new home, but haven’t been inspired at all until this post. She loves greys and blacks, and her fiance is begging for some color. I can see Negative Crosswalks with a pop of turquoise (which they both like) as the perfect pattern. Thanks so much, Michelle!

  2. Pingback: A color blog series: GREY | Nydia Kehnle

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