I am happy to kick off the blog tour for Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature's Elements today! Over the next four weeks, several of my best bloggy friends have agreed to share their thoughts on the book and the quilts featured within. Naturally there will be prizes and giveaways throughout (more on that later.) And some have even agreed to take my Beyond Neutral Challenge.
"What is the Beyond Neutral Challenge?", you may ask. It's drawn from the premise of my book, which is that we can draw color palettes for our quilts from the beauty of nature. So the challenge is this: find a photograph from nature that has particular appeal for you, and build a color, print, and fabric palette from that image for a quilt.
Here's mine. I simply Googled "nature photography" and looked at the image results. Right there on the front page was this beautiful image:
With that as my inspiration, I began to think about what I could pull from this image that would translate to fabric. Clearly, the colors are gorgeous: oranges and yellow, browns and greens. There's the literal interpretation, namely imagery of deer, trees, leaves, grass, and other foliage. Finally, there's the overall vibe of the photo -- calm, serene, tranquil, a bit muted. I can almost hear the sounds and smell the scents. And, because it's a quilt, I always try to strike a balance between large and small scale prints, include both focus fabrics and blenders, and ensure I've got some dots and stripes (or dot and stripe equivalents.)
Here's what I came up with after a quite enjoyable virtual shopping trip to the Fat Quarter Shop:
What do you think? If you like the collection, the Fat Quarter Shop is currently offering it as a special bundle to help celebrate my book tour! It would be a great starter pack for any of the quilts in Beyond Neutral.
I did this once before when the book was first released and created another fun fat quarter bundle. The Fat Quarter Shop also offers this bundle, called the Nature's Elements bundle, and for the duration of the book tour this bundle is being offered for 20% off. I happen to think that the two bundles could be combined for a pretty epic woodland quilt, or a fabulous stash builder.
I encourage you to take the Beyond Neutral Challenge, and I've got some giveaway prizes for anyone who accepts! One winner will win both an e-copy of Beyond Neutral and a Nature's Elements bundle as inspiration to make one of the book quilts, and another winner will receive a Nature's Elements fat quarter bundle.
All you have to do is complete the challenge and leave a comment below telling me where I can see your photo and virtual bundle. It can be on your blog, Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, etc. If you post to social media, be sure to use the hashtag #beyondneutralchallenge so that we can all view your creations. Participation is not mandatory for a chance to win. Winners will be chosen from the comments as well as from the hashtag on FB & IG.
Most of all, have fun! And be sure to visit all the other stops on the tour for more chances to win copies of Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature's Elements.
THE BEYOND NEUTRAL BOOK TOUR
August 25 -- Kick-off -- YOU ARE HERE!
August 27 -- The Stitch This! blog at Martingale Books
August 29 -- Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness
September 2 -- Molli Sparkles
September 4 -- Angela Pingel at Cut to Pieces
September 10 -- Lynne Goldsworthy at Lily's Quilts
September 15 -- The Fat Quarter Shop's Jolly Jabber
September 16 -- Julie Herman at Jaybird Quilts
September 17 -- Nick Ball at Quilts from the Attic
September 19 -- Amy Lobsiger at Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts
September 22 -- Emily Herrick at Crazy Old Ladies Quilts
September 23 -- Sarah Fielke at The Last Piece
September 24 -- Monica Solorio-Snow at the Happy Zombie
September 25 -- Scott Hansen at Blue Nickel Studios
September 26 -- Katy Jones at I'm a Ginger Monkey