You might know John Q. Adams better as Quilt Dad, but I know him as Mr. April in the NGAQB. He was one of the first male quilters I stumbled across at the beginning of my quilt journey, and he quickly became a source of inspiration. It wasn't until we became friends in the NGAQB that I got to see his talent first-hand. So when I heard he had a book coming out I approached him with something like, "Please, please, puh-lease, if you have a book blog tour can I be on it? Who's more beyond neutral than Molli Sparkles?!" Thankfully, he said yes!
Here it is folks: Beyond Neutral, Quilts Inspired by Nature's Elements by John Q. Adams featuring 16 quilt patterns and the inspiration for each. Now I have a small confession to make. This is the first quilt book I've ever looked through. Wha? I know. I've never actually seen a quilt book in the flesh, or even flipped through one at a book store. Thankfully, I was sent a digital copy of this book, or I'd probably never see it at all! I'm not sure how other publishers do it, but I think that is a pretty good service of Martingale to sell a Print Version or an eBook only version.
As I read John's book one of the things that stood out to me the most was his use of large scale prints. Looking through my own stash, I notice I usually shy away from those in favour of the medium and small scale. So if you're looking for some ideas on how to use your large scale prints that have been haunting you since 2008, this could be the book for you! He manages to use them in much more interesting ways than layer cake-esque squares too.
Glimmerglass (above) is my favourite because it utilises these large scale prints in multiple ways. There's such movement and variety in the one quilt. You can easily see how there could be a multitude of "make it your own" style design changes to this pattern. That's pretty typical for all of John's patterns too. The foundations for each are easy to complete, and they give you complete flexibility to create outside of your typical constraints.
One of John's goals for this book was to show how you can go Beyond Neutral in your quilt making. That means, you don't always have to use white or cream as that contrasting, neutral background. I know you see it everywhere, and it has become somewhat of an unspoken rule, but it is time to break free! You know I'm fully on board this colour train, but if you need more choo-choo in your caboose, check out John's book for a full onslaught of colour inspiration. It's time to turn your low volume world up, up, up!
(All photos courtesy of Martingale and photographer Brett Kane.)
I have an eBook copy of Beyond Neutral to giveaway! Let's make it interesting shall we? To win, go outside and find the most interesting natural element that could be a source of quiltspiration. Trees, sunset, rosebush = BORING. Try again, then leave it in the comments. The most interesting and creative response wins, which I will reveal this time next week. Good luck!