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Amy Ellis: Modern Neutrals

Amy Ellis: Modern Neutrals

Written by: 
Linzee McCray

“I think I’m a teacher at heart,” says one of Moda’s newest designers, Amy Ellis. “I really like to encourage people.”Amy Ellis

Amy supplied that encouragement through her first two books Modern Basics, and Modern Basics II, which offered new quilters the chance to stretch their wings with patterns that presented a challenge, but would still get finished. “When I was working on that book I had three kids at home with me all day and quilting was necessary for my sanity,” she says. “Finishing something gave me a real sense of accomplishment and I wanted others to have that feeling, too.”

Mondern Neutrals Quilts Amy's new patterns, made with her Modern Neutral fabric

Though Amy admits to having a houseful of color, when it came time to write her next book her husband suggested she think about quilters who prefer to decorate with a more neutral touch. The result is the book Modern Neutrals: A Fresh Look at Neutral Quilt Patterns. Her fabric line of the same name debuted at Quilt Market last month and will ship to stores in October. “It’s been so fun to see how much interest you can add with minimal color, by varying the tones and layering texture in the designs,” she says. She was thrilled to share her fabric and designs at Market, and appreciated the kindness of the more seasoned designers. “They took the new designers under their wings and were so friendly and welcoming. I feel honored and blessed to be working with Moda.”

Mondern Neutrals ABwbook

Amy dishes up more encouragement to quilters through her Blogger’s Quilt Festival, a site she’s set first up five-and-a-half years ago. This online “exhibition” gives quilters of every age and ability the chance to share their quilts and win cool prizes, too. “I time it to coincide with Quilt Market, because I think that’s when people are really looking for eye candy,” she says. “Despite it being a busy time it’s so much fun, and a number of new quilters and bloggers have come out of it.” (Entries are closed, but you can view the entries and get lots of quilting inspiration here.)
spring 2014 BQF Button

In addition to wrapping up her fourth book, due out in December, and taking care of her four children, Amy’s been designing quilts for magazines (look for her patterns with her Modern Neutrals fabric in upcoming issues of Quilty, Love of Quilting, and others); writing her Amy at Home column for Quilty; co-hosting the podcast, QuiltCast, with April Rosenthal; taking on the occasional teaching gig; and serving as a spokesperson for Baby Lock sewing machines. Phew! As busy as she is, Amy needs no encouragement to keep sewing. “Quilting is my creative therapy, and everyone needs that in their life,” she says.