Solid Alternatives for Modern Quilts

Solids are a favorite fabric for modern quilts and many stunning quilts are being made every day using solids.  I think it’s great that fabric  manufacturers have given us a wonderful range of colors, tones, values and shades in solid fabrics.  We actually have hundreds of choices!

But did you know that there are many ‘solid alternatives’ for modern quilts out there?  Sometimes, I want to create negative space in the quilt that has subtle texture without using a true print.

I paired a vivid modern print with ombres and Grunge.

In progress shot–Mini quilt. Moda Grunge, Gelato Ombres and Moda Marble

Mini quilt detail. Marbles and Grunges

When I’m at my local quilt shop, I’m always on the lookout for interesting solid alternative fabrics.

Here are a few of my favorites–and more are being designed every day.  These solid alternatives also mix very well with  each other and with modern prints and the new modern batiks coming on the market.  I’ve given you links to the manufacturers site so you can see the full range of colors available but please shop at your favorite local quilt shop.

I Buy Color Cards!

The thing is that photos really don’t do these fabrics justice.  You have to see them in real life because the shading or textured graphic design in them can be very very subtle.  Most local or even online shops don’t carry every single color or line being manufactured.  My solution is to buy a color card for my favorite lines through my local quilt shop–it really is worth the investment.  If you don’t want to purchase a color card, then local quilt shop owners are very gracious and will take time to let you look at theirs when you’re in the shop–especially if they’re ordering new colors. That way you can make suggestions to the owner about what might be interesting to you.


Ombres Ombres Ombres

There are two types of ombres.  One type is a single color that changes across the fabric, going from light to dark values.


Other ombres change with multiple colors.

Two of my favorites lines of ombre fabrics are:

Texture Solids

Texture is created in several ways in these fabrics.

Some have multiple colors printed over the background color like the fabulous fabrics from Moda Grunge.  These are printed on Moda solids so you can use either side of the fabric in your project.


This Grunge is almost a monochrome. But the brushed color is light enough to give some movement. There’s also a very, very faint deeper gray in the fabric as well.

Some have a very faint lines printed on them like this teal Painter’s Canvas from Michael Miller Fabrics.

Other types of solid alternative fabrics have a marbled or mottled effect–perhaps with a lighter or darker value of the color to give a shadow effect.

This monochrome blue has a watercolor effect. It’s a Moda Marbles.


This is a Marcia Derse Palette gray from Wyndham Fabrics.


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