White or Ecru?

What do you use most often for your backgrounds?  White or Ecru?

I cannot remember the last time I used white background fabric in a quilt and the last two tops I’ve finished have white backgrounds.  And, I’m pulling fabric for another top and I had planned to use ecru for the background, with a light yellow and dark yellow for the two main colors but I’m thinking I like the white background better.

Which do you like best?

DSC07972White? Or . .


I’m thinking the white.  My new fascination with white may be this fabric:

DSC07976The light in my sewing area is horrible at night.  I guess it’s horrible in the daytime too but I get enough sunlight that I don’t notice it in my pictures quite so bad.  But, this fabric is white on white and it’s by Lakehouse.  It’s called Itty Pritty Polka Ditty.  Love it!



  1. 4


    Isn’t it funny how we move from loves to likes to loves with our fabric colors. Yesterday I was pulling fabric (from the stash) for a project and white was the key. For awhile I wouldn’t have even looked at white. We change. Thank God.

  2. 8

    Bev/Mo says

    Hard to see in the pictures but white is a better choice in my opinion with the yellows….will pop those colors.

  3. 9

    CindyC says

    I also almost ALWAYS use ecru for backgrounds. But when another color looks best, do it. From the pictures, you should go with white. One of my last quilts also had white for the background. deep thought–Maybe the colors that are appealing to us more right now are more pure and clear instead of the “country-dusty” colors that have been more previlant in the past. White would make more sense to be going with them. Hhmmmm (thoughtfully).

  4. 12


    I usually go with ecru because I think white is often too stark.

    That being said, I think the white works better with your fabrics because it helps the yellows pop. The ecru seems to “drab out” the one yellow.

    Can’t wait to see what you are working on. . . .I love yellow.

  5. 14


    I always used to use off white, but after seeing crazy moms quilts, I love the white! It really makes the colors in your quilt sing 🙂

  6. 15

    Jackie Hicks says

    I vote for the white – gives the group more “sparkle” – the tan muddies out in the picture.

  7. 16

    Trish says

    I use Kona Snow — it’s kind of an off-white. It looks white until you put it next to a pure white. It’s just a little softer than white … not so stark.

  8. 17

    Elaine says

    I like white best.

    Do you order your Lakehouse white on line?? If so, where?
    I can not find it here in Tulsa

  9. 20


    Hmm, you’ve made me stop and think which I use the most of and I think it would be a tie. For the yellows, I’d go with white, but usually with autumn colors, I go with ecru, tan, beige… Good question!

  10. 22


    I think it’s an even toss up for me. I use whatever background I think goes with the other fabric. I love your white with the yellow…it does make the yellow pop more. 🙂
    Love your quilting questions Judy…it really makes me think of my own process a bit more.

  11. 24

    Lydia says

    First, I agree with everyone else here that with those yellows, you need the white instead of the ecru.

    As to what I use more of for backgrounds, I use cream on occasion and white only very rarely, but more often I use either tan, or lightish gray, or light blue or green. I’m not a huge fan of white, mostly, or of cream either. However, I’ve just finished one quilt top that has cream sashing, and I’m working on a guild BOM that I’m using Kona snow on. It depends on the fabric, but I tend to prefer color in my backgrounds. Similarly, there’s not one white wall in my house — they’re blue, or green, or teal, or turquoise, or terracotta. I hate, hate, hate white walls! Just me.

  12. 26


    I like the white. The ecru looks too monochromatic. Personally, I use a lot of white for the background but I’m guessing it’s because I love brights and brights go better with white backgrounds.

  13. 27


    I rarely ever use white unless it’s just a little sprinkled in with lots of cream, tan, and beige. I like scrappy backgrounds best.