I received such an interesting question by email (thank you Deborah!) about my favourite background fabrics and, like many of your email enquiries, I thought it would be a great subject for a blog post. Background fabric - just like background music - really sets the tone, so it's an important consideration when planning a quilt. Especially as you tend to be buying a lot of it. Most quilters start to develop passionate opinions about the subject.
Let's stick with the music analogy and start with the ivories :-P
I do have a couple of favourites that I keep coming back to, both Moda Bella Solids. My first love was Bella porcelain (182) which I like to think of as the "Farrow & Ball" off-white, slightly creamy but not too yellow, with the merest hint of grey. It works really well with the soft, vintagey fabrics I'm drawn to, like Tilda, Fig Tree, Lori Holt and French General.
For my brighter/lighter favourites, such as Bonnie & Camille, Corey Yoder and Lella Boutique, I prefer Bella off white (200). I don't think I've ever used true white in a quilt as it can look grey - and not in a good way - if not paired with saturated colours.
Although I don't often choose printed backgrounds, or blenders - as they're more expensive than solids - I do really love printed linen textures, like French General Linen Texture in pearl, which adds an extra subtle layer of detail to a quilt.