T.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month, but for my money, February has it beat. I lived most of my life in the north where, by February, winter has already held sway for 2 or 3 months, and spring is still a long way off. Even though February is the shortest month of the year, it always felt like it dragged on forever. And here in *sunny* California, a large chunk of the month so far has been grey and rainy. I’m grateful for the rain, of course, and glad there have been a few sunny days mixed in—but still, day after day of gloomy, chilly weather can certainly dampen anyone’s mood.
So it’s a good thing we’re quilters. Because we know that on the darkest of days, all we have to do is visit our stashes or our local quilt shops and immediately we can find ourselves immersed in COLOR! (Okay, to be fair, there are quilters out there who create amazing works of art with taupe and grey and other neutrals. I admire these quilts, and their makers, immensely. But there is a time and a place for taupe, and February is not it.) No matter how dreary the day, spending some time arranging and rearranging colors will always brighten it up.
Speaking of color, have you seen the “Color of the Year”? Every year since 2000, Pantone has selected a “color of the year” based on color trends their “Pantone Color Institute” has observed (in branding, design, pop culture, etc.); in turn, their selection drives color decisions for many, many products (including fashion and fabric design) for the coming year. This year, they’ve chosen “Living Coral,” which they describe as “an animated, life-affirming shade of orange, with golden undertones.” (I think it looks more pink than orange—but I’m not the color expert.) They also describe it as a color of carefree happiness, which “symbolizes our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits.” And who couldn’t use more carefree happiness and optimism in their life? Keep an eye out for it, because you’ll be seeing it pop up more and more throughout the year!
Kona (from Robert Kaufman Fabrics) also selects a color of the year, although I haven’t been able to find any information on how they make their selection. It doesn’t seem to be related to the Pantone selection (last year’s Pantone color was dark purple, and Kona’s was bright orange), so it’s probably just a happy coincidence that this year’s Kona color is “Splash,” a clear light aqua that seems to work beautifully with Pantone’s coral! (If you like it, you might not want to wait—one shop’s website says that this Kona solid will be retired at the end of the year.)
If these colors make your heart sing, I bet you’ll be able to find plenty of fabrics that include them when you come to The SewNSew for National Quilting Day in March (more on that elsewhere in this issue). And if they don’t—no worries! One of the great things about color is that there’s always plenty to choose from. If you pick fabric colors that make you happy, even the greyest of February days can’t bring you down.
See you at the meeting,