I like to think I choose from a large color palette, but there are some distinct color combinations I’ve used multiple times. For example, I’ve made three different quilts from red and white. Another combination that appeals to me is pink and brown. Whether pink and brown reminds you of chocolate-covered cherries, or strawberry ice cream with chocolate syrup, or some other sweet treat, it’s a duo with a long history together. And I do love quilt history. 🙂
Pink and brown quilts were especially popular in the mid-1800s. The pink prints used at the time were often called “double pink.” What is double pink? From the Quilt Index Wiki page:
Double pinks, sometimes called ‘cinnamon’ pinks, feature tiny prints in a dark, cinnamon-like pink, on a light rosy pink ground. Both of these hues have warmer undertone than bubblegum pink, which emerged as a quilt fabric, often as a solid rather than a print, in the twentieth century. Double pinks were most popular in the 1860s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, though double pinks are common in quilts through the 1920s. At the height of their popularity in the mid-nineteenth century, double pinks were often paired with madder or chocolate browns in quilts.
At the same time double pink and brown was most popular, medallion quilts were on their way out of favor. Medallions in the early 1800s included whole cloth such as whitework, broderie perse, and pieced quilts with both regular and irregular border forms. Delectable Mountains quilts might be an example of “regular” borders, with some uniformity of style, color, and value from the center to the outside edge. As the medallion quilts lost popularity, block quilts became the dominant style.
In the last few years I’ve made three different pink and brown quilts. The colors appeal to me partly because the double pink is very strong — while it is feminine, it is not timid, but boldly shows itself.
The first pink and brown quilt I made was a block quilt for a family friend, for her college graduation in 2011. I love the Ohio Stars with chain blocks, and the border stripe fabric framed them perfectly.
College graduation quilt for a friend — still one of my favorites. It’s about 81″x81″. 2011.
My other two pink and brown quilts were both made last year. One was the Delectable Mountains quilt from early in the year.
Delectable Mountains. 61″ x 61″. Finished spring 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
And the other was Union, which I showed you a few days ago.
Union. Finished December 2017. Photo by Jim Ruebush.
When I finished piecing Union, I was still enjoying working with the pinks and browns. Since I still had them out, I began a new quilt featuring them. The new one, however, will expand its palette by including reds, olive greens, and teals. After it is finished, I’ll probably be done with the double pinks for a while.
Do you have color combinations you use repeatedly? Do you have a reputation for using particular colors? (I’ve seen that happen!) If you were limited to four colors of quilting for the rest of your life, what colors would you choose?