When Pantone announced that its 2021 Colors of the Year were Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, they said the shades were chosen for their warmth and dependability. And doesn't that describe what our mothers and fathers are to each of us???
The Pantone news release announcing the colors described Illuminating as “a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.” Ultimate Gray, like pebbles, is emblematic of “solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation.” When I read this I knew I needed to design a quilt using these colors but I wasn't sure what the design should be.
The gingham design of this quilt reminds me of happy times and good memories. Gingham fabric is almost synonymous with picnic tablecloths and was imprinted in the collective pop-culture memory via Dorothy’s blue gingham dress in The Wizard of Oz. I remember as a child picking this fabric multiple times for special things my mother made me.
So I decided a gingham pattern was perfect for this quilt because of the history of the design. Did you know in the eighteenth century, factories in Manchester, England, and the southern United States were in the midst of a brutal financial slump when they latched onto gingham production as a way to revive their struggling economies? I wanted everything about this quilt to express a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting but also remind us of the difficult time we've all just come through.
This simple, cheery pattern has endured and reminds many of happy childhood memories. This is why I chose it for this very special quilt which is practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, with a color combination that gives us resilience and hope.
The quilt backing was a no brainer once I saw this Dear Stella lemon fabric. If 2020 taught us anything it was to make lemonade out of the lemons we were all handed.