Last fall, a colleague asked me if I could make him a black bear quilt. At those words, my mind started to fill with visions of rustic cabins, burgundy and foresty green fabric with silhouettes of bears and leaping fishes in black…and I thought, no, no I can’t…
It’s not that I hate that kind of thing, it’s just that I don’t have any fabric like that. But I do have a lot of fabric, so I’d rather use what I have.
But then he told me that he is colorblind, and he doesn’t see red or green. And poof! The burgundy fabric disappeared! A freed-up interpretation of a black bear quilt? Well then, why not?
You know, pondering the concept of color blindness sent me down something of an existential rabbit hole. I’d never thought about it before, but suddenly, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Color is so important to my life, that I think if I were color blind, I would not be the same person. What does it really feel like not to see all the colors? Maybe it just feels normal. Like how maybe a fast runner would miss it if she couldn’t run fast anymore, but I’ve never been able to run fast and I don’t mind at all. Well, it’s interesting to think about anyway.After chasing that rabbit, I thought maybe yellow and blue would be colors that would be more fun for my friend. (I really don’t know…it kind of sounds like color is not that important to him.) I immediately pulled these fabrics, which are quite outside what I so often use, and yet, I really like them together!I planned to do a bear paw blocks, set on point in these fabrics, and paper piece some smaller bears as part of the backing (I couldn’t find any really big bear patterns).
Now I’ve made the bear paws. Aaaannnnddd…..I’m stuck.
I’m not sure about the background fabric yet, but regardless, this quilt is going to be very bold. I don’t know if you’d call it modern or traditional, but either way, it is not a mild-mannered quilt.
And I think this is totally WRONG for this person. I visited the family’s home this winter, and their decor is much more traditional, kind of an older academic’s home, antiques and a lot of books, and the color is more muted. This seems like the kind of home where a traditional style quilt would be right at home.
So. I think I’m going back to the drawing board, finding a more traditional color scheme, and maybe some more literal bears for the design. And possibly get some more info from the recipient.
Let me know if you have any thoughts on these matters!