Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Do you like brown?

I don’t. Or at least I used to not like brown. At all.
About ten years ago, I posed a challenge to my then-quilt-group. For an entire weekend we were to work on a new technique which I was going to teach them at my house (we were living in a huge house then, where eleven people could easily assemble for a weekend of sewing without getting on each others’ nerves or in each others’ way). But each and everyone of us had to work with their least favorite colour, combined with any other colour.
At first they were non-plussed by the idea, but I am proud to say that they all complied, none chickened out of it. They started trading fabrics – the one who loved bright pink offered some to the hater of pink in exchange for greens or turquoise, I don’t remember which.
And during the weekend we all started thinking differently about that colour which we had considered our ‘most hated colour’. Which, for me, had been brown. I just didn’t use to like it, partly because of the political implications and German history, partly because commercial fabrics in brown tended to look unpleasant to me. But put next to each other, or in combination with blue fabrics, this started to feel a bit different:

from long time ago: most-hated-colour-challenge...

And this changed even more when I started hand-dyeing my own fabrics. I could even be pleased when I managed to dye various shades of brown, and could find myself praising me for a particularly nice shade of brown. Which before would have been completely unimaginable to perceive, a nice shade of brown. I admit, I still haven’t used brown much in quilts, though brown does feature in the background of my small quilt Play of Lines XXI, and in one of the lines in Play of Lines XXX:

Play of Lines XXI
Play of Lines XXX, detail
But after the past week’s dyeing of the March selection for my fabric-club, this might have to change, too.
While I was doing the ironing of colours three and four of the entire selection Thursday night, in the cellar, I was so tickled by the shade of brown that I saw, that I couldn’t believe my own eyes.
I waited for daylight to verify this impression.

shade of brown included in March 2013 selection
of fabric-club for hand-dyed fabrics

And I have to admit, tell myself, am proud of the fact that: this is a really nice shade of brown. It has quite a few ‘ice’-effects from not stirring too intensively, but that makes it even more interesting. I am beginning to like brown. Let’s see where this fabric will be featured in my quilts!

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