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Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year is… a Brownish Maroon?

Really? That was my reaction when I saw the color Pantone chose as the trend-setting color for 2015.  It’s called “Marsala,” and it’s a subdued (all right, drab) wine color. I guess you can tell from my tone that I’m not exactly feeling Marsala for quilting. For winter coats, purses, and shoes, yes. But quilts? Not so sure. I like rich colors, and I also like the white-and-bright combinations I see in a lot of the quilts being made by young quilters today. Here’s an example of “white and bright” from Angela on Flickr.com:

White and bright 7711418978_6f8b454746_bNo Marsala there!

You know where Marsala would have felt right at home? Back in Victorian days, when the first (mostly) colorfast red dyes were just coming on the market. Quilters just snapped them up. Reds and browns were all the rage then. They were also great at hiding dirt in a time when all washing had to be done by hand.

If Marsala appeals to you, you can find it and lots of Victorian reproduction fabrics online at stores like ReproductionFabrics.com, or at quilt shops that specialize in helping quilters produce authentic-looking reproductions of historic patterns.

How about you? Have you found a color palette for quilting that feels like your natural combination of colors? I’d love to see what kind of quilts you’re making and which colors you prefer.


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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Susan the farm quilter December 5, 2014, 1:59 pm

    Marsala will not be finding its way into my quilting stash…ever!! Ugly for a quilt!!! I love black, white, and grays with vibrant, jewel-tone colors and I am even loving the low-volume quilts. I like my colors to not be muddy…this is the worst kind of mud. I am not drawn to reproduction fabrics or 30s fabrics. If I could re-do my entire stash, I would have it filled with solids, reads-as-solids, stripes and polka dots, with a few select florals. Who is in charge of choosing the color of the year and who paid them to choose Mudsala???

    • Felicity Walker December 5, 2014, 10:08 pm

      You’re so right, Susan. Life forces us to look at enough muddy colors as it is. Why put them in our quilts? Let’s surround ourselves with brights and stripes and polka dots!

      • Debbie June 24, 2016, 2:15 pm

        Funny thing about pinterest, here it is 18 months after your post. 🙂

        Thanks for the tutorial. Even veterans like me need to be reminded of the basics. Especially with this Postage Stamp I’m working on.

        As for color, I LOVE brights and whites. I’ve even made a few. The problem is, they don’t go with my home, a cabin in the mountains of southern California. Even though brights and whites seem great for southern California, with furnishings leaning toward wood, browns, neutrals and rust like my dogs, I have wound up with a closet full of whites and brights ;-). I still enjoy making them though. I’m doing “Spring” by valori wells with whites and red/orange/pink that I love. I recently finished “Confetti” white background with bright triangles sprinkled about. So, I say, make what you love. Your closet will be gorgeous! 😉

        So, what’s Pantone’s color for 2016?

        • Felicity Walker June 24, 2016, 10:32 pm

          They cheated a bit, I think, by choosing TWO colors: a grayish blue called Serenity, and a pleasant pink called Rose Quartz. You can see them both here: http://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2016

          More seriously, Debbie, I hope you don’t take my criticism of Marsala too seriously. (I’m not the Color Police!) I entirely agree that “make what you love” is always the best color strategy for a quilter, unless you are making a gift, in which case, you should make what the recipient loves. Thanks for the comment, and happy quilting!

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