Thursday, July 27, 2006

Past Influences

Yesterday I stopped by a chain fabric store to look around for embellishments, i.e, anything non-fabric I could add to a quilt to jazz it up. I looked through the ribbons and trims and found some interesting novelty yarns. Plus there were a lot of trims with dangly crystals, beads or other doodads, I think intended for handbags. It made me think of when my mom took a hat trimming class way, way back in my childhood. Women still wore hats to church then, and they were usually trimmed in some kind of ribbon or even fancier trim. I don't remember much about any specific hats, but I loved going into the hatbox where she kept her supplies and playing with the bits of velvet ribbon, feathers and beads. The textures and colors seemed so exotic and glamorous.

Oddly enough, I think my love of large, brightly colored prints came from swimming. When I first started on swim team, tank suits were either solid or paneled. Then we got striped suits. The first patterned suit was Speedo's Hawaiian print, and it was floral, one color on white. I had a blue one and I think it also came in red or green. But the really eye-opening one was their Jungle print, a multi-colored floral. I remember the color combinations as especially rich, but that may have been because they were so different from anything I'd seen in the midwest. I had a Jungle suit in blue and green. I think it also came in purples and a yellow/brown colorway. I wonder if Speedo has an archive of their early prints?

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