It was almost audible, the wail of disappointment when the Pantone Color of the Year 2016 was announced. Not just one, but two pastel hues were offered up to guide the year’s color choices: Rose Quartz and Serenity.


Just like the quilts we design and make, color tells a story. Pantone writes “Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”


As quilters, I think we are a little uncertain how to incorporate these pastels into our stashes. I, for one, have quite a few bright colors and prints, given the trends of the last few years, and very few pastels are in the bunch. While I may not pick Rose Quartz and Serenity as the color of the year, this is a good chance to think about the wide range of opportunities we have before us, and perhaps bring some balance to our stashes. I’ve had the privilege of talking to Latifah Saafir here and there over the last year about quilts and quilt making, and her perspective on color is really awesome, and her thoughts on the Colo of the Year phenomenon are also great. Latifah says, “There aren’t too many colors outside of my comfort zone. I love all colors. I love when we are challenged to use colors in new and different ways. We are often limited to the colors that are ‘in’ at the time so I love when Pantone has off-the-wall colors as their color of the year, it gives an opportunity to give us more crayons in the crayon box.”

A reason to add to my stash?  I’ll take it.


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