My buddy Julie had this picture on her blog this morning. I got to thinking about my estrangement from a certain color.  I almost never put any orange in my quilts and on the rare occasion that I feel like I need a bit, I have to dig and dig or -- heavens! -- go to the LQS. There's no orange anywhere in my home, and none in my closet. The closest I can find is a seldom worn rust sweater. 

I guess an experience from many, many years ago had a greater impact than I realized!

When Joe and I were dating, way back in the winter of 1965 I do believe, I saw this ORANGE dress in a shop window and was smitten with it. It was BRIGHT orange, solid color, nubby texture fabric. Very plain A-line with long sleeves; they belled at the ends. The edges of the sleeves and the neckline were trimmed with velvet that exactly matched the orange of the dress. I was a gray and navy and cranberry sort of person back then (though in the summer I fancied Villager blouses in tiny distinctive Liberty-like floral prints with solid skirts), and the color of this dress was so not me. But I bought it anyway. 

The first time I wore it, Himself was astounded! He blurted out, “Never show orange in public!” And that phrase has become classic in our extended family, usually abbreviated to NSOIP.

I remained a gray and navy and cranberry person, though I wore that orange dress in public just enough to jeopardize our relationship. Then I discovered black. And black with brown or camel, a combination I still fancy. And I’ve never shown orange in public again.


Barbara Anne said…
I'm with you! I've had exactly one pale orange summer top back in the 1970s and, until I participated in Pat Sloan's OP (ORANGE pile) challenge several years ago, had used orange in just one autumn quilt. Even in the OP challenge, I made a small Halloween quilt. My orange fabric stash is tiny. Don't know why since there is no family rule against it in our family. :)

Then, 3 years ago, I made an orange Swoon block. So atypical but I survived. My orange stash has not grown a bit. Go figure.

LizA. said…
I'm another quilter with little if any orange in my stash. A close group of quilting friends always give me a hard time about it and have tried to enhance my orange stash for me. I'm trying to make a conscious effort to use it more -- usually in quilts that end up going to Project Linus.
Quiltdivajulie said…
Indeed - this was MEANT to be a blog post. I had an orange a-line sleeveless dress in the 60s but have never worn orange again since. I do, however, have lots of orange in my stash and use it liberally. In quilts it always seems to work. In my closet or on my body, not so much.
AnnieO said…
What a great story! How vividly color influences us. I can wear orange and often do, but use it sparingly in my quilts as so many are averse to it! Thanks for sharing. :)
When I met Terry I wore an orange sweater. He is color blind and said he liked my PINK sweater. My first lesson learned in our 47 year marriage is don't listen to his color suggestions, lol. I love bright colors including orange. For me the color I avoid is YELLOW. I'm pretty sure you would not find any in my home. A few pieces in my fabric bins because the SUN is my Icon of Hope. Well, I will admit as I aged, I have toned down the orange I WEAR to shades of salmon and coral.
xx, Carol
Janet O. said…
LOL Enjoyed your story, Nancy.
Orange is not something I wear, but I do love peach and coral in my Spring/Summer wardrobe.
However, I do use orange in quilts--especially when I am working with Fall colors (which I love).
One thing you will not find me wearing is pink, and the only pinks in my stash are of the CW repro variety, where I happen to love the color.
Shasta Matova said…
For some reason, orange was a color I loved back in the day, but there was a switch when one day I decided orange was a color to avoid. Maybe we got tired of it - maybe some famous person said it was a bad color or somehow it wound up having the wrong association. The oranges today are now my go to color. I switched back a few years ago.
Millie said…
Very few people can wear orange well. When Julie asked me to make the quilt that later became "No Rules For Julie" she asked for jewel tones of sapphire, emerald and purple. I wrote back that there would be some hot pink, acid green, turquoise and even a little bit of orange in the quilt. Julie wrote back that she didn't like orange. "Too bad," I said, "this quilt needs a little bit of orange in it to give it a little zip." Just because you don't WEAR orange doesn't mean you should avoid using it in quilts.
LoieJ said…
I don't wear orange either. It is a bad color with my skin tone. While I would never base a quilt on orange, I do so like nearly any kind of blue and teal. And orange is a compliment to blue. However, orange doesn't have to be a screaming orange. Sometimes I've added a touch of frosty orange, or a pinky orange, etc.