You can see in the pictured color swatch that mimosa is the delightful yellow-orange seen in the drink made of champagne and orange juice.
Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute® explains the following about the yellow in mimosa. "The color yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance." She goes on to say "Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation." 1
I think it's only natural that a color with these attributes is being featured this year. Mimosa and other bright citrus colors can be seen in clothing, home decor and advertising because they are uplifting colors, just what we need to cheer us up in a time of so many financial worries.
Using color to lift the spirits isn't new. Color in fabrics brought cheer during the Great Depression as well. Eileen Trestain, in writing about fabrics made beginning in the 1930s, relates, "One of the distinguishing features of this time is the common use of bright, clear, multicolored prints." 2 Solid colors were also popular, sometimes used with prints but many quilts were made entirely of the colorful solids available during this period.
There is no doubt these colors were designed to express happiness. Even feedsacks were printed with these lively colors as can be seen in the picture to the right. It is interesting that there was little mention in ladies magazines of the suffering going on at the time. Instead they focused on the positive. That makes sense, misery doesn't sell and what people need during hard times is to be inspired whether it be to make a colorful quilt or fix a tasty meal.
The colors we are seeing today are more jewel like in their tones than during the 30s but they send the same message. Feeling broke or fretting about money doesn't bring anyone joy. But decorating with colorful candles or making a dress of bright citrus colors will put one in a much more positive frame of mind.
Pat Sloan must have had a sense of that when she designed her newest fabric line, Arabella. The fabric just radiates joy and color. You can use her free pattern for the wallhaning shown below and make this lively quilt using her fabric or fabric in your stash.
You will be seeing bright colors on the shelves in fabric stores but I'm sure you already have some in your stash. If not just buy a little fabric to give your next quilt some sparkle. I had to do just that when I joined Pat Sloan's Orange Project quilt challenge. I had very little orange fabric though I had plenty of wonderful turquoise The two fat quarters of orange I bought didn't cost much but they really brought my quilt to life.
One color we don't see much of in the fabrics from the 30s is black but I am seeing it in clothing this year usually paired with bright colors and you can see that Pat Sloan used it to bring out the colors in someof her fabric. So black is a great modern touch for your quilting . Think about color as you plan your next quilt. Having fun with color can make a big difference in how optimistic you feel.
2 p 161 Dating Fabrics: A Color Guide 1800 - 1860 by Eileen Jahnke Trestain