Friday, July 27, 2007

Nature Versus Nurture

Each year when my nieces' birthdays roll around, I am amazed by the absolute pinkness of products for young girls. The birthday cards are always glittery variations on a princess theme, accompanied by a fuchsia, hot pink or purple envelope. The first time I sent the girls a birthday card, I wrote across the back of the magenta colored missive, “There is definitely nothing this color in my home!” Who knows if they were born with an affinity for pink, or if it was thrust upon them by the makers of Barbie, Polly Pocket or Hello Kitty. Whether the result of nature or nurture, my nieces will be quick to tell you their favorite colors are pink and purple.

Having grown up in a household with three brothers, and raising two sons of my own, I suppose my color sense has a more masculine bent. It’s not that I can’t appreciate a pretty pink room or a dress in robin’s egg blue. It’s just that I’ve grown accustomed to the drab, dirty socks color associated with boys. My fabric stash has always consisted of medium to dark browns, greens, and blacks, with a smattering of reds and golds for contrast. It’s heavy with woven plaids, homespuns, and reproduction fabrics. If asked to make something with pastels, “bubble gum pink” is probably as close as I could get.
"Suitable Scraps"
15” x 18”
© DJB, 1989
The same is true for my favorite quilt designs. I’ve always preferred traditional patterns like Nine Patch, Bow Tie, Log Cabin and Jacob’s Ladder. Even my collection of doll quilts reflects this. The little Bow Tie was made from suiting and shirting samples from a tailor shop. I used an old shirt for the backing and tied the quilt with embroidery floss and buttons from my grandmother’s button box.


  1. Nature, I think. I am a lot like you when it comes to fabric likes,etc. But I was essentially raised an only child by just my mom - who tried valiantly, I might add to get me to like 'girly' My childhood was spent in a room with a white canopy bed covered in pink dotted swiss and lace *ugh*

  2. Lovely quilt. When I was young, I hated pink and glitter and all that girly stuff and have become more and more attracted to it the older I get. pretty sparkles! Still hate Barbie though - that hasn't changed.