I love 1930's reproduction fabrics! Many of them are reproductions of designs found on flour sacks from the early 1900's. Others are modern designs which use similar colors and small repetitive designs, often floral, which were common at that time. What I love about them, is the cheerful feeling and warmth they give to a project.
Children love looking at the tiny patterns of these fabrics, which often include simple but classic images of children playing, bunnies hopping, and cows jumping over moons! These images become imbedded in their memories and just seeing a similar fabric as an adult, can bring back warm and comforting memories of holding a special blanket or a beloved quilt.
When our first child was about three, I picked up a twin size quilt at an antique store. It was really inexpensive; something I didn't fully appreciate then, because I wasn't sewing at the time and had no idea of the value of these old quilts. It was a Trip Around the World quilt with two inch squares in similar colors to the photos above. I used it like any other comforter; washing it frequently, and watching it grow more and more tattered. Eventually, I gave it to Goodwill and didn't think too much about it ... until a few years ago when I started quilting. I was fooling around with this design, just making it up as I went along, when our now grown up daughter reminded me of her childhood quilt. As she described the different fabrics and the colors that were in it, I could see the warmth of the memories on her face. I was truly surprised by the lasting impression this little second hand quilt had made on my daughter.
I like to think about that experience when I'm working on my different projects, especially ones for children. Knowing how much they will be remembered, I look at each fabric closely making sure it has a pleasant and happy feel to it. It's not enough that it fits in overall with a design from a distance, it has to be pleasing when you're right on top of it; as if a child were lying in bed looking at it!
The design for the twin size quit above is from a new quilting book I recently purchased; Quilts Made Modern. I'm hoping that it will be the source of lots of comfort and some beautiful memories for our future granddaughter!