Old Whales’ Tales

By Martha Michaela Hutchman Brown
aka Marf

I’m a narrative fabric buyer. I just made up that term, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I never buy fabric just because it’s trendy or because I think someone else will like it or because I think it will sell well. I buy it because I like it. And I usually like it because it reminds me of a good memory or a person I love.

Preppy Whales Fabric

Here’s my latest fabric (All Hands on Deck by Dear Stella from Cloth & Bobbin) and a list of reasons why I love it. All my reasons have to do with 1982 — when I was 7.

1. I love whales. I grew up in Connecticut, where there’s lots of whale stuff. Mystic Aquarium (whales!) was a favorite childhood destination, the late Hartford Whalers was my favorite sports team and the Children’s Museum where I spent many an afternoon has a 60-foot life-sized sperm whale statue in front of it. My very favorite book was an encyclopedia of whales full of cool pictures.

2. This fabric is a pink and green tongue-in-cheek explosion of early-1980s cheesy preppie tropes! I’m quite sure one of my brothers’ female friends had a Bermuda bag featuring embroidered pink whales on a kelly green sea in 1982. I also distinctly remember my sister explaining to me what a preppie was. I understood it to be a teenager who wore pink and green and sweaters tied around their necks. (I went to an actual bona fide prep school in the early 1990s, and I can tell you, though we all dressed neatly per the dress code, we all longed to wear t-shirts and jeans.)

3. Preppie-schmeppie. Did I mention these hyper-buoyant whales are smiling? Smiling whales that float on top of the waves. I love whales.

2 thoughts on “Old Whales’ Tales

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