Fabric of the Week- Pink Bird Garden Fabric


Once in a while a fabric comes along, and it just seems to have all elements that make a fabric really, really nice. These includes design elements, composition, and color, as well as the actual ground cloth. The pink bird garden fabric and the blue garden fabric are two of these fabric. 

The first thing that hits one when looking at these is the coloring.


The backgrounds are tonal colors, against which the birds, flowers, and fruit stand out.
The other thing that is interesting about the coloring is some of the branches, flowers, and leaves are done in charcoal tones, which gives the colored elements even more emphasis.

I love the way the birds’ coloring subtly transitions from one color to another. And, I do love the surprise of the oranges. They give an added punch to the colors, and pick up some of the tones of the butterflies.

The design placement is really good. The pattern is quite open. And even though there are many different design elements, they can be seen easily. And, there is a lot going on! Birds, flowers, the movement of the tree branches, and the flittering of the butterflies all add pattern interest.

Another thing I like about these is the scale. Over time, the scale of fabric patterns has gotten bigger and bigger.  While this can give the punch of size, large scaled patterns can often overwhelm a room. And large scale patterns can be difficult to use effectively on some furniture leading to a lot of fabric waste.

The scale of this is small enough to use on small furniture, but has enough pattern interest for large draperies.

When choosing fabrics for a project there is a lot to think about. It is helpful to make a list of what the important elements are for that particular project.

Often it is color that a person is looking for, trying to fit it into a scheme that is already in place. This is tricky, as all companies have their own palette of colors. And moving from one company to another can make it difficult to get the coloring right, not to say time consuming.

Sometimes it is a theme- one wants the look of a flower garden in a sun room, for instance. This is easier, as one can focus on just that genre.

But, then one has to decide on fiber, weave, and texture- all of these influence the outcome of a project, and need to be considered.

One thing I think is important is to use a fabric in more than one place in a room. So, if doing curtains in, say, the pink bird fabric, use it again for some cushions or accent pieces to pull that fabric across a room to give it a more cohesive feel. And, add a pink accent piece in a different fabric to emphasize the color.

Often one goes into a room and there are all kinds of bits and bobs of fabrics and accent pieces, with nothing to pull it all together. Remember to think of the whole room, the whole design, as well as the feel you are trying to achieve.

While one should not be afraid to experiment, one should also not be afraid to say, something is not working. Remember, if something is bother you at the beginning of a project, six weeks out from it what you see is that particular thing.

One person said to me, I love the yellow chicken fabric, but don’t like the dots on the background. I told her “don’t buy it”. I told her, if they bother you now, in six weeks when you go downstairs, all you will see are the dots, and you will really be miserable! So, when in doubt, pass up things that might not be exactly what you want.

And remember, YOU are the person who has to live with a project. And it needs to be you that decides on what goes into it. Make lists of what is important. And designate a folder for thougths, swatches, and lists. Projects can be stressful. So, make yours as stress free as possible!