Pink is the navy blue of India! — Diana Vreeland

My list of heroes is short and changes every now and then, but one name that has lasted for many years is Diana Vreeland.

Vreeland was a columnist and editor in the fashion world whose joie de vivre and general gusto and panache was legendary. The diminutive woman lived large in the hearts, minds, and careers of those who shaped fashion along with her from the 1940s through the 1970s and beyond. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute owes much of its existence to her, and her name evokes class, and style, and fun.


She is ridiculously quotable. She said things like, “Blue jeans are the most beautiful things since the gondola,” and “The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it.” This is style, people. This is class. And when Vreeland visited the east and saw the explosion of colors in the clothes and palaces there, she exclaimed with her typical enthusiasm and joy, “Pink is the navy blue of India!”

That’s the inspiration for my latest quilt. I’ve been collecting scraps of any and all pink that I can get my hands on and got several yards of a great Kona Cotton navy. I’m doing a big top of just half-square triangles. Half will be scrappy pink, half will be navy. Simple as that. The squares will be directional, so that the navy is all on the bottom and the pinks all on the top half of the squares, which will finish 2″.

It’s been wonderful to find all the pinks. When I thought of Diana Vreeland and her “Pink is the navy blue of India,” I thought that I should combine the two. If they both function in the same way to a style maven like Vreeland, they’ll probably function pretty well in my quilt. I’ll post pictures as they come.

Cheers, Ms. Vreeland. You’re still having an effect.


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Mary Fons

About Mary Fons

Mary Fons hails from a prominent quilt mafia family. A professional writer and performer, Mary co-hosted the nationally-airing PBS program "Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting" along with her mom, famed quilter and educator Marianne Fons. In 2010, Mary began hosting Quilty, an online show offered weekly on In 2012, Mary became editor of Quilty magazine. She holds a Theater Arts BA from the University of Iowa.