Thursday, March 31, 2011

Birth order characteristics of fabric

I had this weird idea the other day. Mark's eyes kind of glazed over when I told him about it. A few minutes ago I finished reading the Blue Elephant Stitches blog post, "writing while pinning," where she says: "I often find myself thinking in the form of writing, and I can write some quite interesting, informative, well-thought out and even witty stuff in my head... but you'll just have to take my word for it, cause it rarely gets any farther than that."

I do the same thing. Usually in the shower. Or if I wake up in the middle of the night. Usually those middle-of-the-night ideas sometimes seem weird in the light of day. This may be one of those very ideas. But I'm going to go with it anyway.

I don't even know why I was thinking about birth order character traits. Mark and I have one son. Clearly not an issue for us. But it's still interesting to read about different traits children may possess based on their "place" in the family. At the same time, I was kind of obsessing over fabric by Denyse Schmidt, probably because I just finished Pop Beads, my quilt top using Flea Market Fancy, and I've got two quilt tops in the works using Hope Valley.  I came super late to the whole FMF party. And as I mentioned, I have paid more than I care to admit to build my collection. Why? Because I really REALLY like it. I like a lot of fabric lines, but this one probably tops the list.

Pretty much missed out on Katie Jump Rope too, so I've been collecting that as well. And I like it. Not as much as FMF, but KJR is pretty social and plays pretty well with FMF.

When Hope Valley came out, at first I was kind of "ehh, whatever" about it but she has really grown on me.

When Denyse's latest line came out, well, I'll be honest, I have not purchased a single fat quarter of it.  I've seen some cool quilts made with it, but I think was more intrigued with the quilt design than the fabric. (My apologies to all of you who consider it one of your favorites.)

I don't know why the birth order traits correlation (from here) popped into my mind, but here goes:

Flea Market Fancy (the first-born child): natural leader, high achiever, organized, bossy (not sure about that but someone was telling me to buy, buy, buy!), adult-pleaser. "First-born children desire control and they will typically become a compliant nurturer or a more aggressive mover and shaker." Seems pretty accurate. I don't believe I have seen any other fabric lines that caused a a write-in campaign to Freespirit Fabrics begging them to reprint.  But they decided to move on...

Katie Jump Rope and Hope Valley (the middle children): flexible, easy-going, social, peacemakers (or substitute piecemakers!). "The middle child(ren) will demonstrate the greatest variety of character traits, but they will usually be opposite of their older sibling."

Greenfield Hill (the last child--although I'm sure this only temporary until the next "child" comes along): risk-taker, creative, self-centered, competitive, bored easily. "They are also often driven to catch up with their older siblings and follow in their footsteps." We'll see.

(image from Freespirit)

If you are still here, then I think you deserve a little compensation for your attention. So how about the scraps from my Pop Beads quilt?

What makes our hearts race a little faster when we see certain fabric is so subjective. That's why we sometimes have to perform CPR on our credit cards (to quote a commenter from yesterday).

Here is the question to answer: Where do you fall in the birth order in your family? Any characteristics you feel like sharing with the rest of us? You can also comment on whether or not this was too weird a topic that I should have kept to myself, but it won't give you an extra chance at winning. (hehe)

I'll  pick a winner on Saturday at 6 p.m. PDT.

ETA: I mean no disrespect whatsoever to fabric designers or fabric lines. I'm glad they are out there designing fabulous fabric for us to work with, something I myself could never do. I also realize the pressure to do something different and wonderful each and every time must be phenomenal. I have just been spending a lot of time with these specific lines lately, and my mind kind of went off on a little tangent.


05 08
~Michelle~ said... #

OK, I'll bite on your birth order theory if you can apply it to another designer (and don't do Heather Ross, that's too easy). But I think, as with siblings, there is a lot of pressure for the newer fabric collections (aka - younger siblings) to live up to the standard set by the oldest.

And CPR on the credit card - NO JOKE!

Rebecca said... #

I am one of three sisters ~ the oldest is disorganized but passionate, the second is career-driven but laidback, and the youngest is very creative but bored easily. I'm the third sister and I'd say I'm the most organized of all of us, and a little bit of passionate, laidback, and creative. And I'm the "middle" child because we have a little brother too :)

felicity said... #

Oldest child all the way, baby! I *love* birth order stuff. Like your son, our daughter is an only, too.

stitchinpenny said... #

I am the baby and truly the forgotten child in my family due to a lot of things that happened before I was born until I was eleven. I had to be independent and I saw what the others did or didn't do so I had a clear path. I was an over achiever, a perfectionist and dependable. Not necessarily a last child, but there were extenuating circumstances that forced me to do things in an unusual way.

Laura said... #

I am a middle child (and I feel it!). I think it applies to this line but can you do it again? Or is it that you love what you see first? I like parts of all three lines but I wouldn't go bankrupt to get any of them!

lindaroo said... #

My four sisters and I definitely fit birth order descriptions! They think I'm bossy and organized and productive, I think I'm a compliant nurturer... I think that illustrates we're all correct!
I've also composed such lovely letters to friends and family - in my head - and never sent them; what a shame!

Sherri said... #

I'm a hard one to figure out...only child for 4 years...then the youngest for a year when my Mom remarried...eventually ended up the middle child of 5. I think I have more traits of an older child though...

I love birth order stuff, too...I had never thought about applying it to post!

Elisa said... #

Middle child of eight! Constantly lost in wash but always holding everyone together! Every family needs one of those I guess???

Cathy H. said... #

I laughed over this post! Excellent! And in the birth order, I'm the middle child and pretty much fit the description except for the social part! Love your fabrics and your projects!!

Amy said... #

I was an only child. I always tried to find things to keep me busy. I am glad I did not have siblings to fight with.

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said... #

haha, I'm the middle child. Always clamoring for attention. Now that you mention it, I guess I am kinda laid back compared to my sisters.

Beverly said... #

Not sure how to classify myself. If I count my half-siblings then I'm the last child, but I am the only child of my parents together so that makes me first and last. =) I think I have a pretty good blend of both first and last child characteristics.

Margaret said... #

I am third of four and only girl, probably most social and very independent. I thought your theory was clever and fun :)

Anonymous said... #

I'm loving to read these comments. I am an only child. Always wanted a brother or sister desperately but because of some things I've observed as I get older, glad there are no siblings.

Although I do watch that show on tv that researches family histories and would love to find that I have relatives I didn't know about!!!


Andrea said... #

i'm the first-born and definitely more controlling! haha.

Becks said... #

I am the middle child, and you hit the nail on the head! I have always been the peacemaker, whether between siblings or parents. Now as an adult, I am STILL a peacemaker and also a PIECEmaker. :o) Katie Jump Rope and Hope Valley? Those lines scream my name. ;o)

Jenny said... #

I don't think this theory's crazy, especially for this designer's fabric! Now I'm wracking my brain to see if it works for any other lines...

I am a middle child in between my two brothers. I definitely have those middle-child characteristics!

Jolene said... #

HaHa I love this! Although I'm the oldest child, I seem to have more characteristics of a middle child. (Although my brothers would say I was bossy!) BTW, I love your new blog look!!

Elizabeth Dackson said... #

That is hysterical - and so true!!! I think it would definitely be fun to look at this via another designer...not sure it would work, but I definitely agree with your thoughts on DS's lines! I'm the last child (although I'm 17 years younger than my brother and 10 years younger than my sister, so I'm kind of like an only child at the same time), and I think I have mostly the first born traits.

I'm crossing my fingers on this giveaway - I don't have a single piece of FMF and would love to have some!!

Lee said... #

LOL - I'm the oldest, and I guess I'm pretty organized and bossy. That's why I'm DEMANDING that you give me those FMF scraps. I promise to keep them neatly sorted by color once I receive them. : )

Anonymous said... #

Youngest. Easily bored, competitive and always trying to outdo my sisters. Also always suggesting crazy ideas.

For the record, I also bought some Greenfield Hill. I wasn't sold at first (but I wasn't sold on Hope Valley until it started showing up in everything I am working on).

ktquilts said... #

First born and an overachiever! More than a little driven... Scares me a little that I think your birth order thing makes sense! ;0)

Anonymous said... #

First born and (if you ask my brothers) bossy fits. I have great ideas for organization, and many have been implemented. Unfortunately, I also suffer from procrastination :-/ So, while the infrastructure exists, it doesn't always get used regularly.

Jill said... #

I'm the first...definitely eager to please and bossy. I agree with you on the greenfield hill, I just don't like it. I'm really trying, but don't think i'll buy any.

Kristy said... #

Love your tangent! I'm the oldest, independent, "well rounded" in experience/training, organized, bossy of my younger sibling, yet extremely protective :)

Unknown said... #

I am oldest. Bossy, aggressive, and a neat freak. Practically raised my younger brother since our single mom worked so much. He still jokes about how I tried to mother him.
Also, it's fantastic that you are giving these a way. I have never had any, and would love to play with some! I missed out on that one. I have only been really sewing for about a year. Thanks for sharing!

. said... #

I, like you came to the FMF party late and would love to have more. I am kind of intrigued by your birth order theory, and agree about the oldest being quite the standard to live up to. Thanks for the giveaway.

Carla said... #

Well, I love how your mind works, Cindy! Since, I am a bit older than you, and said to be controlling and bossy, I sure hope that applies to getting my "younger" sister to pick me for her cast-offs! LOL
(BTW, I am the oldest of five children. If you ask any of them if the birth order theory holds water...I think they would agree!)

DianeY said... #

I'm the second of 2, but my brother is 5 years older & well-he's a guy! When we were young, he definitely tried to boss me around but it didn't work too well!
I think this is really fun how it might relate to fabrics & think it would be a fun subject again with some of the other designers. I actually can think of a few who haven't bowled me over until a much later line

Angela D. said... #

I think you have something here! I agree with your thoughts on DS's fabrics.

So true is your description of a middle child. I'm the middle of three girls and I'm definitely the flexible, easy-going, peacemaker in the family.

Unknown said... #

I actually always do the writing in my head thing! Whenever I'm sat at the sewing machine I plan all these fantastically literary pieces for my blog. Needless to say they never get written...!

I was the oldest of 2 siblings, and so far your descriptions are pretty much bang on. However, I guess I am now the "middle child" (divorce, remarriage, both parents), as I have 3 older and 2 younger step siblings. There's no way I'm adopting the middle child syndrome though, I'll always be the first in my heart!

Peach Rainbow said... #

I don't think it's a weird topic - It was interesting!
I am the first in my family - I'm quite organized (not as much as I want to ;D) & sensitive but NOT bossy!

Margaret said... #

It must be hard to compete with an "older sibling" like FMF . . . the pressure! Don't censor your "crazy" ideas, sometimes those are the most fun!

I'm the eldest of 3 and I fit the profile. But I prefer the term "assertive" to bossy!


julia said... #

lol, great post :)
i was too late for fmf and even missed out on kjr (i could hunt down some prints; but as i'm not willing to pay extraordinary prices, it was an extra-lucky find). and i'm with you with greenfield hill...ugh, it totally doesn't speak to me (no offense meant to all gfh lovers!)

i'm the youngest of two. what i've experienced, is, that 2nd childs are - often - more easily to handle (as infants/toddlers), because...well, there's another child (the older sibling) who needs to be taken care of and the parents have gone through the experience of parenthood before.
i can't really find myself either in 2nd or youngest child; i've characteristics of all three categories :)

cheers, julia

pinsandneedles said... #

I am 2nd in a line of 6 siblings. I would say that I am organized but not excessive, an achiever, goal oriented and list maker.
Never thought of birth order too much but I guess there something to be said for these traits.

Meri said... #

Middle child...3rd of 7,here! And I think you're on to something! The newest "baby" is cute but has to live up to the siblings' reputation...hopefully that's for the good!

verykerryberry said... #

I totally get this correlation, especially with this particular designer- it always takes a while for her designs to grow on me before I fall in deep with them. I'm the oldest- my daughter is a single, makes it easier!

verykerryberry said... #

I totally get this correlation, especially with this particular designer- it always takes a while for her designs to grow on me before I fall in deep with them. I'm the oldest- my daughter is a single, makes it easier!

Sew I Was Thinking... said... #

I'm the oldest of 3. I totally see your point about birth order and DS Fabrics... made perfect sense to me.

Crystal said... #

I'm the first born and I fit that description to a T. I'm cool with that, though. It means I'm awesome!

Jen said... #

I'd like to hear this theory applied to another designer too! I'm a first-born all the way!

JaneRH said... #

I'm a middle wonder I love Katie Jump Rope and Hope Valley!(though in all fairness I love FMF) I've always thought that being a middle child meant living with the consequences of the decisions siblings make. Middle kids learn early that life isn't always fair! I'm sure this has nothing to do with the birth order of fabric design...but this has been fun...thanks.

Danielle said... #

I am an only child~ but I do have 2 kids of my own, and I agree with the theories about birth order... Fabric, but especially FMF makes my heart race, and my credit card smoke!

deserae said... #

I am the oldest, but I am not organzied at all! Lol!

Jen said... #

I love that you made this connection. I'm in grad school in a psychology-based program and in all of the many theory classes we end up talking about Adlerian theory and birth order. I'm an oldest child and definitely fit some of those characteristics but also fit some of the only child characteristics as I also held that role for many years. :o) Thanks for the giveaway!

Jen said... #

I love that you made this connection. I'm in grad school in a psychology-based program and in all of the many theory classes we end up talking about Adlerian theory and birth order. I'm an oldest child and definitely fit some of those characteristics but also fit some of the only child characteristics as I also held that role for many years. :o) Thanks for the giveaway!

Xandi said... #

I think the same way sometimes! Frequently in the form of NPR articles.

tpino said... #

I am the middle child and the oldest....don't drama!
I think I feel more like a firstborn than middle child. I never thought about the birth order of fabric before. Interesting!

SarahZ said... #

So timely..I torment my dear husband too often about birth order "stuff"(last night most recently!)! I am 4th of 5 girls, 6 yrs between oldest and youngest, and all my observations have to do with "extremities"..or the "outsides" and the "insides". It seems there are always similarities popping up that go in those directions...the oldest and the youngest vs the 3 middle girls. From college graduations to handwriting to body types etc etc etc! Fun post!

sew katie did said... #

I'm sorry but that last sister is butt ugly.

Annie said... #

Classic middle child here. Love your fabric theory and agree with it 100%. Thanks for the giveaway!

bioyarn said... #

I am second in the birth order and entered the quilting world of fabric during Denyse Schmidt's 2nd line--I never knew until today! I will say as the 2nd child I am very good at learning through observation of what works and does not--that FMF release has been tough on my credit card! Great blog!