I haven’t shown one of my own projects for a while. I go through periods where I don’t have time to embroider for a few weeks and then I take it up again. But I recently started a new project and wanted to show you and also take the opportunity to talk about color choices. I mentioned in my embroidery basics post that DMC thread comes in about a million colors. That’s a slight exaggeration—it’s actually 454 solids and 18 variegated (and that's just for the six-strand embroidery floss). So, choosing colors for your projects may still seem a bit overwhelming. Personally, I like colors that are “real” and by that I mean colors that are true to life and natural to the subject I'm embroidering.
I started this vintage Vogart dresser scarf earlier this week. The original was very long and, since I'm going to make pillows from it, I cut it in half. I'll save the other half for later.
I wasn't sure what the flower was and needed to think about it for a while so I began with the leaves and used a nice leafy green.
When the leaves were done I couldn't put off the decision on the flower colors any longer. So I got out some of my gardening books and I'm 99% sure it's a wild rose. Flowers in embroidery projects are often stylized so it’s not always easy to figure out what they are.
Wow, look at all those French knots!
Wild roses are usually pink but I have this gorgeous red and yellow rose print (Forties Retro by Sharon Yenter for In the Beginning Fabrics ©2004) in my stash that I’d really like to use so my roses are going to be red instead. Not entirely accurate but close enough.
So I chose embroidery thread colors to coordinate with this fabric. I’ll use the darker red for the lines radiating out from the center and yellow for the French knots. Did I already mention all those French knots?
And I’ve even thought ahead to the buttons I'll use to complete the design, although I haven’t decided for sure…
That’s my process. I'm almost always pairing my work with fabrics so I look for my embroidery colors within the prints and patterns. And I really like to play up the lesser colors, too. It's hard to discuss color because it's so personal—your likes, dislikes, and color choices will be much different than mine. But, as a general rule, think about how and where you’ll use what you’re embroidering. If you’re doing tea towels for your kitchen, choose colors that work with your color scheme. Making baby things? Don't just think of the traditional blues and pinks. And if you're into mod then go ahead and do a crazy mix of turquoise, lime green, and hot pink! When it comes to color, it's all good.