new project

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.

stamped project

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.

finished leaf

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?

embroidery floss

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.


Anonymous said...

It's going to look lovely when it's done. French Knots are my fav stitch....hence the name of my blog!

Anonymous said...

Yup, thats a wild rose - its the provincial flower for Alberta (Canada). I have a similar one from my grandmothers project basket. I love your blog and am delurking to say thank you for all your wonderful inspiration and information.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see how this turns out Janet - it's so interesting that you put this much thought into the colors and trying to stay true to the flower. I've never thought of my embroidery like that, but now will have to! ;)

Junie Moon said...

The wild rose pillow is going to be gorgeous--I hope you'll also share a picture of it when you're finished.

I've been learning so much with your stitch tutorials but also through the discussions about fabric, floss choices, design and now colors--it's all very helpful and inspires me to think beyond what you just "see."

Anonymous said...

Cant wait to see how it turns out, i have not commented before. Such a lovely blog, so inspirational. Renee x

Camilla said...

waaaah french knots! I really really must get practising on some of them!

Anonymous said...

Wow this is going to be lovely, I can't wait to watch it emerge. Where did the patern come from?

janet said...

The manufacturer is Vogue (not sure if that's the same as the magazine) and it's a stamped-for-embroidery scarf No.055 F34. Definitely vintage, maybe 1940s? It's so hard to date these things. I may make this pattern available but need to trace it first.

Joyful House Farms said...

I absolutely love the fabric and therefore, the color scheme. What a lovely project! Please DO show us the completed work.
Thank you so much for all your teaching. I am so inspired and educated by your blog.

Jan said...

oh my. This is beautiful. My color preferences are exactly like yours!

I found your blog from your vintage valentine and discovered we also share taste in other things vintage. I'll be bookmarking you!

(p.s. I post valentines, too!)