Skip to main content

Bad Color Days: How to Fix

Sometimes it's hard to come up with a new color scheme.  Sometimes it's easy.  One recommended method is to start with a known color scheme and work from there.  Quilters will find a fabric with a bold, colorful print.  The rest of the fabrics will include shades from the first fabric.  Embroiderers will start with a colorful overdyed thread and use it to select more colors.

I did one such project a few years ago.  We started with an overdyed thread and then chose 4 or 5 colors from that overdye.  The project involved an oak/acorn theme and I wanted green and brown to be included in the colors.  I chose this beautiful overdye:

Besides brown and green, there was red, orange and yellow.  With great excitement I started stitching.  I stitched some more and something happened - the colors where changing and not in a good way.  They began to look like a bad 70's color scheme with rust, harvest gold and avocado.  My excitement turned to disappointment.  I knew I could not look at those colors for the months that the project would take.  Still, it was hard to abandon them.  But, abandon them I did.  The stitches where quickly ripped out and I was back at the needlework store shopping for new colors.  The skein of 70's floss was tossed in a drawer.

Years passed, but I didn't forget that abandoned floss.  Finally, I decided to do something with it.  I had a small frame with a 2 1/4 inch opening so I decided to start with the abandoned floss.  Instead of working with it, I worked against it.  There was no blue at all in it.  So, I chose a bright cheery blue, a pink and a peach to see if they could transform the 70's floss.  I started stitching randomly in the 2 inch square to see what I could come up with.

No more 70's!  If you look the gold, rust and avocado are still there but muted.  They no longer dominate, but complement.  It was an exiting transformation and I had to try it again with different colors.

Next I found some small kits that had been neglected in a drawer, tossed out the pattern and added an unlikely overdyed thread.  What fun!  I was coming up with fun color schemes in unexpected and unplanned ways.   I played with more of these than I care to admit but, the seed of an idea had been planted.  I would use this exercise as a basis for future designs.


Popular posts from this blog

The ABC's of Cross Stitch Alphabets

Alphabets are quite popular on cross stitch samplers and there are many decisions to be made when choosing an alphabet.  Upper case or lower case is one decision.  It seems that upper case is most popular.  Using lower case causes all sorts of compications.  Extra space is needed for j, k, l, p and the other letters that extend above or below the main line. 

Another important decision is even or odd.  The alphabet above is odd.  That is, it is and odd number of stitches high, in this case 7.  Notice the B and D.  Both are symmetryical.

This is an even alphabet that is 6 stitches high.  Notice that the B and D are no longer symmetrical.  I prefer odd alphabets.  I've been known to change the size of a sampler to mak an even alphabet into an odd alphabet.

Both of these samplers are in a traditional font.  But it is easy to re-arrange the stitches to create different looks for you alphabet.  Here is an elegant alphabet that is only 7 stitches high:

Each letter takes up more space and gi…

Do Overs

Starting over means re-doing some of my projects.  A lot of the projects that I've done I don't want to do over.  Some turned out not to be the worth effort and others were not fun at all.  There's also a feeling of "been there, done that".    I've also discovered that I enjoy the act of creating more than the results sometimes.
My first do over was this penstemon I designed a while ago.  It's small and simple and only 2 colors.  I'll eventually be restitching many of my own designs.  Luckily, I still have the charts even if I no longer have the item or pictures of the item.
My second do over is actually actually stitching something for the third time!

After the second stitching, I'd had enough.  But, I was given the 2010 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue with the pattern and that was a sign that the reindeer needed to be stitched again.  Hopefully, that's it.
My last do over represents all the EGA seminars that I attended over the years.


Blocks 2 and 3 - Hourglass and Square in a Square

The next two easy blocks in my quilt are Hourglass and Square in a Square.  Both finish out to be 9 inches.  They are good starter blocks for working with triangles.  As the quilt progresses and the blocks get more complicated there will be many more triangles.
The Hourglass is also known as a Quarter Square Triangle Block or QST.  It is easier to make 2 blocks than it is to make 1 so that's what I did.  The picture is of 4 blocks, not one block made up of 4 units but it is fun to combine multiple hourglasses in one block.
For both colorways I used a directional print and it's easy to see where the quarter squares are in the block.  Since you want the edges on the straight of grain making one would waste fabric and by making 2 blocks at once, you can deal with piecing squares together instead of triangles.
There are plenty of QST tutorials to be found.  I started with 10 1/2 inch squares to yield the 9 inch blocks.

The square in a square can also be pieced using squares but I…