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This is the third and final installment of  Stitched Blooms author Carina Envoldsen-Harris’s Color Workshop. You can read the first two posts here and here.

This week, you can enter for a chance to win one of TWO projects from Stitched Blooms — the English Cottage Tablecloth or a copy of the bookSee the end of this post for details on how to enter. UPDATE: YOUR CHANCE TO WIN HAS BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 7. SEE THE END OF THIS POST FOR MORE DETAILS! 

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Mita and Stacy!

 

 

Selecting Colors for Your Projects

 

 

Choosing colors for your own projects is “easy” — you can just pick the colors you love and all is well, right?  Well, to a degree. If you love a certain combination, green and pink, for example (guilty!), by all means go for it. But I’m a big fan of trying new things in the colors you use. Pushing yourself out of that comfort zone which it is so easy to get a little stuck in.

I am always suggesting that people should try using the colors they least like a bit more. Because this will train you to make it work even if you don’t like it all that much. And I think that pushing your choices is also a great way to learn more about color and about what works for you, and why.

Purple or lilac are probably my least favorite color, but I will often try and add a bit of it when deciding on colors for a new pattern. Experience has taught me that sometimes colors I don’t like make the rest of the color scheme really ‘pop’ in ways it wouldn’t have if I hadn’t used it.

 

Selecting colors for gifts 

 When you are making a gift for someone else, getting the colors right can be a challenge. Especially if what you’re making is a surprise and you can’t ask them exactly what they like!

 

 

Maybe you’re making a skirt or a blouse for your friend but the colors she actually wears aren’t necessarily her favorite colors. For example, you would think that I wear a lot of bright colors, and I do occasionally wear a top in a bold color, but I actually mostly wear more plain dark or light colors.  So if you’re making clothing for someone, pay attention to what they actually wear or take a sneaky peek in their wardrobe (that’s mine up there) if you can.

When making a larger project for someone else, a quilt for example, getting the colors right is really important. You don’t want it to overpower a whole room. Even if you use all the colors you know your friend loves, it might not fit in the room/house. She may love bold colors — lime green, zingy orange etc — but does she actually use those colors in her home?

 

Again, I’ll use myself as an example. I use a lot of strong colors in the things I make, but the colors in our home are actually quite subdued. Our bedroom for example, has very neutral, calming colors going on there. Although I would love a quilt in my favorite colors, I think I would soon put it somewhere I didn’t have to look at it all the time. Color overload is not a good thing if you’re not into that.

So when selecting colors, think about the colors in the room where it is most likely to be used. If your friend already has an overall color scheme there, select the overall colors to go with it. But of course there’s nothing stopping you from using a cheeky pop of pink in a few places!

If you’re making a smaller thing, like a bag or maybe a piece of jewelry, it is a lot easier to make a statement with color. But again, pay attention to what someone uses/wears, not just what they like.

 

Working with colors selected by others

Since color is such a subjective thing, sometimes people will ask you to make something for them in a specific color or color combination. This can be a fun aspect of a project, but it can also be really challenging. If the chosen colors are far removed from your own taste it can be difficult to work with them, because if you usually avoid them, you may not be familiar with how to get them to play well with other colors. (That’s another reason to experiment with color in the things you make for yourself!)

Hopefully the person who has chosen the colors trusts you enough that you have some freedom to add a little bit of your own taste to the project. One way to make a color combination easier to work with is to add just a tiny amount of an accent color that you do like/love. Here’s an example:

Purple-ish colors combined with yellow is probably my least favorite combination. There is just something about this complementary pair that feels really unpleasant. I’m not sure why — I like other complementary pairs. To make it more comfortable for me to work with, I would probably add some pink or orange. Even if it’s just a little bit, either of these colors will help soften the harshness of the yellow + purple combination.

So if you can, work with the colors you have been given, but try and add some of *you* into the mix.

I hope you’ve found my Color Workshop to be fun and informative! Please do stop by my blog, Carina’s Craftblog, where you can find lovely embroidery patterns, learn about projects I’ve got in the works, and catch up on all sorts of embroidery-and craft-related things. Don’t forget that you can buy Stitched Blooms at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or wherever craft books are sold!

 

This week, you can enter for a chance to win one of TWO Stitched Blooms prizes — the English Cottage Tablecloth (46 inches [116.8 cm] square), or a copy of Stitched Blooms! Leave a comment on this blog post by 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 27. You can leave any comment you’d like, but it would be really fun to hear about any color combinations you’ve tried in your embroidery that turned out to be disastrous! Two winners will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and announced on Friday, February 28. Click here for the official rules. Special note: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, but residents outside the U.S. can enter for a chance to win a copy of Stitched Blooms on Carina’s blog! Click here to go to Carina’s Craftblog

***WE’RE EXTENDING YOUR CHANCE TO WIN UNTIL THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 7! PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BY 9 P.M. ON FRIDAY, MARCH 7. TWO WINNERS WILL BE SELECTED AT RANDOM AND ANNOUNCED MONDAY, MARCH 10.***   This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winners, Mita and Stacy! 

 

English Cottage Tablecloth, 46 inches (116.8 cm ) square

 

 

 
 
 
 

124 Responses

    Lesley says:

    I would love to win the stitched blooms book. Its on my to do list

    Lee says:

    I have this book on my wish list! I love Carina’s designs! thanks!

    Megan Shimer says:

    Ooh I’ve had my eye on this book ever since it was released :) Once I tried burgundy with baby pink for a Valentine’s themed design. It absolutely did not work together, lol.

    Kristin S. says:

    Not embroidery but an inkle woven band using crochet thread. I picked red, white and a soft baby pink but the pink disappeared (it looked just like the white) because the pattern I chose went red-pink-red-white-red-pink-red. It tricked the eye and made me re-think color order and dominance. I’m a big fan, by the way. Congratulations on the book!

      Kristin S. says:

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    janilsa luciano says:

    i would love to win this book….the designs are amazing….and being pregnant and at home all day isn’t so much fun…getting to do these designs would brighten my day.

    Hannah says:

    No color disaster comes to mind– but thanks for hosting the giveaway.

    RetroSandie says:

    I’m not a fan of oranges nor golds, but I can see how using them broadens the scope of the color wheel. Thanks!! I would LOVE a copy of your book!!!

    Gilda says:

    No real disasters yet. Thanks so much for your give away.

    Michelle Thomas says:

    I haven’t always been a very adventurous embroiderer when it came to color combinations. Maybe that explains why I can’t think of any abject disasters on the color palette. But please include me in the giveaway for a copy of Stitched Blooms! I’m on the waiting list for it at the library but I fear that a glimpse of the book will not be enough.

    Cathy Henke says:

    Love the cover! Going to try to make some embroidered bracelets and your patterns look perfect! Can’t remember any bad color combos. Would love to win a book. Thanks for the chance.

    Christine Bolin says:

    I would love to win! The color yellow with any other color would be a disaster. I hate yellow so much, I actually have a physical reaction when I see it.

    Kimberly says:

    I’m new to embroidery so I haven’t had a color disaster yet, but I’d love to win the book so I can learn more about embroidery.

    Tabitha Keener says:

    I’m brand new also, but just reading your blog has given me so much help and inspiration! Thanks for a chance!

    tdkcarpenoctem@hotmail.com

    Andrea says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book! I recently used black floss for lettering over an ivory fabric with a small green leaf print, the black didn’t contrast as well as I thought it would. It was a bit hard to read :/

    Guest says:

    I have an aversion to using black in my stitchery. I just find it too harsh.

    Sandy C says:

    I’m new to this and everything is new and fun to me. I don’t have any aversions to anything, I love it all. This would get me going in the right direction.

    Ellen M. says:

    I’m just starting to embroider and am following the recommended colors. I’m not a big fan of minty greens with pink so I probably wouldn’t use that combination, Thanks for the chance at your lovely book!

    Rachel B says:

    No disasters but I find it hard to choose gradation of colors when there are no suggestions.

    Tabitha Swain Klucking says:

    Color disaster for me is when the one of the colors I chose is just slightly off. Oh, I hate that and it eats at me like crazy!

    Carol S. says:

    For the most part, I’m not brave enough to switch out colors on the stuff I stitch–I often pick projects to stitch because I like the color combinations, so why change them? One of my favorite color combinations is a steel blue and a lime green–the color of summer trees against a storm-clouded sky, lit from behind me. At some point I’m going to do a hardanger piece using those colors. Thanks for offering the giveaway!

    Melissa Graham says:

    My worst disaster is picking your colors in one light and then getting them home and they are totally different and not working well together.

    B. Coffman says:

    This would be so great to be able to increase my ‘basic’ embroidery skills by winning Carina’s book. Thanks for the opportunity to add my entry. This looks like a sweet book to enjoy.

    Cynthia Winter says:

    Would love to win. I’m new to embroidery.

    Amy says:

    I love to just throw some colors together. They usually work out well. Thanks for the giveaway. Sewincrediblycrazy (at) rocketmail (dot) com

    Sue Bradford Edwards says:

    The closest thing I’ve come to true disaster is a color combo picked by someone else — medium peach thread on a light peach background. Too much peach and too hard to see when stitching.

    Cindy Dahlgren says:

    I once made something for my Mom. Her colors were olive green, gold, 70′s colors. It looked terrible and dated, but of course she loved it. Gotta love your Mom.

    Pam D says:

    I haven’t had a stitching color disaster, but when I was in college and taking art classes, in the class to learn color, I did an outdoor scene with a wood fence. The green was fine, but my love of complementary cors made me choose a brown for the fence that was a little too red. As soon as I put it up for class discussion, everyone noted that. I’m very careful of the cors that I pick now.

    Tamie Herin says:

    I haven’t done a lot of embroidery but that it why your book would be so great.

    Veronica Scott says:

    I am new to embroidery and to own this book would be a great start

    Carmen N says:

    I can’t think of any color combinations that were disasters.

    Stacy Kemper Alfano says:

    I would love this book! Thank you for the chance!

    Kimberly F says:

    Once I let my 3-year-old pick the colors for a pillow I was making for her room, that was a huge mistake!

    Helene says:

    I’m just learning how to embroider. I would absolutely love a copy of this book!

    Mita Saldana says:

    I haven’t had any color disasters but I have had to re-stitch a section a few times because it just was not working. That can be quite frustrating and can damage the cloth. But we are always learning so I don’t get on my case too much. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Gina says:

    Haven’t had any disastrous color combinations yet! Thanks for a chance to win!

    Paula says:

    I am just getting back into embroidery as well as other hand crafts (crochet, sewing, etc.). Would love to win!

    Viadrienne says:

    I tried a camouflage motif with pinks reds and greens for a client and it was hideous! She loves it though. If I win that book, hopefully it’ll make my work cuter!

    Kaddyshack says:

    Oh my goodness, just under the gun. Yay! I was actually on Carina’s Craftblog and was bummed I couldn’t enter the giveaway. But she pointed me your way, so here I am. Of course, now that I see another lovely stitching blog I’m going to have to follow you as well. So many wonderful blogs, so little time! Not that I mind, of course. Oh, and I’m a knitter/cross stitcher who is trying now to learn embroidery, so I’ve mostly just done patterns where the colors are prescribed. And I’ve only ever done 2 colors in any knitting project as I haven’t yet learned any proper colorwork techniques. So my color blunders are yet to come. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Chris M says:

    I love to experiment with color. I can’t remember a specific bad combination. I probably ripoped it out and started again.

    Karen Simons says:

    Thank you for this helpful article!

    Anonymous says:

    I haven’t completed many projects. So far I have been fortunate. I have enjoyed the information from Carina!

    Terri Borden says:

    I really can’t think of any disasters in my embroidery, other places yes. Thank you so much for the chance.

    Christine Bolin says:

    I would love to win a copy of Stitched Blooms. I love all the colors on the cover. The only color disaster I ever had was something I crocheted. I hated the way the red and yellow looked together.

    Suz says:

    Would love to win Stitched Blooms; thanks for the chance! I have to say – I used to think that the embroidery color combos that my mom used in the 70s were awful, but as I grew I really enjoyed them, and they are back again now… Colors are just fun, and it’s even better now that I can appreciate colors that aren’t the ones that I might choose!

    Renee says:

    I would be honored to own a copy of your beautiful book!

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