How the colours you use can change an embroidery significantly

As I have been testing out the final designs in the Rachel Kathryn collection I have been reminded again how important the choice of thread colour is, and how dramatically that choice can effect the finished embroidery.

I like to do some stitch outs using other colours just to see how they look and I just love experimenting with colour. I am always looking for the next fascinating colour combination! As I make any selection, I am aware that it is much like an artist with his palette of oils, except mine are on my thread racks on the wall, out of the sunshine. In this case, I knew I should do at least one stitch out in one colour alone, to show you how “bland” it can appear in comparison to the combination of the palest of colours that I have selected for Rachel Kathryn Bridal collection! So I set GFE-RKB-5-9 up and left it embroidering in Sulky Rayon 40 wt 1071 Off white on white dupion silk. The bobbin ran out before the last three colours which are flower centres.

While changing the bobbin thread, I examined the embroidery deciding to use Sulky Rayon 40wt 520 Bone for some contrast for these centres. It made quite a difference. However if your embroidery is going to be embellished with hot fix pearls and crystals, they too will make the flowers pop. It is really down to personal preference though.

As the light hits your rayon thread there is often some variation in colour and shine, and the type of stitching and the angle that the stitches are lying in, will effect this too, which is why I have tried to add as many contrasts in the way the stitches are grouped, in this set and also in my other collections.

Quite a few years ago I started to use polyester thread for my embroidery as it is not so expensive, but it lacked the lustre of rayon, and those thread spools remain unused in my sewing room as I found that it did not catch the light so much and therefore there was less contrast.

One of my other stitch outs featured Sulky Rayon 40wt 1209 Light avocado which has become one of my favourite greens. At the moment the country lanes around here are a marvellous tapestry of lush greens as all the leaves are in fresh abundance. I have heard digitisers say that when they are out and see something interesting they start to digitise it in their head. I have to confess that I am more likely to be deciding which thread colour would be the closest match. Yesterday when I was out I could see many examples of Light avocado in the trees and in the hedge rows.

This just has to be my favourite time of year, for as well as all the lush growth in the trees, the lanes are beginning to adopt the annual display of lace borders formed by Cow parsley (Queen Anne’s lace) which I adore and digitised a while back, in my Summer Meadow collection. There are beautiful flowers everywhere now, here in the south of England as the days warm up and lengthen, lilacs, wisterias, dicentras (bleeding hearts) and forget me knots. I parked under a Horse chestnut tree and its orchid type flowers were close enough to get this photograph. There is just so much to inspire me each time I go out, but I think that capturing these “exotic” flowers would be huge and impossible challenge. Now you can see why I am not so enamoured with single coloured embroidery, there are just too many gorgeous colours out there!

Back to my second stitch out, GFE-RKB-5-2 which is an interesting shape.

This time around I used ivory silk dupion for the embroidery and made a few colour changes.

You can see that I used my favourite green for the large roses in this embroidery. As the final designs in the collection are for the extra large Husqvarna Imperial hoop, which measures 360mm x 260mm (14″ x 10.5″) you cannot see much detail when I photograph the whole design, so here is half of it.

On this close up you can see how the light is hitting the large five petalled flower, at the top right and how each petal looks different. There are 10 designs in this final set and I love this one below, GFE-RKB-5-1, but as for a favourite that is quite difficult. I hope you love them all and find them useful for your bridal or heirloom embroidery.

Remember these are very special designs which will stitch out on all your bridal fabric but also on sheer fabric like tulle, so they are perfect for veil embroidery. It is essential if you are doing this to use good quality wash away stabiliser, and if you are putting any colour in the veil embroidery, do test it first as I find that colours darken slightly when the stabiliser is washed away! This can be very frustrating and I would love to know how to overcome it. I am releasing this set today, Thursday 2nd May, 2019 and hope to do a blog on embroidering a veil using these designs, very soon.

Happy embroidering from Hazel

About gracefulembroidery

I digitise machine embroidery designs specializing in Bridal, heirloom and Celtic work.
This entry was posted in Discussing machine embroidery, New Designs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How the colours you use can change an embroidery significantly

  1. Gail Beam says:

    Hi Hazel, Thank you for the discussion on how different colors of thread can not only dramatically change how a design looks but also how subtle changes in color can add just the right touch.

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