Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stitching N Changing Colors 101

I keep forgetting to put this in my shop newsletter, so I guess this will be the place to talk about colors and designs and stuff.

Kathy wanted to stitch up Homespun Elegance's "Witches Stitch Too", but she decided to change the fabric color ... the designer did hers' on 30ct Straw Linen. So Kathy pulled all the fibers that were to be used in the design (fiber colors that would actually be 'next' to the fabric; not colors that might be 'inside the stitched design' and would not affect how they would look on the fabric all by themselves).
She chose 30ct Glen Ellyn Blend linen instead .. it had more of a Halloween-oogy-green look to it.
The only color that wasn't going to quite work was the green DMC at far left. This was the color for the Witch's face and tended to blend into the Glen Ellyn too much. So she pulled, in the same color family, a green that was 2 shades darker .. and that one will work perfectly!

If you're wanting to change colors on a design .. maybe it's a wedding design that you want to personalize the wedding colors to; or a Mirabilia fairy you want to stitch for yourself, but the colors would never go in your 'room decor' .. it's relatively easy to do.

If changing the background (the fabric color), do what Kathy did and place all the fiber colors that are going to be next to the fabric (without backstitching) to see how they look. Trust me .. your eye will let you know if they work or not!
If changing the colors in a design like the ones mentioned above, you want to either get yourself into your LNS, or grab your DMC color chart (a valuable tool!).

Now, look at the shades that are being used in the design and compare them to the same shading range on your DMC color card. This way you can see just how the color varies within the shading of that color family.

For example .. look at far right: I've marked 4 colors - 3 that are light to medium light blue and 1 that is the darkest blue in that color family. I don't want to do blue .. I want something else!
If you wanted to change to lavenders or pinks or roses, you would follow the same shading ranges within the color family you are choosing to change to.
The lightest blue in the color range you are changing from would be the equal to the lightest lavender or pink or rose in the color range you have chosen. The next two colors in the light blue family would be the very next two colors in the family you are changing to. Then, since the darkest blue is the 3rd color BELOW the other blues being used, you would choose, in your lavender, rose or pink family, the color that is the 3rd color below there as well. You now have the exact shading you were going for! Does that make sense?

You probably will find, if you're doing flowers for instance, that the greens in the leaves and stem now do not go well with your new color family. You will need to look at the colors in green you were to use and match, with your Color Chart, to the same shadings within the different color families of greens. And then, put those greens against your 'new' design colors to see how they relate to each other. Again, your eye will tell you good from bad. The chart here at right shows two greens in the medium range, so when I found how the colors in other greens ran, where they fell within that color family, I was able to find substitutions with the same degree of shading within other color families.
Hope that makes you feel more confident about changing the look of a project you've been considering!


The Cat Bastet said...

Thanks for that detailed (and clear!) explanation. I never feel confident about doing this myself, which is why I always ask you for advice. :)

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

Wow, thank you for that clear description! I just finished Witches Stitch Too! earlier this month and made it into a stitcher's keep box :) Turned out great its on my blog if you ever care to take a look!

Anonymous said...

The expanation on how to change colors was absolutely fabulous. I shall copy this & keep it forever. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the lesson on changing colors. I am not so confident when doing so and this will be very helpful. Sandi Jo