Have you ever passed on buying (or stitching) a piece you loved because you didn’t like the color scheme?
I know I did until I learned a system for creating a color scheme. I used it to create alternate color schemes for Jubilee as well as the color schemes for my small stitch sampler and for this year’s 25 stitches samplers. My alternate schemes use Forest Fire, Meadow, Twilight or Tobacco Watercolours. If you would like a spreadsheet of the alternate schemes, please contact me.
Once you learn it, you’ll have an easily accessible source of color schemes for your projects.
Here’s how to do it:
Begin by writing down the material list and organizing it by color and shade within the color. For Jubilee this would be:
- light, medium, dark, and border main color
- light, medium and dark main accent
- secondary accent
Don’t worry if there are multiple threads under some colors, list them all and in every size.
Using my colors for Jubilee as an example, under multi-colors, there is Amethyst in Watercolours and Impressions. Violet is my main color and pink is my main accent.
Now you have the start of a shopping list. Make sure you have room to write down your choices.
To start picking threads, pick your multi-color thread. For this project it needs to have at least three colors. One should be the main color. From the accent colors pick one to be the main accent. This should be the accent that you think might make a better background, because a light shade of this color is the background in many of the blocks.
Remember that you may have to change these choices along the way or substitute threads. Try, as much as possible, to use threads that are similar in texture even if they come from different manufacturers.
It’s easiest to do this in person with a shop that has a wide variety of threads. If you shop at a time when the shop is less crowded it will be easier to do this. If you cannot shop in-person look for an on-line shop that has a large selection with pictures of their threads.
A warning if you are shopping on-line; your monitor and the shop’s camera may change the colors of the threads. Once you have picked your threads, call the shop and ask if they can pull the threads and check them together for you.
For almost any project using a variety of threads some will be easy to find (floss, pearl cotton, etc.) and some will be more obscure or come in a limited color selection. Begin with those threads that are hardest to find. In this list it’s the Wool Crepe. This nubby thread comes in a limited range of colors. Pick it first. If you cannot find the shades needed you’ll have to look for an interesting (and different) matte texture in another thread. You might consider silk ribbons or straw-like threads.
Work from most to least obscure of the threads, and write each selection down in pencil as you choose it. If you are shopping in-person, put the chosen threads in one pile and the rejects in another. Always keep the multi-color on top to use as your reference as you pick each thread.
Feel free as you pick threads to mix manufacturers of similar threads. Except for the shaded block, using the same thread from different manufacturers isn’t a problem.
Once you’ve picked your threads you are ready to start stitching.
A NOTE ON CANVAS COLOR There is exposed canvas in this project. This means that your project will look better if the canvas is either cream or a light shade of one of your colors. The model is stitched on light gray canvas.
Mapping the Project and Stitching the Sashing
The finished size of the design is 240 by 301 threads. The overall plan of the design is:
In the piece (as can be seen in the map above), there are twelve square blocks, separated by narrow borders. Around this is a wider border which finishes the design. The names are the names of the quilt block and appear at the top of each lesson. The Corner Blocks are all the same.
In order to work the quilt, mark only the outlines of the first block. Since the inner borders are stitched as the blocks are completed, each subsequent location can be determined from the previously stitched blocks.
Basting works best to mark the block in this case. Baste a block 55 threads by 55 threads. The lower right corner of the block is 11” down and 7.5” from the left edge of the canvas. Baste the square with a slightly contrasting color of thread or draw it with a hard lead (HB) drawing pencil.
Do not worry about marking the outer borders as they will be stitched in solid patterns and will surround the entire center evenly.
All the sashing is done in Cliff’s Stitch, above, from Father B’s Book of Stitches and charted above. Another name for this stitch in some books is Beaty. This design, like most quilts, does not use a mitered inner border. These narrow inner borders provide a break between each of the blocks and unify the design as a whole. All vertical borders run from the top to the bottom of the quilt block area. All horizontal borders are just the width of one square.
It is always easier, when doing a design like this one (with inner borders), to stitch those borders after each block is completed. When a square is finished, make the top and bottom border for that square. Once an entire row is finished, make one of the vertical borders. This will helps place the next patch and it will get the borders completed in pieces, instead of leaving them all for the end.
Follow the project on-line: