We all have colors we don’t like, even if it’s only shades of a particular color. For me, it’s orange. I tend to avoid it except some shades of orangish-yellow. At the same time, I realize avoiding one particular color is even worse than avoiding a family of stitches — it limits what you can do.
As a result, I’ve come up with some strategies to use orange in my projects. Throughout today’s article, you’ll see examples, when I have them, of this use.
Make a stitch sampler using threads in this color. The heart sampler is an example of this. When you decide to do this, pick, if possible, as many threads as you have patches. This heart uses very little thread per patch, so I could use scraps. Widen your net to include lighter and darker shades of the color as well as overdyes that include the color. By casting a wider net, you’ll get a design that does not look dull.
Make a Bargello using the color. This initial box top used two shades of orange in a simple diamond Bargello to set off the initial and make a great background.
Divide your background into quadreants. The Raymond Crawford canvas was painted in the two shades of orange, but creating this kind of background is easy. Divide the canvas into quadrants. Pick two similar but distinct shades of the color. Use them in diagonally opposite quadrants. This sampler used four Cross Stitches.
Use it as part of an analogous scheme. While I’m not crazy about orange, red is one of my favorite colors. By using an analogous scheme of red, orange, and yellow, I created a design of great interest and incorporated orange effectively into the design. This project, Mod Sampler, is available in my Etsy store.
Use threads in the color for a quilt portrait. Because quilts incorporate many fabrics, it’s easy to use the target color in conjunction with another color, even if it’s only the background. The liveliness of the quilt block and the variety of threads makefor a great project. This project, Firestorm, can be found here.
Use the color as an accent. In this quilt portrait, based on the colors of daffodils, is mainly spring greens and yellows with a white background. Adding orange as an accent was in keeping with my inspiration flower. The project turned out to be one of my favorites.
And that’s the surprising thing about color. Even though orange isn’t my favorite, I use it more than I thought. And many of these pieces are ones I really love.