Leaves are changing colors, trees are dropping their leaves, the weather is getting chillier, so naturally I’m thinking of…..Easter? Yes, in the life of a needlework designer, this time of year leads to thoughts of the Nashville Needlearts Market and our spring releases.
And naturally, I’m thinking of color. With fall colors all around, I’m trying to focus on spring colors. Holiday colors? Forget about it! Everything in me is wanting to stitch with a palette of gold, orange, and brown, or maybe red, green and silver. And instead I’m thinking spring greens, yellows and pinks.
Color can make or break a design. We released Tropical Punch this summer, and it has been very well-received. The comment I hear more than any other is “the colors are so vibrant”. I have to wonder if the design would have been as popular if I had selected different colors.
It sometimes surprises stitchers to learn that I design everything in black and white, and add the color after the design is completed. Because the color usually isn’t an integral part of the design, stitchers find it easy to change the colors in my designs, and they do! Some of the alternate colorways can be found on this website under the “About” tab, then the “Stitchers Gallery” selection. (By the way, if you’ve stitched one of my designs in an alternate colorway, send me a picture and I’ll add yours to the Gallery.)
Sometimes we’ve “recolored” a design, just to see if it will get a different reception. Colors “sing” differently to people. A blue design won’t speak to a red person. A high contrast design won’t appeal to a monochromatic person. So we changed “Hot Stuff” from high contrast red/orange/yellow to a softer green/pink/blue.
When we introduced the recolored design, we were careful to inform that it wasn’t a new design, just recolored. And it received attention from people who didn’t care for the original colors, but loved the softer colors.
We did the same thing with Shenandoah Spring. Originally, it was in my favorite colors of blues and greens, in very close values:
When we recolored it with higher contrast colors, the design details popped out more:
So as I ponder my color choices for the new designs I’ll be releasing this spring, it’s not a simple matter of “I like green”, or “pink and yellow work together”. The color of a design can make or break it, can determine if it will be a hit or a miss. I consult color forecasts, look at home decorating websites, fashion sites, stores – what colors are appealing, what combinations are filling the stores, what are people wearing? Are there new trends, without being too trendy? And of course, what threads are available? Most important, are there any combinations that make me happy and excited? I’ve always believed that if you don’t like the colors, you won’t stitch the project, and the same is true for me. That’s one reason why you won’t find a whole lot of yellow in my designs; I don’t care for yellow, and have to force myself to use it!
As I work on my new releases for next spring, and consider colors, while you’re wearing your fall colors, think of me and my quest for spring!