Designing tactics

Encouraging others express their ideas in stitchery is a favourite pass time of mine. Many lack the confidence to embark upon designing sticking instead to the safe path of kits and charts. There are a number of articles online that offer advice tips and information on how to go about creating your own designs. Today I have rounded up some for you.

Lois Caron introduces some practical steps towards producing a design in Are You Caught in Design Gridlock? Her advice is aimed at those who are embarking on designing, those who are fearful of design or those who are plain stuck. Developing your Creative “Side” expands on the topic.

Sue Strause covers the basics of design elements such as tone, balance, rhythm, texture and colour in Quest: Taking the Fear Out of Designing

A Study of Color and Design introduces design principles in a series of 5 articles by Gene Wright. The second part introduces colour with the third and fourth continuing the topic and the final article wraps it up for you.

If you have had little experience in pushing stitches in your designs here are some articles which provoke ideas and encourage exploration. For instance take a look at Stitching For Effect by Beth Robertson and Suzanne Howren who have provided advice on thread and canvas selection, and demonstrate their explorations via illustrations of a few simple stitches worked in different threads. Also have a look at Variations of a Theme by Gayle Bicknell. If you think cross stitch is boring and unimaginative have a look at Pattern Making with Cross Stitch by Jean Draper who has focused on using cross stitch in contemporary free manner.

Optical Color Blending explains how to blend color in the needle using either solid or multicolored threads.

To return to the topic of colour as I posted about this last week I have another link for those who need information on using colour in their designs Mary Shipp has written Color for Needleworkers

The Webstitcher’s Sourcebook is different from other textile directories as they provide links to information about design and colour theory.

Finally if you are interested in designing cross stitch or even weave canvas works when you know the stitch count, height and width and the fabric count of your design the Self-contained Fabric Computer will compute the size of the design area for your project. This is a very handy javascript driven calculator provided by Beth Katz.

Colour my world with beetles?

Did you know that to obtain a pound of Cochineal red colorant extract you need to bash the hell out of a million cochineal beetles? This is why the Aztecs valued the red dye so much. I am not sure if it is the satisfaction in the bashing or the work involved but they did value the extract. I turned this little bit of colour trivia up from the Colour Matters site. If you wish to learn a little more about colour take some time out and explore Colour Matters as all aspects of colour are covered. Colour perception, colour as a science, colour and computers, and the psychology of colour are just a few topics covered.

Colour is a fascinating area of research and I have been doing a bit of a round up of links on the topic. On All about Colour, Pantone has also provided brief articles on the physics, history, the psychology and how we perceive colour.

I know the British love their museums and collections (I did too when I was there!) but I was surprised to discover that the Society of Dyers and Colourists in the UK have provided a Colour Museum. It is a fun interactive site which is educational as well.

The history of the colour wheel is fascinating as Mary Ellen Searcy points out since ancient times humans have tried to classify colour.

Color Schemer – Online is a great idea. This online program displays 15 colors that compliment one another. Not only is it great for anyone who is learning about colour but it is also fun.

For anyone who needs to brush up on the basics Color Theory is a brief article that introduces the topic and Lucy Lyons Willis also provides a good basic article covering some of the basics of colour theory in Needlework

Finally if you need a Color Glossary one is provided by colorcube.com