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Changing the color scheme

Have you ever wanted to re-arrange or change the color scheme of a cross stitch project? Maybe the colors don’t match your home decor or perhaps the design is great but the colors need to be kicked up a notch or toned down? I’m going to give you 4 easy steps to use to change pattern colors.

  1. The first step in changing the colors is to pull the all the original colors for the pattern calls for. After you pull the colors group the color families together (all the blues, all the pinks etc) then arrange each color family from light to dark. Most often an object or part of the design in the stitching will be made up of light, medium and dark variation of a color. There may also be more then 3 shades making up this color range.
  2. Next if you don’t have a particular color group in mind go to the DMC floss card which shows all the color families that DMC offers. Pick out the color family you think you would like to use and then pull the number of new threads in that color range. If there were 5 colors in the first color grouping you will need 5 colors in the new color family. If there isn’t enough colors in the 2nd color family to choose what you need look through the DMC floss card and find the color(s) that blend well and add these to fill out you new color family. Keep in mind that the new color family needs to work with the rest of the colors in the pattern.
  3. You may need to change a second color to help the first one harmonize with the rest of the colors in the pattern. Select the darkest color from your new color family and dial it in on the color wheel. Directly across from it is its complimentary color. This will be your second replacement color. Once again you will need to pull a range of light to dark colors in that family. If there were 5 original colors used you will need to select 5 new colors for your second replacement pallet. You can continue to replace colors using this method until you are satisfied with your color change.
  4. When you are satisfied with your choices mark the new colors on the symbol chart of the pattern. Also write on the pattern where there is a empty space the symbol and the new color. Most charts will have a legend that tells you what each symbol means. You should replace the old color numbers with the new color numbers.

Food for thought: Don’t limit yourself in using what the pattern calls for in fabric. Just because it states it was done on a certain count and certain color of material, doesn’t mean it is what you have to use. I think of the fabric color as one of my pattern colors. I use a lot of over-dyed fabric for my projects. I think it gives your pattern a wonderful feeling of sky, water or grass that you don’t need to stitch. Be daring!

Make your project one of a kind, put a little of “you” in every project that you do.

Pat Emlet

Author Pat Emlet

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