Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Free Pattern

I've been having so much fun with colored pencils on blackwork that I came up with a pattern especially for the method:

Star Window is a small, simple pattern that is easy to stitch and fun to color.
You'll find it on the Blackwork Smalls page.

I also pulled a bunch of samples from my stitching box and have transformed them using colored pencils. I have learned a few things along the way:

1) Don't overdo the color. Many pieces can get weighed down and look muddy with too much color.

Just a hint of color makes the facets of Snowflake Mandala pop!

2) Dampen the cloth, then roll it in a towel to remove excess moisture. A slightly damp canvas makes the color more vibrant. Be careful not to get it too wet; the colors can and will bleed if you're not careful.

I didn't like this pattern at all when I first designed it.
The bright colors have given a boring and clinical -looking
pattern a lively new look.

3) Keep the pencils sharp. Or not. It depends.

A dampened, duller pencil is great for filling in larger areas,
but as you can see, a fine point is needed to get the color
into the nooks and crannies.

4) It's okay to blend colors. In fact, it can lead to some exciting effects.

I was unhappy with the blue I had chosen for the small balls;
they were too bright for the green and gray. I colored over them
with the gray and got a fascinating patina. It wasn't so successful
with the purple, but I think that I used too heavy a hand with the
purple to begin with.

5) You may need a second coat.

After the first coat. Look at the first photo again and
you can see how much I missed. 

6) Keep a Tide Stain Stick handy. I got a smudge of color in the wrong spot and the Tide Stain Stick saved the day!

I'm contemplating using some sort of finish in addition to heat-setting the color. Something to protect it from the elements. Any ideas? Let me know.


  1. Wow! A way to combine my two favorite pastimes: embroidery and coloring! I would never have thought of it. I know I have some blackwork somewhere...thanks for the wonderful idea!

  2. Be sure and read my post about smudges.


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