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Color Planning Our Welcome Mats

Welcome to color planning!  

AMY TIP:  I always like to use a light, bright, dark, and a dull color in a rug. 

It's always fun to start a new pattern. The anticipation of the project and the excitement to see how it will look when it's completed. Every step of the journey is special in its own right, even if some of them seem more daunting than others. One of my favorite parts of beginning something new is color planning. That's when the imagination really gets a chance to fly. When you add in 5 of us, each with different ideas on how the finished projects should look, it turns into a highly entertaining day. It took a while to get each person's colors just right and even then there was last minute color shuffling. 

We all wanted the welcome mats to coordinate with our respective homes and styles, this made the color selections extremely varied and we spent a lot of time with a lot of yarn surrounding us. We must have pulled skeins from everywhere in the yarn room not to mention the ones we brought in from home!

Here are the colors that we each chose and the way that we each came to our color choices. 

 Christy: I always like to take       inspiration from things around me.  Whether it's a photograph or I use textiles a lot for inspiration, or clothing, like a favorite shirt, because it's basically planned for you. I like to pull a lot from things like that. Using complimentary colors and colors that are adjacent on the color wheel, for example primary with secondary, blues with greens and purples. I also always tend to lean towards whatever my favorite color is at the moment.

Christy decided to use for her inspiration this fabric by William Morris, their "Strawberry Thief" in red. Christy's original colors included a beautiful rusty orange color, Tangelo, from our Violet Jane Line. It pulled in those red tones from "Strawberry Thief".

However, when she took the colors home to see how they looked, she wasn't as much a fan of the color combination. Sometimes seeing the colors in the space where the rug or punched project is going to be, will change the way you see them. Different lighting can make the colors shift slightly, so they may look one way in one space and completely different in another. Color is tricky like that!

Christy finally settled on using the original background color she had picked out, Blackberry and she chose Peas in a Pod for her vine, both from the Violet Jane line. Christy brought in some stash sniglets of green to add an accent off of the vine. The welcome, she decided to use a blue from her own Quill & Quiver line of yarn. 

 Christy's final color selection

I knew that I wanted to use MacKenzie Child's Country Check line as my inspiration. The brightness of the colors and pattern with the checkered background was a good launching point for me. I love to play with color and patterns, and knew I wanted to use the bead stitch in my mat. 

Using more neutral colors for the checker border and background allowed me to play with brighter colors in my lettering and the scrolling.  You can see in the picture below that I pulled out some of the more dominate colors like the blue and green, as well as some of the accent colors, such as the purple and pink. Using this color pallet I played around with color placement and how the border and background affected the vibrancy of the colors. 


I ended up using: Violet Jane Black Hollow, Smokey Extra Light, Tortola, Magic Magenta. Halcyon's H176, and the bright green from my own stash

Heidi had decided that she wanted to use and showcase the fine needles in her project. This meant that she had to look at other yarns then the rug yarns. Using yarns from her stash, she was able to pull together a subtle and beautiful Americana color pallet that plays into her love of blue. Heidi wanted to do the bead stitch as well on her letters and the border of her mat. Knowing this and the colors she was using, she really needed to plan and plot it out. That meant a lot of twisting fibers together to see how the colors would play together when punched in the bead stitch. 


Twisting the fibers mimics the checkered effect of the bead stitch. Holding it up to the background color also made it so you can see how they will play off and if there is enough contrast provided.

Sid had a hard time settling on his colors. It was fun to try and puzzle it out and narrow down his options. He had an idea, but as everyone else planned out theirs and Sid saw more options, his idea for his own mat mutated. He went from a dark blue background with a bright orange and a more muted faun color to completely switching up the look. We had to look a few times through our color evaluators to make sure that he had all the elements of color that would allow the piece to really sing.  Sid ended up settling on a more fall and muted color pallet. 

Sid ended up deciding to use a heather grey from his stash, Halcyon's H151, and two Violet Jane colors: Spring Fling and a one of a kind similar to Fiesta Day.

Cotey was the lone one of us who had a clear idea of colors she wanted to use and had her welcome mat planned out within 5 minutes. Cotey knew she wanted to have the colors ease through a value shift in her lettering and that she wanted the background to really pop. She picked up a Grey Scale yarn dyed by Judith Hotchkiss and two Violet Jane colors: Comfort and Evocative, two colors that Cotey really loves. The grey's played off the jewel tones in the Violet Jane making them more rich and velvety. 

For You: When trying to figure out the best colors to use for your project and to see how they will play off of each other, it helps to hold them up together, laying the colors that will touch near each other. If a specific color is just going to be embellishment, have the thread in between the colors that it will be near it to see if it adds or detracts. You want to make sure there is contrast in the colors that you are using throughout your project.  Cotey had this to say about picking and choosing colors: "As an artist I have an easier time seeing the contrast, but I find for people who aren't as used to looking at colors through that lens, color evaluators are extremely helpful tools. They allow you to see the cool and warm colors, it will help you figure out what needs to be added or subtracted." 
See you next week!
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1 comment

  • Nicole Rizzo

    This is wonderful. I especially love the tip to view the yarn colors in what will become their “natural environment” before commiting.
    Is there anywhere online that explains the bead stitch? I’d be interested to try it!

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