How do you choose the best thread colors for embroidery?

I posted this photo on Facebook the other day:

Infinit Collection

Andree commented on it:

“It’s beautiful! What I would love to know is: how to choose the best color for embroidery, when to use contrasting color with an appliqué, and when to choose a matching color… It seems like I only get this with trial and error…”

I’m guessing that a lot of people might have the same question. Here’s what I replied:

“In a nutshell – analogous colors always look good together, then throw in a small amount of a complementary color. In the pic, orange is the main color, yellow and magenta are analogous (one on either side of orange on the color wheel). Turquoise is the complementary color to orange and gives this image the “kick” that makes it special. You can also use various shades of a color to add light and dark interest.”

The orange circle is stitched onto a hot pink background:

Infinity Collection

The pink thread on the appliquéd orange circle really anchors the circle on the background and the turquoise is still providing the “kick”. But look what happens if you take out the turquoise (thanks to Photoshop!):

Infinity Collection

You completely lose the punch.

This design comes from the Infinity Collection. If you love circles, this collection should definitely be in your embroidery library. With 2″, 3″, 4″, 5″ and 6″ circles you have plenty of options to choose from. The collection also includes instructions on how to make the Infinity Laptop Sleeve which makes an excellent Christmas gift – and you know that you’re going to have to start thinking about gifts soon 🙂

The background was quilted entirely in the hoop using designs from the Transformation Quilting Collection. This is for you if you love beautiful quilting but you just haven’t mastered doing it free motion. Let your embroidery module do beautiful quilting for you!

My favorite book on color theory is Joen Wolfrom’s “Color Play”. I also love her “Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool” which is great to take shopping when you’re looking for the perfect color, whether it’s fabric, thread, paint for you living room or napkins for your dining table!

I hope this helps you to have fun choosing the colors for your next project.

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