My approach to stitches - crocheted, knitted or sewn - and colour varies enormously depending on the time of year and what I'm working on. But one thing I have noticed when I look back at what I've made this year, is how strongly I am influenced by the seasons in what I make and in the colours I choose. I find I favour cooler colours in the cooler months, and a wider, more vibrant palate in the summer. So today I thought I'd focus on embroidery, and specifically my four hoops which feature the same tree throughout the year in different seasons. Thinking about the type of stitches I'd use to draw these scenes was one of the best things about this project, looking at the way different colours and motifs worked in different techniques.
I'll start with Autumn, because it's the first hoop I made, it's my favourite time of year and, as I've said before, September always feels like New Year to me. It's the time of falling leaves, berries, fungi, feathers and seeds.
Colours at this time of year are rich but fading. They are the tones of the earth; ochre yellow, rusty oranges and reds, muddy browns and greys, with green and plummy purple thrown in. The colours I want now are cosy and warm, mustard yellow and conker brown.
Winter is quiet and hushed. It's the season of pale skies, bare trees, snow covered branches and frosty earth covered in leaf and seed skeletons.
The colours are still, suspended until spring. Dark greys and browns with pale pinks, lilacs and blues. Hiding but there if you look carefully in sunsets and early snowdrops. It's not about the colour now as much as comfort and warmth - stitches to soothe and pass the time until spring comes.
Spring is for blossom, bulbs, buds and birds. A rainbow of gentle colour emerges after the cold winter as everything wakes up.
Blossom pink, daffodil yellow, bluebells and purple grape hyacinths...we are spoilt for choice. I definitely think more colourfully at this time of year. How can you not, when there are tulips and daffodils everywhere you look, and longer days and more hours of sunlight?
Ah, summer. Summer is blue skies, lush foliage, bright blooms and bees buzzing. As you can see I am still working on this hoop but I already know what tones and shades I will be using.
An English summer is a glorious thing to behold and the colours are bursting, vivid and noisy. Emerald green leaves, jewel-coloured flowers, golden sunflowers and glittering water. I want stitched projects that reflect my summery mood, vibrant and happy.
I tend to think of these four hoops - and the four seasons - as colours first and images second. The colours matter hugely and it's no accident that I've looked to nature for inspiration here. Something I've noticed time and time again while writing these Colour Collaborative posts over the last sixteen months, is how often the most harmonious colour combinations appear in nature first, and then are replicated in other forms like fabric or decoration. Mother nature always looks good. She always matches.
What about you - do you think your attitude to colour in your stitched projects changes with the time of year? I know us crafters often turn towards yarn-based projects as the months turn cooler, and start planning scarves and blankets, but do you think your colour choices are also different in winter to summer, in autumn as opposed to spring?
Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:
Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above The River
What is The Colour Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.