Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Color Schemes Galore! Resources for Stitching Color


Amazon Books

Making good choices about colors to use in hand embroidery projects can sometimes be a real challenge.

On the one hand, color is a very personal (and subjective) thing.

But on the other hand, it’s also an objective consideration. Colors have to work together to achieve whatever it is the artist or craftsperson is trying to achieve. If they don’t work, it’s obvious, and it can be a real turn off.

This doesn’t mean that color always has to be “pleasing to the eye.” It depends on what you’re trying to do with your embroidery. Maybe you want to use colors that might be considered less than pleasing, to make a point. Maybe you want to create something that is shocking or that grabs the attention in a non-conventional way.

But for the most part, we normally strive to use pleasant color palettes that, objectively, most people will look at and think, “That’s beautiful!” or “That looks good,” or “That works,” even if they don’t personally like the color families. We don’t normally want our color choices to jar the audience or repulse the viewer.

Stitch Palettes website for color and embroidery

If you have trouble selecting colors that go well together, or generating ideas about colors you might want to use in your embroidery, you might just love Stitch Palettes.

I love it! It’s a visual pleasure to browse through. I find it calming, exciting, therapeutic, and inspirational, all rolled into one! It’s a fabulous resource!

Stitch Palettes website for color and embroidery

The website’s author, Krisztina, started creating her stitch palettes about six months ago, as a design exercise. Using photos that involve striking colors, she extracts the overall color scheme, isolates the colors, and then provides a variety of corresponding color resources for the extracted color scheme.

She starts with DMC floss numbers, and then she provides conversions for DMC tapestry wool and Anchor cotton floss.

And of course, if you want to go further with other thread lines, you can always start with that thread line’s conversion for DMC, if there’s one available. For example, you might want to work with an Au Ver a Soie silk. In that case, you’d take the DMC floss numbers and find a good conversion chart for Au Ver a Soie (from DMC to Soie d’Alger, for example), and pin down the converted color numbers. You might have to tweak the a bit to get exactly what you want, but you can see how the Stitch Palettes are a great springboard for making color choices.

Stitch Palettes website for color and embroidery

She also provides HEX, RGB, and CMYK colors for folks who want to use the same color schemes in graphics, web design, or print.

Stitch Palettes website for color and embroidery

And, with each color palette, you’ll also find a curated collection of similar color palettes, in case you want to explore the color family further.

Stitch Palettes website for color and embroidery

Interested in something peacock-ish? Stitch Palettes gives you a great starting point for selecting threads!

Stitch Palettes website for color and embroidery

How about a delightful pink and green collection?

Stitch Palettes website for color and embroidery

Or the glorious blues of a nighttime sky?

Whether you struggle with color choices for your needlework or not, Stitch Palettes is a fantastic resource for color ideas and inspiration!

Other Services

Krisztina also has a couple e-books available in PDF format, for downloadable themed collections (Christmas and Valentine’s Day). They’re a very affordable way to have a color design resource right on your computer or mobile device. in the e-book, she collects all the color palettes she’s put together thus far, that fit under the particular themes. I think they’re a great idea, and a good way to support her work, which is so helpful for stitchers.

She also creates customized stitch palettes, if you have a photo with colors you like and you’d like your own stitch palette created from it. You can check out her PDF collections and her stitch palette service here.

I hope you enjoy this resource as much as I do!


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(12) Comments

  1. Morning Mary – What a fantastic resource this is, while I do enjoy finding my own colors from my threads, starting with the color card, sometimes it’s nice to have a starting point such as this, half the thinking is already done for you. I’ve also used the dots on the selvage of a multi-color piece of fabric that I like as a starting point too. What I really like about this resource is that it takes all the guess work out and you can start stitching right away. Plus, if you want to have a zinger color in there you can always go to the opposite or complimentary side of the color wheel and put a small amount of that (light, medium, or dark shade) in your embroidery. I’d love to play around with this RIGHT NOW but I’d better get out in the garden while it’s still decent weather. Thank you.
    Happy stitching – Brenda

  2. What an inspiration!! I have seen this concept, pull colors from a favorite photo, but never matched with actual floss numbers. What a fantastic resource. Thanks for the info Mary!

  3. So delighted to see your post today. I’ve been following the palettes on Instagram and had left a comment just this week that she should compile all the palettes into a book. I’d certainly buy it! She could do one a year…wouldn’t that be cool??? The photography is so outstanding and the palettes choices too. Cheers!!

  4. Dear Mary

    What a great resource Stitch Palettes is a great way of choosing colour schemes for a project when you are not sure of the choice of thread colours. I like the way Krisztina has organised the colours into Palettes by DMC code, Palettes by colour and palettes by scheme this is so helpful when choosing a colour scheme. A great resource to have thanks Krisztina for this very useful resource for all embroiders and thanks Mary for sharing this resource with us and for the links to Krisztina website and for the review with photos on Stitch Palettes I shall certainly be using this in future projects.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  5. Hi Mary, what a wonderful way to start a morning! Colors actually have an emotional impact for me. Do you know of a “good conversion chart for Au Ver a Soie (from DMC to Soie d’Alger, for example)” for those of us that would love to use this thread line but do not have access to the real live threads for choosing? Thanks so much!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this resource Mary! I really love the idea and I can see how this is going to be so useful. I always enjoyed using the colour picker tool in Illustrator to create palettes from a photo, but what fabulous idea to translate that into thread numbers. I’m intending to try experimenting with some Wessex embroidery soon and I can see these palettes being really helpful when I’m playing with the stitching patterns. I will definitely be supporting Kriztina! 🙂

  7. It’s taken me some time to get around to reading this post but thank you, Mary, for pointing us toward Stitch Palettes! I have a feeling I’m going to find it very helpful. 🙂

  8. wow….what a great tool…and I was wondering how about a picture of the colors in a specific fabric, and then you said she could do that….great tool….

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