I have been talking with other artists about the importance of sharing our processes. Sometimes it is fun to peak behind the curtain, and see how an artist’s mind works. My mind is usually a tangle of thread. I attempted to be a little neater in my process this time just for your benefit.
I begin with a tray or box and start tossing in tons of threads. I try to add a huge variety of colors, thicknesses, and textures to my selection. Tossing the colors together, somewhat haphazardly, allows me to see color combinations that I might not normally choose. I use this same toss in a pile method for selecting fabric.
I place the tray next to the piece I am going to stitch. This allows me to get a feel for the color mixture. At this point, I weed out a few threads and/or add other thread choices.
I then check to see if I have enough variety in the color pallets I am considering for the piece. Many people think you should match thread to your fabric. I use the “matching” colors to ground the piece. But then, I add my traditionally non-matching colors. If you match all your threads, they disappear when your piece is viewed at a distance. The threads that stand out and catch your eye are the color shifts. These are the colors that work with your “matching colors” and support them in the overall effect of your design.
Now, it is time to begin stitching. Some threads will not be used and others will be added along the way.