In this episode, I draw blue tulips; which are not a very common occurrence. Tulips are said to occur in every color except the color blue. When I was a little girl, my dad returned from a trip to Holland with pictures of large fields of tulips in so many luscious colors. I remember so clearly the vivid colors of the flowers. The bright yellows, reds, and greens are the colors I remember most. That’s my earliest memory of the tulip flower. Over the years, whenever I see tulips, I remember those lovely photos and think of the many places I have yet to visit.
It turns out though, that tulips occur naturally in almost every color except true blue. You can have naturally occurring lilacs and purples and colors close to blue but not blue itself. So flower growers either dye or create hybrid plants in order to get blue tulips. This week, I decided to go gardening and to create my own hybrid blue tulips by using blue threads. My aim in this week’s drawing was to blend the thread colors seamlessly (pun not intended but it works) to create my own hybrid blue tulips.
So here’s the pencil sketch that I started with
I used several shades of blue (didn’t count how many) to stitch this drawing. The fact that you can’t see that many shades of blue makes me see that I did a good job of blending the colors together.
And now, here’s the reverse side of the work.
Watch this short video to see how I blended the thread colors in my blue tulips and scroll down after the video to read how you can also blend thread colors to create a beautifully stitched drawing.
Tips, Techniques and Tools for Textile Artists
Two Blue Tulips: Blending Thread Colors
- Start stitching with the darkest thread color that you want to use. Go over your previous line of stitching with lighter shades of thread color. I found that when the darker color is underneath, it blends easier with other colors that you stitch over than when it’s stitched on top of lighter shades of color.
- Leaves spaces (little spaces to medium spaces) between your stitch lines to allow you to come back and stitch over with different threads.
- Blending colors is effective if you don’t leave a hard edge between initial stitching and subsequent stitching. When you want to create an edge between two areas, don’t hesitate to stitch into the adjacent area. It makes for a smooth transition on the viewer’s eye.
- If you’re stitching on an appliqué piece and your goal is to blend it into the rest of your work, you can smoothly blend the edges of the appliqué to the background by:
- Stitching with thread that’s very close in color or shade as the appliqué.
- Position your stitches very close to the edge of the appliqué to eliminate fraying and to ensure blending.
- Use your subsequent thread sketching as an opportunity to further blend the appliqué piece into your work.
For specific instructions about blending thread colors in adjacent areas, read the tips on episode #6.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of my hybrid blue tulips.