embroidery tinting with crayons
I've been playing with different ways to "tint" embroidery and this week I'll be sharing them here! Tinting is a nice way to add fill color to your stitching, without filling an area with lots and lots of stitches. It's like coloring in the outlines...but you start with the coloring!
Crayon tinting is one of the most common tinting methods, I'd say, and we're starting with that. The look can vary based on the fabric you use, how much pressure you apply, and the surface you're working on. Try it out a bit before you start working on a finished piece to see how your materials are going to work with this. Play with it and see how many ways you can tint with crayons!
The pattern that I'm using for this is from my Ice Cream Socializers pattern set. It is traced onto fabric with a standard pencil.
A pencil is good because you won't need to rinse it, it makes a fine line, and won't be affected by the ironing that comes later. Just try hard not to get any stray lines so it will be easy to cover with stitches.
Now it's time to color! To keep the color light and smooth, I like to work with the fabric in a hoop. You need to work a bit to keep the tension tight, but to me, it's worth it.
You can add a bit of shading by using more pressure or going over an area again. But to me, the worst thing you can do with crayon tinting is to just color hard right away. It leaves visible lines that make the fill uneven.
If you want the color to be darker, place the fabric on a smooth hard surface and color lightly first, then go over it again, slowing adding more pressure. Of course, the texture of the fabric will alter how the color looks. And if you want to add some design to the tinting, you can place the fabric on a textured surface.
After you've finished coloring, it's time to iron and set the color. Place a piece of plain paper over the crayon tinting, and with the iron set for cotton, iron the paper for a minute or so. This helps set the color without ruining your design or your iron!
Now you can stitch over the pencil lines that you should still be able to see (depending on how dark the coloring is).
By ironing the crayon, it makes it pretty color-safe, but if you plan on washing what you're stitching a lot, I'd recommend fabric crayons to be on the safe side. Or, do a test on a swatch of fabric, then run it through the wash. (Most of my embroidery projects are things that don't get laundered, so I'm not too knowledgeable on that part!)
Come back tomorrow for a look at colored pencil tinting, but for today, have fun with your crayons!