Coloring Inside The Lines, Or Not

I still recall the olfactory delight of a new box of Crayola crayons and the visual perfection of all 64 perfectly pointed tips. Then there were the color names – cerulean, wisteria, goldenrod. For some reason burnt sienna used to fascinate me. Wasn’t sienna the name of a town and why was it burned?

My childhood memories were awakened by a recent guild program on crayoning on fabric. We got to practice on a pumpkin outline using a box of just 24 crayons. Since I don’t hang out in hand embroidery circles I was unaware of the number of kits that combine crayons and stitching. It’s just like coloring books; you even outline the edges. If you’re interested, I suggest you look over this guide from Crabapple Hill Studio.

autumns-call-pattern Crabapple Hill Studio

Here’s what I’m doing with my pumpkin. One panel is fine, but I’m unlikely to do more in this vein. It’s way too pastel and cute.

pumpkin embroidery

I found this method of melting crayons and then rubbing the melted bit onto fabric. It seems a bit tedious.

However, I may try Jane Davies’ approach. Who cares about staying within the lines. Let’s make some lines. You can read about her use of crayons here and here. While she may use Crayolas on occasion, the oil pastels and artists’ crayons she recommends start at about $15 for 10 colors. They may be good items for my gift wish list.

Jane Davies study


Filed under Project Ideas, Techniques

10 responses to “Coloring Inside The Lines, Or Not

  1. I love to work with Neo Color ll wax pastels but they aren’t cheap. They can be quit intense and water may be used to create blends and washes. It is still like summer here, I long for that Autumn Call!

  2. Jane

    I like the inspiration launch point. It can be liberating to color outside the lines and ignore the kindergarten rule that pumpkins are orange.

    • Funny you mention the orange pumpkin. The directions that came with the pumpkin outline specified specific crayon colors to use – red orange, yellow orange, etc. What a damper on creativity.

  3. I have colored with crayon to change the color of patches on a quilt. It worked well. We had a guild member who colored all the time and made fantastic quilts. It’s a medium worth playing with.

  4. I completely agree that the pumpkin is too cutesy but at least the experience gave you some devas for new directions to explore.

    • I try not to scare my traditional guild members too much, which is why I rarely show what I make at our meetings. Cute is just what most members like. I don’t think they’d take much to Jane Davies’ work.

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