Creative Ways To Pick Your Thread and Fabric Colors

Creative Ways To Pick Your Thread and Fabric Colors

Hey everyone and welcome to this week’s blog feature on creative ways to choose thread and fabric colors! My name is Lindsey Griffin and I am a part of the Creative Team at Anita Goodesign. Sometimes planning and prepping a project or machine embroidery design can be a daunting task. This week I’ll walk you through some creative ways that I have found to help me plan my fabric and thread colors prior to stitching out a design.

There isn’t a “right” way to plan which fabrics and thread colors to use for an embroidery design. We at Anita encourage you to try new things and eventually form your own method. In this week’s blog post, I hope you enjoy learning tips and tricks I have picked up along the way to find my own method.

The “Anita” Way to Pick Thread and Fabric Colors


First and foremost, at Anita, the general method of planning fabrics and thread colors for any embroidery collection is to start with a colorway. Now, keep in mind that in all of this, we assume you have access to many fabrics and thread colors. If you are working with any limited resources, you will need to keep those constraints in mind during the inspiration process —And as always, you can never have too many craft supplies.

Different Ways of Finding Inspiration

Even if you have specific designs in mind, finding inspiration can be difficult. Of course, this is one of the many benefits of being an All Access member, because our job is to provide All Access members with extra inspiration for each collection. If you love the fabrics and thread colors we used for a collection, you can follow along with the collection’s tutorial and numbered machine steps to create a similar version, or you can always do your own thing!

The Pinterest Way

Anita Goodesign Pinterest

One of my go-to methods for finding inspiration starts with searching for color palettes on Pinterest. When I have a broad idea of colors that I might want to incorporate, I simply navigate to and start searching. For example, if I really like mustard and olive green together, I will search; “color swatch yellow and green”, or “color palette yellow and green”. After finding a suitable color palette on Pinterest, you can plunder through your craft supplies for matching fabrics and threads.

The Instagram Way to Pick Thread and Fabric Colors

Instagram Color Palette

This method of finding color inspiration is my most recent favorite. All you need is a device that supports the Instagram social media application and has a camera —I just use my iPhone. Before you start, double check that the Instagram app is updated to the latest version, otherwise the filters may not work properly.



I am going to walk you through how to add a special camera filter to your library of filters. Once you save the filter, it will be super easy and simple to find it again in the future. There are many types of filters on Instagram and other social media apps, but I found a special one that picks up colors from an image or video and arranges them nicely alongside the screen as a color palette. This will allow you to simply point your camera at anything that you like the colors of and save it right to your phone’s camera roll.

Anita Goodesign Instagram

Once you are signed in to your Instagram account, click the home button and then the camera button on the top left corner.


thread and fabric colors

When the camera is opened, swipe the bubbles along the bottom to the left until you see the “browse effects” bubble. This brings you to the Effects Gallery. The specific effect, or filter, that I prefer to use is called “Palette01” by “ya.molli”. Type this information into the effects gallery search bar. Click “Try It”, or “Save It” to save it to your library or filters/effects.

Instagram Saved

Once it is saved, the bubble on the bottom left should change to “Saved”. Finally, navigate back to the camera, and the “Palette01 by ya.molli” bubble should be somewhere along the bottom among the other bubbles.

Final Results Instagram

Now you are ready to point your camera and watch as the color swatch alongside the screen changes and pulls colors from what the camera sees. So whenever you see something you like the colors of, just take a picture of it using this filter/effect. From there, all you have to do is collect fabrics and threads that match the little squares. Even better, you can share your color inspiration on your social media. Be sure to tag us so we can see all the glorious inspiration at work!

Color Palette Template

thread and fabric colors

Of course, putting pen to paper never gets old! Personally, I love optimizing and organizing everything that I do, so here is how I prefer to find inspiration through using a more tangible method. You can create a basic template with squares that are meant to be filled in with colors that you want to use in your embroidery design, or just a blank piece of paper.



But wait, it gets better! For this method to be even more productive, spend some time with your fabric and threads that you already own. Grab a comfy chair, and all your coloring utensils (markers, crayons, colored pencils,…etc.). The goal is to match your coloring utensils with fabrics and threads that you have in your craft supplies.

Once you match a coloring utensil to either fabric or thread, set that coloring utensil aside. Continue doing this matching process until you have a decent amount of coloring utensils. Now, during your planning and inspiration process, limit yourself to using only the coloring utensils that have a coordinating fabric/thread. For someone raised to “make do and mend”, this method is better for the environment and your wallet!

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