Inktense color swatch book

With all the back and forth between the old blog and the new blog, I neglected to properly credit Tansy Hargan’s Finding Your Color Voice online class for inspiring my recent experimentation. I thoroughly enjoyed her presentation style and, more to the point, learned an awful lot!

Because I wanted to preserve what I’ve been learning, this project was more about creating a tool than anything else; a book of swatches detailing the color combinations possible with the Derwent Inktense set of 24 dye blocks …

Each color swatch was a combination of one ink block color with each of the other 23 colors. Here are two of the blue swatches, with the key colors outlined in black for future reference …

I used Jude Hill’s paperless piecing technique to size each patch, with two pieces of cover stock as ironing guides …

Then used another Jude Hill technique to glue stitch the edges of the resulting patches, here shown back and front …

Next I ladder stitched the pair of swatches with a piece of watercolor paper in between to give the resulting “page” some body …

Then stitched the page to previous pages with DMC threads chosen to match the key colors …

with the result that the foreedge of each page is a key to the adjacent pages …

The remaining “raw” edges along the top and bottom were whip stitched with one strand each of black and white DMC …

Finally, the handstitched cover was given a light coat of Golden Fabric Painting Medium to protect the colors from any further rubbing (a problem that should be less of an issue when I move on to shibori) …

One last note: the “24 x 22” refers to the fact that I decided not to create swatches for two of the three black dyes as the results were too similar to be worth including.

24 thoughts on “Inktense color swatch book

  1. LA – Gorgeous, useful and a book the grannies will enjoy holding and touching bas well – that is if you let them of course. B


  2. I don’t do much, if any, dying, but should I ever start, I might find the patience to make a tool like this one. What a great tool this will be!


    1. I used to do more dyeing, but there were too many times that I had adverse reactions (the exceptions being prairie tea and lichen dyes), not surprising as I have seasonal allergies to just about everything … the Inktense blocks provide a non-allergenic alternative, so now I need to explore how I might best use the colors I’ve discovered


    1. I’m pretty proud of those edges … actually gave half a thought to dyeing some white DMC with each color, then decided I might be obsessing a bit too much … ha

      Now I’m hoping I can channel some of Tina and Deb’s dye magic on a small scale … stay tuned


    1. it was so tempting to stitch on those swatches, but the dye was definitely rubbing off, so less was more … after all, they are meant to be a readily accessible tool to move me further down the road … now on to shibori: I have already stitched a piece of white linen in your square patch pattern and hope to get a spiral stitched today …


  3. Can’t believe I missed this post! What a stunning result and how very very handy. I love a sampler book as a reference guide, and this is such beauty. Brilliant inspiration re the colour coded stitches. I love all of it!


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