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A Study in Color: Mustard

As summer comes upon us, I begin thinking in golden colors. The evening sun streaming through my westward windows, goldfinches shedding wintry plumage for brilliant summer hues, and sunflowers turning their faces to the light all come to my mind as think about yellow. And then there’s spring tulips, lemonade, ripened pears, antique yellow ware…I could go on and on.

I wouldn’t say I’m a true “yellow” kind of person. I usually reside in the mustard shades of yellow in my work. I love the warm golden tones, tinged sometimes with greens, browns, and oranges, and I use them frequently in my designs.

Mustard is probably the hardest color for me. Perhaps because its tone is so easily altered, I find it difficult to maintain a good balance in the color I am looking for. Overall, I want all of my colors to have a time-worn look, but that can easily turn into something muddy and decidedly not mustard. But because mustard takes some effort, when I finally get the look I want, it is a rewarding outcome.

Want to make these pieces? Choose your favorite mustard hues and get my second book, Seasons of Wool Applique Folk Art. The star runner features the accent wool applique design from “In Pursuit of Picnics.” Stitch these little stars on a cotton background and then finish with a coordinating fabric on the back. You can stitch it together on a machine or by hand.

The wooly box instructions for covering are from “September Storage.” The design is a combination of motifs from “On the Line” and “March Musings” stitched on a textured cotton.

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