Master Craftsman: Color for Needlework


Our Master Craftsman: Color for Needlework program tests your ability to use key components of color effectively in embroidered designs. Each step focuses on one aspect of color. Stitched work done in this program should be of exhibit quality, but any embroidery technique may be used. For each step, you will create one or two stitched pieces sized from 6” x 6” to 24” x 24”*, a 4-page essay with bibliography to show your understanding of the topic, short artist’s statement(s), a line drawing of the design(s), and stitch and thread list(s). No kits are allowed. For Step 6, an original design is required. The Color program has a newsletter published bi-annually after each judging.

*Other shapes are acceptable, provided the area approximates the required measurements.

SKU: MCCOLOR Category:


Step 1: Color symbolism: An essay on color symbolism in various cultures and two stitched pieces demonstrating traditional and nontraditional color harmony.

Step 2: Value and intensity: An essay on value and intensity and two stitched examples using a common design and the same hues, thread types, and stitches, but different value keys.

Step 3: Contrast: An essay on different types of contrast, and a single stitched piece illustrating at least two types of contrast.

Step 4: Space: An essay describing how color can illustrate space, accompanied by a stitched piece to illustrate space.

Step 5: Illusions: An essay on how five illusions (transparency, iridescence, luster, luminosity, and optical mixing) can be suggested by using color. One stitched piece representing optical mixing and another demonstrating one of the other illusions.

Step 6: Unity: An essay on color unity and a stitched piece demonstrating mastery of color and its usage.

Judging: February and August

Judging Criteria: The Color for Needlework program differs from other Master Craftsman categories by its very nature. Rather than demonstrating knowledge of a specific needlework technique, the candidate uses the needlework medium to demonstrate knowledge of the color principle or principles being explored.

Contact: Master Craftsman Color for Needlework Chair

Click here to see requirements for Step 1 and pictures of completed pieces.

After enrollment, a program packet is sent by email from the program chair. Please allow a week for your registration to be processed.

*Master Craftsman Program fees are non-refundable