Make Colorwork Embroidery Designs Pop With Crayon Coloring

Are you itching to try crayon coloring but aren’t necessarily fond of hand embroidery? Here’s a collection of colorwork embroidery designs that will stitch up quickly and color nicely!

As we demonstrated in our tutorial on how to color fabric with crayons, when coloring hand embroidery designs with crayons, you trace or draw the pattern on the material, color the areas desired and embroider the outlines. With machine embroidery, the design outline is created with stitching while still in the hoop, which presents challenges using an iron to blend and fuse crayon colors to the fabric.

busby turtlesPhotos via Bluprint member b-quilts

Things to consider when crayon coloring machine embroidery designs:

  • Designs should have a low stitch count and adequate open areas to allow coloring.
  • Thread should be able to tolerate heat, so use cotton or silk.
  • Print out design color sequences that include the stitch areas so you can see exactly what will stitch and when. You may want to skip through some stitch sequences to keep the design open and airy.
  • While you can certainly remove the hoop from the machine and color areas as they stitch, you will want to have all stitching completed before ironing. That way, the piece can be removed from the hoop. (You don’t want to melt your hoop!)

Here are some colorwork embroidery designs perfect for crayon coloring:

 Colorwork: quick stitch designs

sanity roostersPhotos via Bluprint member Sanity’s Machine Embroidery Designs

Any colorwork machine embroidery designs with light stitch counts and adequate open areas, like these colorful roosters, will work well for crayon coloring techniques.

Get the Colorline Rooster 07 design.
Get the Colorline Rooster 08 design.

Butterfly rounds for machine embroidery Photos via Embroidery Library

These designs are especially beautiful because of the different colored threads can accentuate the crayon colors.

Get the Butterflies in Bloom Vintage designs.

Jacobean hummingbird machine embroidery designs for crayon coloring Photos via Embroidery Library

You have the option of stitching a single color of thread throughout the design, as you would with redwork.

Get the Vintage Jacobean Wings ‘n’ Things designs.

Urban Threads machine embroidery designs for crayon coloringPhotos via Urban Threads

These machine embroidery designs have thread fill colors added. You could skip the fill colors, allowing more open areas to color.

Get the Doodle Hummingbird design.
Get the Doodle Cat design.

Sew Inspired by Bonnie Vintage deer machine embroidery for crayon coloringPhotos via Sew Inspired by Bonnie

Openwork designs color quite well. When additional embellishments are included, like the swirls, leaves , nd flowers in these darling deer, going through the stitch sequence allows you to stop the machine and color open areas before the accents are stitched. That is easier than trying to color around them. Otherwise, you may fuse crayon on top of detail stitching.

Get the Vintage Deer designs.

Urban Threads Pet the Cat design and Hug the Dog design.Photos via Urban Threads

Designs with text also work well for crayon coloring.

Get the Pet the Cat design.
Get the Hug the Dog design.

Redwork designs

Redwork birds machine embroidery for crayon coloringPhotos via Embroidery Library

Redwork embroidery designs provide many opportunities to keep inside the lines.

Get the Perched with Petals designs.

Designs by JuJu machine embroidery sock monkey designs for crayon coloringPhotos via Designs by JuJu

Much like coloring book outlines, redwork designs are the perfect choice if you want to create crayon designs with youngsters.

Get the Sock Monkey Redwork designs.


Sunbonnet Sue Redwork machine embroidery design for crayon coloring

 Photos via Julia’s Needle Designs

Blackwork, whitework and bluework designs are equally useful. The technique is the same, the thread colors are different. Make the thread colors whatever you like!

Get the Sunbonnet Sue Redwork 2 designs.

 Quilting outlines

sanity bfly quiltPhotos via Bluprint member Sanity’s Machine Embroidery Designs

These designs, part of the 10-block butterfly quilt collection, have the best of both worlds: a medallion design that can be colored as well as beautiful quilting stitches.

Get the Butterfly Quilt Block 01 design.

Get the Butterfly Quilt Block 04 design.

Machine embroidery quilt outlines for crayon coloring Images via Kreative Kiwi

Like redwork, designs digitized for quilting create an easy palette for crayon coloring.

Get the Quilt Swirls 2 designs.

Appliqué designs

busby turtlesPhotos via Bluprint member b-quilts

Even machine embroidery appliqué designs can be colored. No need to add fabric and trim, but do use the placement stitches as your coloring outline.Color inside the placement stitching, skip the tack-down and trimming sequence, and finish the colored work with satin stitching and decorative accents.

Get the Turtle Treks applique designs.
app alpha app frame

 Photos via Bluprint member Edies Designs

Kids will love coloring each letter of  their names, or have them color a monogram frame before adding their single-letter monogram.

Get the Applique Alphabet designs.
Get the Monogram Frames designs.


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