Patterns to Color

I rediscovered coloring a couple of years ago. I mean, it hadn’t gone anywhere, but I had sort of left it behind with childhood, foolishly believing it to be an activity for pre-schoolers and other littles. Oh, how I was wrong!

I was book browsing one day, as I am wont to do, when I found this revelatory nugget:


( affiliate link)

My love of coloring was instantly revived. I bought the book and a brand spanking new pack of colored pencils, and I rekindled an old flame. (Figuratively speaking. I didn’t actually light anything on fire.)

Now when I get frustrated and restless, I like to color. I turn to this book particularly when I’m pissed off at whatever embroidery piece or other crafting piece I’m working on. Whenever I screw something up, realize I need to rip out stitches and start over, or accidentally measure once and cut…argh! #$*&^!–those are the times I get out my colored pencils and go into coloring zen mode. It’s quite peaceful and restorative.

The authors of the book preface it with this handy dandy “How to use this book” page, but really, let’s face it–there’s no wrong way to color (despite what I tried to tell my table-mate Robert in kindergarten. He pressed WAY too hard with the red. Seriously, lighten up, kid, or you’re going to break the crayon long before that apple is finished. Amiright?!).


And the patterns are so cool that I really don’t see how anyone could make them look bad. Here’s my favorite page:


Seriously, looks awesome no matter what you do to it!

There are also spreads where one pattern is repeated several times, so that you have a chance to play with color and see how different combinations change the look of the whole.


It’s really a very cool book to have, and I recommend it for any age group. Admittedly, I try to keep Eliot away from my copy, because I’m stingy like that. I let him color in it with me sometimes, but not on my favorite pages. After all, this is my sanity we’re talking about, people! Although, if you look carefully at the picture of the book’s cover, you’ll see that he has scrawled on it a bit.

Like I said, I use Patterns to Color when I need to clear my head, when I feel the creative urge, but am too frustrated or aimless to tackle stitching; however, it would also make a great playground for quilters, stitchers, or other creative types to experiment with color and design.

(Also, full disclosure–the Amazon link in this post is an affiliate link, so if you click on it and end up ordering anything, I get pennies. Ready, set, GO!) 😉

I also discovered zentangle last year as well, and there are myriad books about that, also worth checking out. I bought one at the quilt show in Paducah, KY this year, but so far have not been able to find it post-move. You’d think that might be motivation to get me doing more unpacking. *sigh*

Does anyone else have go-to activities when your larger projects go awry or just get boring? Do YOU color? Do you take a walk and shake it off? Do you curse the universe and then eat dangerously excessive amounts of chocolate? Oh wait, that last one is me…Seriously, though, what’s your calm creative retreat?