Sometimes people ask me how I get started one of my embroideries. For me it starts with sketching or a photograph or a combination to break down the composition into simple geometric areas. Then I select the fabric I'm going to use, perhaps applique. Then I go to the threadbox and pull out my "palette". I find it easier to make choices when the selection is limited, so I narrow it down at the beginning, before I start stitching. It makes for a more harmonious whole in my opinion.