Sunday, December 19, 2010

Introducing the Turkey Canvas

Mary Lake Thompson Turkey
Nancy is my next volunteer. She writes:

Thanks for the opportunity to seek your guidance on a canvas. Mine is a large turkey by Mary Lake Thompson [published by Melissa Shirley Designs].

Here are the specifics:
Design size: 12" wide x 9" high
Canvas size: 18" x 15"
Canvas gauge: 13

Issues:  Design exceeds the painted border, requiring further stitching decisions.  Design elements are very detailed. I look at it and can't figure out what to do beyond basketweave. Would light coverage work here? If so, which areas?

We have lots of wild turkeys around our property, and I'd love to have this one inside! But I'm having trouble getting started.

I answered Nancy this way:

Jane: Heck, yeah light coverage would work on this canvas. Do you have any problems with doing a white border outside the red border so it looks like the turkey is stepping outside of a mat in a framed canvas?

Nancy: I have no problem with doing a white border outside the red border - something of that nature is almost necessary. I don't know quite how to plan it.

Nancy:  I have no LNS in the area. I've been trying to add to my stash, but no real way to see all the thread possibilities out there. So your suggestions from what you are aware of will be so welcome. I happily order from several stores that do mail and Internet orders.

I have looked through my threads and have several that could work in the piece, mostly Splendor and Needlepoint and Impressions silk/wool with some additional random threads pulled because they are in the color range. And Wow! there are a LOT of colors in this piece!

I don't know if you're familiar with wild turkey, but they do have a touch of iridescence to their feathers, if that helps to put you in mind of threads.

We have a herd that roams Chilly Hollow (photo from last week above).

It's funny, but normally the males only display in the spring at mating season. This year they've been in full strut for a couple of weeks now. I don't know if it's climate change or what. Maybe they're trying to inspire me to get going on this canvas! They come up and knock their beaks on the patio door, trying to communicate with their reflections. This can go on for an hour or more in the mornings!

I'm going to go now and see if I have the right stretcher bars and get Mr. Turkey taped and stapled.

I have been enjoying the work you are doing on the first reader canvases and really look forward to our work together. My family is primed for this adventure and all want links to your blog when we get started!

Jane: The first thing I want to know is if there are any threads and/or stitches you already know you do or do not want to use on this piece.

Nancy: You asked about threads and/or stitches I know I want to avoid. I'm game for trying any stitches you want to suggest. The only threads I know I'd like to avoid: I have trouble with Vineyard Shimmer getting all bunchy on the surface. And I really prefer to avoid rayons! I could live the rest of my stitching life without Patina and Fiesta.

Jane: I don’t like nylon threads either, although I have to say Rainbow Gallery’s Panache isn’t half bad as nylon threads go. Ok, we have the preliminaries in place, so let’s start talking turkey.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

A Book Lover's Delights

I have a treat this morning for folks who adore stitching books.  I've found great new books (well, they are new to me) on the Alex Paras Needle Arts website.

Thistle Needleworks has a nifty small Quick Stitch Reference book that is perfect for travel.  I haven't seen this in person but I've seen Judie's stitching (your stocking is decorating my car rear view mirror this year, Judie) and I know this will be a useful little book.  If you travel, this might be the perfect gift for yourself.

Counted canvaswork folks love playing around with colors and patterns, so I think they might be interested in Stitching Inside the Box, which is from Finger Step Designs.  The book is about creating your own band sampler and can be used for both cross stitch and needlepoint samplers.

There is lots more here, but I think the Magazine section is of particular interest since AP Needlearts is selling old copies of Needlepoint Now and Embroidery and Cross Stitch at discount.  If you are missing issues or just want to explore these magazines at a lower than usual price, check them out.

There are many other great books listed here but anyone who wanted the out of print Knots, Fur and Turkeywork can pick a first edition up here.

Ridgewood Needlepoint Blog has posted photos of the new book versions of Ruth Schmuff's Stitches, Volumes One and Two.  Ruth's books originally were only on CD and as smart phone apps, but since many of us don't have computer or Internet access when we are stitching, hard copies were made available.  These are great books, by the way.  I have these CDs (but not the Backgrounds one, are you listening, Santa?) and adore them!

If you are love reading about books as well as reading them, then you will want to visit Marianne's blog where she talks about how the books she sells go in and out of fashion.  As usual, you can tell how much Marianne loves the books she describes in loving detail. I imagine what is happening is that the folks who love her books buy and more on, without new buyers finding out about books they might really enjoy.  So make a habit of visiting Marianne's website to keep up with books before they go out of style and disappear again.  Like me, you will find books you never heard of that tempt you to add them to your bookshelves.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at