Thursday, December 23, 2010

Talking Turkey: Threads and Borders

Mary Lake Thompson's Turkey with Threads
To recap, Nancy’s turkey is the 13 count design (12 inches wide by 9 high on an 18x15 inch piece of canvas) shown here.  There are two other sizes of the turkey with slightly different layouts in the Melissa Shirley line.

I asked Nancy about finishing her turkey 
canvas and she responded as follows:

I think it will be finished either with a simple frame which could be stood up on a table or buffet or as a wall hanging. A pillow is not on my radar for this turkey.

About the border areas: There are 26 threads between the turkey's lower tail and the lettering at the bottom of the canvas, 34 if I count all the way to the tape. There are 30 threads between the bottom toe and the top of the lettering, 39 if I count all the way to the tape. There are 34 threads between the top of the tail and the tape at the top of the canvas. I would guess that I'll want an inch left for the finishing. The border, by the way is rust, rather than red.

You asked about a color for the new outside border. If I were to pick a color from the ones used in the turkey and given the rust already in the original border, I like the lighter of the blues in his head or an orange that shows up in the tail and breast feathers. As to a color for the background behind the bird, it doesn't need to be white. I'm open to your ideas, as long as it doesn't detract from the turkey himself. The green is what I would call sage and might work there. But ecru or tan have appeal too.

On to the metallics: Here's what I have on hand: in Kreinik Blending filament I have Orange (027) and Copper (021). I have an unlabeled metallic filament in very dark copper. And I have Bijoux in Smoky Topaz (426), a dark brown. From my exploration on the Needle in a Haystack website I found lots of Bijoux and Accentuate that would work: Bijoux 460 Water Sapphire, 465 Turquoise, 466 Blue Zircon, a likely red in 414 Rubasse and 427 Copper Leaf. In Accentuate: 014 Burnt Orange, 255 Orange, 015 Red, 114 Brick Gold, 254 Green, 303 Opal Yellow and 023 Yellow Gold. Should I only be thinking of using one brand or the other? Or can I mix the two types?

I think I've answered your current questions. I'll be around more tomorrow. By the way, thanks for reminding me about the color copy! I always forget that. I took Tom off the stretcher bars and made the copy today. Now we're off to celebrate our 41st anniversary with dinner out!

Nancy, congratulations on your wedding anniversary. I hope you had a lovely dinner.  Thanks very much for sending more photos of your canvas with the threads you are considering.  All that helps me visualize what you have in mind and helps with the colors.

When it comes to picking a background color, ecru or ivory is the safe choice for your turkey.  (Personally I think white is too stark but this is your decision.)  The sage green you mentioned would be my personal choice as I love this color, but I think you need to look at where the turkey will live as a picture or wall hanging during the holidays and find a color that harmonizes with that area or that will make the turkey pop against that background.  You also need to think about the blue or orange colors you thought might look good as an additional border when thinking about the background color.

While we are talking color, I looked at the metallics you already have and those are copper, bronze, black and brown.  I think if you are going to buy more metallics, I'd pick up a green and a gold.  You can easily mix Accentuate and Bijoux.  They are about the same weight, so you can put a strand of either in your needle with your main thread to add a bit of sparkle or you can easily stitch with 6-8 strands of metallic alone.

About adding a border, can you come down about 6 threads below the turkey's leg and bottom tail feathers and still have plenty of room on the bottom for finishing?  I think I'd add six threads all the way around for an additional border if you have that space.  You may want to count the painted rust border and double that count to make the new border a size that looks like it is in proportion.  It might help you to cut out paper in the width you think will work and lay it around the canvas and step back to see how it looks to you.  If it looks ok to you, it is.

I was going to talk about background stitches but this is getting long so I'll wait until tomorrow for that.

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

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