Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Turkey Preliminaries

Mary Lake Thompson's Turkey 
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.

Nancy wrote:
I have looked through my threads and have several that could work in the piece, mostly Splendor and Needlepoint Inc.silk 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!

The first thing I wondered when looking at this design is how you want to finish it, Nancy. Are you thinking about making it into a pillow or framing it or something else entirely (like a serving tray for the holidays)? Choosing how you want to finish it (and making a color copy of the canvas for later reference as you stitch) is the first step.

I personally love silks and using Caron’s Impressions. They are good choices for almost any design in my opinion, and since you mention the iridescent sheen on turkey feathers in real life, it’ll be easy to mix a strand of two of thin metallics in your needle (like Kreinik’s blending filament, Accentuate, Bijoux, etc.) with the threads you have in your stash. I personally like Accentuate but Bijoux has the advantage of being slightly striped which looks like feathers to me and blending filament is often easily available to most stitchers. I suggest you visit Needle in a Haystack’s online thread catalogue as they carry both Accentuate and Bijoux and have color photos. That’ll help you narrow down colors if you want to pick up some new threads for this piece. Remember to push Next to see more choices.

It looks like you have 3 inches of bare canvas all around the outside of your design. This will be useful when it comes to planning outside borders (if any). Why don’t you count the number of threads between the outside of the red border painted on the canvas and the turkey’s feet, wings and tail? Once we know how much space there is, we can think about adding a border outside the red border. (How you plan to finish this will also play into any additional borders. How much bare space do you like to have around a piece for framing or pillow-making? Does your finisher have a preference?)

While you are thinking about borders and finishing and metallics, think about colors. Is there one color in your turkey that you particularly like? We could use that if we add a new outside border. Are you committed to having a white background behind the turkey? You could have anything from white to ecru to tan or even use a shade of green or blue from the colors in the turkey. I expect that you won’t want a white background if this is going to be a pillow.

Please think about all this and respond and then we’ll start talking backgrounds and borders.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Canvas of the Month: Bonnie's Geisha

Kirk & Hamilton Geisha Glasses Case - Side One
For this Canvas of the Month, Bonnie and I are doing something a little different than what we did in the past.  We are working on a canvas set instead of coming up with ideas for the same canvas.  Bonnie is doing one side of a glasses case and I'm doing the other, using two glasses case designs from Kirk and Hamilton.  Here is the set.  We don't know what dimensions are for these canvases so we assumed they were roughly 7 x 3 1/2 inches on 18 count canvas.

Bonnie's canvas is pictured above.  Here is what she came up with for this design--

"This piece is designed to be used as an eye case, so in that respect I am keeping it a bit more simple/durable than if it was to be used for something else. So I am using lots of simple stitches with a few changes in texture with the thread choices. The stitches are found in Ruth Schmuff’s Stitches Vol. 1 and 2 and probably other places as well, that is just what I was using today!

Kimono (yellow and black) – cross stitch in a strandable silk like Splendor. If this wasn’t an eye case, it would look really lovely done with long stitches in a silk perle, but this wouldn’t hold up for an piece that is heavily used

Kimono (red) – I would play with something like a continuous woven scotch stitch in the same type of silk used for the yellow part. Since it woven it would add some height to this part to help define it as part of the edging. May want to modify so that the length of the stitches follow the edges of the red exactly – something to play with to see what works.

Kimono (purple) – again, I would use the same type of silk that was used in the rest of the kimono and use a stitch like the beaty of diagonal beaty that continues the diagonal flow of the edging making sure to change direction as needed. 

Skin – tent stitch with a cotton floss. I would normally use silk for faces, but since the kimono is silk, I feel it needs to be a different texture, thus the cotton floss.

Hair – long and short stitch in finer wool following the hair directions. Again a silk would look lovely, but I am going for a third texture so the hair/face/dress are all distinct. I am not sure what the white is in the left of the upper hair – since I need to make a decision on it, I would probably just color it black with a textile marker and make it part of the hair.

Hair sticks – here is where I would be tempted to add some beads. If you are concerned about durability, you could switch to French knots in a metallic thread. Or a padded satin stitch with a strandable cotton or silk would really give the appearance of the rounded sticks.

Hair ornament – flat silk laid in the direction of the piece so it forms a fan of sorts. Since the stitches would be long you could couch it done in places with a matching metallic or a silk thread so it is table.

Sunglasses – Alicia lace in a light-weight metallic thread. I would not go for complete coverage here, just light coverage so it appears like a reflection. Another possible choice for thread is prisms.

Background – double brick or maybe a stitch to imitate bamboo in a bamboo floss like Mandarin floss. I would try more for a light to medium coverage so that the background stays in the background, but keep in mind adding the thread will make the case wear better so don’t go too light! The white flowers in a simple satin stitch with bamboo floss making sure you keep the stitch length short and change directions as go around the flowers.

That’s it! This would be a fun, quick stitch that could easily be made into a portable project to do while you are waiting at activities for your kids, sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room, riding the bus or whatever.

Thanks very much, Bonnie.  I'll post my ideas for the other side of the glasses case with the other geisha tomorrow.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow