Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It'sTurkey Time

I finished one!  These turkeys have been waiting patiently in my closet, for like three years, to be finished.  I made them as centerpieces for my Super Saturday table, but when I ran out of time to finish them, they were tossed aside and a faster project took their place.

I had purchase this pattern from my favorite lady, Heidi Markish.  I didn't really like the feathers, so after busting my brain for days, I came up with the following instead.  Sadly, by the time I figured everything out it was just too late to do the work.

Basically, I gathered a bunch of fall colored scraps, cut them at different widths, but all were the same length.  I sewed them all together, then gathered one end and sewed it to a circle. 

I layered the feathers with 1-the pieced scrappy feather piece facing up, then layered a piece of cream muslin on top of it, and on top of that was a layer of warm and natural batting.

I pinned the fabric sandwich together and headed to the sewing machine.

You can see by the arrows above the pattern of how I sewed the feather tips.  I did not trace the pattern, I just sewed out to a point near the center of each feather piece, then back down towards the next seam.

If I turned the piece over it looked like this...I drew the purple line with my photoshop to help you see the white stitch a little better :0)

I trimmed the feathers about 1/8" from the stitching, turned the thing inside out, and then used a BBQ skewer to poke the feather tips out all the way.  

I like the look of top stitching, so I HAD to top stitch this piece.  Really, I did have to.  My plan was not to stitch the feathers to the turkey body, so I had no choice but to stitch the feathers together.  When I turned the piece right-side-out, it looked a little rough.  I took each feather tip at a time and pulled it straight out.  Then I stitched along the outside edge.

Next, I started at one end of the inner circle stitched along the bottom of a feather, up the side and back down to the circle.  The only reason I did not just end and snip the threads after each feather side was my total laziness and hatred for snipping threads after a project is sewn.  Lame, I know, but look how cute it can be if you go a little crazy with a curvy line???

Halfway through this set of feathers I decided I didn't want to go straight and tried out curvy lines.  Much better!  The above picture shows both techniques.

Finally, I free-handed a stipple in the center of the circle.  Again, because my plan was to hot glue the feathers instead of stitching them to the turkey, I had to stitch all the layers together first.

If I turned it over it looked like this.

Now, here is my turkey body I made those many years ago.  You can see I just sewed around the whole turkey body, cut a slit in the back to stuff him, then did a real sloppy whip stitch to close the hole.  Since the feathers will cover the whole thing, I didn't worry too much about how it looked.

p.s. sorry about all the loose threads everywhere!  It is crazy what you don't see when you are in the middle of a project that jumps out of pictures later ;0)

OK, here is my body after I glued it to the feathers.  Next was to give him a face!

I have been working on eyes since my little mishap with the pilgrims.  I think I made some progress...

Here is my recipe for cute eyes...
Big white dots, rather close together
Black dots, smaller and positioned at the bottom of the white circles.
Then paint the eyelid in a crescent-like shape at the top of the white circle, just above the black.
Finally, line the eyelid at the bottom with a thin black line.  

Here is an even better looking set...
I tried a sharpie for the black line, but it did not look good.  Finally, I just went for it with my black paint and a very thin paint brush.  Fabulous!
If the eyelashes on the side look a little too girly for you, just leave those off, but I would still line the bottom of the eyelids.

***Very important!  Wait for each layer of paint to dry before applying the next.  The eyes take a while to dry, but you really can not rush them.***

Also, I experimented with how to position the black dots.  If you put them in the middle {like I did on the pilgrims a few days ago} and then paint on eye lids, the eyes look half asleep.  You can put the dots in the middle, but then you get a crazy person look.  That is great if you are doing a monster for Halloween or something, but if you are making a cute little turkey for your Thanksgiving table, I would probably not go for the crazy eyes.

Here is my turkey...or the turkey Minnesota Grandma and I made together ;0)
I have six turkeys left.  Guess I better finish them all and find homes for them.

I finally found my fall berries in the endless pit also known as my garage.  They will be cute on the turkeys too.

I hope you are getting to do a little crafting this holiday season!  I am going to have to head back down to the basement and make one of these for me.  

Until then, Happy Thanksgiving everyone :0)


  1. So cute Vanessa!! You are my crafty hero.

  2. Absoulutely adorable!!! I love your feathers better, and the eyes...I'm going to be trying these from now on!


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