Debate: Trunk Color

OK, folks, I’m looking for some opinionated people. The trunk (according to the kit) should be in 3 shades of gray. I’ve started work on it, but it’s not too late to change! I’ve had one commenter who prefers brown. Vines and trees are a theme in many designs. How do y’all pick your trunk colors in general? Do you go for brown? green? gray? gold? spice it up with purple? stripes? polka dots? And how do you decide? In this case, the upside to gray is that it won’t clash with any of the bright leaves or fruits, or fight with them for attention. And I wouldn’t have to pull it out.

Options: I could keep the gray, I could work another color in with the gray, or I could switch colors entirely. Opinions?

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25 Responses to Debate: Trunk Color

  1. Mary Corbet says:

    Hi, Hannah – I like the grey. I think the point that it won’t vie for attention is a good one. The truck and arms will create kind of a subtle unifying “background” design through the whole thing, while the colors in the various elements will bring them forward. I think darker or brighter browns might jumble up the design too much. Just my two-cents’ worth…. You could always leave the grey in, jump up to a different area of the trunk and try some browns to see if you like them, and then leave whichever one you decide on and take the other section out. (If you’re keen to pick things out…!)

  2. Sandi Hersh says:

    Hi, when I get to a place where I can’t decide on what color I need to use, I will leave that area and move on to others areas. Sometimes the easiest way to know what color to use is after all the other colors are in place, then you will know what color will balance out the design. I know this doesn’t answer your question, but it is what I do, so I don’t obsess about what is right, and then worry about having to take it out while working the rest of the piece!! Sandi

  3. corinne says:

    I agree with the comments posted so far. I think I would stitch with the 3 shades of grey. If I felt I needed a little something later I would stitch on top of the grey with a thinner ply yarn and maybe shades of dk brown at the bottom moving to lighter shades at the top of the branches. Also maybe throw in some lichen or mossy green shades.

  4. cynthiagilbreth says:

    At first I thought it should be brown, but as I look at the trees outside I notice they are all grey. I think the grey will make the flowers pop out more. As I say this, the project I’m working on has brown stems. 🙂

  5. What do I think? – Keep the greys but you need one row of a darker shade, I think, to help the trunk and branches hold together.
    How do I decide? – Depends on the other colours I’m using, and I frequently change my mind, unstitch and re-do, differently.

    Does that help?

    • Hannah says:

      Yes, thank you! There is a darker shade, but it’s not really showing up – maybe I should check if there’s an even darker shade to work in.

  6. Linda Given says:

    Hi Hannah

    It looks really beautiful and I vote for the gray in the trunk. It blends in really nicely with all the other colours.

    Can’t wait to see the finished project

    Happy Stitching

  7. Laura says:

    Polka dots? Well…..No guts no glory!

  8. lw says:

    I hate ripping out. I would leave the grey which is a nice neutral color and add in touches of other colors. Near the blue green shapes add in the lightest shade, ditto near the blue and purple flowers. Mayhaps just straight stiches, or split stitch to blend into the gray and shade it.

  9. Diamant says:

    Like some of the other readers I would leave what you have done, switch to a slightly lighter shade of gray and then lastly switch to the next lighter shade for the last couple of rows. Just a very subtle change of colour. But then, I’m no expert ! It’s looking beautiful.

  10. Joyce B Stewart says:

    I like shaded brown from right to left but I am not too experienced in crewel yet.

  11. Joyce B Stewart says:

    I prefer brown — shaded from right to left with the lightest shade to the left.

  12. Cynthia says:

    I have to laugh as I read all the comments. I have a long way to go in my stitching career. I’m still stuck on “tree trunks are brown”.

    I think these are great ideas.

    • Hannah says:

      Actually, people will recognize anything vaguely tree-shaped as a tree regardless of the color. Try it yourself! So, you might as well have fun with the color 🙂

  13. Elmsley Rose says:

    Do you have any historical embroidery books with Jacobean works in them? Or stumpwork? And have a look at what colours they used?

    The addition of moss green/lichen sounds nice, and also the suggestion to weight the colours according to how close they are to a particular flower (LW’s comment)

  14. Gwendoline says:

    I may be a bit late with this – I’ve been away with no internet access – but I think that the grey is there to tone with the other colours, particularly the purples and blues. Will be looking forward to seeing the finished article.


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