Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Agnus Dei Project Update – Embroidering against a Deadline!


Amazon Books

Time is ticking – my current embroidery project must be finished this coming Monday, April 2nd. I thought I’d post an update on it. Right now, I have just a few more steps to go.

I began this embroidery project about seven and a half weeks ago, working on it mostly at night outside of work hours, and on weekends. I’ve made a few mistakes along the way, especially in ordering supplies (which is a big mistake, considering just about everything had to be mail-ordered).

If you want to see the progress of the project, you can check out these phases:

  • Beginning of the project: the project is mounted and the design transferred, with a little bit of the grass in.
  • Second Update: the book is finished and the sky is going in. I took the sky out and opted for a different approach.
  • Third Update: The flat silk is laid in for the sky. I had to correct some parts of it. The halo is also begun.
  • Fourth Update: half the sky is couched with #4 gold passing (2% gold).

When you seen how far I still have to go, you might think I’ll never make it. I’m pretty determined to make it, so we shall see! I still have to complete the whole lamb, then add the tufts of grass and some little flowers on the “hill,” and then couch the gold around the edge.

Agnus Dei ecclesiastical embroidery project

So here you can see the whole effect of the work so far. I have a little “tweaking” to do on the halo, but overall, I like the effect. Had I known originally that I would do gold between the red parts of the halo, I would have stitched them in a different order. I originally planned on doing white in there, but when I started, it didn’t look so good – so I tore it out and went with gold.

Close up on halo, gold couched with red silk

You can see the halo a little better here. I’m disappointed, personally, in my red couching stitches, especially on the lower left portion of the halo. Live and learn. On that section, too, I made the mistake of plunging the ends as I worked – tsk tsk. It makes a difference in the finished look. The other sections, where I plunged the ends after couching, look flatter.

Close up on gold couching in halo and sky

And here’s a better shot – you can see the sky and the halo pretty well. I surrounded the outer rim of the halo with the same dark red silk found on the edge inside the halo.

goldwork couched with silk - difficult area

This little area in here was perhaps the most difficult to work. This is the only place on the whole thing so far where I’m glad I did the sky first. I’m sure the sky should have been done first, but there are a few areas where I would have made little corrections in the design if the sky were not already in.

Agnus Dei banner worked in silk in stem stitch

Here’s a close up on the top of the banner, near the staff. The banner is worked in a combination of colors: overall, it is white with a red cross. To shade the white around the turns, I used cream and ‘brute’ – a kind of champagne color.

Agnus Dei banner worked in silk in stem stitch

And here’s one of the tips of the banner, shaded in the same colors as the top part of it. I outlined the banner in a brown, to supply a contrast. I want the banner, halo, and lamb to stand out from the sky.

And so there you have it so far! I have six days left to finish it, the majority of which are spent at work teaching and such, so wish me luck!


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(5) Comments

  1. Your up-close photographs are amazing and I love your work. I’d like to buy a dvd of your stitch library, do you have that available?

  2. I am simply in awe of your work!! Where did you learn to stitch like this? I have no doubt you will finish the project. I’m just wondering…is this a paid (commissioned) piece or something you are donating? I have to believe that to purchase something like this would be extremely expensive.

  3. Hi, Crystal – nope, I don’t have a dvd edition of the videos yet – but I will have one this summer, when I have time to format them and make labels. I plan for them to be very affordable, so that all kinds of beginners can access them. Right now, it’s a matter of a new computer and … TIME!

    Thanks heaps for the compliments. It’s very encouraging!

    Crazy, thank you. It’s not a paid commission. It’s a commission, insofar as I was asked to do it, but since it’s for the church I go to, I’m not charging for it! Our embroidery guild will eventually be producing works like this – well, once we get a little more education!

    I reckon it would cost a lot to have something like this made, but I figure it’s worth it. The supplies on this were a bit steep, as I didn’t have them in stock, but if I were to produce another similar piece, the cost would be minimal, with the exception of the gold threads, since I have leftovers.

    Thanks again! I’ll post the finished product, hopefully early next week.

  4. Mary,

    That is incrediable! It is awesome, I have never seen anything like it before. You are a true artist! I can’t wait to see the finished product. How kind of you to donate that to your Church. I hope your guild gets their education soon so you can all do something like that.

  5. i am litterally blown away by your work found you by accident and im loving going through your website its been saved as a book mark now thank you, diolch!

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