Here it is, at long last, after approximately 380 hours from start to finish – an embroidery project worked entirely by hand, in silk threads and gold. My goal was to finish by this past Sunday, April 1st, to deliver on Monday morning. I missed the deadline by one day, and delivered it Tuesday morning.
Continue on to see the close-ups!
This is an example of ecclesiastical embroidery. I’ve been giving regular updates on the progress of this project, and you can find them all in order here:
- Agnus Dei project underway
- Project Update #2
- Project Update #3
- Project Update #4
- Project Update #5
- Project Update #6
This past weekend, I finished the gold around the edges, the blood, and the finish work on the hill, adding grass and flowers.
Here’s a shot of a few bunches of flowers around the foot. The flowers are worked in flat silk – some in Au Ver a Soie Soie Ovale and some in True Embroideries Sleave Silk from Helen Stevens. I was rather random in the creation of the flowers – I wanted the effect of wild flowers – not anything stylized.
Here are the yellow flowers at the base of the staff. For colors, I wanted to mimic the brighter colors of spring rather than pastels. I thought the effect would be better, considering the brighter colors of the whole work.
Here’s the whole hill. I didn’t want “too many” flowers – sometimes less is more! The tufts of grass are just straight stitches in two strands of Soie d’Alger. I combined two colors in some blades of grass, and in others, used just one.
The blood is part of the symbolism of the whole image – the sacrificial Lamb of God (Agnus Dei). It is worked in three colors of red, all in stem stitch.
This is a close-up of the outlining on the lamb, above the back legs. I wanted a little definition in the body of the lamb, so I outlined it in stem stitch, using one strand of YLI silk in a grey-ish brown. I didn’t want a “bold” outline. YLI silk is fine and well-suited for delicate lines.
You can see here a close up on the gold couching, and, above it, part of the outlining of the inside of the gold. Using the same YLI silk – one strand – that’s used around the lamb, I outlined around the whole inside of the gold trim. I wanted a “hint” of a shadow and a finished edge. Underneath the corner of the book here, I worked two rows, since there was a small gap of white between the corner of the book and the gold. If I had thought about it in advance, I would have couched the gold in a definite ornamental pattern, rather than just a “brick” pattern, alternating the placement of the stitches over each row.
The finished product! You can see the original outline of the design still – I did not work the gold all the way to the line, as I thought it would be overkill. Besides, when I mounted it on the vestment today, I still had space for a red outline outside the gold. I’ll post a completed picture of the whole vestment once it is assembled.
And finally, a long shot from the side, so you can see the gleam of the gold.
Now that it’s finished, I can move on to other projects. Whew! That was a challenge, but it was a lot of fun and a good learning experience. I hope you enjoyed the updates on this particular project. Next up – some quilt squares….! Which will be very relaxing! Thanks for reading and for your kind compliments and enthusiasm over the last couple months as I worked this project!