The design for this pall, which I’ve embroidered several times, has always been a favorite. I’ve had lots of requests for a copy of it, so finally I managed to drum up a tracing. I’ll share it here, with some ideas on different ways to stitch it.
In an earlier post on this embroidery design, I discussed the stitch choices I used when I embroidered it the first time. I had a problem with getting the grapes right, and had to re-do them, but in the end, the pall came out well. The photos from that project are pretty lousy, though – I’ve learned a lot about photographing whitework since then!
The design is taken originally from Lucy Mackrille’s book on Church Embroidery & Church Vestments, which anyone interested in ecclesiastical needlework should have in their library. Fortunately, you can find the book online for free. If you visit that link, it’ll take you to my review of the book, where you’ll find further links to the book in four parts, each part a separate PDF file.
In the book, you’ll find two images of this design. Here’s one, in whitework, which inspired my stitch choices:
The only differences in the stitching would be that the outlines in the above image were most likely done in overcast stitch, which would increase the stitching time quite a bit. I used a whipped backstitch on mine, stitching very small, even backstitches, and then whipping each backstitch to make a distinct line that sits up above the fabric (like an overcast line would), but without requiring the same amount of time for stitching!
I didn’t pad the grapes, as the embroiderer did in the image above. In one version of this design that I stitched, I satin stitched the central lettering, which gave a bit of continuity between the lettering and the satin stitched grapes. There’s lots of room here for different interpretations of the pattern!
In Mackrille’s book, there’s also this version of the same design:
The book is in black and white, but the text explains that this pall was embroidered on white linen, using red cotton thread, and mostly stem stitch, with the exception of the satin stitched grapes and the satin stitched central letters. I actually want to try this – a red on white version of the design. I think I would probably use silk (I’m thinking about Soie de Paris, actually).
I love the way the stem stitching in the tendrils on the corners expands and contracts around the curves – very pretty effect! I’ll have a post up later this week on how that is done.
So, for those interested in church embroidery, there you have one of my favorite designs for the small linen pall that’s used on the altar to cover the chalice. Here’s a PDF version of the design, which prints at just slightly smaller than 6.25″ square:
IHS & Grapes Pall Design (PDF)
Interested in more church patterns? Check out Church Patterns: Book One – a collection of over 120 patterns suitable for church embroidery, and also for other arts & crafts endeavors (appliqué, paper crafts, painting – you name it!).
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