Today, I want to share with you a piece of ecclesiastical embroidery worked by Kate – her first piece of ecclesiastical embroidery, as a matter of fact.
I think she did a terrific job on it!
This is the finished embroidery. The medallion is an Alpha & Omega symbol, and the pattern for it can be found in Church Patterns Book One here on Needle ‘n Thread.
The orphreys, or decorative bands that form the cross behind the medallion are sold already embroidered (from LaLame, in NYC).
Kate’s first job in planning out the project was to match the ground fabric and the embroidery on the medallion to the orphreys. This is never an easy task, to match thread and fabric to a pre-existing piece, but I think she definitely pulled it off!
One of my favorite aspects of the piece is Kate’s use of high contrast color on the edge. I really like what she did with the outside edges of the medallion, with the bricking effect on the couching.
The set of vestments is “rose” colored. Today, most rose vestments are actually pink, but the liturgical color “rose” can range anywhere from a light, scarlet-red to a lighter purply-red, to pink.
The color rose is only used twice a year in the liturgy, on the third Sunday in Advent (called Gaudete Sunday) and the fourth Sunday of Lent (called Laetare Sunday), which was this past Sunday. Kate, who also constructed the vestment set, finished them just last week, in good time.
Because it was her first attempt at ecclesiastical work, Kate didn’t want to invest in silk and real gold threads. She also chose the rose vestment because it’s only used twice a year – just in case! But she said for her next piece, she now has the confidence to go for the best supplies for this type of work.
The ground fabric is polyester, the threads are cotton, and the metallics are synthetics, too.
I love the work Kate did on this piece, for a number of reasons:
1. It demonstrates how successful you can be on a project, even if you’ve never tried a particular type of embroidery, by just biting the bullet and trying it!
2. I think Kate did a great job matching sense of the color scheme with the pre-made materials she was working with, and working with the materials she had access to.
3. It’s a an excellent example of how line patterns develop into a finished embroidery project.
4. I think it’s lovely!
Thank you so much, Kate, for sending the photos! I can’t wait to see what you do next, now that you have the confidence to go forward with this type of embroidery!
This time of year, Church Patterns, Book One proves to be a pretty popular item here on Needle ‘n Thread – I’m guessing because it’s Lent, and Easter is right around the corner. Also, in the spring, First Communions, Confirmations, Weddings, and other celebrations are generally on the horizon. There are lots of designs – large and small – in the book that would work well for religious Easter-related projects, first communion, confirmation, and baptismal projects, and even wedding projects, if you’re hankering to do some religious embroidery.