Good morning, my friends!
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a little browse together online through newsy needlework bits!
This is a short little list of things I’ve come across lately or that have popped up in my various social media feeds, that I find either interesting, informative, or inspirational.
So, pull up a chair and let’s have a little chat and a browse…
In Philadelphia, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, there’s a Lady Chapel – a chapel devoted to Mary, the Mother of God – and come of the furnishings commissioned for it in at the beginning of the 1900’s are extremely prized pieces of liturgical embroidery.
I especially love the “green frontal” designed by Comper and produced by the Sisters of Bethany, an Anglican convent in the UK.
Sir John Ninian Comper was the last of the great Gothic Revival architects and designers. Unlike designers of vestments and furnishings these days, Comper viewed a church or a chapel as “a roof over an altar” (the altar being the central focus of the church), so he designed from the altar outwards. He designed every aspect of his buildings and their furnishing to be not only beautiful, but useful. His focus was to ensure that every element worked together artistically in a way that made sense not only to the eye, but to the intellect as well.
The Comper altar frontal at St. Mark’s is glorious. If you want to take a look at it online, this flickr page has a small collection of good photos of the frontal and some Camper-designed vestments, including some close-ups of the embroidery.
You can read a little more about the antependia (or altar frontals) for the Lady Chapel in this article from the Liturgical Arts Journal. Some of the frontals were designed by Charles Kempe, one of the greatest Victorian designers of stained glass. The green frontal by Comper is the last one featured in the article.
If you want to see the green frontal in person, this is most likely the wrong time of year. If it’s out and on the altar, it would be there, I think, during the liturgical season after Pentecost.
For those who like embroidery from a little further back in history, you might enjoy this article on the prison embroideries of Mary, Queen of Scots, from the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Old Charts, New Again
During the Renaissance, lace-making and needlework were pretty popular throughout Europe. This book by Frederic Vinciolo – a Venetian living in Paris at the end of the 1500’s – features several charts for needle lace. The charts can be used for woven needle lace, for cross stitch, for Assisi work, for filet crochet… oh, the possibilities! You’ll find the cleaned-up, modern versions of the charts available here. Click on the “printable” link in the column to the right of the thumbnail to save the chart to your own computer.
The movie-making world, it seems, can’t let well enough alone when it comes to Jane Austen (or Dickens, or Agatha Christie, or…)!
I’m a huge fan of period films and all the attenuating costuming and filmography that goes with them, but I will admit, I’m a little weary of the latest Austen and Christie attempts.
Still, with yet another version of Jane Austen’s Emma just now hitting theaters (haven’t seen it, haven’t decided if I will), it’s perfect timing to mention that there’s a new embroidery book coming out (soon in the States, already out in the UK) called Jane Austen Embroidery: Authentic Embroidery Projects for Modern Stitchers. It’s by Jennie Batchelor and Alison Larkin. It features Regency-era embroidery on modern projects.
I don’t have the book yet – I’m still waiting for my pre-order to arrive from the UK – but I thought I’d give you a heads-up if you’re a fan of that era. The book evolved from this project that I wrote about here a long time ago.
You can find the book listed on my Amazon Recommendations page here under “Browse my Amazon Recommendations” if you want to pre-order for the May release in the US.
Just a note: I use affiliate links for Amazon, meaning that Needle ‘n Thread receives a small commission for purchases made through those links, with no added expense to you.
I love the illustrations of artist Lizzie Harper. Her latest article featuring coastal flowers is a delight. Browse through her blog! It’s so beautiful and so soothing! If a day is gray and murky, I pull up any page on her blog for a little pick-me-up.
The Met Vault
I subscribe to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s YouTube channel, and occasionally, they post a gem of a video. This recent video from the vaults on the making of tapestries is fabulous. I hope you enjoy it, too!
And that, might friends, should afford you a few things to explore online this weekend, when you’re in the mood for a good browse with a cuppa.
My tea is but a memory at this point, and it’s time for me to get to work!
I’m playing with beads and ribbon today. I’ll show you next week!