Well, here it is. Wednesday, April 26th! The deadline for this goldwork project!
Ok, ok. It’s what I called “the first deadline.” I really wanted to be finished by today, since we have a family wedding this weekend, with family coming in from out of town for the event, and all kinds of activity going on. I knew it would get hairy around here! The “absolute” deadline is next Tuesday.
There were multiple spanners tossed into the works on pretty much every front lately, so, alas, here we are. Unfinished goldwork. Deadline looming. Wedding this weekend. Medical appointments. Last minute tree removal in front yard. House still in the process of construction. Another new toilet to be ordered. Little Blooms awaiting progress. And on and on and on.
But hey! Who doesn’t have this type of Life Episode now and then? It keeps things exciting (!) – and it gives us a chance to appreciate the those quiet, peaceful days. There’s bound to be some of those ahead shortly.
Today, I’ll share goldwork progress from Monday – we’ve gone a little farther since then – and then regretfully, I have to put you on hold for a wee bit. I’ll tell you about that below.
The photo above is a close up of the center medallion that’s going on the altar cover we’re working on.
It’s 8″ round. It features a Marian monogram with a crown and cross.
In the center of the cross is a rather larg semi-precious stone (a blue topaz) set in a 14k gold bezel tray, which was customized by a local jeweler with small flat loops so that I could attach it to the fabric under the goldwork padding that I built up around there. I still have small bit of twist to put around the bezel. The twist will nestle into the goldwork and smooth up the area a bit.
The background of this medallion is flat silk – Au Ver a Sole’s Soie Ovale in color 0006 – which is the most gloriously mysterious blue in the world. Sometimes it looks deep and dark; sometimes it is vivid, royal blue. It depends on the light and the angle of viewing. I think it’s probably the most beautiful blue thread I’ve ever worked with.
Everywhere you see white felt foundation will be silver and everywhere you see yellow felt foundation will be gold. The medallion is almost finished now. I’m glad we went with a combination of silver and gold – the silver is pretty fabulous!
That basketweave area on the crown is worked with a silver twist (size “super”) that’s rather fine. I was going to initially use silver passing thread (like the smoother gold you see on the cross and the monogram area), but the twist had such a light sparkle to it, that I couldn’t resist using the twist instead. Besides, I like the texture a lot!
Today, I’ll be surrounding most of the elements in the design with pearl purl twisted with silk (matching the letters already worked – you can see those in earlier articles). And then I’ll be finishing off with the rest of the chip work. My plan is to have the medallion finished by Friday. Um….
We’ve been working mostly around the clock on this, putting in 12 – 15 hour days, except for a few interruptions here and there. If I can get in the equivalent of two more 12 – 15 hour days on it, I’m pretty confident it will be finished.
Anna is diligently appliquéing the letters to the cloth. We are not doing a turned edge appliqué. Instead, we left about 1/8″ of linen all around, which we used to tack down with a running stitch (in blue), working the running stitch very close (almost under) the gold outlines, to hold the letters in place. Then, the final stretched pearl purl twisted with silk is going around the letters. It covers the trimmed linen edge.
I’ll explain later how we mounted the velvet cloth and so forth, for this part of the job. We were asked not to use a lining on the altar cover (because often, with velvet covers, over time they start to hang weird, or they become difficult to manage due to the lining more than anything else. It was believed the cover will hang better without lining. This created a little problem for us, as far as getting the lettering on in a reasonable way. So I’ll go into that later. Hopefully, the back won’t look too bad, but I’d prefer it if there were a lining on it, that’s for sure.
We are a little farther along in the appliqué of the lettering and in the embroidery on the medallion, so I’m still confident we will meet the final deadline, if nothing else in life goes amuck at the moment. I just need five days of smooth sailing!
The Holding Pattern
To make it a little more feasible to finish this project on time, and to take care of a few other difficulties that have cropped up, I’m going to put the blog here on hold for the next week. We’ll be back to normal scheduled programming next Friday, May 5th.
I’m sorry to say that Little Blooms is also on hold until then. If you’ve been stitching that project, now’s a good time to catch up on it. If you want to move ahead, you are more than welcome to improvise with your vines by working chain stitch varieties and variations on them. Our next lesson will cover the variations I used, but you’re not limited to those at all.
Wish me luck, and I’ll see you Friday, May 5th!
Thanks for your understanding!