Progress on Ecclesiastical Embroidery

Ecclesiastical Embroidery and Ecclesiastical Sewing are wonderful, relaxing pass times.  I enjoy them with great passion, especially if I get uninterrupted time over the weekend to work on projects. Ecclesiastical Sewing and hand embroidery work this weekend was a blend of activities which included a great deal of time spent working on current projects as well as working on Ecclesiastical embroidery designs for future projects.  Tonight I will share an update on the Ecclesiastical Embroidery project for the Easter Set Pulpit Fall.  As you may recall, the project was started a while back and you can read about that here: All Framed Up and Ready To Stitch

Ecclesiastical Embroidery Project Update
Ecclesiastical Embroidery Project Update

This weekend was spent getting the background  hand embroidery finished on the quarter circles which surround the main cross. The floss of choice is Soie Ovale in Creme by Au Ver a Soie.  Soie Ovale is a flat silk which in only used on the front side of the linen.  The embroidery floss is floated across the surface of the linen, takes a stitch down on the opposite side, then comes back up right next to the spot where the stitch went down, keeping the stitches very close together. Then the floss is floated across the surface to the opposite side, repeating the process.  Unlike traditional satin stitch, there is little to no floss on the reverse side of the fabric. This is a good thing because flat silk is a little more expensive.  Because of its nature as a flat silk and to avoid problems with snags on the back, it works great to float the silk on the surface of the linen and use some method to then hold the silk in place.

Soie Ovale is a flat silk, which means it has very little twist.  Working with a flat silk requires a little adjustment and care while stitching to avoid problems. When taking the stitches and pulling the embroidery floss through the linen to the back or front side, care must be taken to pull the flat silk either straight up or straight down when taking a stitch.  When one forgets to pull straight up or down, and goes at a slant, the strands of the flat silk tend to tangle more readily.

Laying Flat Silk
Laying Flat Silk

The other item that is needed when using flat silk is a laying tool.  The laying tool is a wonderful and very helpful item to aid in managing those wild little strands when working with flat silk floss.  It helps “walk” the floss  to the backside of the linen, and helps flatten out the twist so the strands of silk lay smooth and even, creating a very smooth satiny look with the silk on the surface of the linen.  Using the laying tool also acts as an aid to help minimize tangles in the flat silk.  Before I had a laying tool, I used an awl, or a large crewel  needle.  This laying tool is  called “The Best Laying Tool” which I was able to purchase from Stitchville USA        If you are ever traveling the in Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota), this is a fun needlework shop to visit.  The shop features a great deal of counted work, but has a large assortment of floss, frames, books, and other supplies. They also have their own framing shop right in the store.

Completion of Flat Silk
Completion of Flat Silk


Now that the flat silk is finished in this section of the project, it is time to finish the gold work Italian stitch variation.  The goldwork Italian Stitch variation is being worked in a very fine goldwork thread called Elizabethan Twist.  This thread is so very fine, and flexible, and it is a great deal of fun to work with!  It was purchased from Hedgehog Handworks   It is sold by the yard on the website, but if you inquire by email, Elizabethan Twist can be purchased on a 40 meter spool which is from Access Commodities.   The Elizabethan Twist also comes in silver!  Hmm…. there might be a use for that in upcoming projects.

To recap  the Easter Pulpit Fall Set project, the embroidery design dimensions are 9.5 inches wide and 12.5 inches long. The materials used so far are:

  • 1/2 yard Alba Maxima linen from Hedgehog Handworks
  • 1/2 yard Kona Cotton backing for linen
  • Soie Ovale Creme  – less than 1/4 of 80 meter spool
  • Elizabethan Twist – Gold
  • Tyre Silk color 86 gold for couching Elizabethan Twist

So far for the Easter Set, there is this piece which will be used for the Pulpit Fall.  Te Pulpit Fall is a cloth that hangs down from the pulpit where the pastor or priest preaches the sermon. There is also two Angus Dei pieces that were talked about in the post on The Tale of Two lambs here:  These are almost identical pieces, with the main difference being in size. They are in the works and need some attention perhaps next weekend. Their intended use is on the Altar Frontal and on the back of a chasuble. While the Angus Dei are almost the same, there are a few differences that are worth noting in the stitching.  I hope to share those differences with you soon.  But these three pieces still do not make a complete set of vestments.  Later, I will give you an update on the other pieces that will be part of the Easter Set, along with some of the Ecclesiastical Embroidery Designs being considered and worked through for those pieces.

Also, later this week, color talk. Until then time, happy stitching!

Solo Dei Gloria

Be sure to visit our online store front Ecclesiastical Sewing where you may shop for Liturgical Fabrics, altar linen fabrics, church vestment making patterns, liturgical machine embroidery designschurch vestment trims and notions and so much more. You may also find us on  Ecclesiastical Sewing  on Facebook , Twitter, and Pinterest. Sing up for our mailing list  at the bottom of the page on our online store front and receive a free copy of our Small Linens Booklet as our way of saying thank you for following along.


Filed under: Agnus Dei, Christian Symbols, Easter Church Vestment Set, Ecclesiastical Embroidery, Ecclesiastical Sewing, embroidery design, embroidery floss, embroidery patterns, Hand embroidery, Pulpit Fall, Soie Ovale Tagged: Agnus Dei, Christian Symbols, Easter Church Vestment Set, Easter Pulpit Fall, Ecclesiastical Designs, Ecclesiastical Embroidery, Ecclesiastical Embroidery Designs, Ecclesiastical Sewing, ecclesiatical embroidery, Elizabethan Twist, embroidery design, embroidery floss, embroidery pattern, embroidery patterns, Flat Silk, goldwork embroidery, Hand embroidery, Italian Stitch, Linen, Pulpit Fall, pulpit falls, Soie Ovale, Stitchville USA, The Tale of Two Lambs, Tyre Silk


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