Monday, 15 July 2013

Commission update - church banner

This year marks the 200th anniversary of my church in Cardiff.  The church has organised a number of activities to mark the occasion and amongst them is a banner made by members of the church.
Now, as I don't live in Cardiff anymore, I'm not entirely sure how it all came about, but my understanding is that one of the younger members of the church is a budding designer and she designed the banner. Someone has prepared the banner by cutting all the pieces out and applying them with a fusing material (eg bondaweb) to the backing fabric and then it has been passed around a number of members to embellish/sew around the edges.
When the idea was originally mooted, I showed an interest and was told I could probably be responsible for a motif on the banner, eg the cross.  However, the design doesn't include anything like that and I have now been asked to embroider a verse to go beneath the appliqued design.  The chosen verse is part of verse 4 of Psalm 100:
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise"
I thought I'd take the opportunity to do some goldwork again, although it has been a very long time since I last had a go.  Then, when I saw the applique design I decided against that idea and was stumped for a while as I wasn't sure goldwork would suit it.  I then came up with the idea of doing the lettering in blackwork, outlined simply and emphasising certain words with a bit of gold. However, once I got down to it and measured out the space I had and found a nice, clear font (with a bit of help from a colleague in the graphic design team - thank you George!) I altered the idea slightly.  I did like the idea of keeping it fairly graphic and simple, in keeping with the applique design, and decided to stick with the principle of black lettering.
After a bit of rummaging about, I realised that I still had some fabric left over from my first attempt at goldwork (back at school).  I'd made an ecclesiastical stole for my uncle's ordination. As I knew that the fabric held up well to heavy stitching etc it would be just the ticket.  And thankfully, there was more than enough of it left.
You may recall that last spring I attended a Royal School of Needlework course, so I'm going to try to follow a similar style for my lettering.   I've bought the perle thread, found my old stash of Japanese gold thread, purl and gold kid, found my course notes and embroidery stitch reference book, so I'm good to go. The fabric has been 'strengthened' with a calico backing and I've even invested in some charcoal sticks that I can ground down to make my own 'pouncing powder' to 'prick and pounce' the design onto the fabric. So now, everything else is on the back burner so I can concentrate on this for the next month or so.
Here is my progress so far - slower than I'd have liked unfortunately.
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