Church Embroidery

My sister-in-law is a vicar in the Church of England (C of E).
This page contains some of the things I have made for her.

Copper and Gold

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 The gold on this stole, is damask. The lining is crepe back satin. The crosses are made up of 3 layers: pelmet weight interfacing, white satin, and gold tulle. You can only see the tulle glistening if you are close. The crosses are embroidered using copper thread and stitches from my machine that look like a row of flowers or a vine. Then I hand sewed little seed beads on the rows to look like flowers. I also outlined the cross, and made the X in the middle, with dark brown rocaille beads. There are four pearls in the middle, and cream seed beads at the corners of the cross. To make the copper colours blend in better with the gold, I sewed scattered beads on the oval pattern of the damask to look like a flower head.



The Path of GOD


I did this stole for Christmas. Gold can be worn at Christmas and Easter.




Sometime ago, when she was a curate, my sister-in-law asked me to do something to rescue the embroidery on a vintage stole, which the vicar didn't want to keep any more.

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It was lovely, but it took me ages to get up the nerve to cut into it!...Also the olive green was not something that I was able to match easily, so I had to move away from the idea of truly matching it...but how? 

Finally, When she went to her current  church, I decided it would be fun to make a stole with bits from the 2 I had done so far, and some from the vintage one. All these together would represent the 3 churches she had ministered in, as well as the new one. I thought it would be a bit more abstract, and have two levels of meaning.

1. How God has worked to lead her along the path to this place.

2. How God works to bring people together through the cross of Christ.

I also kept thinking of the verse..."This is the way walk ye in it." It seems to fit.

Here are some photos of the construction:
vintage stole conditions.JPG (26720 bytes)Opening it up and condition: There was some very delicate darning on the stole edges which had been quite worn. The fringe was coming off, and coming apart. Inside there was still a pin holding the interfacing to the embroidered piece! pin inside.JPG (28276 bytes)The goldwork had parts where the gold was coming off and the red thread it was wrapped round was showing. But it was not too bad. I decided it would be better to leave it. I cut round the cross motif in a circle. The smaller cross at the neck was not good enough to transfer.

ideas and patterns.JPG (21652 bytes)Some of my ideas and patterns I designed for the stole.

Here you can see how the layout was planned. gold onto green.JPG (48623 bytes) I managed to sew the gold crepe back satin to the green damask. Next step was to sew the cream damask to the gold. After that the embroidery from the vintage stole was sewn on. Even though I had measured, the circle with the embroidery was just a little bit too big. So, I had to sew round it in a more uneven way.


completed stolefull complete.jpg (64883 bytes)

At the last, I embellished the path with beads and some semiprecious stone chips. I  did some gold work in various places.
completed stole.jpg (66696 bytes) detail complete.jpg (57710 bytes)detail

The stole was well excepted. I am glad! I enjoyed working on it!

Burning Bush Stole

My sis in law wanted me to make a stole about the Burning Bush. She told me the Latin words she wanted on it. Nec Tamin Consumbatur (or something like that... I got it right on the stole!) I think in the English translations it reads something like the bush wasn't consumed. For her it means that when God chooses you, He doesn't use you up.

I knew exactly how I wanted it to look, and before long, got the actual bush done. but I had only heard about the technique I knew I would need to use for the flames. SO, it was several years later, and several projects using and developing the technique before I actually got the flames done. I think they came out better than I imagined!

(oh, what was the technique?) I used a soldering iron to cut the shapes from the synthetic organza, which seals the edges so they don't fray.

I forgot to get photos before I gave it to her, so tried for some later. this is the best I can do! The bush is on both ends of the stole, I think I managed to get them pretty close.   In the first photo, you can just see the start of the words, which go up like smoke. kind of confusing at first,  to anyone who knows Latin, since I felt the smoke word would start at the fire and flow up... most vertical words read down! Oh well! It is meant to make you think.

I also embroidered little sandals at the back of the neck. This is a private message for the wearer to remember when she is ministering, she is standing on holy ground.




Click here to see a banner I made for a church in Ireland.