Sunday, 17 April 2016

The University Chapel Project - April 2016 update

The latest meeting of the Chapel Stitchers took place on Friday. There was a lot to report; the project is really coming together. Peter Jenner, the University Chaplain, joined us - and got more practically involved than he may have bargained for. Sadly Christine wasn’t able to join us (if you’re reading Christine, hope you get better soon), but she had sent Kath the small crosses for the communion sets, cut from the same fabric as the large cross for the altar frontal.

Fabric cutouts and the template for the completed cross

Ros showed us progress on her kneeler. The background shading is taking shape, and Ros is going to draw out a template so that the other kneeler can be shaded in the same way.

Shading around the dove

Barbara is working on her first pair of hands for the green communion set, using long and short stitch to shade between the colours.

Embroidering the hands

Fiona had pieced together the coloured bands for one end of all the stoles.

The stole pieces

The next step was to decide on the positioning of the hands and cross on the other end. We tried out a couple of ideas, but came to the conclusion that the only way we could really tell what worked was by seeing the stole being worn. Kath pinned the pieces together and Peter tried on the end result , but being worn over a fleece jacket didn’t really work! More formal attire was definitely needed. Peter then gamely submitted to being sent out into the corridor so that we could see the stole from a distance, as well as close to.

Trying out motif positions

The current plan is to leave the crosses plain on the red, purple and green sets, but to add gold embroidered rays to the white set, both for the celebratory aspect and to make the ivory cross stand out from the background.

Positioning motifs on the veil and burse was simple, and we then all went down to the chapel to try out the lectern falls.

We need a further four lecterns falls, as a lectern has recently been found for the pulpit. The new falls will be slightly wider, so that both sets exactly fit the lectern they hang from. Fortunately we have enough extra crosses, and Louise, Sandra, Sharon and Barbara will each embroider a further set of hands.

The lectern fall on the lectern . . .

. . . and on the pulpit

We also tried laying the kneeler on the altar steps. Although the shading is in completely different colours from the decorated tiles, the tonal values are similar, and the end result looks great.

The kneeler in situ

Chapel is currently full of scaffolding, as the new window commemorating the university’s 175th anniversary is due to be installed this week – exciting! The dedication service for the new window will take place on 1 June, so the plan is to have the altar frontal and the green communion set completed by then.

The next meeting is Friday 6 May at noon, in the usual room in Senate House.

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