Sunday, 27 March 2016

The University Chapel Project - March 2016 update

The Friday before last (the 18th) was the latest meeting of the Chapel Stitchers. Christine had been busy since the previous meeting, and had attached all the hands to the altar frontal.

The hands sewn on

The intention was always to have some white space between the individual hands, but some of them looked a bit disembodied by being cut off at the wrist, so we added some small pieces of fabric to fill a few of the gaps.

The original look

With fabric added to an orange and a purple hand

Ros had brought along her kneeler to show us. The dove is almost finished, and looks lovely. The next steps are designing the crosses for the sides of the kneeler, and filling in the background, which will be shaded.

The completed dove

The next job was to consider the colours for embroidering the hands for the communion sets. I had cut out all the the fabric pieces in the four colours required, and Kath had brought along a selection of embroidery silks, so we experimented with laying different skeins over the four stole pieces.

We started off with quite a wide range, but then we referred back to Kath's original design, and decided that a simpler colour scheme would be better. We settled for a light and dark in each of the four colours, making sure that there was enough of a contrast with the background fabric so that the colour doesn't 'sink' into it from a distance. 

The original colour selection

Whittled down to better match the design

The hands will go on the stole and the lectern fall only (the burse and the veil will just have the cross). To keep the design consistent, we decided that one person would do both pairs of hands for each set. Louise, Sandra, Sharon and Barbara volunteered to do the embroidery.

The hands will be embroidered in long and short stitch, on the same white fabric as the altar frontal, but painted. Painting the fabric first acts as a handy guide for which colour goes where, and also means that any gaps in the stitching won't be obvious. So, the final task in a busy meeting was painting the hands. Christine had brought fabric paint and brushes, and she, Sandra and Louise painted the hands.

Sandra, Louise and Christine busy painting

Painted hands

The next meeting is Friday 15 April at noon, in the usual room in Senate House.

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