More Surprises on Summer Travels

Summer travels are always fun. There are planned events, and occasionally the unexpected surprises.  Last week I shared a little bit about our summer travels to Montana and the visit to the Ursuline Center in Great Falls.  You can read the post here: Summer Travels and Unexpected Surprises!

The hand painted banners we discovered in the tower art studio at the Ursuline Center were certainly a surprise.  A little earlier that day, we had toured the museum housed at the Ursuline Center. The museum had various pieces of furniture used in the school, pieces relating to the medical training at the school,

Museum Ursuline Center
Museum Ursuline Center


a few items used as part of the worship services,  such as the Monstrance in the photo above, as well as beautiful pieces of Native American artifacts.  Half way across the room, I spotted a fun little display. My eyes caught the featured whitework embroidery. Immediately, I had to get a closer look.

I was hoping that I might find some illusive Ecclesiastical Embroidery in one form or another.  Below is what was on display.

Whitework Embroidery Ursuline Center Museum
Whitework Embroidery Ursuline Center Museum

It was a cut up piece of embroidery that had the letters “S” and “U” surrounded by tiny white flowers and various leaves.  The stitching was very interesting,

Whitework Embroidery Fragment
Whitework Embroidery Fragment

This was the next piece on display. It had the words “Happy Feast!” and the date “1895” stitched along with a cluster of tiny flowers and leaves.  This piece has noticeable holes worn in the fabric.  While it was not a an altar cloth, or purificator or a chalice veil, it is some lovely remnants of whitework embroidery.  These two remnants had been cut out from what must have been a larger piece at one time. This piece must have been very special that what little there was left of it was cut up in such a way and preserved. I noticed a small note of explanation that helped satisfy my curiosity as to what the pieces were original from.


Irish Linen Tablecloth Ursuline Center
Irish Linen Tablecloth Ursuline Center


This little note told the story.  The pieces on display were  remnants from the large hand embroidered linen tablecloth that had been used by the Sisters for years.  It has the date 1895 embroidered on it.  The two initials of the “S” and “U” are beautifully done.  It was fun to see this piece, but it was still not Ecclesiastical Embroidery.  So the burning question still waiting for an answer: were there any pieces of Ecclesiastical Embroidery to be found?  When we came down from the art tower studio, there was one Sister working in the archive.  Our guide asked the Sister if she knew of any pieces.  Her response, “Go down stairs and phone Father. He would be the person who would know.” So, down we went to the office and a phone call was made. Father told us to come upstairs to the chapel and we could meet him there in a few moments.  So, off we went to the next part of the adventure.  And I regretfully will have to say good night for now and continue the story soon.  Thank you for reading.

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.

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