A Little Splash of Color

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A Little Splash of Color

Yesterday, I showed you the finished section of flat silk in the Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design for the Easter Set Pulpit Fall.  It is always a little splash of color and thrill to finish one section of a hand embroidery project and to start embroidering a new area.  Often, it is tempting to move on to new areas to test out ideas. The mind tends to move so much faster than the fingers when it comes to hand embroidery.  But, moving on to new areas within a design without finishing a current area has its dangers. 

There is always the concern that after half finishing an area and leaving it for a long time, the stitching rhythm will change, and create a noticeable difference where stitching stopped and restarted.  Therefore, I really must finish the goldwork Italian stitching on the Easter Set Pulpit Fall before getting in too deep with the colored silk embroidery floss.

Color Selection in Ecclesiastical Embroidery

It is hard to resist testing out colors to see which might work. The right selection of color will bring this embroidery design to life. When it comes to color selection for this Embroidery Design, there were a few ideas that stick in my mind that come from Ecclesiastical vestment pieces I have seen.  A favorite vestment set that comes to mind when thinking of Church embroidery for Easter features a stylized lily motif.  Stitched in bright golden yellows, the lilies fairly “sing” of spring and the Resurrection Joy of Easter Morning.  That makes yellow lilies a must, at least for now.  Next, the Chi-Rho and Alpha and Omega need to be read from a distance. Red is always a great choice for bold lettering.

Significance in Ecclesiastical Embroidery

Red and yellow also have significance as far as their use as Liturgical colors for the church.   White is the “liturgical color” choice for the festival times of the Church Year and is the most widely used color for the seasons of Easter and Christmas.  White can range from pure white to cream or ivory, to gold or even yellow. All of these variations of white signify the importance of the season.  Thus, the desire to have the lilies be a beautiful gold/yellow color on a cream ground with gold stitching.  

The use of red is also very festive.  The use of red on the Chi-Rho shows the Paschal Lamb fulfilling His Sacrifice. Now, this Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design is not meant to have every single color have liturgical significance, but knowing a little about the use of colors within the church can help convey meaning and significance with a special Church Embroidery Design on a Vestment Set.

Silk Floss Colors for Church Embroidery
Silk Floss Colors for Church Embroidery

Color Palette

Once a few colors are selected as a starting point, how does one go about figuring out the rest of the colors?  This is something that has been rumbling around and causing worry for weeks.  There are a few obvious colors that will need to be incorporated, such as various shades of greens for foliage.  But what next?  After pulling out the entire set of Au Ver A Soie  Soie D’Alger that is on hand, the Soie Paris, Soie Perlee, and Trebizond silk embroidery floss trying to select colors were becoming lost amidst the forest of skeins and tumbling thread spools. Now it was time for a little help.

Color Wheel for Church Embroidery Floss Selection
Color Wheel for Church Embroidery Floss Selection

Out came the book from Trish Burr entitled Colour Confidence in Embroidery and the color wheels to rescue and tame the jumbled color mass of embroidery floss.

Knowing a starting point of Red and Yellow as desired colors helped get things moving in the right direction.  A little review on the color wheel showed that colors selected along the lines of a Tetrad (four-color combination) might be a starting point.

Silk Floss for Easter Set Pulpit Fall
Silk Floss for Easter Set Pulpit Fall

Color Palette for the Easter Set Pulpit Fall

Working through various threads, the colors have been narrowed down to reds and violets, greens and yellows, with a few blues mixed in to finish things off.  There may also be a few neutral colors used for various backgrounds if needed.

At this point, nothing is finalized, but the color families and various types of embroidery floss are out and set aside for the project. Among the threads being considered are a few things like Gilt Silk Twist, and Silk Gimp, but I am still not certain how or if they will work, or which stitch options to use.  This is as far as things are at the moment.

This has been a rather fun part of the process.  The options available in silk embroidery floss make it a joy to select colors. Color is a beautiful thing!  May your stitching day be filled with your favorite colors.

Solo Dei Gloria

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