Large Agnus Dei Update

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Large Agnus Dei Update

lamb still needs a great deal of background stitched in the sky.
Agnus Dei still needs a great deal of background stitched in the sky.

This is where we left off on the largest Agnus Dei hand embroidery project when we last visited The Tale of Two Lambs Project. The smaller areas of the sky to the right side of the cross are filled in and it is time to start the long-laid stitches across the width of the upper sky. For this Ecclesiastical Embroidery Project, the stitches for the blue sky are all floated across the front of the linen, and tiny stitches are taken at the sides, going down and coming right back up close to, or almost at the exact same spot. This keeps the stitches close together, and the satin stitches on the surface stay nice and full with no visible holes or gaps.

Using Horizontal Stitching Guide Marks

To aid in keeping the stitches parallel and straight, there are horizontal stitching guide marks spaced about 1/2″ apart where the sky is to be stitched. I did not mark any guidelines on the smaller Agnus Dei project. It became a bit of a challenge to keep the floating silk threads even on the smaller project. To avoid the same problem on the larger  Agnus Dei design, the addition of the guidelines seemed to make sense. The stitching did stay even and parallel, but it is surprising how much easier this was to accomplish with the addition of guide marks.

Wide stitches require changing threads often
Wide stitches require changing threads often

Stitching and Thread Management

Once free from working around details of the cross, etc., the stitching goes fairly fast. Frequent changes of the thread in the needle must happen. The stitch width in this area is 6 1/2″ so one can only take 3 to 4 stitches and then it is time for a new thread. Sometimes it is difficult to get the twist completely out of the flat silk when stitching over such a long span. It takes quite a while to get the threads to relax to a flat state, even with the use of a laying tool.

Nearing the end of the upper sky on the lamb Ecclesiastical Embroidery Project
Nearing the end of the upper sky on the Angus Dei Ecclesiastical Embroidery Project

Now the stitching is getting exciting! Only a few more stitches to go and a major section of the sky-laid work is finished.

The Last Sky stitches are in on the lamb
The Last Sky stitches are in on the Agnus Dei

Ah….. the joy of finishing a large section of embroidery!  Now, almost two-thirds of the laid work for the sky is complete.

Sometimes a project gets stalled, and it takes an effort to overcome and get the project rolling again. Life had interrupted this project for quite a while. It is nice to have it in the works again, watching the progress.  It is too early to think about a possible deadline for now but……spring is coming….. ….

Agnus Dei thus far
Agnus Dei thus far
Goldwork Anchoring and Thread Choices

The weekend was a success, and now it is time to prepare for the next phase of stitching on this Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design. Most likely, it will be at least a start to some of the gold work for this upper section of the sky. With flat silk stretched out throughout 6 1/2″, there needs to be a few anchor stitches placed soon to prevent the silk threads from damage.  The laid silk is held in place with a gold smooth passing thread with a silk core.  This gold thread is easy to work with and easy to plunge the tails.  It has a subtle gold sheen that works beautifully for this type of application. This is a wonderful goldwork thread!

Next up – the last section of the sky, especially around the legs so that the banner can begin. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of this design. Several vintage books from my collection serve as inspiration for this design.

Solo Dei Gloria

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Under Way with First Stitches!

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