Easter Sunrise Hand Embroidery Design
February has arrived and the days are still bleak and sunless in Northern Minnesota. Now that year-end has wrapped up, it is time to get back to work on Ecclesiastical Sewing and Embroidery projects.
Embroidery Design Experiments
Tonight was a night of experiments. Once in a while, there is something – an idea – lurking, and it continues on until, finally, it is time to do something. Oftenit involves a challenge of sorts with the unknown and unfamiliar. The challenge and experiment in question: Learning to use a new computer program! Sound daunting? Well, in this case, yes. I have tried unsuccessfully for several years to learn how to use a computer program to draw Ecclesiastical Embroidery designs. But time was always an issue, as well tutorials that seemed to lack the needed information. So this was the weekend. The challenge was set. Either figure out the program, or give up. Sometimes experiments work out great, and sometimes they are an abysmal failure. Here is a reason for the challenge:
Many of us have a great desire to create beautiful hand embroidery projects for use in the church. But let’s face it, most of the time, we want to pull out a design, plan threads, select fabrics, frame things up, transfer the design, and have at the stitching! Our fingers itch to start new projects (or at least mine do). I can always dream up more projects than can be stitched in one lifetime. But, the desire is not always to stitch the ordinary, every day stuff. Sometimes, there is a desire for something very special.
But where can one get a wide enough variety of designs? There are a few great resources readily available. And those fit many purposes. One can search museum collections, and there is a wealth of images on the internet of beautiful embroidery worked in ages past. Those are all fine and good, but taking a design from an existing embroidery would take a deal of work.
Recently, my personal hand embroidery library has expanded with a few treasures from a bygone era that would be lovely to stitch, and perhaps to share with others. Several of these treasures have been hand traced, and that works well for some things. But if the originals are rare, and perhaps valuable, tracing may not be the best way to transfer a design of old such as the rare treasure above. The paper on this design is slightly brittle. Tracing may cause more damage to the original. Trying to place the design on a copier is out of the question. So thus begins the experiment with a computer graphics program…….
This treasure comes from a rare copy of a German book that arrived over the Christmas Holidays. The original design is very small. When it is enlarged on a copier, the design looses definition and the pixels become an issue. This seemed appropriate as a first challenge with the graphics program. Lots of straight lines, a circle, a few wavy lines for rocks. Piece of cake, right? So it seemed. Things were moving along, the program and I had an understanding of sorts. And then it hit. That innocent looking circle for the sun. Let’s simply say that most basic of shapes, the circle, was quite a challenge. But at last, it turned out not so bad. The experiment was a success! Now many of you might be laughing, because you know how to do this. And for those that can do this type of thing, congratulations! For those who would like to learn, keep at it – there is hope!
So what about this design – how might it be used? While the original Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design was in a double circle border, the design can certainly stand alone with out a border. There are many options that would work for this Easter hand embroidery design. With the help of a copy machine, the design could be enlarged for use on a pulpit fall, or an antependium. Perhaps a banner is planned, or going the opposite direction, this would work well on a stole. With a bit of thought, there might be a few possibilities for this design, including whitework for chalice veils, palls, or a burse.
The thought of elongating the design and placing it in a double oval border is simmering around as well. (But that is for another day and struggle with computer programs). Small ovals would work for a stole, or slightly larger for the back of a chasuble…….
Does anything come to mind for you? For those interested in giving the design a try, here is a copy of Easter Sunrise.*
Solo Dei Gloria
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*Please remember the design is provided for individual use, and not intended for commercial purposes. Thank you.