Passion Cross for Ash Wednesday

The first weekend in February is upon us, and life is finally settling down a bit.  A few projects are in need of immediate attention to make the Ash Wednesday deadline of next week.  The first of these is the Passion Cross for a Black Chalice Veil.  In the  Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Black is the color used for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Since Ash Wednesday is celebrated with Holy Communion, it would be nice to have a chalice veil and black stole added for use on that day.  Last year for Good Friday, I completed an Altar Frontal and Pulpit fall in black. The count down is on.

Working full-time often does not allow the opportunity to devote attention to Ecclesiastical Sewing and Embroidery Projects.  Sadly, nothing got done in January with year-end.  This weekend was the first time hand embroidery projects were touched in what has seemed ages.  Tonight will be a quick update on the Passion Cross.

Passion Cross in Black Soie Ovale over felt padding
Passion Cross in Black Soie Ovale over felt padding

The Passion Cross has black felt padding, over which Au Ver A Soie, Soie Ovale is being stitched. Normally for a project like this, a base of silk threads would be laid to create a padded surface, and then begin the stitching over thread padding.  After looking through drawers, there is not spare black silk on hand to do the padding stitches.  Without time to order, or a visit to a needlework shop, alternatives had to be thought up.What could one do? All of the books show floss padding. But, perhaps there was a piece of felt on hand….not a perfect choice, but it might work. There were pieced of gold, and white, and red;  all were nice, either bamboo or wool felt.  But was there a piece of black? Looking through a stack of felt, at the bottom of the pile a tiny corner of something black peered out. Wonderful! But would it work? Would the strands of flat silk go smoothly across a piece of felt? Should I give it a try?  There was nothing else to do. It was either use the felt, or end up with flat stitching.  The thought of the Passion cross stitched without padding had no appeal. Padding was needed to give the cross definition.  I chose the felt.  It turns out the felt is not the smoothest of surface over which to float a flat silk, but with a few minor adjustments, things worked out well. The flat silk does like to catch on the stray felt fibers once in a while.  But it is working. The silk is floated over the top and caught on each side with a tiny stitch.  The effect is a smooth satin stitch on the surface of the cross.

The project is tiny, about 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″.  Using a round hooped seemed the perfect option at the time of framing up.  When doing this type of stitching with flat silk, two hands are needed at almost all times.  This tiny round frame is not working very well to allow for the best stitching results. Unfortunately, most of my work is done in larger frames that rest on the top of my table while stitching, which allows for using both hands. An idea is brewing that might make things work better.  It was a Christmas Gift idea that came from Mary Corbet over at Needle ‘n Thread.  After testing things out, I’ll let you now how if it worked.  Until next time.

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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