Friday, May 22, 2009

Liturgically Speaking.....

....I found these images of a scarf I had made from leftover fabric from a handmade altar cloth. This was one of those jobs you made the rules up as you went along. The fabric was a rayon jacquard, ravelled like crazy, had to have a stiff interfacing to hang properly, was lined with linen and of course, needed gold and pearls.
Hmmmmmm........who would take on a task like this??? <:)
I made the little linen collar protectors with a hand crocheted edging, then they were basted in so they could be removed for washing. That, by itself was a honking headache.
Somewhere along the line I discovered I couldn't sew this on the machine and then turn it right side out. The lining and fabrics just said "NO!" which that meant sewing the whole thing by hand.
These items turn out to be meditative after a while. All the cording is couched on with a heavy gold thread (yes, real metal wrapped). The pearls are all secured by hand with waxed thread and stitched so the knots are not seen on the lining. There are also hand applied gold filled beads on the appliques and other glass beads.

The fringe on the bottom is real metal bouillon fringe, and that little tidbit on there set me back a pretty penny. But it needed it. The gold anchored all the white, and also the wool felt and gold embroidered appliques. Pearls were added with abundance, so that the scarf would shimmer, even under the lowest lighting.
Why don't I do this full time for a job? (because I probably could...) Cost, both of materials, and the toll on my hands and neck and shoulders. Most of my sources for liturgical fabrics have dried up, and the few remaining ones offer beautiful items but not at a price that I can make a profit.
However, every once in a while, I get the urge to make something delicious and wonderful and rich, dripping with elegance and history and reminding me that I still can sew pretty good.
I think I was born in the wrong era.
Or maybe it's that *Inner Nun* trying to assert herself.
You think I'm joking...don't you?
Now go find something that makes your brain perk--a puzzle to assert your creativity with!
But you might want to forget the metal fringe....... :) least for now!


Vicki said...

I quilted a small piece with metallic thread. I can't imagine hand sewing that big of a project with it. Beautiful!

I can just see you sewing beads and and sequins on your habit.

Leslie said...

My gosh, that is one incredible piece of work.

So, I am not the only one that has notice that liturgical fabrics are getting harder and more costly to find?

I too, have made some liturgical pieces, but from cotton Guatemalan stripes as we were going the all inclusive route at that time. Almost no one wears the incredible turkey work and laid work embroidered stoles anymore. For that I am incredibly sorry as I love the history and the love that is imbued in them.

Again, well done. I still want your Latin and Saints piece, it is AMAZING!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...


Quilting is far worse than the hand sewing. You have a little more control with a large eyed needle with the thread knotted into it.
On the other hand,it is NOT something that I could describe as fun...... :)

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...


I found my fabric at Eastern Orthodox Supply. They have pieces from reasonable all the way up to astronomical. You ought to check the site and just enjoy looking at the fabrics.
I have no idea if our new minister will wear scarves like these at all. The previous minister did not wear a robe, which obviously is optional in the church.
When I was still going to the Catholic church in the early 70s, they had gone to the *modern* styles which I absolutely HATED!!! The Anglican church here in town has a wonderful priest who showed me his collection of vintage albs, etc. The embroidery, golwork, etc. was sooooo amazing. I could never compete with THAT! But I wish I had taken photos........

Linda Moran said...

Your "inner nun"....hmmmm.....been there - in fact, when I was still quite impressionable (like around 11 or 12) I wanted to be a nun - and that lasted until my first boyfriend David something-or-other and the first kiss in the uniform closet of the band room.....haven't thought about that in a LONG while!

Aside from that, the stole is magnificent - my feeling today is that hand-made should only go to those who will REALLY appreciate the skill, talent, and work involved.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hee!Hee! I seriously considereed it until the Academy close by here closed. I just had a problem with unquestioning obedience because I fugred we were given a BRAIN to think, to use, to question.
Sometimes I think I would have functioned well in a cloistered order.......otherwise I would have been working in the local hospital!
And the stole was much appreciated!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Well, I went to Eastern ORthodox Supply - and found an exquisite piece of claret-and-gold brocade. I was thinking for a fabulous and larger scale mini-theatre.

At $175yard, it will be in my dreams only!

Steve said...

The stole is magnificent! It graces our communion services and compliments the incredible altar covering. Come and see it on Sunday!

Steve said...

Oh yes, I hope the closet nun will be blessed!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

The closet nun is trying very hard to behave's not easy......
Men! Hmmmpft!

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