Textile Art

Ave Maris Stella: Progress

The first 12 hours of work on my new embroidery project.

Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
It started with an idea,

(AND make sure to look at the art of Sulamith Wulfing!)

Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
Followed by piling fabric and thread all over the floor. The two main fabrics (pink and blue) are both cotton batiks. These particular pieces look a lot like tie-dye, with the visual effect of sunset and water. They are not screen-printed (print on the front, weird whitish blech on the back) but dyed all the way through, so they are basically reversible, with one side slightly more vibrant than the other.
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
I cut out a paper pattern to trace onto white voile.

(Apologies for the strange photo colors. Some of the photos were taken at night, in less than desirable lighting conditions.)

Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
Laying thin white cotton voile over the pink batik creates a “peach” effect, perfect for their skin color. All the edges will eventually be covered with embroidery, leaving space for their faces and hands.
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
I started the veil first, using 3 strands of white cotton embroidery floss in satin stitch.
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
Here is the back of the work, once the veil was finished. It is outlined with one strand of cream stem stitch, and an addition line of goldenrod on the inside.
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
Her face is finished.
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
And the back. If I were embroidering on one layer of white cloth, these thread lines (like the blue one between her eyes) might show through to the front; but with a double layer of cloth, I have more freedom in carrying threads from place to place on the back.
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
Jesus’ hair is done in 3 strands of silk stem stitch. This photo has the most accurate colors!
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
Next I outlined the hands (stem stitch) and began filling in Jesus’ robe with 3 strands of long-and-short stitch.
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
The back, once the robe was finished. There are five shades of red worked in there, so there were quite a lot of knots and thread ends to dispose of.
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
Completed robe, crown outline, and Jesus’ lips changed color!
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
These are the supplies I have used so far (except the blue for the eyes, which I forgot to put in the photo): Four colors of Splendor strandable 12-ply silk, colors (left to right) S1107, S1048, S908, blue–S991; seven colors of Ariadna 6-ply cotton floss (left to right) 1500, 1507, 1548, 1555, 1566, 1557, 496; size 7 embroidery needle, and stork scissors. Plus, of course, the 7.5″ hoop.
Rebecca Elam--Delphina Rose
This is what is looks like this morning, after about 12 hours of work. The colors are more or less accurate. You can see the “peach” color effect of the voile over the background, especially compared with the white veil. Jesus’ face is 7/8″ from top of head to chin.

Click to enlarge.


4 thoughts on “Ave Maris Stella: Progress

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