Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Church Pew Markers: the rest of the story

I finally sat down today and drew the missing pew marker onto canvas - the one that replaces one that was left on an airplane. It occurred to me that some of you might like to see the process, as it's a lovely idea for a church, and one could do it easily with a bit of "know-how." I've shown this piece before, but not the process of the canvas preparation.

It finally occurred to me why I've dragged my feet so about re-doing it. Monday was the anniversary of the loss of my little granddaughter, Madeline, and I couldn't look at it without the overwhelming sadness.

Several years ago, when I began painting them, I wanted her to be proud some day of the work her Granny did for her church (Church of the Good Shepherd in Austin) - so explained the white ones and the red ones: White for weddings, confirmations, etc., and red ones for Memorial Services. I told her that one day the white ones would be used at her wedding. She looked me square in the eye (at age 9 or 10) and said, "Granny, I'm not going to get married. I'm going to be an archaeologist and go dig at Jackson Hole." LOL. I would have been right beside her.

Anyway, I had to make a tracing of this finished one, as I had discarded the pattern - it wasn't easy, as trying to get the curves right from an already stitched piece was difficult - and also the counted elements. What you are seeing is the new canvas being drawn by placing the tracing under it.

That gorgeous gold tassel is something our wonderful finisher-without-equal Vikki Pinson here in Austin added - and she also put probably BB's in each end to weight them so that they would hang properly over the end of the pews.

The shepherd's crook hangs to the outside, and the cross is on the inside. The cross was stitched in simple basketweave in Kreinik metallic gold - so it wouldn't snag on anything, or be damaged by little children playing with it during services.
The third picture has arrows pointing to a framework of two stitches wide - worked just in a satin stitch - for emphasis and to separate the mosaic stitch background from the basketweave around the crook. It's difficult to see in the picture because of the color, but it's a stepping stone frame.

You can see a fragment of the cross here - it's upside down so that it will hang properly on the inside of the pew. I had suggested this sort of project to St. David's, as I love doing Celtic knotwork and leeks - but I forgot that their pews are rounded at the top, not flat as at Good Shepherd.

I'm showing the backside of this one to illustrate that each one is a "memorial" gift to the church from someone. The canvas is put together with the threads, and is purchased by whomever wants to stitch it and leave it as a memorial. (Vikki embroiders the message on the backs with her machine.) By doing it this way, it defrays the cost of the project from the church.

Anyway, I thought this might inspire some of you who have expressed an interest in doing needlepoint for your churches.

1 comment:

coral-seas said...

Hi Judy, I've not commented for a while but have been reading your tutorials with interest. Thanks for taking the time to do those for us.

I can understand why you found it difficult to do this. My best wishes to you and all who knew and loved Madeline.