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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Pentecost Antependium

Today is Pentecost, and the hanging of the 4th in a series of paraments commissioned by a local church. Even though this one looks simple and straightforward, it was not without challenges.
My original design idea was to use the same flame shape for the tongues of fire as well as for the wings on the dove.

I prepared my applique pieces and stitched everything in place. I stitched the shot silk flames in 3 colours of Sulky thread and used a narrow, satin-stitch along the pointy edges of the dove wings, going over the design twice to give it a nice raised edge. Imagine my horror after all that stitching to step back and see that those flame wings looked like...lobster claws. Maybe that's the Maritimer in me, but when I stood back from this dove I could not wipe the image of huge pincers waving around as the lobster dropped into the boiling water. Oh my...

Back to the drawing board. Luckily, I had enough of the red background to begin from scratch...but no more of the shot orange/red silk for the flames. I stuck with the original layout and began cutting more flames.

I used the lid of a spray starch can to draw semi-circles and made a template of freezer paper. Luckily the freezer paper had not been tossed so it was a quick job to mark the flame placement on the new antependium.

Clover fusible bias tape worked wonderfully to outline the circles.

It was edge-stitched using gold metallic thread.

The flames were satin stitched with an orange-red Sulky which gave them a bit of sheen.

A pretty beaded tassel finishes the bottom point. Each of the paraments so far has had a different bottom shape - rounded, squared, scalloped and pointed - to give variety and interest to the various hangings. I like how the dove is gently descending into the flames, rather than dive-bombing head first as we often see. Simple, but effective in communicating the message of Pentecost.


  1. Oh dear.....the thought of the dove descending into flaming lobsters made me chuckle!

  2. Not being a Maritimer, I don't actually see lobster claws ... even after you mentioned them ... and I'm usually pretty suggestible. I do like the final piece however. That church is really getting its money's worth!!

  3. So sorry you had all that work done before you noticed - think we have all done that sometime or other. It makes you wonder how we really see other things too. The end result is beautiful and I know it is probably really admired and appreciated in the church.

  4. As usual it is beautiful. You amaze me with your creative talent. Thanks for sharing and explaining how you do your creations.