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Monday, 20 June 2022

Sunset Parament

Yesterday, the latest commissioned church parament was dedicated at First Baptist Church in Amherst, N.S.  This piece was finished several months ago, and I have shown snippets here and there during construction; now I can share the entire piece.

Commissioned by the Lusby family in memory of their parents, this piece is for display during funeral services.  From discussions with both church and family, it was decided that a sunset would be an appropriate background.  My feeling was that the piece needed to be very, very simple, and calming, so I was conscious not to busy-it-up.  To this end, a lone tree silhouette seemed appropriate, and I knew just the tree. This one, on West Victoria Street, has always caught my eye, with its spreading, gnarled, branches. It is doubly appropriate as it overlooks land formerly owned by the Lusbys, and grows very near the family home. You can see the snow on the ground when I took this picture, perhaps around February.
After removing the background in the photo, I was left with quite a simple outline to stitch.  I decided to create an appliqué in free motion embroidery, that I could then easily add to a pieced background.
I used a variety of weights and colours of Aurifil thread, laying down the base in 28 weight and adding layers on top of 40 and 50 weight for finer details.
It turned out looking very like the original tree.
Previously, I had done a bare bones mock-up of the tree trunk to audition on different backgrounds, and sent it to the church and family to approve.  This is a digitally printed Hoffman fabric...
...and this is a background I made with vibrant Island Batik fabrics, sewn using a curved patchwork technique.

All parties agreed on the batik, so I proceeded to fill in the tree branches.
The parament measures 20-1/4" w  24" long, and is backed in a rich red satin.  The label reads as follows:
"The simplicity of the design invokes a feeling of serenity and peace, and features a lone, thread-painted tree silhouetted against a vibrant marsh sunset. The tree is inspired by an actual tree located on W.Victoria Street, Amherst, overlooking property donated by the Lusby family as the future site of the Cumberland County Hospice. Above the tree, two small birds are seen heading heavenward."

The project was finished and photographed in can see we still had snow.


  1. What a beautiful Parament. Did you stitch the tree on washaway? The birds, the concept, the finish, this will be seen with many eyes at services of farewells.And to know the tree,and its origin, makes this extra special.

  2. That is beautiful, Karen.....a comforting image at a time when it's needed. I love that you have used a local tree with great personality! What is it?

  3. The detail of the birds flying heavenward is wonderful! I love this.