This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The pulpit hanging by Mrs. Rhodes, containing the emblems of the three persons in the Godhead, is intended for Trinity decoration. It must be worked on figured green silk, which will admit better of being backed with a thin, fine cotton or linen material, which should be first framed and the silk then herring-boned on to it. The whole design must be marked iReproduced from the original, in the Bodleian Library, by the Working Ladies' Guild.) on and space left for a fringe at the bottom. The crown and clove may be worked direct on to the backed silk, but the cross must be separately worked and applied after the other work is finished.
Old Embroidered Book Cover.
The crown will look richest if worked in silk feather-stitch, tones of gold being used, which must come to pure gold tones in the centres of the ornaments, and further be brightened with gold thread, which may be laid over the silk embroidery The band at the base should be of two or more threads of gold sewn down together, and jewelled enrichments of coloured silks should be worked in with satin-stitch. Jewels may also be added in the centre ornament of the crown. It must then be outlined with gold thread sewn down with Maltese silk of its own colour, and the rays worked with passing or with Japanese gold.
The effect to be produced is of greater depth of colouring in the crown, which forms the base of the design, but it must also be as brilliant as possible. The dove must be worked in fine feather-stitch as regards the body, in natural shades of grey, deepening toward the extremities of the wings and tail. The eyes should be red. The large feathers of the wings may be worked in a half open stitch resembling feathers - that which the Japanese frequently use in the plumage of birds with excellent effect.
The intention is not to work the dove quite naturally, but - while keeping strictly to conventional treatment - to introduce a relief and variation from the heavy gold of the cross. The markings on the tail and wings must be in a silk of decidedly deeper tone, and the rays, which must be put in last of all, will be in Japanese gold.
The cross must be wholly worked on a piece of stout church linen or holland, in a separate frame, marking an inner line at about one inch distance from the outer one. This space is to be filled in with couchings of soft embroidery silk, filo floss or Japanese silk of a brownish bronze colour, one of the tones used in shading gold. The stitching across must be laid down about a quarter of an inch apart in dead gold twist and sewn down with the same colour. The centre is to be worked in basket-stitch, not too coarse, or it will be difficult to finish the edges neatly.
Cotton cord or string must first be sewn down backward and forward across the design, great care being taken to get the turnings very neat and close, or portions of the cord will show. When the inner cross is thus thoroughly prepared, the gold must be laid over, one strand at a time. It must be stitched down over every two of the cords with a deep red twist, beginning at the base of the cross and finishing at the point of intersection with the arms. Three rows of gold thread are thus laid side by side and stitched in a straight line with each other. The next row of gold is laid in the same way, but the first stitching occurs over only one cord to begin with, and after that over two up to the top, so that the stitchings occur exactly between those of the last three rows, and as the silk twist is drawn as tight as possible the appearance of basket weaving is given.
Three rows are worked in this way, and the three remaining ones are stitched as the first - that is to say, between the sewings of the last. Only three rows of basket-stitch are shown in the design, but it is possible that more than these will be needed. It is only necessary to ascertain how many will be required exactly to fill in the space at the worker's disposal, care being taken that the first and last are alike. More than three rows of gold may be used for each plait of the basketstitch, or less, as the occasion requires, but fewer than three do not generally look handsome.
Altar Frontal for St. Helen's Church, Tarporley, Cheshire. Executed by the Working Ladies' Guild.
Very great care will be necessary in the centre where the arms cross to get the stitchings so even as to form a distinct pattern, as shown in the design.
When the basket work is finished, the work must be well pasted, and then transferred on to its place on the antependium. After being very firmly stitched down on the silk, it must be finished with a couching of gold cord, which should be tolerably thick, and an outer couching of very dark red chenille will improve it. If it appears necessary, before the cross is transferred from the linen a couching of silk cord of a dead gold order, the same as that used in the laid work surrounding the gold cross, may be put outside the basket-stitch to finish the edges neatly. In any case it will probably give richness.