We have an altar linen project here which gives work to Haitian women skilled in embroidery and brings in a little income to support our other ministries. We take the orders, prepare the linens and do the designs. They embroider them and bring them back. We then finish their preparation and send them off to their new church homes. All this takes months, so we try to make sure people understand we are not Almy Quik-Ship. Even cutting it is complicated - you have to shrink it before measuring, and then pull out a thread, bit by bit, the entire length of the item to be cut, and then cut along that thread line (in this case, that meant 108" plus large seam allowance). And that's before you do any basting or drawing!
I've been doing this for a year now and really enjoy the work. I've always loved drawing and sewing, though I can't say I have any formal training to speak of. Up till now, however, I have mostly prepared purificators, corporals and other small linens along with simple fair linens (large altar cloths). This is the first time at something so extensive, and I liked it better and better as it progressed. Yesterday I received the linen back embroidered, and I thought I'd share.
Here is the model for this first border:
|This is what I am looking at as I begin to draw on the linen.|
|adding the first few elements to the border|
|adding the lettering - now it's starting to take shape|
|ready to be embroidered!|
|back to me with the embroidery - lovely!|
Now it needs to be washed. Getting all the pencil out from under the embroidery is never particularly easy - and there's a lot of embroidery here!
And then it needs to be ironed. That will be a challenge due to its size even without the lack of power, but it will happen. Might post a photo later of the finished product. It will be even more beautiful once it is clean and pressed. I hope the parish will enjoy it for years to come.
And then on to the next set!
If you'd like to order something yourself, the catalog is on our main convent website at http://www.ssmbos.com/sites/default/files/Linens%20brochure%202012%20final.pdf