Church Linens

nap lavabo CR


I was honored to make these church linens for a mother to give her son upon his ministerial ordination this very Sunday.  This thoughtful mother has made up a gift package that includes these and other items her son will need as he pursues his calling.

Made of very fine linen, two communion napkins (or “veils”) to cover the elements were embroidered, hemstitched and edged with tatting. The napkin corners were rounded because mitering tatting is way above my skill level.

Pin stitch was worked around the perimeter with a #100 sharp needle.  I’ve learned that using a wing needle with tatting is a recipe for disaster.  But stitching slowly and carefully with the sharp, there were no tatting casualties.


slightly modified design is from ABC Christian Symbols collection

slightly modified design is from the spectacular  Christian Symbols collection of ABC Embroidery Designs


The baptismal lavabo is made from a blank linen guest towel with three rows of hemstitching.




I had a hard time coming up with a design that suited me.  What I wanted was a simple baptismal shell with three water drops symbolic of the trinity.  After an extensive and unproductive search of both my design library and on-line designs, I finally bought this  design from Embroidery Library, deleted the green scroll and rotated the shell.




After more on-line searching I purchased this cute umbrella from Urban  Threads JUST FOR THE RAIN DROPS!!!  Note to self:  Learn to digitize!!!  Then the shell and rain drops were combined.




Finally,  I was pleased with the design.

For machine embroidery, cotton thread has always been my preference, but especially for this project the matte finish seemed more appropriate. Fortunately, several years ago I came across cotton thread that suits me perfectly for monograms and other machine embroidery.

As I prepared to begin a project monogramming linen napkins for a wedding gift, I looked my threads over.  I happened to have a mini king spool of Robison Anton’s 100% cotton 50 wt. quilting thread.   It is intended for machine quilting so it is soft and pliable. After quick stitch rehearsal on a linen scrap I absolutely loved the look.

Later, my daughter requested a similar set of napkins so the thread was used again.  The heavier weight and matte cotton finish gives machine embroidery a look much like hand embroidery.

The Robison Anton thread spool identifies it as 50 wt. but does not specify the number of plys.   It stitches more heavily than my 50/2 DMC machine embroidery thread so I am inclined to believe that it is 3 ply.  I went on line and ordered three of the 3000 yd. king spools, one each in white, ecru and eggshell.  That was 5 years ago and soon I am going to have to order another spool of white.

I really enjoyed this project.  For such a milestone in the life of this young man and his family, it was a special joy to participate in this small way.



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