An embroidered alphabet: letter A

 

Embroidered letter A (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

This is the second summer since my husband retired from his house for duty post as a priest to 2 Oxfordshire parishes and although I can claim the disruption of two house moves in that time, my lack of progress on the altar frontal for Ipsden church hangs heavily in my thoughts. With my husband’s first cataract operation due at the end of this month and with the grandchildren about to enjoy a  full month of attention from their parents, I’ve realised this is the ideal time to get down to a push to the end on the altar frontal.

Embroidered letter A (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Inspired by American type designer, Jessica Hische  and her “Daily Drop Cap ” project , I decided that, each week until the altar frontal is finished I shall embroider a single letter of the alphabet. (Let’s hope that it gets finished well before I go through all 26 letters of the alphabet, although I shall want to go on embroidering letters whatever happens.)

Various letter As -including beautiful AC monogram – sketched from online examples

I sketched various As I found online – and it’s a sadness that it’s not easy to find the origin of all of them – and settled on a favourite. This was then tweaked to make it work in embroidery and to avoid too slavish copying. This letter ‘A’  was padded out with chain stitch over which I embroidered smooth satin stitch. Each letter minus the flourishes is 3″ (7.5cms).

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8 Comments

  1. Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    That is a lovely letterform – a perfect balance of simplicity and flourish!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted July 22, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Rachel – I wish I’d made the loop from the left foot to the middle bar a bit smoother!

  2. Anne Hill
    Posted July 22, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Your initials are always so elegant. Mine seem ragged by comparison.

    I am very excited to hear that the Ipsden altar frontal is moving on. It has inspired me to combine quilting (which I have done for many many years) with embroidery in which I am somewhat proficient – no more. Whilst practice has not, as yet, made perfect, nevertheless there is improvement.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted July 22, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Well, thank you Anne. Your words are very heartening, especially as I am at the moment grappling with what for the time being looks like a very raggedy B and which I hope with a bit of attention here and there will come to look to look rather more refined.
      So glad to hear you have enjoyed combining embroidery with quilting.

  3. Amara Bray
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I am partial to your choice also. What a lovely type. Beautifully done.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Such a lovely thing to say, thank you Amara.

  4. Lee Wittenstein
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Your work is always so lovely! How do you get the design onto the fabric? I don’t know the best way to do that so tend to stick with pre-printed embroidery patterns.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted July 24, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Lee, I draw the design on lightly with an ordinary pencil, either free hand or trace it using a light box. I then go over the pencil lines with running stitch in white thread and when I’ve done that I give the fabric a gentle hand wash (rubbing with a bar of Vanish if necessary). Sometimes I remove the running stitch, sometimes I don’t.
      Thank you for your kind comment.

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