St James’ Altar Fall – Design Chosen, Fabric Bought

I have now received confirmation, the design has been chosen and fabric samples have been selected – now to start the difficult job of turning the design into the real altar fall, no small task I can assure you.

I can now reveal the chosen design for the central panel which will feature swirling cream silk elements that sit underneath a raised Celtic cross, these will be edged with green and red couched threads. Those who know the church will notice the pink flowers from the chancel roof within the swirls. On top of the cross will sit a gold kid leather shell of St James and a crown at the base of the cross echoing the ones on the arch above the chancel.

The circle in the centre will feature trapunto embroidered Celtic knots to give me a unique challenge, all of this will be mounted on a green dupion silk background.

There will also be two further narrow panels down each edge of the altar fall that are designed to reflect the ceiling in the Chancel using cream, pink and green silks.

The chosen design
Image result for shell of st james

One question I was asked was why I had chosen to feature the shell “upside down” in the centre of the design. When I was researching ideas I discovered that the scallop shell is synonymous with the apostle St James and was worn around the necks of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, the shell is suspended from the narrowest part when worn round the neck, what we might consider to be the bottom.

My cream silk jigsaw puzzle!

So, design chosen, I now had the difficult task of working out how much fabric I needed to buy. To do this I used my camera to print out a scaled down design, cut out the pieces for each colour & laid them out to scale. Rather like a jigsaw puzzle, until I managed to use the least amount of fabric, saving over half a meter of silk in the process!

I hope you like the chosen design and are as excited as I am to see how the final piece comes together over the next couple of months, let me know what you think in the comments below or on my Facebook page.

Elaine xx

Fabric Samples
Couching threads laid on the coloured silks they will ultimately outline

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2 thoughts on “St James’ Altar Fall – Design Chosen, Fabric Bought

  1. It’s going to be beautiful! I love the swirling design, so glad that’s the one! If you walk the camino now, you still carry a scallop shell. My friend, Jenny, has walked two and I was with her in Porto, when she bought her shell. Happy stitching! Love Tricia x

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