IHS Embroidery Update

Fridays are a special day. It is a day off from work and a day, hopefully, devoted to Ecclesiastical Sewing and Ecclesiastical Embroidery. There is usually a plan for the day which might include working on new Ecclesiastical Embroidery Designs, or Vestment Patterns, or perhaps working on one of several Ecclesiastical Sewing and Hand Embroidery Projects.  There are always Embroidery books to be reviewed for new information and ideas.  The possibilities are limitless. Fridays are also a great day to start new Ecclesiastical Sewing projects or to continue working on existing hand embroidery projects that takes a great deal of time. If nothing else wheedles its way into the day to disrupt plans, then there is usually the joy of visible progress at the end of the day.

Cross on IHS Goldwork Embroidery
Cross on IHS Goldwork Embroidery

There were two project goals for this weekend. The first was to work on the IHS Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design for the Rose Vestment Set Altar Frontal.  The second was to work on the Monk Habit pattern and to remake a Monk Habit that was started by another tailor. Both Ecclesiastical Sewing projects have deadlines. The Ecclesiastical Goldwork Embroidery took first priority!

Goldwork Embroidery Inspiration
Goldwork Embroidery Inspiration

After restarting the IHS goldwork project, the stitching is going much better, and more importantly, the plunging of gold thread tails is also going much better!  There is still the lingering question- how best to approach stitching the Fleur ends on the cross.  While paging through a design notebook, this little detail caught my eye for several reasons.  The first was the way the illustration was drawn.  This piece looks like it was made using Silk Wrapped Purl which inspired getting out that thread drawer and checking the colors on hand.  Silk Wrapped Purl is available from Thistle Threads in a nice variety of historical colors. The other inspiration that came from this piece was the potential ideas for stitching the Fleur Ends.

IHS Cross Goldwork Embroidery on Cross End
IHS Cross Goldwork Embroidery on Cross End

The illustration shows a line extending down the center of the cross and splitting to either side upon reaching the Fleur ends.  Placing the gold thread in that position and playing with additional threads looks like the idea might work! It was time to begin stitching.

Adding first strand of Gold Thread
Adding first strand of Gold Thread

Starting where the previous stitching had ended, a gold thread was added where the split would take place, and the stitching was finished to the Fleur end.

Turning the corner
Turning the corner

The upper thread was turned at the corner by first using tweezers to crimp the thread at the turn, then taking a stitch to secure the end.

Adding Second Gold Thread
Adding Second Gold Thread

After taking a stitch across both ends, a second gold thread was added and the stitching continued back on the length of the cross. This is the “turn one, cut one method” as described in the book A to Z Goldwork Book by Inspirations, the publishers of Inspirations Magazine from Australia. The A to Z Goldwork book is one of my favorite goldwork books. The step by step photos and instructions are clear and easy to understand.

Finishing Stitches for the Day
Finishing Stitches for the Day

Having several uninterrupted hours to devote to an Ecclesiastical Embroidery Design project is bliss!  But alas, laundry and life call, and it is time to make an end of the stitching for today.  It is wonderful to look at the project and see progress. This section of the one side of the cross is almost finished.

If you would like to see the other posts relating to this Ecclesiastical Sewing project for the Rose Vestment Set, they can be found here:

Goldwork Progress

IHS Ecclesiastical Embroidery A Little Progress

IHS Ecclesiastical Design First Stitches

New Projects in the Works Soon

Until next time.

Solo Dei Gloria

Be sure to visit our online store front Ecclesiastical Sewing where you may shop for Liturgical Fabrics, altar linen fabrics, church vestment making patterns, liturgical machine embroidery designschurch vestment trims and notions and so much more. You may also find us on  Ecclesiastical Sewing  on Facebook , Twitter, and Pinterest. Sing up for our mailing list  at the bottom of the page on our online store front and receive a free copy of our Small Linens Booklet as our way of saying thank you for following along.


  1. benton and johnson are one of the main manufacturers though, hence cheap cos you’re buying direct for threads purls and spangles.

    (I might be biased because niel is lovely and gives me designer discount)


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