Finished at last
I'm about to head out to conquer a busy day, but I wanted to be sure and post the final pictures of the finished chuppah that I made for the wedding of a friend which we recently got back from in DC. I've discovered that it's difficult to fully appreciate a piece this large in a photograph, but hopefully these give you an idea of how it turned out! I am so relievedhappycontent to have finished it at last and to have seen it used and loved. That is, after all, what makes working on something like this worthwhile.
Disheveled from dancing I think, my husband and I on the right with the bride and groom
I have some pretty big ongoing quilt projects, but in terms of hand embroidery, this is definitely the biggest I have ever done and probably ever will do at 6 x 6 feet. I couldn't take photos during the ceremony but got this one afterwards and am eagerly waiting to see what the official photographer got.
After the beautiful ceremony that was right on the Potomac River
The chuppah uses my own drawing of the "tree of life" motif and incorporates the style of havdalah candles and the groom's celtic heritage in the spirals of the trunk. All elements were coordinated with the wedding colors and outlined in hand embroidery: the leaves in a full stranded split stitch, the berries and text ("I am my beloved and he is mine") in full stranded backstitch, and the roots, trunk, and branches and a double stranded stem stitch using two different colors of floss. I was surprised that the stitching on the trunk was as quick as lightning but those leaves took me forever because of the need to constantly rethread and take smaller, more intricate split stitches.
The bride, a former graphic design colleague of mine, did all the letterpressed invites herself(!) to coordinate with my tree of life drawing so of course we had to get a photo of that too. You can just see the debossed tree and foliage gracing the edges of these and I love how well they complement each other—gotta love continuity in design!
You can find info on making your own chuppah, read more about this one, and see the entire year-long process that went into creating this piece here:
How to: French Seams
Preparing the Canvas