Friday, May 15, 2009

Crosses for Personal Prayer Cushions

Several years ago, I had a number of painted canvase (by request) in my wholesale line that had to do with Bible/Prayer book covers. I'm pleased lately to discover that many many people are now looking beyond church kneelers, etc., and wanting to do personal prayer cushions, which may, of course, be any convenient size that fits the space and the need.
I had an irreverant moment remembering a church in Tallahassee that made an effort to do a great tongue-in-cheek type quote each week on a billboard that was hilarious as well as thought prevoking. I remember one that said "When your troubles knock you to your knees, you're in a praying position." (so true) This is how I've been feeling for the past year, only by now, if I knelt on the floor, I probably would require help getting back up.

Anyway, as usual, while digging in old files and boxes I found these small cross drawings that I've used in the past, not only for Bible covers, but in groupings and arrangements for personal kneelers. I remember one that had three of them across the center, and a simple but elegant border - very effective.
This Jerusalem Cross is one of my favorites of the many many types and styles of crosses used over the centuries - and is also adaptable for an ornament. Could be placed on a symmetrical stitch counted circle or a diamond shape easily. Also - lots of possible color combinations.
On 13 mesh canvas, this one is 3 1/2" high. On 18 mesh, it is tiny @ 2 3/4".

The simple Latin Cross has the Alpha and Omega added. It's almost 4" high on 13 mesh, and 2 3/4" on 18 mesh.

The Trefoil Cross shown here is a bit small, but apparently was used in the same project - it would be simple to draw it larger. It's 4" high on 13 mesh, and 3" high on 18 mesh. Incidentally, the study of the styles of crosses and other symbolism is fascinating - one can get many great ideas for kneelers this way!!

It was while designing some pieces for St. David's here in Austin that I became fascinated with the Welsh Celtic things - the encircled cross, as well as the Leeks (flower of Wales) and, of course, the knotwork. This is a very simple outline that has many possibilities for use as an ornament too.

The second scan shows a few "jewels" added maybe for interest.

The last scan shows how to simply add a "seam allowance" background, which would be done quickly and easily in basketweave.
A really competent finisher can work wonders with a shaped ornament - which brings up another subject - "Backgrounds for Shaped Ornaments" - which I'm preparing for a Possibilities, etc. tutorial. If I can't get it done by tonight, it will be for tomorrow - so stay tuned over there.

Meanwhile, here is a picture of an encircled cross I drew from the actual stone carving at the St. David's Cathedral in Wales - the Nevern Cross. It was on a tall base, so I just used the top, stitched it with bright colors - and gave it to my sister's son-in-law, who has Welsh antecedents.

When I took this photo, I had not yet stitched the background, and hadn't stitch drawn the circle around it properly. I don't remember what color I used for it.
ADDENDUM: I had forgotten, but several years ago I painted a series of needlepoint Eggs for Easter - as that is usually the season of Baptisms and Confirmation. I used the traditional bright pastels of the season, and put a cross or "Chrismon" (Christ Monogram) on each - they were pretty, and a variety of different colors, stitches, beads, metallics, etc. could dress them up a bit. I think I either discarded the file or lost it, but will look for it in a few days.
I have also found, now that I have grandchildren, that small cross ornaments or eggs make wonderful Godparent gifts.