Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Alaska Project

Here's a little update on the project for the parish in Alaska that has been keeping me "too busy" for the past week or so.

First, here are a couple of "before" shots of the altar that is in the process of being transformed. I don't have any "after" shots yet.

I ordered the materials I needed, and the linen was the first to arrive. I had forgotten how labor-intensive linen can be. You wash it; you dry it; that's not so bad, because the machines do it. But then comes the ironing. You spritz it with a spray bottle of water, and you press. And you press some more. You press again. Some of the cloths are lo-o-o-n-g; the one that is the very top layer on the altar stretches from the floor on one side to the floor on the other, and in this case, that made a total of 138 inches, or almost 12 feet.

Then the fabric for the antependia and tabernacle veils arrived. There's such something exciting about rolls of uncut fabric!

Then the assembly began. The green was the first to be completed; here it is in a couple of stages:

Next, the matching tabernacle veil:

Here's the violet one in progress:

No project is without its moment of panic, right? This fabric is lightweight polyester, and is very susceptible to melting at the touch of a steaming iron. And yet, it needs to be pressed now and then! Well, my iron surprised me with an extreme blast which resulted in some damage:

Actually, it didn't look as bad as the picture shows; the lighting was not good and the colors are not true. Those holes were very small, and I put a piece of the fabric behind them and stitched over the raised threads of the heart shape. When I finished, it was barely noticeable (I circled the damaged spot in red on this photo):

Here's the finished product:

Then I went through the same process for the violet (without the burning/melting episode, though, thanks be to God! I have revised my ironing technique, and now place a piece of cotton/poly fabric over the liturgical fabric before pressing/steaming.)

I finished the white tabernacle veil last night, and will have the whole project completed soon! As soon as the parish gets things set up, I'm hoping they will send me some "after" photos, which of course I will share here!

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

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