More on Christus Natus Est

Progress on Christus Natus Est

Progress on Christus Natus Est

Recently I was sent a link to a page discussing Russian embroidered icons. It seems that for all we think of icons as purely painted pieces, embroidered icons aren’t new – it is simply that their relative fragility and the length of time it takes to create one have made them very much rarer.

As I can testify. There have been many hours already that have gone into this piece, and I’m not sure that the progress made is really all that clear. Still, the spiral is nearly touching the side (I’m going to cover all the black lines, because I’m not entirely sure how this will be mounted or framed), and in fact it won’t be long before I have to consider how the non-spiral lines will flow. If you go back and look at the design as I showed it in this earlier post, you will see there is an extra black line flowing from St. Joseph’s head towards the top left corner, and another in the bottom right. These lines are to change the direction of the lines of the gold in order to bring more life into the design, but now I have done some of the work I wonder whether the lines are in the right place.

There is also the section of the Virgin’s cape running up over her head where I have for now followed the line as drawn, but wonder whether I should perhaps in this one instance follow the line of the gold to maintain the clarity of the abstract shape. If I do that, it will provide some justification for using a line along the back of St Joseph’s head and cloak as one of the new lines for the gold.

In other words, more thinking needed!


  1. Time well spent! Looking really good.

  2. coral-seas says:

    This technique is slow going but I think you are making good progress and the design is translateing really well.

  3. Lady Fi says:

    I agree – this looks wonderful. It’s such a lovely design.

  4. Penny says:

    One stitch at a time – its going to be beautiful and well worth the time spent. Don’t you love the process though – the thoughts that go into each line, shade, color and stitch?

  5. Martha says:

    Looking at the design, I see the issue. . . Since I’m not very good at design I don’t have any suggestions, but I’ll look forward to seeing how you finalize the design. I hope you’ll post the initial and finalized designs side by side and show us the changes you made . . . and didn’t make. I’m enjoying following your progress here. I’ve never done any or neu but keep thinking about it.

  6. I have been fascinated with this technique for a while now but it does look time consuming, something I have little of. I admire your perserverance. The piece is looking quite beautiful.

  7. karen says:

    this piece is a huge commitment…as someone who knows how long these things take I admire your determination. I love it and it will all come together.

  8. Janice says:

    As Martha says, it would be lovely to see the finished piece along with the original sketch, and also along with your mum’s original, when they’re all done. No need to rush, it will take as long as it takes, as Karen T says; and you will resolve the design issues as you progress. I have every confidence. 🙂

  9. Alex says:

    I’m sure the simple rhythm of the stitching will free up your sub-conscious to work on the problem. :o)