Queen Ariella’s favors were designed by Lady Maggie Rue. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope is coordinating volunteer efforts to make them, and wrote these instructions.
I am thrilled and amazed that so many people have volunteered to make favors for Queen Ariella! Thank you all.
These instructions are for making a hand-embroidered favor. However, you are free to machine embroider, silkscreen, paint, tool in leather, cast in pewter – we welcome all kinds of artisans’ contributions!
Kits with one strip of red fabric, enough floss in the appropriate colors, and these instructions will be available from THLady Elss of Augsburg, one of Her Majesty’s Chief retainers, at Blackstone Raid and Crown Tourney. Mistress Arianna will also have kits at Æthelmearc War Practice.
Here is the design, in color and as a line drawing. Note that the white object under the A is a winged heart, which is Queen Ariella’s badge.
Those who prefer counted thread embroidery can use the pattern shown here, designed by Lady Astrid vigaskegg. Just make sure to use red Aida or other even-weave fabric.
For free embroidering, any kind of lightweight natural fiber fabric in a nice bright red is suitable. Poly-cotton is fine. Make sure to machine wash and dry the fabric so it’s pre-shrunk, and to help prevent the fabric from bleeding as red has a tendency to do.
Cut the fabric into a strip suitable for a favor. I use strips that are 5″ wide by 14″ to 16″ long and hem all the way around the edges, but you can also make them double width, and after completing the embroidery, fold the fabric right sides together, sew a seam around the edges, turn and whipstitch the opening closed.
Transfer the design to the bottom of the fabric strip, leaving room for a hem all the way around. If the fabric is thin enough, you might be able to place the printed design underneath and see through the fabric to trace the design. Alternatively, you can use carbon paper, create a stencil, or just freehand it.
For the embroidery floss, you need white and an amber shade of yellow. I suggest DMC 728 for the gold color, but you can use any similar shades, or even metallic gold if you like.
Stitch the outline of the design in either a chain stitch or a stem stitch. An explanation of each is shown below (courtesy of THLady Jacqueline de Moliere). I use two strands of floss with the design about 2-1/2″ high. You might want to switch to a single strand and use either stem stitch or split stitch for the winged heart since it’s so small.
You can embellish the design if you like by filling in the capital A with satin stitch in yellow or adding a bead in the center of the half-escarbuncle or heart.
Once the embroidery is complete, hem the red fabric, then turn the top over to form a sleeve that allows the favor to be slid over a belt, making it less likely to fall off and be lost. The sleeve should be at least 2″ wide to accommodate larger belts.
Please direct any questions to Mistress Arianna.
Completed favors may be delivered to Her Majesty’s retainers. She would love to have some to give out at the SCA 50 Year Celebration in June, but most of them will be needed for Pennsic.
Thank you to all of the artisans contributing to this project!