After a great deal of difficulty I finally managed to remove the stabiliser from the lace panel. As there were so many layers involved there were places on the design that took a great deal of persuasion to dissolve.
There were several areas, as seen in the image above, that had been stitched over 3 or 4 times and each one had to have the registration threads tied so they didn't fall out, which resulted in a very tangled mess.
As I have mentioned several times during this project, it has been a very steep learning curve and there are many things I would change about the process in the future.
The above images are a small preview of the design where the stabiliser has been removed.
Having soaked the lace in tepid water in the bath I then used various methods for removing the reaming glue like substance. There is still some work to be done before the panel is as clean as possible, so I decided to move on to the portraits for a diversion.
From the beginning of this project I decided I wanted to partly cover the faces, as I felt that although the women who launched the life boats were a vital part of the process, there had been very little documentation about the role they played. It took a while to discover how to achieve this until I remembered how many women wore head scarves. After a great deal of experimentation I designed a facsimile of the scarves flying in the wind, which is almost a continuous feature on the Dungeness peninsular.
The image above shows a possible placement of the three portraits I decided to use, 2 of which have been stitched and the final one on the right hand corner is a printout of the third.
In the above image you can see that the portrait arrangement has been changed as I felt it was more comfortable reading from left to right diagonally.
In order to place each image in the correct place a copy of the portrait was printed showing the centre point and 6 other reference points.
The paper guide is placed under the embroidered portrait (on top of the calico) and lined up. There is a very slight discrepancy as the silk organza and thread shrink by a small amount when the stabiliser is washed off.
The embroidered portrait can now be removed and the reference points are stitched onto the calico.
In order to make placing the hoop easier I decided to tack the stabiliser to the calico first.
The grid was then placed in the hoop and the reference marks were lined up.
The process was repeated on all three portraits.