Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Advent and Lent variation

I made a new, second version of my advent and lent stole panel, altering the design so it can work for shorter people, and making the Advent design blue. (Actually, it's both bluish and purplish...) Check it out here: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/2971222

To make the stole work better for shorter people, simply cut up to 6" off the bottom of each side of the stole. Or, leave it as printed for a longer length. (I like to wear the longer length; I'm about 5' 6" and it's a pleasantly long style on me.)

I'm also testing out some new designs that are primarily white--for weddings and funerals, especially, as well as a general-purpose design that has incorporates all the liturgical colors. That'll have to wait until after Easter, though... ;) 

Happy a Holy Week!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reversible altar cloth for retreats, home churches, small groups & more

I am fairly often looking for ways to easily make a space feel holy, or to engage people in tactile ways of praying for the world. I designed a fabric for sewing into a round tablecloth/altar cloth for use in retreats, small groups, home prayer or house churches or whatever. I designed it with an image of planet earth on one side, and the pattern of the Chartres labyrinth on the other--it ends up as a circle approximately 28" in diameter. In the space leftover in the fabric, I also included two pieces that can be sewn into a small table runner or antependium, with a reversible green or white Celtic cross design. (This piece is about 7.5" x 27", depending on your seam allowances...)

I imagine you could use these in a multitude of interactive ways--pinning prayers onto the earth, tracing the labyrinth with your finger, touching and holding and adding to them. Or, you could simply use them as an image for visual focus. 

I designed them to fill one yard of the linen-cotton fabric that a Spoonflower offers--the fabric is extra-wide to accommodate the design, and the weight is substantial and elegant. 

Like my stole designs, the fabric is available for sale thorough Spoonflower--they handle the order and print and ship the fabric. It's up to you to cut and sew it, if you'd like to do so. :) I didn't write instructions for sewing in this fabric, as it seems pretty simple; I just cut the two circles and sewed them, right sides together.

(I basted a section about 10" long, then sewed about halfway around. Then, I turned and pressed that half; after pressing, I removed the basting, and sewed the rest of the way around, back to the point where I'd started basting. Then I turned it all right side out, pressing the rest of the way around. Finally, I hand sewed the previously basted and pressed section closed. The basting and pressing made it easier to keep a smooth, even curve all the way around.)

The Circle Cloth is available now--I'd love to know how you use it!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

DIY Baptismal Stole Tutorial (freezer paper stencil)

One of the panels of stole fabric that I designed has a blank stole (with sewing pattern) included. It's a blank canvas for decorating your very own custom stole.

I convinced the kids at my church to help me decorate a special baptism stole, using a simple freezer paper stencil and fabric paint--here's what we did!

-Sewn-together blank/white stole, using the pattern on this panel
-Freezer Paper (comes in a roll like waxed paper, with one shiny side and one flat side). You'll only need a small amount.
-Fabric Paint in 2-3 colors
-Sponges or brushes for painting
-Fabric markers (optional, for writing on the back of the stole)

For my design, I chose a simple dove (for the Holy Spirit) along with some waves, representing water, at the bottom.

First, I cut out my shapes, knowing that the shapes were the parts of the stole that would remain white. To make my waves, I simply cut freezer paper to the width of the stole, and the free-handed some waves, letting the bottom of each wave be the top of the next.

 Next, I created my dove shape, again working from paper that was about the width of the stole. (I started with paper a little wider, know that I wanted the edges of the dove to just barely go off the stole, so I could gain all the width I could and keep the scale of the dove decently large.)
 When your freezer paper shapes are cut out, and you know where you want to lay them, simply iron them into place, shiny side down. (The heat of the iron lets the shiny side stick to the fabric.)

 I enlisted the help of the children at my church (and a fabulous and willing Children's Ministry Director) to do paint the stole. First, we had our kids sign their names to the back, using a fabric marker, and we also put a little dedication (naming our congregation, along with the date). If you want to do this, you definitely want to have the write on the back of the stole first, since it will be covered with wet paint in a little bit...

Now, with the freezer paper ironed on, and names on the back, cover the rest of the front of the stole with fabric paint, using a sponge or foam brush to stamp it all over.We used 3 colors to give more depth to the pattern--but didn't give them any other direction. We just let them cover it all. It's okay if the paint goes onto the paper. (It's important that it be painted right up to/over the edge of the paper in order for their to be a crisp edge after the paper is removed.)

Lay it flat while the paint dries. Then, peel off the freezer paper, to reveal your dove and waves beneath!

With this same basic technique, there are a multitude of design possibilities--I love how it balances the joyous unplanned feel of kids art with a bit of clean sophistication in the symbols used. It's definitely fun to wear it for baptisms here, when the kids who made it are present!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

The random number generator chose the number 2, so the Pentecost stole shall go to Megan, my 2nd commenter.

My only problem is, I don't know which Megan you are, or how to reach you! So, if you're Megan who said "Molly, that is beautiful! Much better than the cheap Cokesbury Ordination stole I own," holler at me and I'll get this stole in the mail! Congrats. And yay!

Editor's Note: I'm happy to report that I've identified my Megan, and the stole is in the mail, winding it's way to her in NY!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Giveaway at the Beginning!

Okay, I did it: I made my stole designs available, so anyone else can have them printed on fabric and sew them together using the pattern printed into the fabric. To celebrate, I've got a fun giveaway: one, already-sewn-together Pentecost stole.

So, check out the stole designs I made. See the designs here, and order them through Spoonflower, here.

Post a comment here by next Thursday (the 8th), and you'll be entered in the giveaway!

Note: Giveaway closed. Congrats to the winner!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sewing Tutorial

Here's a walk-through of the sewing instructions with a few photos and more comments. This really is a simple pattern--the last one I put together took just over an hour. If you have any questions, please feel welcome to comment, and I'll do my best to try to clarify!

I'm sure there are other ways to sew this together, too, and you may find a way that works better for you. :) I tried a couple of ways, and liked this one:

1. Cut one of the stole designs from the panel. (It is not necessary to follow all the curves--just separate the stole from the rest of panel, effectively cutting a 12” x the width of the fabric strip. Fuse interfacing to back of this strip of stole pattern pieces, according to interfacing instructions.
2. Cut out right and left stole pieces, with interfacing attached. Cut along the edge of the printed stole shape.

3. Cut backing fabric into 3 strips, 6” wide by the width of the fabric. Cut one of the 3 strips in half so that you have 2 pieces approx 6“ x 22”. Sew one half to each of the other 2 strips, so that you have 2 strips approximately 6” x 66”. Press the seams.

4. Using cut stole pieces as a pattern, cut the backing pieces as copies of the front, making sure you cut a right and left piece, as mirror images of each other.

5. With right sides together, sew stole pieces together at top seam. (Sew just one center seam that is as long as possible, disregarding the angle-like notches cut into the pattern.) Press the seam.

6. With right sides together, sew backing fabric pieces together at the top in the same way, pressing
the seam.

7. With right sides together, pin the backing fabric to the stole fabric.
8. Sew the stole fabric and backing together along the long inside and outside seams (leaving the bottom seams un-sewn). Use the small triangles at the center of the top seam as notches, carefully matching that center seam. There will just be two, long seams: an inside arc and outside arc. (No corners or pivot points.)

9. Trim the seam allowance in the curved sections to 1/4” or under.
Turn the stole right-side out.
10. Press the stole flat.

11. Turn the bottom seam on each side under 1/2” and press.

12. Using a ladder stitch, hand sew the bottom seams closed.

That's it! Enjoy your new stole... ;)

Monday, January 14, 2013

God's Cosmos Stole Pattern

My first designs are a set of stoles that use images from NASA as the ground for the fabric. I had a lot of fun connecting our liturgical seasons to the wonder of the cosmos, and hope you enjoy them, too. I explain the collection here.

My current pastoral appointment means I'm in ministry with lots of folks who work in the aerospace industry. I married an engineer who loves both rockets and astronomy. I believe that my Christianity and science are very compatible--each asking and answering a very different set of questions. The wonder of God's cosmos continues to inspire me, as it has inspired from, perhaps, the beginning of time. "The heavens are telling the glory of God!" begins Psalm 19. So, this collection was inspired by all that, as well as a hope that celebrating God's cosmos in worship might help us be better stewards of it.

The set is formatted as two fabric panels, each with three designs printed on it. You can choose how you sew them: whether you sew the pattern pieces front-to-back to make reversible stoles, or using another fabric as backing and make separate stoles out of each piece.

One panel features red Pentecost design, a green Ordinary Time design, and an off-white Easter stole.

The other panel features two purple designs (for Lent and Easter), and a plain white pattern that can be used to sew a stole on which you can draw, dye or paint your own design. (Or let the Sunday School kids do it...) Or, if you prefer, you can use this as a backing for the Easter stole on the other panel...

Whatever you choose, one panel or both, it's a heck of a deal: three lovely, thoughful, science-affirming, cosmos-admiring stole designs for about $30. Order them here.