Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Stole for Rob

A new stole is taking shape...  The request is for a blue stole, but not just any blue.  It has to be Carolina blue, the colours of the University of North Carolina.  The client, Rob, is officiating at a wedding in August, and the groom has requested he wear a stole in the colours of his alma mater.  Rob will also be able to wear this stole for Advent.

I have pulled the appropriate blues from my box--fortunately Rob sent me a card with paint swatches so that I could attempt to get the right blue.

The design possibilities...
Rob is partial to the flow of line in #2, on the right.

The ties cut into strips and waiting to be piecing...

And the first piecing....
I am going to have to look for more light blues!

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Lenten Stole has been received

What a relief to hear that Jann received her stole today and is excited about it as I am.  Here in part is her e-mail... "it is even more beautiful than I imagined!  Strange to say I can't wait until Lent.  Your work is so creative and so just feels sacred.  I thank you so much and I will treasure this for the rest of my life, remembering the beginning of my ordained ministry."

And now, here are images of the finished stole...

The lower edges with the Celtic cross on the front

The two halves at about hip level

The lining with labels

The tri-spiral over the shoulder

Full view, front

Full view, side

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Continuing to stitch by machine and hand

Jann suggested a tri spiral at the shoulder, a nod to her Irish heritage. My source of inspiration was the very famous entrance stone at the neolithic site New Grange that Lloyd and I visited in 2012, and where Jann has spent a lot of time.
I decided the best way to create this spiral would be covered cord, and found the perfect grey Thai silk necktie in my collection.
The easiest way to attach cording is by hand.

Stitching is complete and pressed.

Jann also suggested a Celtic cross on the lower front.

The next task is to line the stole and then it will be ready to ship!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Deacon Stole is Taking Shape

I am thrilled to be back in my studio creating a Deacon stole for Lent.
At the end of November I was contacted by Jann Brooks, asking if I made Deacon stoles. Here is her inquiry in part:
"Hi Janet!  I saw your work on line and had tears in my eyes I loved it so much!
I am to be ordained a Permanent Deacon into the Anglican Church of Canada (Diocese of Niagara) on Jan. 29.  I too love fibre--I love to spin my own yarn from fleece and then MUST spend at least an hour knitting per day or I get the shakes!"

In a subsequent email, Jann told me a little more about herself, namely that her ministry is to The Mission to Seafarers in Southern Ontario, and she is Chaplain to the port of Hamilton.  She goes onto the big ships in the harbour, and that her work clothes include a pink hard hat and pink work boots! 

So, we're off to a good start.   Not only do I get to work in my favourite colours (purples) but I am creating this for a fellow fibre enthusiast.

I pulled out my purple boxes...

And selected some likely candidates...
The ties at upper right are potential piping materials.

Then created a couple of designs...

Jann chose the more dramatic version on the right.  I started work yesterday, cutting the strips in preparation for piecing...

Then started piecing....

Today, I finished the piecing, and will soon trim the edges, and sew the shoulder seam.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Playing catch-up! Images of the finished stole

I finished Jodi's stole several weeks ago, and mailed it off.  Here are images of the completed piece!

A joyous Jodi on her ordination day 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Continuing to stitch...

Jodi's stole is coming together nicely.  After deciding on the general flow of line, the first strip was laid down on the foundation fabric.  I chose to start with one of the gold ties.

Next step was to stitch down the subsequent strips of ties...
And to continue stitching with the variety of reds...
And at this point, I considered the front to be almost completely pieced.  Here are some detail views showing how I managed to incorporate some interesting motifs from a couple ties, notably one of school kids and their teacher, and another of nutcrackers...
...and a tie with a motif of candles and another of tonic bottles...
At this point, I left the piece on the table while I pondered how to approach the centre back design.  I knew I wanted to incorporate the candle motifs, and the technical challenge was how to integrate the back with the fronts.  I am on the way to resolving this technical issue, and today worked out the centre back design.  I was pleased to incorporate a very tricky fabric, Jodi's grandfather's tie which is falling apart.  I covered it with a fine netting and used it to frame the candle motif at centre back.
Look at the edges of the striped tie that is framing the motif to see the netting covering the damage.
The piece for the two fronts is now cut in half, ready to work on the next challenge of completing the piecing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A New Stole is Designed

A few weeks ago I received an inquiry from Jodi Keith of Cincinnati, OH (see Pastor Jodi's Blog) asking about a red stole for her upcoming ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. After a few emails back and forth about how many ties to collect, her ordination date was confirmed and the commission was set in motion.  Jodi collected ties from her family and friends, and I received them last week all neatly packaged and labelled.

I love to know where the ties have come from, and if some have more significance than others.  This helps guide my design process.  The ties aren't always a great fit for either the colour or design of the finished stole, however I can always find a place for that special tie.  For this project I have a unique challenge--working in a navy striped tie that was Jodi's grandfather's.  He wore it when he and her grandmother were married on October 20, 1930. The special challenge is that it has started to fall apart--I suspect the silk is weighted and thus deteriorates over time.

Even though this doesn't fit the colour scheme (red) and is damaged, I have an idea of how to deal with this, and will write about solutions in a later post.

Here is the collection of ties, washed and pressed.  This also includes a gorgeous pieces of red shantung silk that is a great addition.

My ideas for the design start to percolate while I'm washing and ironing the ties.  This is a good opportunity to look at all aspects of the tie, from the condition (stained? holes?) to the fabric design. Often a motif on a tie will suggest a design--two of the ties in this collection have potential in that regard, for example this tie with candles...

and another with school kids...

I then get my coloured pencils out and start playing with lines of colour, in this case red, red-orange and gold.  Here are sketches #1 and #2...

And #3 and #4....

Jodi prefers the flow of line in #1 and the back from #4, so that's where I'm starting.

Something new in this  process is that Jodi will be responding to my posts on her blog (Pastor Jodi's Blog).  Jodi is also a knitter and has in fact knit a couple of stoles for friends.  Stay tuned and join us on this creative journey!