Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Surprise Stole for Rev. Joe

Early this spring I received an inquiry...
"Our current pastor will be leaving our church in mid June and I am hoping you might have time to create a stole for him out of ties.. we would most likely use a theme of mountains and water, since we have beauty in both in our part of WV." 
In her next message, the writer went on to elaborate... 
"Rev. Joe is being relocated. I think I initially said retiring. (Crazy woman moment) this is a surprise for sure. There are others involved with this project, but we have perused your site and blogs. We can easily get photos of area along with secret stole template created. We may be methodists, but we are really good at having surprises. So far most folks that know of this possible project like the tie idea."  

That's why I wasn't able to post about creating this stole during the month of May. The stole has now been presented, and here's the story of its creation:

A couple of packages of ties arrived in the mail at the beginning of May.  Meanwhile I had googled "West Virginia landscape" and found several photos to stimulate some ideas.  In this image, you can see some of the photos, my sketches, and the neckties.

In this image, the ties have been cut into strips and laid out in the order I expected to use them--pale blue for the sky, grey blue for the distant mountains, deeper blues and greens for the hills in the mid-ground, and brown for the rocks in the foreground.

The completed piecing--I managed to incorporate a little "water" in the foreground.  The softly rounded mountains and hills of West Virginia lend themselves well to my technique of bias-strip piecing.

Once the piecing was done, I cut out the stole and prepared the piping from a couple of highly patterned ties.  In the next images, my husband is modelling the stole once the piping was applied (and before the lining.)
Back view

Front detail--you can see the paisley tie that I used for the piping.

Full view of the stole in progress.
The completed stole

Lower left detail view--there was a lovely "fish" tie sent to me, and I was delighted to incorporate the fish eye into the "rock" piecing!

Back view--finished.

Lining.  The commissioners requested the words to the song "My home among the hills" on the label.  If you google this song title, you will find a Youtube video with beautiful photos of the West Virginia countryside.
I created the lining fabric years ago using cedar branches on top of green cotton broadcloth and spraying with bleach.  The small piece of "tree" fabric on the right was sent along with the ties and I was happy to incorporate it into the lining.

The stole was presented on June 15th, and here's the happy recipient!


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