Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Red Pentecost Stole continued...

The piecing completed and the first rough cut made.

The stole is being cut out.

I incorporated a third bird from the Chinese embroidery on the upper left shoulder.

The Centre Back seam is stitched and the stole is on the mannequin.

Close-up of the lower left half.

To come:

(1) Piping--there are a couple of wonderful red and gold striped ties to use.

(2) Svinda has requested a flame at centre back. Paulette has suggested that some of the blue embroidered swirls could be incorporated as an edging...Interesting idea and one that was originally suggested by the donor! This has potential, but I haven't worked out the technical process yet.

(3) Lining--cut out and ready to go.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Starting Svinda's Red Stole for Pentecost & Ordination

Here's a reminder of the collection of reds that Svinda's friends and family have provided. Note the Chinese embroidery in the upper right.

I've cut a bird out of the corner, and have covered it with some tulle to protect it. The embroidery is predominantly satin stitch with some long threads--the tulle (netting) protects it from being snagged.

I've incorporated this bird into the curved piecing.

And did the same with a second bird from the upper right hand corner of the embroidery.

Here's the piecing I've done so far today.

All-in-all, a good day's work!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Svinda's Stole for Ordinary Times is Finished!

I've just completed Svinda's green stole. A time of intense creativity has come to a close, and I'm going to take a break tomorrow before starting the red stole on Wednesday.

The back detail: I went to bed last night thinking that I would be making these circles out of turned bias strips (like spaghetti straps). I woke up with another idea...I remembered that I have a handy Clover gadget for making fusible bias tape. Within 30 minutes I had cut bias strips from one of the ties and had adhered the fusible. Casting around my studio for a template, I came across a CD--the perfect size! And not only that, it is sturdy enough to press against, forming perfect circles.

I tucked the ends into the centre back seam...

...and used some leftover bits to form the cross.

Then I converted one tie--a beautiful silk tie with "Peace" written on it in a few different languages such as "Shalom" and "Pax"--into piping. There is never quite enough fabric in one tie to make sufficient piping for the entire stole so I used part of a scarf as well.

I outlined the cross in a heavy gold metallic thread to make it stand out a bit more.

A detail view of one of the trees and the finished piping.

So, what will I do tomorrow...hmmmm....maybe I'll go on dandelion patrol. It has been my job for many years to dig up dandelions at this time of year. And I've offered to sew my neighbour a skirt, and maybe I'll do some mending... These activities definitely don't have the intensity of stole-making!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Progress on Svinda's Green Stole

I started the piecing at the lower edge using strips cut from the deep green ties and scarves. I then split the fabric into the two halves in preparation for inserting the first tree.

One of the tree motifs from a tie has been framed in a log cabin-type of piecing and added to one half.

I joined the two halves again to proceed with the horizontal piecing, this time using mainly the yellow-greens in the collection.

I finished the piecing this morning, having inserted a couple more trees. Here the two halves are pinned to the design wall in my studio.

The next step was to lay the two halves down on my cutting table and use the pattern to trim to the desired dimensions.

And finally, I've stitched the centre back seam and put the stole on my mannequin. The edges are serged.

And the back view.

To come:

(1) piping made from some of the ties and scarves

(2) back detail: three concentric circles with a cross in the intersection. I think I'll probably do this with cording covered with one of the ties.

(3) lining.

And now to join Lloyd in the garden! It's a beautiful spring day here in the Okanagan, and my job is to sweep and mop the front porch in preparation for setting up our outdoor living room. For those readers who know Lloyd, he's already taken his first outdoor shower...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Refining the Design for Svinda's Green Stole

These are the green materials (ties and scarves) that Svinda collected from her congregation, friends and family. There is a nice range of blue-green, green and yellow-green for me to work with. The tie along the top is something that I think I might be able to work in as a motif, hence the following designs...

Svinda has also asked for the blue-greens to be uppermost because she says as a fair-skinned person yellow green makes her look jaundiced--I can relate to that too...

Close-up of the tree tie.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ideas for Svinda's red stole

This red stole is for Pentecost--the flames of the spirit indicated by strong vertical lines--and will be worn by Svinda at her ordination at the end of May (because it will be the season of Pentecost). The back view could be a flame, or I could use a motif found on one of the scarves in Svinda's box (next image).

Here's a close-up of the motif painted on a silk scarf.

And this little treasure of a Chinese embroidery appeared in my mailbox a few weeks ago, sent by a friend of Svinda's from New Brunswick. This will be a challenge to cut into! A challenge from the point of view of where to cut, i.e. what motif to isolate (it's too big to use on its own). I could cut out the embroidered peony (lower middle) or one of the birds in either of the corners. I think the dragon or lion in the middle is a little too fierce to use!

Possiblities for Svinda's Green stole

Design #1 has been inspired by one of the ties that Svinda collected. (see below)
Svinda suggested the centre back motif of three overlapping circles with a small cross at the intersection.

Designs 3 & 4 use the same colours but in reverse, and the lines are horizontal--a calmer effect.

Here's the tie that inspired the first design.
I will post the red designs separately.

Another couple of stoles...

My next commission is to create two stoles for Svinda who will be ordained in the United Church of Canada at the end of May. She has collected ties and scarves from members of her congregation and her friends and family. Several of her friends live elsewhere and they sent their ties and scarves separately. What fun it was to receive fat envelopes in the mail!

Svinda's box of materials arrived last Friday, just in time for hockey playoffs--yes, you read that correctly, hockey playoffs.

Here are Svinda's materials spread out on the chesterfield.

And here's my in-house "tie taker-aparter", who masterfully strips out the interfacing and opens the lengthwise seam of every tie using an x-acto knife...all this while watching the hockey playoffs.

How better to use his time while cheering for the Vancouver Canucks?!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Carolyn's finished stole

I finished Carolyn's ordination stole Friday morning, and finally did the photography today. Click on the image to see an expanded view. The doves at centre back and left shoulder are trimmed with some lace that Carolyn had included in the box of ties and scarves she had collected from her friends and family.

Early on in our discussions about the stole, Carolyn had asked how her friends could literally write their words of support into her stole. So I cut out a white cotton lining according to the desired finished dimensions of the stole, and mailed it to her. Interestingly, both the wrong and right sides of the lining were written on so I had to cut and turn one side. This wasn't a big problem--I simply incorporated my label (printed on my ink-jet printer) at this junction.

I'll be mailing this stole to Carolyn shortly and look forward to see a picture of her wearing it! At this stage of the process I always feel some mixed emotions...happy that my vision has been realized and sad to see it leave my hands, with lots of anticipation of how it will be received on the other end!

I will be starting two stoles (one green, one red) in the upcoming week. The box of ties and scarves arrived Friday from Ontario, and Lloyd (husband and master tie taker-aparter) has taken them all apart while watching the hockey playoffs. Now I need to wash and press them while pondering the designs. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Carolyn’s Stole, continued...

Yesterday I started piecing Carolyn's stole, using the blue ties at the bottom (representing baptism.) I'd made good progress by Sunday afternoon--above shows how I started to incorporate the reds (for Pentacost). This afternoon, I finished the piecing and trimmed both halves of the stole. And here it is on my mannequin. The dove is a paper try out the size and placement. Carolyn wants a dove like this at the centre back and upper left shoulder. These will be appliqued.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Some more designs for Carolyn's stole

Carolyn has had fun gathering feedback; her ideas have become clearer as a result. She had mentioned a favourite tie...pictured above...that she hoped I could incorporate. This got me thinking...could I start with this tie and let it guide the piecing? Below find a couple more sketches. Carolyn has also asked for an image of a dove with its wings outstretched at her left shoulder and centre back. If you look at the first image again, you'll see some printing on the white lining. Carolyn asked for a way for her friends to write prayers on the lining, so I cut out a lining a few months ago and sent it to her.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A new stole for Carolyn

Carolyn's materials arrived a few days ago. She has collected red and blue ties and scarves from her friends and family for this ordination stole. In the box of ties was a note from a member of her congregation: "My mother always told me that I would find answers to my problems at church. For three years I didn't know what to do with the ties I had removed from the tie rack. Your last Sunday at Trinity solved my problem..." It's a good thing this person didn't throw or give away the ties three years ago! (I have heard that story SO many times). Carolyn is being ordained in the Lutheran church in Pennsylvannia. She has asked for a stole which is predominantly red because she will be ordained during Pentecost. She also wants me to incorporate a little blue to reflect baptism, as well as some images of doves either on the back or on one side. Here are some possible designs for Carolyn to consider: What do you think? Comments welcome! And some other possiblities for depicting a dove: