Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Stole has Arrived!

Just over a week ago I posted the stole to Australia, and it has arrived.  Here are some images of Noel in his new stole:

It's always a relief to know when a stole has safely arrived, and even better to know that it's received with great joy.  Thank you Kristen and Noel for your support and trust.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Tree of Life is Complete

Ready to ship to Australia:
Detail view, lower edges

Detail view, a little higher up

Detail view, closer to the shoulders

Full view, front

Back view, detail

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stitching many leaves

Leaves pinned to the surface
Leaves stitched down.
Next up:  the lining, piping and label.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Leaves for a Tree of Life

A pile of leaves about to be pressed.

The first leaves--these were cut from scraps of brilliant Harris Tweeds.

Raw edges have been trimmed, and leaves laid on the surface.  I'll leave the stole on the cutting table for the next few days and play with the placement before stitching them down.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Tree of Life stole, Part 2

Herewith some images of the stole progress:
Kristen sent along this sketch for the stole design.

My interpretation

The stole design takes shape:  I drew the outlines of roots, branches and leaves on the unbleached cotton foundation fabric.

Stuffing the "roots"--a large eyed darning needle has been threaded with cotton yarn.

The "roots" from the topside.

The two halves of the stole are on my design wall.  The stitching and stuffing has been completed.

Detail view.
I'm now making the many leaves which will be appliqued on top.
I used fusible interfacing to stabilize the fabric, and then stitched leaf shapes through the layers.

Each shape was stitched twice, then cut out.  Cutting a slit in one side allows the shape to be turned right side out.

Some finished leaves.
I have many more leaves to stitch and turn!  A good project while listening to the radio...

A New Tree of Life Takes Shape

 A few months ago, I received a package in the mail from Australia with materials for a second stole for Noel.  The suggested theme was "tree of life" with the colours predominatly green for "ordinary times".  Included in the package was a green satin evening dress with a voluminous skirt cut on the bias.
This collection includes the evening dress in the lower left as well as some scraps of Harris tweeds contributed by a friend in Scotland.
 I think I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of fabric in the dress, so the collection had to sit on my table for a few months until I was hit by bolt of inspiration--to use the fabric in the dress in a "whole cloth" approach, creating an outline of a tree and then stuffing the leaves and stems from the back (a quilting technique called trapunto).
Sampler of the potential design.

The sampler from the backside.  I drew the design in pencil on the unbleached cotton and then stitched on top of the lines.  The stems are stuffed with cotton yarn, and the leaf shapes are stuffed with wool fleece.

A few more leaf shapes are appliqued on top.
Once I was satisfied that this approach would work, it was time to take it to the next level (next posting).

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Finished Ordination Stole for a Deacon

Finished the stole today once I got my printer issues solved....I like to print a custom label on fabric for the lining, and yay!  managed to troubleshoot it satisfactorily.  Here are the images of the finished stole which is now ready to ship...


Side, showing the three pieces of cording holding the two pieces together.


Upper front, detail.

Lower pieces

Cross stitched "United Methodist" symbol--this is a pocket in the lining.
I won't show the label because it identifies the new deacon by name and location;  this is a surprise for her ordination in June.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Red Stole--lining and piping

The piecing is over--now onto the more fussy finishing work of the lining, piping, and so on.
In the box of red ties were also several "fat quarters" (a quilters' term for a square of fabric measuring about 22" x 18").  I like to use cotton for the lining because it makes the stole "sticky" and less prone to sliding around when worn, so I cut several strips off each fabric and stitched them together randomly.  This will make for an interesting lining.  

The future wearer's mother did this piece of cross stitch.   Initially the plan was for me to incorporate it into the piecing somewhere on the stole, however when she washed it, the red thread bled into the white background leaving a pink haze.  I have decided to create a pocket from this piece and attach it to the lining of the stole--women's clothing always lacks pockets, so why not give her one on her stole?  Perfect for a key, business card, note...

Attaching the piping--this particular tie was a patriotic mash-up of the US flag.

The jumble of piping--one of the ties included cartoon characters.

This is a deacon stole and needs to be attached at the side hip.  I decided on three covered cords, the number three being an important number in the Christian tradition.

Stole Front--piping is attached and waiting for the lining.  You'll see less of the piping once the lining is added.

Stole back.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Red Stole, continued...

I made great progress yesterday...
The piecing is finished.

Brightly patterned candidates for piping.  These ties were too "busy" to incorporate into the piecing but they'll make fabulous piping.

Preparing for the next step...trimming the pieces using the paper pattern.
Now onto my other weekend activities...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Red Stole Progress

I think I was a bit overwhelmed with the abundance of materials to work with, and my desire (and my commissioner's hope) to include a little bit of each material in the stole.  I cut a strip from each tie or fabric length a week ago, and left them all ready to go...
Strips laid over the ironing board with the samples on the wall behind.
Finally, yesterday was the day to get started. This stole is a deacon's stole which comes across the chest from one shoulder and hangs down at the side.  I started by cutting a piece of foundation fabric (unbleached cotton) wide enough for the two pieces that will hang at the side.
The piecing has begun.

Detail of the piecing at the sewing machine.

Adding foundation fabric for the two pieces that will go over the shoulder.

Extending the piecing into the shoulder pieces.

One of the wonderful fabrics received in the box--both sides are useful. 

Piecing is still in progress, but the foundation has been cut apart--it was getting too cumbersome as one piece.
So, a good day's work!  Now to finish the piecing...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Another Ordination Stole is Taking Shape...

A big box of red materials (mainly ties) arrived mid-March.
Along with the ties is a beautiful piece of cross stitch to be incorporated.

These were collected by the friends and family supporting the ordination of a young woman in June.  Because the stole is a surprise, I am not going to use either her name, denomination or location.  Her mother is pretty confident that her daughter is so busy with family and studies that she is unlikely to stumble across my blog, thus I have been given permission to post the progress.

Sorted materials. 

The interfacing has been stripped out (by Lloyd) and the ties have been washed.

The next step is to press each tie until dry.

Design #1.
Red for Pentecost represents dynamic spirituality and the passion of being on fire with the Spirit. 

Design #2
Because there are so many ties, scarves and other fabrics, I want to come up with a design to incorporate a little bit of each one.  I ran into some technical construction issues with Design #1.  Design #2 is easier to stitch plus I feel the lines are more dynamic.  This is probably the direction I will take with this stole.  What do you think?