This past week was the NC Synod assembly for the Lutheran church (more about that and other stuff here) and I was asked to assist in making a stole for the bishop. The idea was that I’d make one out of all cotton fabric and we would then lay it out on a table in the social gathering area outside the auditorium. We would then have people who attended the assembly come and put their thumbprints on the stole. All as a surprise for the bishop.
The stole was made from a pattern I created a couple of years ago. A friend of mine who is a pastor in Texas asked if I could make him a camouflage stole. He had been invited to bless the hunt and this was not some sort of formal horse-and-dog kind of hunt involving small furry animals. This was deer season. So, I designed the pattern and made a really awesome…that is, awesome if you like camo…stole. Even had safety orange crosses on the bottom.
Now, I am no fan of ‘novelty’ liturgical wear and this is certainly NOT something my friend would ever wear in a regular Sunday worship. However, for one special outdoor blessing service a year, it would be just fine.
At any rate, that was the generation of the pattern. It’s actually quite simple. It is two long rectangles joined at one end in a mitered right angle. This works particularly well with a wide stole or one for a tall person. When I re-sized it for myself for an Advent blue stole, I narrowed it and lessened the angle a bit so it would hang properly. However, since my bishop is well over six feet tall, the original pattern worked just fine.
It was constructed out of 100% cotton twill with a medium weight fusible interfacing. Also, white embroidery thread for stitching down the edges for a little nice non-floursh-y finish.
The paint is actually a fabric paint designed for screen printing. I did not choose it but it was an excellent pick! The colors are greens and golds so that the stole is suitable for wearing during the greatest portion of the year.
It worked marvelously! Throughout the days of assembly, people came and put their thumbprints all over it! I also got some great pictures of people’s hands while they did it, too.
Someone marked the ends and point of the stole with little gold crosses. I didn’t see who did it but I think it really added a little special touch to it.
It came out far more beautifully that I could have thought it would! I am so glad I was invited to help with this project!