Thumbprint Stole For The Bishop

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!

this photo courtesy of the NC Synod, ELCA


Without A Voice

So I’ve been pretty far from creative lately. I have knit a few things I guess but I’ve made nothing. Just not felt very creative lately. Dull, actually. Well, that and I got Minecraft and have been building an entire virtual city all for myself.

However, as of about a week or so ago, I’ve had laryngitis and my voice has been somewhere between weak, froggy and raspy.  It was a chest cold that has now gone but I cannot seem to regain my voice.  It is very frustrating, especially going into the climax of the High Holy Season. Lots of preaching, talking and singing to do and I’m beginning to get really worried. The only solution is….. to be quiet.

And boy is that hard!

I mean, really hard!

However, there is something about being quiet that may get me over the creativity desert in which I have dwelt as of late. Spring is here and Summer is coming so time is freer and that will help to.

Also, I have another costume opportunity! This time, it is the congregational formal and the theme is the Old West.  I’m modifying the previous Steampunk Pirate outfit into something western.  Since there isn’t a lot of time, I’m not going to go too ‘steampunk’ on this one but I sure could if it wasn’t this weekend! More on that to come

Christmas Roundup

Ok, so it’s time for the Christmas Roundup!

First, some things I got as gifts.  Books, for one thing, which I’ve already listed in the previous post.  Also some scrapbook paper and a really cool kit for making Christmas crackers–those little tubes that you fill with small candy and toys and the POP apart. Had some store bought ones last year and they weren’t so hot. These are great because I can fill them myself.  A few other things, too.

One of the best things was an awesome tool box for my sewing supplies. It is actually one of the coolest toolboxes I’ve ever seen. It is cantilevered, which means that instead of opening up, the top slides back, and it also has really neat little boxes to divide everything up inside and keep things from slipping around. The little sorting boxes have grooved places to sit so that when you take one out, the

others do not slide around. They’re in the lid and in the inside section, too.

Ok, and now the remaining things that I gave as gifts.

This bag is really cute. It is a bit like a lunch bag with really long straps. The pockets are all around the outside, though there are none inside.











This one was super cute because I also made an apron for myself out of the fabric. It’s the same Frenchy Bag pattern I’ve made over and over.  I think I’m done with it for a while, though.  It was not very difficult and fun to make, with good results, but I”m sort of tired of it now.

All Done But The Baking

Well, finally, all the DIY Christmas gifts are complete!  All except the baking part, of course. I didn’t end up doing as much knitted items as I have in the past, but that’s actually ok.  Most of my family and friends have gotten all the knitted stuff they want for a while.

There were a few things that I had to give in and not do myself. In some cases, there just was no do-it-yourself option or even something hand made by someone else. However, I did manage to keep that to a minimum!

Christmas cards, although not “hand” made, were designed by me. The image itself is of a hand-made banner at the church. I modified it in some of the Creative Memories software–the Storybook Creator–and added the swirls and snowflakes around it, adjusted the color in some places and removed it in others. The back image is the same Celtic cross I use on most everything.









In the knitting category, we have this cashmere hat in a simple 1×1 rib and a farrow rib knit scarf. Came out quite nice!  Super soft but I think still pretty warm. They’re a bit light weight, but the recipient seemed to like them just fine.hat and scarf

One more apron–this time in black and white! The main body of it is this really pretty tone on tone swirly pattern. The girl at the shop said it was a Halloween fabric, but it sure didn’t look like it to me. Just because it was black maybe? I don’t know.  The ruffle, ties and pocket are another tone on tone, this time white. The image on it is a stylized reindeer. I wasn’t planning to make this a Christmas apron, but it’s just fine if it becomes one when I give it to the person for whom I made it.  This is the same pattern I used for the previous two on the last post. I did, however, make one small modification. The black fabric for this one was very lightweight and it didn’t lay flat across the chest. The other two were also a bit “blouse-y” here but because the fabric was a tad heavier, it didn’t seem to matter. So I made two small tucks right at the ties at the top. This makes it lay flatter and look better while being worn.







And the last and final bag! This was made from the Frenchy Bag pattern I used for these bags. There’s another tote bag I made that I haven’t photographed yet, but I’ll probably have a Christmas Roundup post with lots of stuff later on and I’ll try to get one then.  It’s pretty, I think. 🙂

Anyhow, this one is for my mom’s neighbor who is so very good to her! Red and white and just fun!  It’s tote bag size.


DIY Christmas Continues: Aprons

So the DIY Christmas continues and I’ve finished one more project–an apron. This is a gift for someone on my list who is a really good cook and I think she’ll like it.  The one below it with the coffee cups is for me. I just thought it was such cute fabric!

Pattern is McCall’s 5284 Some modifications but not a lot.

The last picture at the bottom is a DIY of someone else–my mom’s neighbor. The photo does not do it justice because not only are there tons of lights, etc, they have also synchronized the flashing to music. And they’ve done it all themselves. Impressive!

More DIY Christmas to come.

Sewing/Work Room

I saw this sewing room, the recently renovated work room of Connie Amaden-Crawford, and I really want it!  Well, most of all I want those fold out tables!


For real, everyday use, it is a bit too organized for me. And I actually mean that–not in a self-deprecating way but in a practical and style based way. Super neat areas are not particularly creative spaces for me. It is not JUST because I am messy. I am messy because that’s the kind of space in which I can be more creative. Too much ‘neat and organized’ puts up too many boundaries for me, where as just a little bit of messiness knocks down enough boundaries to free me up a bit.

Here’s what my workspace looks like:

craft room






Obviously, this is not where I sew!  That would be in two places. First, in the right hand part of this room which is not in the picture, there is a cabinet style Singer sewing machine that belonged to my mother. Secondly, my dining room table. I believe there is a great tradition of sewing on the dining room table and I am one in a long line of people who have used dining room and kitchen tables as workspaces for cutting, piecing and sewing projects. The machine I use there is a portable Brother LX-3125.


But oh how I would love to have those fold out tables Connie has in her workroom!  Wow, how nice that would be! Sometimes, if I have something really big to cut out, I’ll take it to the church and use the big church tables in the fellowship hall. Mostly, it is impractical to keep tables that large in my home, as I guess it is for everyone, but this great design of tables that fold into cabinets….cabinets that are already chock full of storage space….is quite clever!

Halloween Costume In Process

So, the first part of the Halloween costume is complete.  Let’s make that the most difficult and time consuming portion–the dress and vest/corset.  (not really a corset, obviously, but that’s what it is called on the pattern).

Hat is on its way and it will need some modifications, of course. Plastic sword is ready to go, though I am a bit worried about that. I’m suppose to be an Airship Pirate and I wonder if a sword wouldn’t poke a hole in my dirigible 😉   Anyhow, other acessories are on their way as well.

We’ve got the Halloween carnival at church on Saturday so there is still much to do! Including an eye patch….hmmmmmlacingback