Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I've decided to dabble in sewing again.  It was brought on by the fact that a friend of Hubby's has decided that his 2nd career is going to be that of an Episcopal Priest.  He was ordained as a Deacon two weeks ago.  We got the ordination date about three weeks out, so I knew there was no way I could knit a stole in the appointed time.  Sewing was much faster. So I pulled out my trusty Bernina and blew off the dust.

Hubby and Deacon both grew up in Lancaster, PA.  Many of you know this is a hotbed of quilting due to the Amish population.  I thought a piecework stole would be appropriate.  (I don't want to call it quilted because there is no batting and no "quilting" on top.) After searching for a pattern, I realized I was going to have to wing it and figure out how to make this myself.   First task, figure out how big this thing has to be.

According to a variety of sources, I determined a Deacon's stole is worn over one shoulder.  It should be about 110" long and about 6" wide.  Ok.  Now I need a block pattern.

So off I go, searching quilting web sites for ideas.  I came up with this -- Liberate!  To pay homage to Deacon's Lancaster roots, I wanted something simple.  I wanted a 6" square.  I loved the use of triangles -- a reminder of the Trinity.

With pattern in hand, off I went to my local quilting store, Cloth and Bobbin in Narberth.  Cloth and Bobbin is just a few doors down from where my knitting shop was.  I love Johanna, the owner.  She is a great resource.  She helped me determine yardage.

Next big issue was color.  The Episcopal Church is a "color by numbers church".  We have colors for each liturgical season.  Advent is Blue or Purple.  Christmas, Easter and Ascension are White or Gold. Lent is Purple.  Red is used for Pentecost.  Everything else is considered Ordinary Time, which is Green.

My first instinct was to go with Green so it could be used most of the year, but I couldn't find the right combinations of green.  I needed five fabrics to make this block.  But then the reds started to catch my eye.  With Johanna's help, I came up with this combination
I decided to rotate the blocks as I joined them to create visual interest.  I used the dark red (lower triangle) for the backing.

I cut and assembled 13 blocks, back it with interfacing, cut a lining to match, then seamed both sides.  I left the ends open to turn it right side out.  I whip stitched the ends closed by hand.

Here's the finished product displayed on his robe:
Our new Deacon was very surprised and pleased with his gift.  He's gotten quite a bit of feedback on it and has suggested I continue down this path.

When folks at my church saw it, the Altar Guild suggested I consider helping out by making a set of paraments (the "dressings" which go on the altars and lecterns) as well as a set of vestments to match.  Having completed the stole without major tears, I can do this!  Time to get some green thread!

1 comment:

Rosemary Davis said...

What a wonderful gift- you are multi-talented! I see yet another career for you.thesbo