Thursday, November 24, 2016

Playing catch-up! Images of the finished stole

I finished Jodi's stole several weeks ago, and mailed it off.  Here are images of the completed piece!

A joyous Jodi on her ordination day 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Continuing to stitch...

Jodi's stole is coming together nicely.  After deciding on the general flow of line, the first strip was laid down on the foundation fabric.  I chose to start with one of the gold ties.

Next step was to stitch down the subsequent strips of ties...
And to continue stitching with the variety of reds...
And at this point, I considered the front to be almost completely pieced.  Here are some detail views showing how I managed to incorporate some interesting motifs from a couple ties, notably one of school kids and their teacher, and another of nutcrackers...
...and a tie with a motif of candles and another of tonic bottles...
At this point, I left the piece on the table while I pondered how to approach the centre back design.  I knew I wanted to incorporate the candle motifs, and the technical challenge was how to integrate the back with the fronts.  I am on the way to resolving this technical issue, and today worked out the centre back design.  I was pleased to incorporate a very tricky fabric, Jodi's grandfather's tie which is falling apart.  I covered it with a fine netting and used it to frame the candle motif at centre back.
Look at the edges of the striped tie that is framing the motif to see the netting covering the damage.
The piece for the two fronts is now cut in half, ready to work on the next challenge of completing the piecing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A New Stole is Designed

A few weeks ago I received an inquiry from Jodi Keith of Cincinnati, OH (see Pastor Jodi's Blog) asking about a red stole for her upcoming ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. After a few emails back and forth about how many ties to collect, her ordination date was confirmed and the commission was set in motion.  Jodi collected ties from her family and friends, and I received them last week all neatly packaged and labelled.

I love to know where the ties have come from, and if some have more significance than others.  This helps guide my design process.  The ties aren't always a great fit for either the colour or design of the finished stole, however I can always find a place for that special tie.  For this project I have a unique challenge--working in a navy striped tie that was Jodi's grandfather's.  He wore it when he and her grandmother were married on October 20, 1930. The special challenge is that it has started to fall apart--I suspect the silk is weighted and thus deteriorates over time.

Even though this doesn't fit the colour scheme (red) and is damaged, I have an idea of how to deal with this, and will write about solutions in a later post.

Here is the collection of ties, washed and pressed.  This also includes a gorgeous pieces of red shantung silk that is a great addition.

My ideas for the design start to percolate while I'm washing and ironing the ties.  This is a good opportunity to look at all aspects of the tie, from the condition (stained? holes?) to the fabric design. Often a motif on a tie will suggest a design--two of the ties in this collection have potential in that regard, for example this tie with candles...

and another with school kids...

I then get my coloured pencils out and start playing with lines of colour, in this case red, red-orange and gold.  Here are sketches #1 and #2...

And #3 and #4....

Jodi prefers the flow of line in #1 and the back from #4, so that's where I'm starting.

Something new in this  process is that Jodi will be responding to my posts on her blog (Pastor Jodi's Blog).  Jodi is also a knitter and has in fact knit a couple of stoles for friends.  Stay tuned and join us on this creative journey!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The stole is about to be shipped!

I'm happy with this, and look forward to seeing a photo of the pastor wearing it! It will be given to him on June 5 in honour of his 25th anniversary of ordination.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Triquetra

The triquetra and cross on the centre back have been stitched down....

(The triquetra pops up in many different cultures. Christians adopted it as a symbol of the Trinity, and a circle weaving over and under the interconnected loops is a sign of unity. For more info on this ancient symbol see

...and now I can turn my attention to the finishing...piping and lining. These two striped ties have made great piping!

The next step will be to stitch the piping to the edges...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Stole For Ordinary Times, continued...

This is a great collection of green neckties. Here's a view of the pieced fabric and a detail shot...before cutting into the two halves of the stole.

Ignore the tape measure across the fabric!

The client has chosen a pointed back which allows a little more room for the cross.  A "triquetra" background was requested, along with a type of Celtic cross.  Here are some images where I tried out the arrangement. The cross will be created from gold metallic fabric, and embellished with stitching.
The triquetra has been created from bias strips of a soft gold necktie.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Stitching a Green Stole

I had a good day in the studio today working with these wonderful materials...

A good start:


The piecing is almost complete:

The next decision to be made is whether or not the back will be triangular or round.  I am waiting to hear back from the commissioner.