Sunday, May 23, 2010

Progress yesterday and today

I've made great progress this weekend, starting with the placement of the heart on the lower left panel.

The green, blue-green, and purple strips of necktie were stitched in swooping lines around the heart and then up towards the shoulders.

You can see that I piece most of the fronts and part of the back before cutting up the centre to separate the panels.
Tomorrow I'll make and attach the piping and lining.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another heart and possible designs

Got out my coloured pencils and started playing around with some flowing lines. Sent these to Jude last night, and her feedback is:
"You are absolutely getting it! I absolutely love what you're doing. It feels as though you've gone right into my head and seen the picture that's been sitting there.

Colors are perfect! The blend and ratio of colors is me!

Regarding the sketches - they're both so beautiful - hard to choose. The only thing I would say is to put the heart on the left side of the stole - my heart side."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tying up Loose Ends

First of all, an image of Chrissy in her stole presented to her by her family on graduation day May 10, 2010. Chrissy has just been appointed to a position in her home church in West Virginia. Congratulations Chrissy!

Secondly, the white stole has arrived at its destination in Georgia, and the feedback is positive. They think it is absolutely the most beautiful stole they've seen and that it's a work of art. That's all very reassuring to me working at a distance as I do. However I must also add that these stoles are rather like one's children--they're all favourites and beautiful!

Thirdly, I have started gathering materials and thinking about the design for the next stole. I'm happy to be working in my favourite colours--fortunately these are also the favourite colours of the wearer! Here are the neckties pulled from my collection to use:

Jude has asked me to use less blue and more purple and green (just like my hair these days!) and I'm happy to oblige.

Jude will be ordained from the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City ( in June, and has a growing ministry for weddings. Check out her website to learn about her very collaborative process helping couples plan their services. Since this stole will be worn primarily while officiating at weddings, she's asked for some irregular and suble hearts on the stole. Here's an image of my first attempt at piecing a heart using my bias strip piecing method:

I'll make another sample that's taller and thinner to fit on the front panel. This first one is too wide for the front.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Celebrate--the white stole is finished!

And shipped!

You can see that I opted for the gold lame under the battenberg lace--I wasn't comfortable with the copper. I realized that I was trying to make the copper work because of the copper threads drawn from a table runner supplied by the family. I used the copper threads to wrap the piping--and was using it because it had been given to me, rather than because it had any intrinsic merit. The gold lame really is more suitable and appropriate.

A final touch are the pockets on the lining at the lower edges. I was provided with a lot of lacy placemats, and it seemed a good idea to use a couple pieces as pockets for cards, house key, driver's licence, tissue...

The last image is a miniature piece that will be a keepsake for the bride and groom. Richard (the minister and the father of the groom) will be using it during the service--he will wrap their hands with this while talking about their theme scripture "A cord of three strands is not easily broken." (This might be an origin for the phrase "tying the knot"?)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Trying out some embellishments

I've made yards and yards of white satin piping for the edges. On all the edges of these three samples, I have wrapped the piping with either copper/metallic yarn or gold ribbin. I've also used underlays of either gold or copper lame under some of the Battenburg lace motifs. I think the copper might show up better at a distance which might be best for this stole. I do like the subtlety of the gold however.

Do you have a preference?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Piecing the white stole

I was able to spend a good amount of time at the sewing machine today, and pieced the two fronts of the white stole. I've opted for the more vertical design, inserting lace edgings into occasional seams.

My stategy is to piece the two halves of the stole as a single unit up to the chest area. I then cut the resulting fabric into two and add enough foundation fabric for the shoulders and back.

The second image shows the two halves, completely pieced, but not trimmed.
My next step is to determine any further embellishment, e.g. couched gold thread or machine embroidery. That's a decision for tomorrow!

Below is a detail view of the piecing with lace inserts.