Friday, June 21, 2013

DIY Baptismal Stole Tutorial (freezer paper stencil)

One of the panels of stole fabric that I designed has a blank stole (with sewing pattern) included. It's a blank canvas for decorating your very own custom stole.

I convinced the kids at my church to help me decorate a special baptism stole, using a simple freezer paper stencil and fabric paint--here's what we did!

-Sewn-together blank/white stole, using the pattern on this panel
-Freezer Paper (comes in a roll like waxed paper, with one shiny side and one flat side). You'll only need a small amount.
-Fabric Paint in 2-3 colors
-Sponges or brushes for painting
-Fabric markers (optional, for writing on the back of the stole)

For my design, I chose a simple dove (for the Holy Spirit) along with some waves, representing water, at the bottom.

First, I cut out my shapes, knowing that the shapes were the parts of the stole that would remain white. To make my waves, I simply cut freezer paper to the width of the stole, and the free-handed some waves, letting the bottom of each wave be the top of the next.

 Next, I created my dove shape, again working from paper that was about the width of the stole. (I started with paper a little wider, know that I wanted the edges of the dove to just barely go off the stole, so I could gain all the width I could and keep the scale of the dove decently large.)
 When your freezer paper shapes are cut out, and you know where you want to lay them, simply iron them into place, shiny side down. (The heat of the iron lets the shiny side stick to the fabric.)

 I enlisted the help of the children at my church (and a fabulous and willing Children's Ministry Director) to do paint the stole. First, we had our kids sign their names to the back, using a fabric marker, and we also put a little dedication (naming our congregation, along with the date). If you want to do this, you definitely want to have the write on the back of the stole first, since it will be covered with wet paint in a little bit...

Now, with the freezer paper ironed on, and names on the back, cover the rest of the front of the stole with fabric paint, using a sponge or foam brush to stamp it all over.We used 3 colors to give more depth to the pattern--but didn't give them any other direction. We just let them cover it all. It's okay if the paint goes onto the paper. (It's important that it be painted right up to/over the edge of the paper in order for their to be a crisp edge after the paper is removed.)

Lay it flat while the paint dries. Then, peel off the freezer paper, to reveal your dove and waves beneath!

With this same basic technique, there are a multitude of design possibilities--I love how it balances the joyous unplanned feel of kids art with a bit of clean sophistication in the symbols used. It's definitely fun to wear it for baptisms here, when the kids who made it are present!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

The random number generator chose the number 2, so the Pentecost stole shall go to Megan, my 2nd commenter.

My only problem is, I don't know which Megan you are, or how to reach you! So, if you're Megan who said "Molly, that is beautiful! Much better than the cheap Cokesbury Ordination stole I own," holler at me and I'll get this stole in the mail! Congrats. And yay!

Editor's Note: I'm happy to report that I've identified my Megan, and the stole is in the mail, winding it's way to her in NY!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Giveaway at the Beginning!

Okay, I did it: I made my stole designs available, so anyone else can have them printed on fabric and sew them together using the pattern printed into the fabric. To celebrate, I've got a fun giveaway: one, already-sewn-together Pentecost stole.

So, check out the stole designs I made. See the designs here, and order them through Spoonflower, here.

Post a comment here by next Thursday (the 8th), and you'll be entered in the giveaway!

Note: Giveaway closed. Congrats to the winner!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sewing Tutorial

Here's a walk-through of the sewing instructions with a few photos and more comments. This really is a simple pattern--the last one I put together took just over an hour. If you have any questions, please feel welcome to comment, and I'll do my best to try to clarify!

I'm sure there are other ways to sew this together, too, and you may find a way that works better for you. :) I tried a couple of ways, and liked this one:

1. Cut one of the stole designs from the panel. (It is not necessary to follow all the curves--just separate the stole from the rest of panel, effectively cutting a 12” x the width of the fabric strip. Fuse interfacing to back of this strip of stole pattern pieces, according to interfacing instructions.
2. Cut out right and left stole pieces, with interfacing attached. Cut along the edge of the printed stole shape.

3. Cut backing fabric into 3 strips, 6” wide by the width of the fabric. Cut one of the 3 strips in half so that you have 2 pieces approx 6“ x 22”. Sew one half to each of the other 2 strips, so that you have 2 strips approximately 6” x 66”. Press the seams.

4. Using cut stole pieces as a pattern, cut the backing pieces as copies of the front, making sure you cut a right and left piece, as mirror images of each other.

5. With right sides together, sew stole pieces together at top seam. (Sew just one center seam that is as long as possible, disregarding the angle-like notches cut into the pattern.) Press the seam.

6. With right sides together, sew backing fabric pieces together at the top in the same way, pressing
the seam.

7. With right sides together, pin the backing fabric to the stole fabric.
8. Sew the stole fabric and backing together along the long inside and outside seams (leaving the bottom seams un-sewn). Use the small triangles at the center of the top seam as notches, carefully matching that center seam. There will just be two, long seams: an inside arc and outside arc. (No corners or pivot points.)

9. Trim the seam allowance in the curved sections to 1/4” or under.
Turn the stole right-side out.
10. Press the stole flat.

11. Turn the bottom seam on each side under 1/2” and press.

12. Using a ladder stitch, hand sew the bottom seams closed.

That's it! Enjoy your new stole... ;)

Monday, January 14, 2013

God's Cosmos Stole Pattern

My first designs are a set of stoles that use images from NASA as the ground for the fabric. I had a lot of fun connecting our liturgical seasons to the wonder of the cosmos, and hope you enjoy them, too. I explain the collection here.

My current pastoral appointment means I'm in ministry with lots of folks who work in the aerospace industry. I married an engineer who loves both rockets and astronomy. I believe that my Christianity and science are very compatible--each asking and answering a very different set of questions. The wonder of God's cosmos continues to inspire me, as it has inspired from, perhaps, the beginning of time. "The heavens are telling the glory of God!" begins Psalm 19. So, this collection was inspired by all that, as well as a hope that celebrating God's cosmos in worship might help us be better stewards of it.

The set is formatted as two fabric panels, each with three designs printed on it. You can choose how you sew them: whether you sew the pattern pieces front-to-back to make reversible stoles, or using another fabric as backing and make separate stoles out of each piece.

One panel features red Pentecost design, a green Ordinary Time design, and an off-white Easter stole.

The other panel features two purple designs (for Lent and Easter), and a plain white pattern that can be used to sew a stole on which you can draw, dye or paint your own design. (Or let the Sunday School kids do it...) Or, if you prefer, you can use this as a backing for the Easter stole on the other panel...

Whatever you choose, one panel or both, it's a heck of a deal: three lovely, thoughful, science-affirming, cosmos-admiring stole designs for about $30. Order them here.

The NASA photos behind God's Cosmos

Come, Holy Spirit (Pentecost)
Based on a NASA image of a sun jet, depicting the dramatic solar wind. The cause of the powerful winds is not yet fully understood—photos like this one support theories that the winds are caused by sudden, rapid movements in the magnetic fields of the sun. This photo was taken by the Japanese Hinode satellite.
Printed on the stole are verses from the Acts account of Pentecost, and a traditional Celtic symbol for the trinity.

Pilgrimage (Lent)
The image in this stole is from a composite photo of the spiral galaxy M81. This grand design galaxy has a spiral shape similar to our Milky Way; M81 is 11.6 million light-years away.
Printed on the stole are words to the Afro-American Spiritual “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” as well as the pattern of an ancient labyrinth and an adaptation of the logo used for the Camino Santiago in Spain. Together, these invite us to a Lenten pilgrimage as we walk with Christ through these 40 days—remembering with gratitude that Christ is God walking with us.

O Come Emmanuel (Advent)
Taken from a composite image of supernova remnant W44, this stole shows a blue-purple sphere that shows the remains of this exploded star, which is about 100 light-years across. This image comes from two of the European Space Agencies satellites.
Printed on the stole are verses from the Song of Zechariah, Luke 1:78-79, and a Celtic knot used to depict the trinity. I connect its round shape and spirals with the creating, generative work of birth and incarnation.

Alleluia! (Easter)
Based on an image taken by the Japanese Hinode (Sunrise) spacecraft, this image depicts the dramatic activity in the chromosphere of the sun. Previously visible only during solar eclipses, the chromosphere is the site of tremendous and powerful solar activity.
Printed on the stole is a verse from Mark’s Easter account (Mark 16:6), and butterflies as a symbol of resurrection life. There is a cross, decorated with intertwining, life-filled lines.

Ordinary Time
This image comes from a computer simulation of “global aerosols,” wind and weather systems created by the Discover supercomputer at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Used to simulate the movement of dust, smoke, sea salt, sulfates and fossil fuel emissions, it shows us connected far beyond physical (far less political) boundaries.
Printed on the stole are verses that affirm God’s presence in the cycles and movements of creation, Isaiah 55:10-11. At the bottom is a Celtic cross, which combines the cross with a circle—remind us of cycles and our belonging together on this one planet.
I am particularly pleased to use this image for Ordinary Time, a season named for time’s movement through the year; here, that movement is visualizes as cycling systems. They remind us again of our interconnection on Earth and in God.

Create Your Own Stole
An extra stole pattern included allows you to sew a blank stole, which you are invited to use so you can draw, dye, paint or in any way decorate for yourself or as a gift at a special time! A fun way to involve kids or others.