Purple is the traditional color for the season of Lent, which begins this year on Ash Wednesday, February 13. But a color alone does not really communicate the sense of the season — especially to newer and younger church members who don’t know the “secret color code” of the church year.
The purple and gray pattern in this fabric shows jagged movement that echos themes of Lent, and the touches of fuchsia and turquoise are harbingers of the Easter to come. The reverse side is plain purple; even if you never wear the plain side, it will peek out occasionally.
The use of beautiful — and sometimes unconventional — fabrics in church is one way of inviting the “visual word” into our worship.
I’m making stoles today — and this is an example of using a traditional color (green) in unexpected modern fabrics (batiks). The colors are more vibrant than they seem in this photo.
I’ll be selling stoles next week at the Earl Lectures at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Tell your clergy friends to look for me there!
I love making stoles! When I was a seminary student and later serving a small church in Eastern Washington state, I made over 700 stoles. Most of them went to the bookstore (sadly, now closed) at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
This batch of four is wonderfully varied. Blue is traditionally for Advent, but modern clergy aren’t so particular about those traditions! The second is more green than it looks in the photo. The third one — with the black background — has wonderful tulips growing on it. And the one on the right is birches in the winter (okay, not very traditional, but still cool).
I’m thinking that I may get into serious stole-making again …
50 years old and still looks great
Okay — this isn’t a quilt! It is a wool felt wall hanging that my mother, Maryn Johnson, made sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s. All those tiny pieces were cut out of felt (she was a whiz with scissors!) and glued on — and have stayed on for all of these years! It is really an amazing piece of work. And when she passed away, we found another whole set of cut outs — anyone want a banner?
I’m also making bunches of these eco-friendly gift bags. We’ve used them for years in our family — they are no more expensive than wrapping paper (especially if you watch for sales on Christmas fabrics), and you can use them again and again.
An added plus: Itty-bits (the cat) thinks the ribbons are great kitty toys!
I’m having fun this weekend, sewing madly to make items for my church’s Holiday Marketplace next weekend.
This great napkin is a half circle (with a little stem thing) that folds up to look like a Christmas tree. I told a friend that I was making them, and she ordered 12, sight-unseen. Gosh, I better get back to the sewing machine!
BTW, the Holiday Marketplace is December 1 & 2 at First Congregational Church of Minnesota, UCC. Hope to see you there!
PS: Part of the proceeds from all the artists and craftspeople will be donated to charities. I am going to donate through the church to Avenues, a place for homeless GLBT youth in Minneapolis.
Found some beautiful fabric today at a quilt shop in Lexington, Kentucky — Sew A Lot. I plan to use it to make a stole for a young friend of mine who is seminary student. Green is a traditional color for this time in the church calendar — but this green is not at all traditional!
I am twice a woman of the cloth –I am both a quilt maker and an ordained minister (in the United Church of Christ).
I’ll be writing here about both of my vocations — you can follow my posts about fabric and quilts, or you can follow the ones about faith and spirit. Actually — I hope you will read both of them!