February 4, 2014
Several months ago I was commissioned to create an art quilt in the form of a clerical stole. I had never made a clerical stole of any kind before so the first thing I did was find a pattern for the basic stole.
My client found me through my blog and a specific post I put up two years ago (!) showing where I altered a clerical stole for my daughter's pastor. All I had to do to that stole was narrow the neck and upper area. The design on the front of the stole is what caught the eye of my client.
She is being ordained March 5th at Loyola College and wanted to find a stole similar to the one she had seen on my blog. I agreed to make one similar, not really knowing how I was going to go about it but I had made landscape quilts before on a small scale so I thought I could do it.
Jan. 1st she mailed me a deposit of 1/2 the agreed upon fee and I was off and running. I had a great time buying landscape fabrics and was lucky to find just about everything I wanted for the stole.
The first half of January I was mostly working in my head, meaning I was planning and plotting how it was going to look and what I wanted in the landscape. I had repeated email chats with my client and finally I was ready to move from planning to actually putting fabric to fabric.
It was great fun and I'd do it again in a minute! Challenging, a bit frightening at times I'll admit, but really fun to do. I was immersed in woods, forests and trees for weeks. Since I spend about 6 months of the year in a Vermont State Park each year, I have plenty of time to look at the trees, etc.
My client requested mountains, trees - especially birch trees, a river, and a country road leading into the woods. These were all the things she had seen in a vision while on a retreat she explained. Also, she stated that blue butterflies hold a particular special meaning to her so if I could incorporate a butterfly somewhere in the landscape, that would be great. She sent me several photos of river beds and trees she had taken shots of and I sent her birch trees and rivers I had taken photos of. We seemed to be on the same wavelength.
Lots of fusible webbing, lots of thread batting, lots of prayer.
Today I added her blue butterfly, a 3-D one, and put the stole together with a backing and a cord to help the stole stay on while wearing and pressed it well, all the time holding my breath and saying a prayer that I wasn't alone in this project. I definitely had divine aid, I feel; everything went smoothly and there were not "rippits" in the whole project. Definitely divine aid!
So, today I show you finished sections of the stole along with the final finished stole. I'm happy to have it complete and can breathe easy once again.....and get back to my TB projects!