â€œI believe in signs….what we need to learn is always there before us, we just have to look around us with respect & attention to discover where God is leading us and which step we should take….”
â€• Paulo Coelho, The Zahir
There are all kinds of signs–signs of spring, signs of aging, signs of indigestion.Â Â I especially like real, tangible signs that give directions, advice, entertainment or important information.Â It’s funny how sermons, a box in the garage, and free embroidery designs set me off on a binge of sign-making for our church.
Within two weeks,Â IÂ (1) heard our pastor preach on the importance of daily scripture reading, ( 2) found a box of picture frames in the garage, and (3) discovered more than 40 FREE scriptural machine embroidery designs atÂ Designs by JuJu .Â Hmm…..
Always eager to make my husband happy by using up and moving out stuff stored in the garage, I downloaded the free verses from JuJu, gathered up the frames, matched them size-wise to the designs I had in mind, and pulled out neutral colored fabric scraps.Â I was on a mission.
Most of JuJu’s scripture designs are simply text, frequently offered in two sizes and always in many formats.Â What a generous gift!Â I can only imagine how many lives have been enriched by these free designs.Â Thank you, JuJu!
She also has two lively sets of scripture called Heavenly Inspirations that I recently purchased.Â I can’t wait to stitch these out.
To the free text designs, I have added a few embellishments, like the little roses above and the praying child below. Â Occasionally I have changed the font.
Embroidering “Train up a child…”Â was a special pleasure and challenge. A leftover scrap of tone-on-tone church fabric seemed like the perfect background for this verse.Â The piece was just barely 7” down the selvage,Â enough for the 5 x 7 design, but not enough to wrap over the cardboard to secure the design. Â So scrap fabric was stitched on either end, making it wide enough for hooping and wrapping.
Half way through the design, I decided that the background was too busy.Â So I cut up one more scrap, turned the fabric to the wrong side and got just the rigjt effect.
The fishing design is from a sweet collection calledÂ Gospel Armor Â by Thread Sketches.Â It, too, was framed after being scanned, but I was too busy to take a picture before delivering it.Â Â I’d like to stitch more of these Gospel Armor designs for Sunday School classrooms.
After getting approval from the property committee chairman, I delivered the first two signs last week.
Then I continued my buying spree at Embroidery Library, one of my favorite sites.Â They have so many gorgeous Bible verse designs, suitable for framing.Â Many that I purchased are very stitch intensive, so I think I am going to applique large areas like grass and sky.
UPDATE:Â Belinda at SewForum just let me know about SewBird which hasÂ Â lots and lots of lovely Bible verse designs with frames and additional designs included.Â All for free!!!Â What a beautiful site!
Here are a few good laughs about signs, taken from Sayings for Church Signs.Â But I won’t be embroidering them.
- Be thankful for more than an elastic waistband.
- Be ye fishers of men….You catch them, He’ll clean them!
- Bring your spiritual marshmallows.Â Our pastor is on fire!
And if these didn’t make you smile, check out this church sign
Enough about signs. I’m allowing myself only two more framed Bible verses before I move on to Vivian Rose’s Christmas stocking.Â Â What are you sewing?