Tag Archives: church linens

Baptismal Towels

 

Do you have more than one project in progress?  I have stacks– some must be done NOW, some are handwork for when I watch tv with my husband, some are mindless chores like hemming for when I’m on the phone, some I put aside for one reason or another.

Still, in the midst of a looming deadline and other pressing matters, I took the time to embroider 6 hemstitched linen guest towels for upcoming baptisms at our church.  I had customized the design sometime ago for a newly ordained pastor. So it was just a matter of hooping up my stash of linen guest towels and embroider them.  It was so satisfying to stitch something simple and meaningful in the midst of all the sewing busy-ness.

You might recall my story that our church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground several years ago.

 

 

As you can see, nothing remained.  The only survivors were three heavy brass collection plates.  They have been box framed under glass and hang in  the narthex of our rebuilt building.  A one word caption is inscribed on a plaque beneath each one–STILL    ON    FIRE.  But  now, for God.

In time, the church was rebuilt, but just with the basics.  None of the lovingly made linens and other niceties made by members in the 50 year church history survived.  One of my personal missions is to restock the church with lovingly made paraments, banners and linens.

At a recent baptism, it was clear that towels were needed.

I was reminded of my grandchildren’s desire to be baptized, after witnessing the sacrament administered to 5 adults.  For the children’s sermon, they were lined up on the floor for an up close view and a brief explanation.

In the car on the ride home from church there was discussion about the service. in a clear voice, 8 yo Laurel announced that she wanted to be baptized.  When Robert was asked if he, too, would like this, he replied, “Well, maybe but without so much water.”

A few months later they were baptized, with less, but sufficient water.

3 yo Alastair was not one to miss a photo op with his cousins

 

In the next few weeks there will be more baptisms at our new church.  Regardless of how much water is used, there will be towels to dry the holy water.

Now, to work toward that looming deadline.

What are you stitching?

 

 

Sewing Ho-Hum and Holy Holy

Life at our house goes on at a breakneck pace, causing me to neglect posting as regularly as I would like.  But my sewing room is a beehive of unreported activity, not all of it very interesting.

Wouldn’t you love to sew only creative, fun items?  Does anyone get to do that?   Check out an earlier ho-hum post for an interesting view of what constitutes fun sewing elsewhere, like  “baju kurung, kebaya, punjabi suit.” Just how much fun would it be to sew a punjabi suit? More fun than I had with these projects.

HO-HUM SEWING

 

But duty calls and I have a running list of  ho-hum sewing which is in addition to routine mending.  These ho-hums become occasions for which my sewing machines can actually save some money.  While there is no creative satisfaction, there is the satisfaction of contributing to the family, being a helpmate to my dear husband, and  satisfaction in proving that my Brother Dream Machine is more than just an expensive toy.

 

Mending pool leaf filter baskets….yawn…

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More Church linens

eucharistic corporal (2)ED

The photo has been darkened to show the detail in the design.

 

Needleworkers–or sewists if you prefer–so often share their time and talents with friends and relatives and charitable organizations. I am especially touched when I hear from readers who do faith-based needlework.  Some have sent pictures which are shared below.

After the previous post about church linens, reader Sandra commented that she too had made eucharistic corporals for relatives. I was delighted to read that  she is, in fact, my Sigma Kappa sorority sister!  That’s just one more benefit of writing this blog!

I asked Sandra if she would send pictures to share and hurrah!  She did.  Here’s what she had to say about the exquisite pieces she made.

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Church Linens

nap lavabo CR

 

I was honored to make these church linens for a mother to give her son upon his ministerial ordination this very Sunday.  This thoughtful mother has made up a gift package that includes these and other items her son will need as he pursues his calling.

Made of very fine linen, two communion napkins (or “veils”) to cover the elements were embroidered, hemstitched and edged with tatting. The napkin corners were rounded because mitering tatting is way above my skill level.

Pin stitch was worked around the perimeter with a #100 sharp needle.  I’ve learned that using a wing needle with tatting is a recipe for disaster.  But stitching slowly and carefully with the sharp, there were no tatting casualties.

 

slightly modified design is from ABC Christian Symbols collection

slightly modified design is from the spectacular  Christian Symbols collection of ABC Embroidery Designs

 

The baptismal lavabo is made from a blank linen guest towel with three rows of hemstitching.

 

lavabo

 

I had a hard time coming up with a design that suited me.  What I wanted was a simple baptismal shell with three water drops symbolic of the trinity.  After an extensive and unproductive search of both my design library and on-line designs, I finally bought this  design from Embroidery Library, deleted the green scroll and rotated the shell. Continue reading

Aunt Rheeta’s Communion Cloth

The linen is white, but the lighting was so poor that I had to edit the picture to show details.

 

 

Very few sewing projects have given me as much pleasure and satisfaction as this one. Made 2 years ago, in collaboration with my dear aunt, Rheeta Booth, for her church, this set of liturgical linens includes an altar cloth (cover) and communion veil which covers the elements before communion is served.

 

 

communionclothmiter

 

Aunt Rheeta was so excited about this project. The exquisite Swiss liturgical lace had been purchased several years before, from Farmhouse Fabrics.    At the time, I had no specific plan but felt certain this exceptional lace it would fill a very special need.

 

communionclothcenterfront1

 

Several years ago, when Aunt Rheeta returned from Russia, where she had served as a missionary, she brought with her a lovely hand embroidered cloth. She donated it to her very small church for use as a communion cloth, but through the years, it had become worn.

During her visit two years ago, we were plundering in the sewing room when I happened upon the lace. The light in her eyes told me it had found its purpose.

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