Monday, August 22, 2011

Get Crafty: Catholic Embroidery

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We are so blessed! Yesterday was the baptism of our 3rd godson, Daniel Xavier! He’s such a precious little bundle, as are all godchildren, and we are so excited to have a little bit of responsibility for him as he grows and becomes who God intended him to be. And special days call for special projects, so I decided to embroider a baptismal stole for him, inspired by one that was handmade for my son Michael. I wanted it to not only be made by me, but to be made just for him. Daniel was named after the biblical Daniel of the Lion’s Den, so it was appropriate to incorporate the image of a lion as a symbol of his namesake. I’m no whiz at embroidery, but I think it turned out pretty great!

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I designed the embroidery pattern myself, and used a trick to get it on the fabric (would only work with light colored fabric, I think). I found a lion shape I liked from Google images, and inserted it into a Word document. I then added the text in a script font, centered the whole thing, and traced it onto the fabric directly on the screen like a lightbox. I taped the white cotton fabric in place and gently used a silver fabric marking pencil, and it worked like a dream. I did the same for the chi rho symbols. The fabric I used measured 6.5” by 24.5”, and I sewed it along the ends and one long side after embroidering, so the finished dimensions were 3” by 24”.

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Our second godson was baptized a little over a month ago, and I was so disappointed to see that our church (wonderful though it is), provided a stole that was made of polyester felt. I’m a snob about quality materials, and my insides felt sad at this discovery. Every other stole I had seen was a respectable white cotton with a red chi rho symbol machine embroidered on it. I had thought about making a stole for little Andrew Paul, and I kicked myself for not trying it at that point. Just another reason I was not going to miss this current opportunity. Andrew did, however, get a very cute wooden saint doll made by St. Anne’s Pixies on Etsy, a great Catholic mama and talented artist, and this was a personalized, play-with-able, baptismally-appropriate gift that I was very proud to give.

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Our first godson, Eugene Joseph, got neither stole nor saint doll, but I made him his baptismal garment. I was no experienced seamstress then, nearly 8 years ago, but I am still proud that I was able to do something meaningful for him. Let me see if I can dig up an ancient photo… ah, there we go… it’s humble, but it got the job done :)

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I just love baptisms. And the smell of chrism. And sweet little newborn babies…

1 comment:

Jodi said...

and you were worried about how your embroidery would turn out! It looks fantastic!!!!!!!!!! What a fun technique.

Congrats to you!