I recently opened a shop on Etsy called Piecemaker’s Piece for the stoles that I design and make. For my senior thesis project at Union Theological Seminary, I designed and sewed 6 stoles (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and water) as well as a prayer shawl (All Saints’ Day–w/ pictures and names of women I consider my cloud of witnesses). The reception was wonderful, with people asking if I would make them to sell–so now I am!
I am including a couple images of the two most popular stoles which are available in the store, as well as the water stole, which is not… yet? Also included is a slightly revised version of what I said to introduce a blessing that was performed on each of the senior project stoles at their showing.
These stoles are pieces of art. Like most art, these pieces have absorbed many emotions through their creation: hopes and frustrations, dreams and disappointments. These artistic endeavors retain impressions of me in each stitch. But these are not simply pieces of art, not merely pieces of cloth put together in a creative way. They are stoles, and a prayer shawl: holy garments. These stoles will be worn in ministry to God’s people. They will acquire more imprints of the wearer, of the people she encounters, and of the situations in which they are worn. Before this, however, I make another contribution to the memories woven into the fabric of these garments by blessing them.
Editor’s Note: Be sure to visit Beth’s Etsy shop to view even more stoles, and read her beautiful meditations on the meaning and symbolism of each. If you are like me you will be coveting the unique and playful “Relaxed Fit” stole for ordinary time!