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I suggest that you go to the bottom of this page and click on 'Order Form'. If you print out those three pages, you'll have a 'map of this web site. It will help you get around and also let you make a note of the things of interest to you.
11/7: I have a couple of bits of news for you. First, after the first of the year, I will begin offering wools. You've been asking for a substantial, light-weight wool for vestment making for some time - and, I've been looking! I've found a company that sells Australian Merino wools in our liturgical colors. We're talking! The inventory investment will be substantial but, I think I'm going to do it. If you're interested in wools, let me know.
Second - I offer a group of traditional liturgical fabrics in a wide selection of patterns and all our liturgical colors. I import these fabrics from M. Perkins & Son in England. They are absolutely beautiful! The thing about these fabrics - especially the damasks - is that they are very hard to photograph so that you have some feeling of how they really look in use. Too often the photographs turn out looking 'flat'. I haven't been able to capture their true lush appearance. I have a friend, Donna Satterlee, who is a designer, an artist and a photographer who has, kindly, offered to help me. Putting together the photographs will take some time but, we'll get it done!
Donna and I will also concentrate on giving you photographs of combinations of fabrics - ideas for putting fabrics together so you can see how one works with another.
As well, while I am familiar with these fabrics (having worked with them for years and years!), I know that many of you are not. There's information you need to have in order to think about how to use them. For instance: Knowing the repeat of the pattern length is not enough. You need to know the width of the pattern also. And, you need to know how many patterns lie across the width of the pattern and where the center of the fabric is located so you can plan your cutting lay out. This is basic information that you should have - and I will give it to you. Soon!
Beginning in 1985, I served the Episcopal Diocese of Albany for twelve years as the Diocesan Altar Guild Directress. As it is the prerogative of the diocesan Bishop to oversee the ministry of the Diocesan Altar Guild, the Bishop established our ministry and asked me to carry it out. My ministry was to re-establish the crafts of vestment construction and linen construction within the Diocese of Albany. I did this by offering classes, all materials and support. This project was very well received and we soon had Sewing Groups that met every month established in each of our seven deaneries. I did quite a lot of driving during those years!
Perhaps you don't understand that, by 1985 the crafts of linen and vestment construction for our churches had been lost. How that happened is a long story. When I started out, I had no patterns, no instructions, no nice person to guide me. It was my ministry to reclaim all that information. That's continued to be my ministry all these years.
At first I carried out this ministry within the context of our diocese. And then, following the publishing of my book, Sewing Church Linens, the ministry became national. While I (somehow!) did not anticipate this consequence at the time I wrote the book, the experience has been a very great blessing.
Although I am retired as the Diocesan Directress, I have continued the ministry here. I've chosen to continue this ministry for a couple of reasons: First, because the people I work with are such a joy.
The second reason I've continued this ministry is that I believe in good stewardship. I believe that giving of our time and talent is as important as giving of our treasure. I believe that the ministry of the Church is to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. I believe that our Church could perform this ministry more effectively if we would spend less money purchasing expensive, ready-made linens and vestments - that we could just as well make ourselves. I believe that almost every parish has people who are competent sewers, who are perfectly capable of making handsome linens and vestments – if only they had access to proper, reasonably priced materials, instructions and patterns. I believe that these people would gladly give of their time and their talent – if only they had a bit of guidance and support. I believe my ministry is to these people; to provide materials, instructions and patterns and to give guidance and support. I am an outstanding problem solver!
I believed this when I began this ministry in 1985. I believed it in 1997 when I opened this web site. I believe it today in 2011 as I celebrate my 72nd birthday and my 30th year of this graceful and grace-filled ministry.
The thing I would like you to know about this web site is that a great many people have contributed a great deal of information. I do a lot of emailing and talking on the phone. What's happened is that this web site has become a, sort of, 'central clearing house' for information. When I get a new piece of information, I pass it along or knit it into my instruction booklets or use it to correct or enlarge a pattern. I keep hoping that, before I die, I will have managed to put together all the bits and pieces of information we lost during the middle decades of the 20th century - as well as the new methods and techniques we've developed since then.
(Along this line, let me give you a piece of information that just crossed my monitor screen: Every now and then, we run into a difficulty - something in a pulpit fall or frontal or stole just won't come right. Even after a lot of 'reverse stitching', the thing won't fall properly. At that point, go to hand stitching. Our fingers 'feel' what's going on with the fabric(s) and naturally make allowances that are likely to settle the problem. Our sewing machines can't 'feel'; they just stitch right along. Thanks for that, Anne!)
I hope you enjoy this site. I hope you find it interesting and useful. I hope you use it to make beautiful vestments and linens for your churches!
June 18, 2010 - I need to tell you something: I am incapable of explaining to you the immensity of the blessing this ministry has been to me all these years. I am equally incapable of explaining how much it means to me to work with people like you. Even if I went on and on and on and on, I just couldn't explain it.
And, much as I love this ministry and all of you, I am blessed to have other loves too: My children, my grandchildren, my beloved friends. In short, I have another life outside of Church Linens.
Here's the problem: I'm the only one here. If I don't do it, it doesn't get done. Terry is good about making the runs to the Post Office for me and that's a big help. But, not infrequently, especially during our busy seasons (Advent through Pentecost), it's not unusual for me to get behind. You guys keep me very busy! And, I think you understand this. So, don't be too surprised if I'm a bit slow - for which I apologize before-hand. If you have a time constraint, tell me! I will put you right at the head of the list!
You've asked me to put up a photograph. Here it is. That's me standing in the M. Perkins & Son showroom (in England!) with my dear friend, Peter Doneux. He's particularly tall (6'6"). I'm particularly short (almost 5'2"). I hope it gives you a chuckle! (Notice that lovely shade of liturgical rose next to my left shoulder - that's Winchester. The one behind Peter's head is the black/gold Fairford - handsome!)
I pray for you a holy and blessed Christmas season!
In Christ's Love,
We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience.
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