Conversation and Custom Work

Creating a custom item for a client is often a pleasant path for all concerned.  Existing work inspires possibilities for forming a specific product.  Familiar techniques and materials are combined in fresh ways to make a unique studio crafted item. custom conversation

The lower center photograph depicts the materials and motif placement for a stole evolving from the one on the left.  The client amended my choice for the flame fabric, noting that the flame is specified to be red..  I added red paint to the orange fabric.

I sent the photo of the near completed stole for approval.  While she and I both liked the shell sequins at the end of each curve, she was not sure the recipient would.  I checked that I could apply sealant to the knot without affecting the fabric and let her know we were good to go.  If the beaded bits are too fussy for him, they can easily be snipped off.

We display vestments here at Studio Three 17, and on Fibergig’s Facebook, Pinterest, and Etsy locations.  Get inspired and contact us about customization.  Many of our techniques and materials translate into secular garments and accessories.  Consider the possibilities.


Clerical Stoles for Smaller Budgets

The new stoles for $75 are in our online shop, fibergig, at Etsy.

stoles and wraps 001

Starting point: stack of selected fabrics.

Photo Sep 12, 8 59 30 AM

Prepared for paint, stencils, and screen printing.
photo 2 (2)

Painted, ready for embellishment, highlights, lining.

photo 1 (2)

See our stoles at


A Stole for Ordinary Time

Take my yoke upon you….for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

About 7 years ago, a Lutheran pastor and I discussed movement away from congregations owning buildings. We talked about a more flexible church. We chatted excitedly about moveable altars and banners and worshippers with electronic tablets, not hymnals, in hand. We talked about a church closer to daily life, a life of evangelism and stewardship. It was a great conversation between a Lutheran pastor and a Lutheran artist. And from that conversation came the vision for a different approach to vestments.

I have been dreaming of this stole for at least two years: a stole that proclaims the secular world in a sacred space.
heidi n bethheidi close up

The stole is made from cotton lawn, which has been dyed twice and then stenciled with both paint and ink. I chose the cotton lawn because it is a natural fiber, it is light weight, and it has a smooth weave for mark and print making. The small sequin tassels are constructed from cotton thread and sequins made from Mississippi River shells. They add weight to the hemline. The neckline is tied with yarn hand-dyed by my daughter.

The theme of the stole is journey and growth. I used screen prints of a labyrinth and an abstracted map, representing the roads we venture upon and the paths we walk in daily life. Leaves layered over and around the journey prints symbolize the growth that occurs before, during, and as a result of our travels. A cross appears in the lower right corner as a reminder that Christ calls us to new adventures. The three crosses near the heart represent our community in Christ.
I accordion-folded the neckline fabric, tied it securely with yarn, and let the fabric release into folds. Journey is expansive. The white circles of shell suggest path markers, or perhaps seeds. They are attached with knotted cotton cord. I often use knots in liturgical work, as they suggest work, completion, places to pause.

The stole weighs less than 4 ounces, less than half of many of the other stoles in my inventory. Weight is rarely a scale for evaluating a stole, but if a congregation is itinerant, that could become an important factor.