Sunday, 20 March 2016

Lenten Stitches

It's that time again in the Lenten season when small squares
of fabric are collected from parishioners in our church and made
into a patchwork 'Fabric of Suffering'. Each piece of fabric represents
our worries and anxieties and sewn together and brought to the altar
on Good Friday, symbolizing our unity in suffering with Christ. It's a
tradition I find moving and heartening and has made Lent, especially
Holy Week, an even more special, hopeful and meaningful time for me.

And it's now a little tradition for me to embroider the fabric that we
bring to church.  I don't really have to but I like sewing by hand and
 I always love the quiet moments when I'm stitching and I think of
what this fabric means to me and my family. This year's embroidery was
inspired by Markie's school project which was a collage of the four seasons.
I thought it was very fitting - day in , day out, through the changing seasons,
we pray that we stay faithful, that we are happy, safe and healthy. It's all our
hopes, plans and dreams for 2016 in this small square of fabric.

I started by cutting out a paper template of a tree and traced this
on to the linen, chose the threads and stitches and did the sewing.

I used stitches I know well - back stitch, long and short stitch,
lazy daisy stitch, French knots - and one that's new to me -
cable chain stitch which I used for the snow in the winter tree.

The new stitch was from this dictionary, a beautiful and useful book
 I found in a charity shop ages ago. I'm always inspired whenever I
have a look at it and hopefully I'll have another stitchy project to
work on later in springtime or the summer.

I really enjoyed making this from start to finish and I am looking
forward to bringing it to church later in the morning. School breaks
up on Thursday so we can all go to church on Good Friday. We'll
see our fabric make up the garment with everyone else's. It will be
moving and beautiful and as always, I'm grateful that we can take part.

I hope you're all having a nice, relaxing weekend. It's cold again and
if it's the same where you are, I hope you stay warm and cosy today.
See you soon.

(You can see the previous years' Lenten stitches here and here)


  1. What a perfect piece of work. So personal to you all and I'm sure it will bring happiness to others when they see it too.
    Lisa x

  2. It's fabulous, what a wonderful contribution. It looks like a lovely book you picked up in the charity shop, I'm sure it will inspire you to learn lots of new stitches.

  3. That is a lovely tradition. I love your contribution, your stitches are so neat. That book looks like a good charity shop find!

  4. It is beautiful, Marion and your work is so neat. That book looks inspiring, what a find :-) xx

  5. Something I love about crafting and making is that we can pour our own thoughts and feelings in to what we make, as you have done Marion. What a delicate and lovely piece of embroidery X

  6. What a lovely tradition, that's really made me stop and think. And I know what you mean about the stillness and contemplation while your stitch something - that's why handmade gifts can be so meaningful, it's all the thoughts about the recipient that goes into the gift during the process of making it. xx

  7. Your stitching is so beautiful. I hope you had a wonderful Easter.x

  8. Marion, I am just catching up as I have been away. This is SUCH a moving post. I love the idea of a "Fabric of Suffering" for Good Friday and am now thinking about how it could work for my church next year. Thank you. And Happy Easter to you and your family. xx

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  11. lovely tradition, that's really made me stop and think.