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He Did This For You

At this time of year, I remember what I was sewing in the weeks leading up to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday...

I do believe, that of all that I've sewn over 60 years now of sewing, pretty much non-stop, that creating some church banners in the early 2000's was one of the most rewarding things I ever designed and stitched. I wonder if the banners are still in existence, but that really doesn't matter, as - for me - the creating of them was a blessed experience, and in a way - worship and praise for what Jesus did for me.  

Here is one, and I remember yet 2 more - but my computer will have to re-discover them in order for me to share. We shall see.... Anyway, enjoy this one and the process I share below.

What Christ did for us…

Inspired by the cover to Max Lucado’s book, He Chose The Nails, as suggested by my son, Jeff, I set out to re-create this look of a cross of nails and thorns. I actually purchased big old nails at the hardware store – and begged a church farmer friend for barbed wire to do it exactly as on the book cover, but that didn’t turn out to be quite the look I was really looking for – anyway, I work better with fabric than wire and nails…..

So, back into the upholstery boxes where I found a grey coarsely woven fabric from which I cut 9″ long x 3″ wide pieces with a point at one end. I folded the long edges into the center and stitched a straight line. Then I inserted a wire so that I could later bend and twist it, and then pulled up both folded edges to the center back and hand stitched to create a “round” nail. Adding a folded square of fabric on top by hand created the head to the nail. I think I made about 11 nails.

God worked it out that I ran into a friend while shopping. I was telling her about my work and wishing I could find real thorns for the “crown” and she said there was a haw-thorn tree in her back yard!! So – a trip to snip from that tree provided all I needed for fashioning the thorns. I wired the thorns together into a crown and stitched them down, once I had decided upon final place-ment and snipped off the backmost thorns so that it would lie flat against the background.

For the background, I selected from our sale fabrics this off-white wool crepe gauze, layered it on quilt batting and stipple quilted all over it.

My son selected the font from the computer, sized it and flipped it horizontally so that I could just trace the letters onto Steam a Seam 2 without having to flip them myself – truly cool! (Have you tried Steam A Seam 2 yet? It is this great stuff like Stitch Witchery – BUT, it has paper on both sides, and is tacky enough to adhere temporarily with just a touch – then when you have it exactly where you want it, you fuse with the iron!! Truly a cool new notion!!!) I had envisioned the cross in the center of the hanging all along, but Jeff convinced me to set the cross off to the left and right justify the lettering. He has a real eye – I highly suggest not trying to make all the decisions of banners by yourself! Solicit the help and talents of others in your family, and in your church!

A textured, striped rayon that I padded and added to the sides and for top tabs created the side and lowermost binding. The bottom shape of the banner was also decided by laying string down until I was pleased. I think the shape conveys part of the severity of the sacrifice of Christ as well.

No stain in hand, I used shoe polish and a rag to stain the rod – a 1″ dowel – and the finials. All purchased at Lowe’s hardware store. I plan to use the same finials on other rods, decreasing the expense, as they just screw in.”


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