Please Note: This archived page has not been updated since December 2013. For current information, please use the New Home link below to vist our current Home Page.
Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St., Honolulu, HI 96822; ELCA; 808-941-2566
 

New Home Worship Congregational Life Spiritual Resources Children and Youth Adult Education and Small Groups Music Social Ministries Newsletter Legacy Home

Pictures and Descriptions of the Pew Cushions

(Click on any cushion to view a larger version.)

The Man Who Said No

by Penny Lawhn

Pew Cushion: 'The Man Who Said No'Approximate date finished: November 30, 2010

Story/description of the pillow: Children are always warned of the consequences of not doing what was asked of them.  Jonah found this out when God asked that he preach at Ninevah and warn them to stop their evil ways. Jonah didn’t want to be the bearer of such news, so he ran away to sea.   A huge storm engulfed the boat, and the frightened sailors threw Jonah overboard, and he would have drowned, but he was swallowed by a big fish. For three days he lay in the stomach of that fish and prayed.  He finally decided to do as God wished, and the fish threw him out on a beach.  That picture captured my imagination.

I had found some hanks of space dyed yarn in blues in my sewing basket and decided that would make interesting waves. and so I began to sketch.

Had you needlepointed before? Yes.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? I  used a lot of long stitches in this piece:  gobelin for the waves, to take advantage of the space dyed yarn,  criss-cross for the foam, random long stitch for the wave carrying Jonah out of the mouth of the fish, more long stitches for the border, and brick stitch for the sky.  Basic continental was used for details.  Can’t remember what else was used, but it was fun.

Top of Page

Our Ark

by Linda Miller

Pew Cushion: 'Our Ark'Approximate date finished: July 22, 2010

Story/description of the pillow: I started out with the idea of having a large Ark covering most of the canvas. I wanted to honor the concert the children of LCH have every year to buy an Ark of animals from Heifer International. However, as the project evolved and the world seemed to have more and more problems, the waves and the threatening sky took over most of the canvas. Now I think of this pillow as a tribute to LCH as a refuge for us all in a troubled world.

Had you needlepointed before? Yes, 6th pillow for LCH.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Milanese, basketweave, Byzantine, mosaic.

Top of Page

Narnia: Creation

by Stephanie Luuloa

Pew Cushion: 'Narnia: Creation'Approximate date finished: May 24, 2010

Story/description of the pillow: It depicts the creation of the new world, “Narnia,” by Aslan’s breath and footsteps. You can also fine the rings under the lamp post that the children used to get to Narnia at the very beginning of time.

Symbolism: I didn’t realize it at first, but there is some Buddhism represented with Aslan’s footprints. In the book The Magician’s Nephew, Aslan creates the world with his breath, so you will see that as well represented.

Inspiration: I love the books The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and wanted to share and give people the opportunity to discover the books for themselves.

Had you needlepointed before? Yes, I made one other pillow for the Church.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? A lot of basket weave and some others; I can’t remember what each is called.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? It might not feel as if anything is being accomplished but with every stitch more and more is completed.

Top of Page

Joseph and God’s Hidden Ways

by Penny Lawhn

Pew Cushion: 'Joseph and God’s Hidden Ways'Approximate date finished: May 24, 2010

Story/description of the pillow: As a child I heard the story of Joseph as one of sibling rivalry.  Only later did I learn that is a story of forgiveness.  I show this as the young Joseph standing over the Valley of the Shadow of Death pointing into the far future where he will forgive his eleven brothers (represented by the eleven rocks on the mountain) for throwing him into the well and reporting him as dead.  “But Joseph said to them, ... Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good...” (Gen 50:19–20)

Had you needlepointed before? Yes

What stitches did you use in the pillow? I used a leaf stitch for the trees, a large rice stitch for the mountain, crosses for the plains, Gobelin for the sky, Gobelin filling stitch for the top of the cliff, double cross for the large rock, tent stitch... and I really can’t remember what else.  I just had a lot of fun trying different things.

Top of Page

Tree of Life

by Penny Lawhn

Pew Cushion: 'Tree of Life'Approximate date finished: February 19, 2010

Story/description of the pillow: Circles have been used to create the Tree of Life. It is rooted in the church and reaches up to the cross. The Holy Spirit streams between the church and the star through the Tree, indicating the interdependence of the three. The fruit of the tree is...children. The Holy Spirit shines throughout the children and the star-like flowers. The color of the heartwood tinges the leaves. The colors divide the canvas into two parts, “circles,” again indicating interdependence, springing from the cross, forming the roots of the church, and becoming the stuff of the Tree.

Had you needlepointed before? Yes

What stitches did you use in the pillow? A lovely textured stitch called Double Crosses was used for the tree, Star stitches were used for the Holy Spirit and the flowers, and lots and lots of basketweave were used for the rest.

Top of Page

Gayle’s Pillow

by Gayle Shine and the rest of the In Stitches people

Pew Cushion: 'Title'Approximate date finished: January 2009

Story/description of the pillow: Gayle Shine was a member of the In Stitches craft group and an artist. She designed and painted a canvas with beautiful anthuriums and then started to stitch it. We had a lot of fun at our craft meetings and a lot of laughs, but, you know, Gayle really didn’t like to needle point that much, and the progress was slow. She came for the fellowship.

Gayle got sick and died suddenly and the group knew that we had to finish her pillow. We passed it around from member to member until we had done the best we could to bring her vision to reality. So here is her pillow in memory of the many hours of laughter we shared.


Top of Page

World AIDS Day 2007

by Ray Herradura, Linda Miller, and Audrey Keller

Pew Cushion: 'World AIDS Day 2007'Approximate date finished: April 2008

Story/description of the pillow: Ray wanted to have a pillow to commemorate the display of quilts we hosted in our church on World AIDS Day in December. Audrey wanted to stitch a pillow but didn't want to design one. Ray came up with the design, Linda transferred it to the canvas and did a little of the stitching, and Audrey did the rest of the stitching and added the flowers for balance. It was truly a group effort.

Symbolism: The red ribbon is to remember AIDS victims, and the central square is a stylized version of the stain glass window at the back of our church.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? It is mostly mosaic and basket weave.

Top of Page

Observe the Birds of the Field

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Observe the Birds of the Field'Approximate date finished: October 20, 2007

Story/description of the pillow: Celtic design of birds plucking fruit.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Double Mosiac, Diagonal Mosiac, Continental, and a variation of the Kennan stitch for the picture frame.


Top of Page

The Lutheran Rose

by Peggy Anderson and Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'The Lutheran Rose'Approximate date finished: Summer 2007

Story/description of the pillow: “The Lutheran Rose” was my inspiration. Colors were difficult to work with; the swirl pattern represents the energy—and spirit—that we receive from God.

Inspiration: This has always been a special significance of being a Lutheran.


Symbolism: I remember this poem:

We proudly bear as banner

A cross within the heart,

To show that we have chosen

Christ, the better part.

Then joy, and peace, and comfort

Shall blossom as a rose,

Until our earthly blessings

The worth of heaven disclose.

Motivation: The opportunity it would present for members to come together and share.

Had you needlepointed before? Not at this level.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? Lack of understanding of the “total” project. Lack of sufficient preparation of knowledge and motivation for such a long time project.

Top of Page

Under My Wings

by Linda Miller

Pew Cushion: 'Under My Wings'Approximate date finished: January 2007

Story/description of the pillow: I’ve long been attracted to the few images in the Bible of God the Mother of us all, so I wanted to have that kind of an image in one of the pillows.

Symbolism: God is portrayed in this image as a Mother Hen gathering Her chicks under the protection of Her wings.  I stitched the LCH on three of the chicks to emphasis this relationship.  In the background I included two of the references in the Bible to this image for those who are not familiar with it.

Inspiration: I used a mosaic from a church in Jerusalem as a model.

Had you needlepointed before? 5th pillow

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basket weave, mosaic, continental, cashmere, and a little flower stitch I can’t find again

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? I learned that not too many people are familiar with the “Holy Chicken,” so I'm glad we’ll have Her in LCH.

Top of Page

Frank Lloyd Wright in Stitches

by Kathy Crosier

Pew Cushion: 'Frank Lloyd Wright in Stitches'Approximate date finished: Advent 2006

Story/description of the pillow: We’ve had a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass coloring book in our library for several years, and I never knew what we would do with it. This design is based on a stained glass piece by Frank Lloyd Wright in Glasner House, Glencoe, Illinois. Wright is generally acknowledged as America’s most original architect.  The work includes Wright’s interpretation of geometrics and abstractions from nature.

Symbolism: The LCH symbol is in the lower part of the window and is accomplished merely by variations in stitches, but it is made of a solitary color (ivory).

Motivation: I actually started this cushion while sitting at the hospital bedside of our son last May. I deliberately brought the needlepoint project along to fill the long hours of sitting around. Many hospital workers came by and made comments like “My mother used to needlepoint” and “What is it?” It was an opportunity to tell people about the needlepoint cushions at LCH.

Had you needlepointed before? 7th pillow

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave, mosaic, bargello, and Scotch checked

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? As with all my previous cushions, I scanned the design from the coloring book into the computer and sized it to fit the correct dimensions. Then I tried several different color combinations on paper first, using crayons and colored pencil. I learned, unfortunately, that I had used too many different types of stitches and it looks a little busy.

Top of Page

LCH 7 X 8

by Kathy Crosier

Pew Cushion: 'LCH 7 X 8'Approximate date finished: Spring 2005

Story/description of the pillow: I was looking at the internet for artwork for our condo and was attracted to the pieces in which a single design was repeated over and over in contrasting colors. I decided to try the same cubist technique with the LCH logo.

Motivation: As for motivation, I guess it has become an obsession to keep creating.

Had you needlepointed before? 6th pillow

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave alternating with mosaic

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? As in previous pillow, I experimented with the colors on paper many times before actually putting down the first stitch.

Top of Page

Ferns

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Ferns'Approximate date finished: 2005

Story/description of the pillow: The design is adapted from a rug design and was chosen because it was an exercise in a style I had not previously tried.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Continental, diagonal mosaic, straight line Byzantine to define the H in LCH

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? I found I enjoyed executing more structured designs rather than free-flowing patterns.

Top of Page

’Tis a Gift to be Simple

by Audrey Keller

Pew Cushion: '’Tis a Gift to be Simple'Approximate date finished: March 2005

Story/description of the pillow: No plan—just began stitching while recuperating—seemed like I couldn’t be creative!

Motivation: To finish it before we were going to the mainland.

Had you needlepointed before? Yes

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? How to do the little flowers?

Top of Page

Endless Connections

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Endless Connections'Approximate date finished: 2004

Story/description of the pillow: Celtic patters. The four blocks have a pattern created by super-imposed octagons that results in crosses and squares. The negative and positive use of colors in the pattern illustrates how the same design is altered by the color choice.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Box for boarder, continental, modified mosaic.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? I enjoy executing a complicated, precise pattern, though it is frustrating when mistakes creep in.

Top of Page

Sine Nomine

by Biz Person

Pew Cushion: 'Sine Nomine'Approximate date finished: February 2005

Symbolism: The block patterns have Biblical names.

Inspiration: My quilting background.

Had you needlepointed before? Minimally

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Continental, Byzantine, Hungarian, checkerboard cross, mosaic, Milanese, Cashmere, Scotch checker, brick.

Top of Page

Out of the Void

by Dot Hutchinson and Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Out of the Void'Approximate date finished: August 2004

Symbolism: The Celtic repeating pattern utilized for the body of the pillow reminds one of the swirling gases and constellations on our universe.

Had you needlepointed before? Yes

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basket weave, Border is inspired by Hungarian, Mosaic.

Top of Page

Welcome to LCH

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Welcome to LCH'Approximate date finished: May 2004

Story/Description: Guests at LCH are welcomed each Sunday with orchid lei. The design grows out of the LCH mission statement, borrowing literally from a United Airlines magazine advertisement.

Had you needlepointed before? Yes

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Mosaic, diagonal mosaic, variation on Milanese

Top of Page

St. John Passion

by Kathy Crosier

Pew Cushion: 'St. John Passion'Approximate date finished: August 2004

Story/Description: The LCH Choir presented two performances of the St. John Passion on March 12 and 13, 2004. I actually started working on this during the rehearsals.

Symbolism: The left side shows the dying Jesus with his mother Mary, and the disciple John. These three figures are central characters in the St. John Passion. In fact this graphic was used for the “logo” in the printed concert program. The right side has hundreds of crosses, in addition to a larger celtic cross.

Inspiration: Since I had already created a St. Matthew Passion pillow, I thought I had better do one to create one to commemorate the St. John Passion.

Had you needlepointed before? 5th cushion

What stitches did you use in the pillow? For Jesus’ skin, I used the mosaic stitch facing in opposite directions to create the look of flesh torn by whips and torture.

Top of Page

Untitled

by Audrey Keller

Pew Cushion: 'Untitled'Approximate date finished: March 2003

Story/description of the pillow: As I pondered how/what to do with a blank canvas as a first time stitchery, the fish on my lanai table cloth came to the rescue.

Symbolism: The fish symbol from early Christians proclaims “Jesus Christ, God's Son, our Savior.”

Inspiration: The tie between island life and the Christian symbol.

Had you needlepointed before? No.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? An early mis-stitch makes trouble later on.

Top of Page

In Celebration

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'In Celebration'Approximate date finished: November 2003

Story/description of the pillow: Robert and Ray blessed us all with the blessing of their union in 2002.

Symbolism: Two hearts joined as one. Two people become as one.

Inspiration: Celtic designs modified to celebrate this first blessing ceremony at LCH.

Had you needlepointed before? Seventh cushion.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Continental, modified Byzantine.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? Counting, counting, counting.

Top of Page

Untitled #2

by Maire Saarinen

Pew Cushion: 'Untitled #2'Approximate date finished: February 2004

Inspiration/Description: Anthurium leaves evolved into hearts. Some hearts look like they have been wounded; wounded by a spoken world or by some sad event in a person’s life.


Later, I found a poem by Carole Mayhall:

Create in me a caring heart
tender towards the hurts and happenings of others,
more concerned with their needs than my own....
Create in me a content heart
at peace with the circumstances of life.

That is the message of this pillow.

Top of Page

J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion

by Kathy Crosier

Pew Cushion: 'J. S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion'Approximate date finished: Feb. 1, 2004

Story/description of the pillow: Johann Sebastian Bach is in the center, with his name above, and the dates of LCH’s St. Matthew Passion concerts below, surrounded by a floral border.

Symbolism: In my home office, I have a poster of artist David Lance Goines’ depiction of the four gospels with the name BACH at the bottom. After staring at it for a long time, I realized I could superimpose the letters LCH over the BACH.

Inspiration: While digging through the rag bag, I found an old T-Shirt which had a bust of Bach surrounded by a floral border. I actually copied Bach’s picture from this T-shirt onto some tracing paper. The floral border I found in a book of cross-stitch patterns and adapted it to the 13-gauge needlepoint canvas.

Motivation: LCH’s performances of the St. Matthew Passion on March 31 and April 1, 2000 were a watershed moment for our congregation. I thought it was important to memorialize these concerts in a cushion. The music at our church has often been identified with the works of J. S. Bach.

Had you needlepointed before? 4th cushion.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Mosaic, checkered mosaic, basketweave, bargello (combination of long and short stitches to form background).

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? This was actually the first cushion I did which used all seven colors of the palette. I was very nervous about doing Bach’s face, and even gave him blue eyes (which I know now is incorrect—he had brown eyes!).

Top of Page

Custodi Nos, Domine

by Nedra Walker

Pew Cushion: 'Custodi Nos, Domine'Approximate date finished: October 2003

Story/description of the pillow: The ancient neume is symbolic of much of the music sung at LCH. The dove, of course, is symbolic of peace. The music overlaying LCH in the center symbolizes that, while music is not everything at LCH, they cannot be separated.

Symbolism: Music is so intrinsic to LCH that stitching a tribute seemed to me to be a natural.

Inspiration: I like this particular chant because I believe it is a universal prayer—everyone wants love and protection. It is special to me as it is often sung by a dear friend, and it became a personal tribute to my friend.

Had you needlepointed before? No.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave, mosaic, and basic embroidery.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? I learned that some stitching errors can actually be used to an advantage.

Top of Page

Celtic Pattern with Maze

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Celtic Pattern with Maze'Approximate date finished: September 2003

Story/description of the pillow: The design for the maze came from the internet. The Celtic pattern was adapted from a design book published by Dover Press.

Symbolism: The Maze is an ancient device for meditation. It can now entertain some young attendees during long sermons.

Inspiration: My mother’s love of flowers and stitching.

Had you needlepointed before? Pillow #6.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Irregular Byzantine, Jacquard, Mosaic, Diagonal Mosaic, Continental, Basketweave.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? I decided to make this pillow using only two colors, blue and pea green (with two additional colors for accents). The color interest is limited but the pattern is complex. The accent colors bring emphasis to the crosses built into the design.

Top of Page

Eight Sacred Symbols

by Linda Miller

Pew Cushion: 'Eight Sacred Symbols'Approximate date finished: September 2003

Story/description of the pillow: I wanted to include Buddhist symbolism in the series of pillows I've made for the church. I got the motifs from a book of Chinese rug designs.

Symbolism: The eight symbols are standard iconography in Buddhism but as I was working them I meditated on their possible meaning within a Christian context. The latticework in the middle is a combination of circles and squares for heaven and earth.

Motivation: I believe we include many kinds of faith in our church. As the cultures of the world learn to live together, I feel we can see the beauty and importance of the symbols of other faiths. This pillow is my tribute to the rich heritage of China.

Had you needlepointed before? This is my fourth pillow for the church..

What stitches did you use in the pillow? In order to get detail, most of the pillow is in basketweave. I also used mosaic and a modified braided stitch.

Top of Page

Vanita’s Garden

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Vanita’s Garden'Approximate date finished: July 1, 2003

Story/description of the pillow: My mother, Vanita Helms, had flower gardens for the last 55 years There were many Sundays when her flowers were in church, a gift of the work of her hands. This pillow is in remembrance of her. The flower patterns were grouped around a reference to the rose window at LCH. The design was purposely made to be viewed with both sides being the right side up.

Symbolism: None.

Inspiration: My mother’s love of flowers and stitching.

Had you needlepointed before? Pillow #5.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave, Continental, Lazy Susan, Grounded Byzantine, Mosaic, Framed Mosaic, Diagonal Mosaic, Outline Stitch.

Top of Page

Hawaiian Genesis

by Carol Langner

Pew Cushion: 'Hawaiian Genesis'Approximate date finished: June, 2003

Story/description of the pillow: This pillow combines my love of the islands with my aloha for LCH. Colors and patterns suggest the land, sea and sky of Hawaii, centering on the initials LCH.

Symbolism: The creation of the Earth—land, seas and all the creatures—is such a potent symbol in both Biblical and Hawaiian traditions. The artistry of Divine energy, God, is mirrored in human creativity, whether the making of beautiful objects or of life-giving relationships and communities.

Inspiration: Starting with a blank canvas and blank mind, the design developed as the stitching progressed. The colors initially suggested a Hawaiian theme and I have always loved the patterns of aerial photographs of agricultural sites.

Motivation: I wanted to be part of a group whose goal is to create something useful and beautiful for LCH. This is a very time consuming activity, but both the fellowship and final pew cushions are well worth the effort.

Had you needlepointed before? No, this is a new activity for me.

Top of Page

The Four Gospels

by Linda Miller

Pew Cushion: 'The Four Gospels'Approximate date finished: June, 2003

Story/description of the pillow: This pillow has the symbols for the four gospels “flying” out of LCH. The symbols are taken from Celtic illustrations.

Symbolism: The lion is St. Mark, the man/angel is St. Matthew, the bull is St. Luke and the eagle is St. John.

Inspiration: I found of book of counted cross-stitch patterns of Celtic designs.

Motivation: I wanted to do a boarder of endless knot braiding. After that I needed an inside that would continue the Celtic idea.

Had you needlepointed before? This is my third pillow for the church.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? It is mostly basket weave and mosaic with a braided stitch I adapted from somewhere.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? I had to adapt motifs that didn’t quite fit the space and keep them balanced in color and size. Also the two color endless knot border had to come out exactly even around the whole pillow! This was not easy.

Top of Page

Luther Blooms at LCH

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Luther Blooms at LCH'Approximate date finished: June 15, 2003

Story/description and symbolism of the pillow: The outline of the stylized rose is taken from the Luther Seal and reminds me of the hymn, “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.” In the center is the heart and cross from the Luther Seal intermingled with the LCH logo, symbolizing the development of Christ's love in our church community through his sacrifice.

The border is an adaptation of a Celtic design.

The triangular stitching (Milanese) to and from each of the four corners symbolizes the outreach of our congregation and the gathering together for worship and inspiration.

Inspiration: The Luther Seal has been an ever-present symbol in my life since childhood. When I was confirmed we were presented with a lapel pin of the Seal which I wore for years. The Seal is a visible link between our present-day church and our courageous founder, Martin Luther.

Motivation: Plane travel is a great time to stitch. Work and holiday takes me out of state regularly and I enjoy taking along this creative project for the church.

Had you needlepointed before? Cushion # 4

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave, Bargello Line Pattern, Wild Goose Chase, Milanese (altered)

Top of Page

Waves

by Katherine Crosier

Pew Cushion: 'Waves'Approximate date finished: May 2003

Story/description of the pillow: Swirls and waves of greens, blues, and an occasional ivory are used in this canvas.

Symbolism: Someone suggested that the LCH in the center is awash in the middle of waves, changing and evolving amid social developments, yet an island unto itself.

Inspiration: I found this design as stained glass then scanned it into the computer. Then I enlarged it and made at least a dozen attempts at making a paper model, trying all different colors.

Motivation: I really liked the design and was determined to see it adapted to the needlepoint canvas.

Had you needlepointed before? 3rd cushion

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave and more basketweave! For the center, I used the Moorish stitch, which is a combination of short and long stitches.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? Patience! It took much longer and was more tedious that I ever imagined.

Top of Page

Country Delights

by Katherine Crosier

Pew Cushion: 'Country Delights'Approximate date finished: New Year’s Day, January 1, 2003

Story/description of the pillow: I was looking through Internet Web sites looking for decorative needlepoint stitches and found these designs based on traditional quilt patterns.

Symbolism: There really isn’t any symbolism in this cushion; just two quilt patterns done in varying colors.

Inspiration: Two quilt patters were used: “Farmer’s Daughter” and “Christmas Star.” I decided upon these based on the number of stitches in the pattern.

Motivation: Once I did one cushion, I was eager to start another.

Had you needlepointed before? 2nd cushion

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Byzantine, basketweave, and bargello.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? This was my first attempt to count stitches in the canvas to make the pattern and I found it extremely frustrating and easily prone to mistakes.

Top of Page

Star!

by Katherine Crosier

Pew Cushion: 'Star!'Approximate date finished: October 24, 2002. I remember this date because it was my birthday.

Story/description of the pillow: I wanted something fairly easy to do for my first project and decided to divide the canvas into square and rectangular blocks. I thought that the logo (center) ought to be the focus, so fairly early on I added the pointed star.

Symbolism: The LCH in the center is multi-hued just like the many different personalities which make up our congregation.

Inspiration: Simplicity was my goal.

Motivation: I wasn’t sure that I had the time to do this and quite frankly had told myself that I would support the group in spirit but not do a cushion myself. But once I started, I was absolutely hooked!

Had you needlepointed before? No

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave, mosaic, Byzantine, and Scotch checked.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? It was a huge challenge to determine the angles needed to do the star which I worked on fairly early. Once I did that, though, I was on my way.

Top of Page

Coptic Crosses

by Linda Miller

Pew Cushion: 'Coptic Crosses'Approximate date finished: February 2003

Story/description of the pillow: I was working on my first pillow as I was touring Egypt and I keep thinking what a great pillow I could make with the pattern I was seeing in Coptic and Greek Orthodox art. I hope it evokes an old Eastern Orthodox Church with icons and incense.

Symbolism: This pillow has crosses within crosses even down to using cross-stitch for much of the background. The use of mosaic stitch is a tribute to the ancient Christian mosaics I was able to see. I also wanted the opulence of the Eastern Church to come through in the texture of the stitches.

Inspiration: Early Christian manuscript illustrations

Motivation: I want to use these pillows to show the diversity of faith expressions available to humanity.

Had you needlepointed before? Yes, this is pillow #2.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave, Continental, Cross-stitch, Mosaic and Bargello.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? I came to appreciate how powerful a symbol the cross can be. It was an extremely centering experience focusing on these crosses for the months it took to finish the pillow.

Top of Page

Crazy Quilt

by Barbara Lee and Linda Miller

Pew Cushion: 'Crazy Quilt'Approximate date finished: November 2002

Story/description of the pillow: Barbara started this pillow as a project she could work on during her one-week spring break. It was meant to be a nonsensical sampler of various needlepoint stitches. Barbara finished about a third of the pillow! Much of my part of the work was done in a bus during a trip into the Sinai Desert.

Symbolism: To me the pattern came to symbolize the diversity of our congregation—many very different people bound together by LCH.

Had you needlepointed before? Yes, I did a lot of needlepoint about 20 years ago in Iowa when my children were little.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave, Mosaic, Continental, Byzantine, Cashmere, Cross-stitch, Scottish, Plait, Milanese, Moorish, Rice, Hungarian, Parisian and probably some others I’ve forgotten. There is also an embroidery overstitching.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? Since I did not design this pillow one challenge was to finish it in a way that was respectful of Barbara’s work. I found true randomness too unsettling, so I cheated and introduced symmetry of color and shape. I feel I grew closer to Barbara while stitching this pillow.

Top of Page

Jeffrey and Friends

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Jeffrey and Friends'Approximate date finished: May 2003

Story/description of the pillow: I became intrigued with a Celtic pattern book owned by Linda Miller and asked to copy out a few of the patterns. Two were selected for the pillow...the cat that twists its body to create a corner border, and a geometric pattern that exactly fit the center square.

Inspiration: At the time, the Choir was rehearsing Britten’s “Rejoice in the Lamb,” where the librettist talks at length about his cat “Jeffrey.” So Jeffrey and his friends became part of the pillow.

Had you needlepointed before? Pillow #3

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave, Diagonal Mosaic, and Continental.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? This was the first detailed pattern I had followed and I had to learn to accurately count stitches. The next time I will have a better idea how to approach these types of patterns so I don’t have to remove and redo so many stitches.

Top of Page

Pipe Organ at LCH

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Pipe Organ at LCH'Approximate date finished: August 2002

Story/description of the pillow: The design was adapted from the line drawing of the von Beckerath pipe organ at LCH. It is not a portrait, as certain alterations had to be made to incorporate the LCH box and items that did not translate well into a needlepoint rendition. The instrument is none-the-less recognizable.

Symbolism: The cushion is a tribute to the role this fine pipe organ has had in the music and worship life at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu.

Motivation: For a few short years while in college and graduate school I worked for pipe organ builders. The instrument has been love of mine since I first studied organ.

Had you needlepointed before? 2nd cushion.

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Padded Bargello (to recreate the pipes), Mosaic, Checkerboard Cross (draw knobs), Basketweave. This was my first experiment using mixed thread colors (beige and pea green for the background) which added a new color dimension to the palette possibilities.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? Patience. Several sections were stitched and taken out, stitched and taken out, until they were at least almost right. I kept telling myself the standard of the Turkish rugmakers...“Only God makes perfect.”

Top of Page

Sampler

by Roy Helms

Pew Cushion: 'Sampler'Approximate date finished: I have lost all track of time. About 1 1/2 months after we started. (Early summer 2003)

Story/description of the pillow: I found myself holding a blank canvas with no idea where or how to begin to design a pillow. So I just started following a very simple plan: utilize every stitch we were being taught and put together every color combination of the yarns to see how they worked together. The design grew organically and the more I stitched, the more ideas I got about designs for future cushions.

Inspiration: This was truly a practice canvas.

Motivation: To learn the stitches and to get done.

Had you needlepointed before? No

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Basketweave, Byzantine, Checkerboard Cross, Diagonal Upright Cross, Hungarian, Mosaic.

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? I came to see that stitching is very Zen. I feel the process needs to be more enjoyable than the product in order to be successful. I found I enjoyed stitching and it is a very real connection to my family...they always had handwork when visiting or watching TV. Being productive and making good use of time were important values to them and I connected with those concepts I had observed for so many years.

Top of Page

Untitled

by Maire Saarinen

Pew Cushion: 'Untitled'Approximate date finished: February 2003

Story/description of the pillow: By this time I was at peace with the medium and its limitations. I was living in a hectic world and demanded instant results. This needlepoint project forced me to slow down. I realized that I don’t always need to be in a hurry.


Top of Page

My Journey

by Maire Saarinen

Pew Cushion: 'My Journey'Approximate date finished: December 2002

Story/description of the pillow: I had not done needlepoint before. But I had taken art lessons. So I used the same approach to this canvas. I used different colors and shapes without really knowing how the finished product would look like.


Top of Page

The Trinity

by Stephanie Miller

Pew Cushion: 'The Trinity'Approximate date finished: The week before The Art Sunday (mid-February, 2003)

Story/description of the pillow: When we decided to put something in the center it only felt natural to me to have some type of sunbeam coming from the center to imitate the glow behind an angel. I was going to have rays coming from all directions, but the top and bottom seemed too narrow and after I’d finished sketching the six main rays the others didn’t seem to fit and a new idea of the trinity emerged. Then I started to insert patterns of three rows, but didn’t have any idea what I was going to do for the center even after I knew what the parameters were. Finally I settled on the rings to symbolize the Father (brown) the Son (Gold) and the Holy Spirit (Yellow). Only after I decided on those rings did I find out that it really is a religious symbol.

Had you needlepointed before? No

What stitches did you use in the pillow? Don’t know

What lessons did you learn or challenges did you overcome in stitching this pillow? I learned patience, that anyone can be creative (even the ones who insist that they are not), and that it is fun.

Top of Page


Valid HTML 4.01 TransitionalCopyright © 2008 Lutheran Church of Honolulu
Comments welcome at webmaster@lchwelcome.org