Fabric Shawls

By Marlene

Sunflower Shawl Ministry in Nackawic, New Brunswick, Canada


I love to design on fabric and your shawl ministry has provided me with a much deeper outlet than just designing.  The shawl ministry has provided a creative outlet that I don't have to be concerned about selling or finding a market instead I can design and create with the knowledge that I hope to bless another person's life. 

 Creating is a spiritual experience, no matter what form and to me all creations come from God.  Creating a prayerful shawl for someone I know opens me up to God's designs for this person.  I have discovered such peace and contentment with this ministry that words can't describe how much my soul has been touched.  Not only am I using my gifts, that God gave me, but what I create will benefit another human being and hopefully bring them peace or warmth or comfort or all the above.

 Another thing I have discovered is how it empowers women.  I remember reading on page 52 of Knitting for Peace by Betty Christiansen a statement that you made Vicky:  "The blessings brought about by the prayer shawls are also threefold.  First, says Vicky, shawls honor the shawl makers:  "As women," she says, "we make handcrafts, we bake or crochet, and we say, 'Oh, it's nothing, just something I made.' But it's important not to dismiss what we can create.  You took time to make this."  Many women have come up to me and state I can't knit all that well or sew and my experience has been a little bit of encouragement from me to them, makes all the difference in the world.  After they have seen the shawls created from fabric and appliquéd, then they realize, 'oh, I can do that!'  So your shawl ministry is empowering women, thank you for that.


[click on the pictures to enlarge]


Desert shawl was created for a friend that is dry period, spiritually.  The butterfly, stem and leaf were appliqué using embroidery thread and the butterfly is resting, waiting but feeding or being fed.  The three hearts are appliqué as well, meaning Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Crosses are pearl beads and symbol of our Catholic faith.



Spring Shawl was created for a 21 year old young woman who has been diagnosed with cancer.  The colors used on the shawl are symbolic of Easter, spring-- when all blooms, hope of better things to come.  Butterflies--symbol of hope, color purple--symbol of faith, green--new growth.  The flowers I didn't embroidery because I don't believe she would want to see flowers at this time.  I suggested in my note that she use fabric crayons and color them in later.



Butterfly Shawl -----hope, beauty, transformation.  I created this shawl just to show women how they can take a piece of fabric and add to it by appliqué.  A lot of the beading is done in threes, there are six butterflies on the shawl, one on each side where the arms would be, one at the neck, two at the bottom reaching for the sky.  Fabric has lots of green in it for nature.





Return To Tip Sheet

Main Page