Monday, November 9, 2015


It is amazing how an insignificant thing like a manger, a feeding-trough for animals, can have such important meaning. Luke mentions the manger three times and this is the most known: “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)

From the day of His birth, Jesus was destined to die on our behalf. To accomplish his work as Savior, Jesus offered his body and blood as a sacrifice for us and by accepting that sacrifice we find salvation.
In the words of our Post Communion Prayer:
“Eternal God, Heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted us as living members of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. ...”
Thus, it is fitting that the Savior, at the start of his life, would be placed in a feeding-trough as a sign not only of who He is, but of how He will fulfill His purpose and effect our salvation.

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Es ist erstaunlich, wie eine unbedeutende Sache wie eine Krippe, eine Futtertrog für die Tiere, kann so eine wichtige Bedeutung haben. Lukas erwähnt der Krippe drei Mal, und dies ist die bekannteste: ". Und sie gebar ihren ersten Sohn und wickelte ihn in Windeln und legte ihn in eine Krippe, denn sie hatten sonst keinen Platz für sie in der Herberge" ( Lukas 2:7)Vom Tag seiner Geburt, Jesus war dazu bestimmt für uns zu sterben. Um seine Aufgabe als Erlöser zu erreichen, bot Jesus seinen Leib und sein Blut als Opfer für uns und durch die Annahme dieses Opfers finden wir Erlösung.In den Worten unseren Abendmahlgebetes: "Ewiger Gott, Vater im Himmel, du hast uns gnädig als lebendige Glieder deines Sohnes unseres Erlösers Jesus Christus angenommen, und hast uns geistige Nahrung im Sakrament seines Leibes und Blutes zugeführt ... "Somit ist es passend, dass der Heiland am Anfang seines Lebens in einem Futtertrog plaziert wurde als ein Zeichen nicht nur dafür wer Er war aber auch wie er seinen Zweck erfüllen und unser Heil bewirken wird. 

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Hope to have the pattern written in a few days. I need daylight for the pictures to be good. 

updated 12/27/2015:
And here is the PDF "Manger" for you to download.

Please do not sell the patterns of the ornaments. If you give them as gifts, please always include the explanation of the symbol.

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I am also a lacemaker and am working on what I have dreamed about for quite some time:
the Chrismons in Lace Series.
This is a design by Brigitte Bellon. She is incredible generous and allowed me to share her pattern here with you for your own personal use PDF “ Manger “

Here is my finished lace for my Advent calendar:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Making of the Cross-Stitch Chrismon Adventcalendar

My sister-in-law Jane has stitched the most beautiful things in the 40 years I am married to her brother ... but not lately. When I asked her about it (with a certain thought in my mind) she told me that she only likes to do it with a purpose, not just for the sake of stitching. No need to hang anything on her walls any more. I asked her whether she would stitch something for me.
James is one of five and the siblings had arranged to meet in Windsor England (their hometown) in January 2015. I assembled a "kit" and sent it with him. I had cut the little AIDA squares and it only needs three different DMC colors. I had found 15 different Chrismon patterns in these books:

In May Jane came to visit and it was an opportunity to stitch the rest of the Chrismons.

I designed 9 so there would be the 24 needed for the Adventcalendar. I had to hurry to stay ahead of Jane. I will share my design here later too (have to make nice drawings first).

After Jane's work was done, it was my turn. I borrowed last year's raffle wallhanging from the lucky winner to test the size, discovering that this design would not work.

But I had bought a pattern which I thought would work and went to work.

At that time I was not very familiar with paperpiecing so I cut the pieces ...

... numbered the fabrics I was going to use

... and cut the pieces with the 1/4 inch seam allowances. I used 505 spray basting on the back of the paper pattern so it wouldn't slip on the fabric. It worked really well.

Trying out the size. I think it will work well.

I bought 24 of the little round frames at a craft store. Ladies at an ECW workshop cut out 24 circles from quilting batting the size of the white backs and also the numbers drawn mirror image on the back of the cream fabric prepared with iron-on material.

The green circle got running stitches all around.

This part was easy: green fabric circle good side down, batting, white back, pull tight and knot. Iron on the numbers.
The layering: frame front down, clear plastic circle, stitching face down (cut into a circle by using one of the clear circles for fussy cutting and drawing around it), a circle of batting and the back. Since I made a booklet with the explanations I had to be sure to put the correct number with the Chrismon.
Still laying face down I pressed the back down and dripped super glue all around but carefully and sparingly.

The finished wall quilt. My husband is holding it up.
It can be used year-round without the Chrismons.

Advent calendars are originally a German custom. Ornaments are numbered from 1 to 24 which means you turn # 1 over on the 1st of December (#2 on 2nd of December etc) to reveal (in this case) a Chrismon, a symbol which reminds us of the real meaning of Christmas.

On the back is a pocket with a little booklet explaining each day's symbol.

This is the ECW (Episcopal Church Women) of St Martin's 2015 raffle. For a donation of $5 you get 1 chance to win this treasure (yes, I am very happy with the results) or for $10 you get 3 tickets.
The money raised is for a good cause and ... you could win it. Somebody will go home with it (or gets it mailed) !!! If you would like to have a try, you could mail a check to:
St Martin's Episcopal Church
Attn: Christa
9000 St Martin's Lane
Richmond, VA 23294
I promise I will take care of it and your ticket(s) will be in the box. The drawing is on Sunday November 15.

If you would like to make one for yourselves and have a question, feel free to contact me.