May God Be With You
Pastor Alois Schmitzer of Trinity Lutheran Evangelical Church & School in Jenera Ohio has retired. He has been pastor there since 1988, making it 32 years at this last call of forty years serving the Lord. His wife, Ruth Schmitzer [AKA Little Ruth] worked for us as a longarmer from the opening of Forever In Stitches 2004 through 2020 when we moved to Valparaiso Indiana.
Of course, we were thrilled when Norma R. of the retirement committee contacted Ruth Grihalva to make a memory quilt as a surprise for Alois' retirement service and dinner.
The retirement service was a separate church service, followed by a with dinner. Alois’ was held on Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. That means that there were two entirely different types of services that day. The worship service was officiated by seminary student Dan Sprain [their son-in-law] and the liturgist was Alois, himself. The retirement service was officiated by their son Rev. Silas Schmitzer with Prof. Andrew Naumann [their other son-in-law] as liturgist. All of their sons and daughters were able to attend the event.
When Ruth Grihalva was contacted, she first drew a conceptual drawing of the memorial quilt and sent it to the retirement committee for approval. After approval she then decided the techniques she would use.
Since there were no well-known quilting patterns for Luther’s seal, she searched the web for picture variations. I thought that simply printing the seal on fabric would be ideal. However, Ruth felt that doing it applique would add more of an artistic and personal feel to the wallhanging.
She then constructed the seal using applique over a background of pieced crosses. The crosses were constructed out of fabric that appeared as stained glass. These crosses are very subtle against the background.
The part that took the longest was the embroidery stitching of the black detail in the rose pedals on the seal.
Pastor Matthew Novak of Trinity provided the information for getting the professional picture of the chancel, or front of the church. Our son Peter then tracked down a high definition picture for printing. We then printed on fabric all of the information and the pictures of the church chancel on fabric.