Saturday, June 20, 2015

Scarves of Pride

A graduation sash/stole has a important role played in a graduation ceremony. The sashes, stoles and scarves are meant to depict various forms of meanings such as being a member of a specific organization in school, to honor accomplishments or to show gratitude. They are considered to be a way for the graduating students to reveal their gratitude and appreciation of the ones who have assisted with their needs during their educational life: " Thanks for helping me make it through. Thanks for making it possible for me to succeed. I didn't do this alone."

Each graduating class of Women's Empowerment chooses a  signature color for the scarves they are to wear during the ceremony. The scarves are passed on from sister to sister as they enter the stage. I have been privileged to make two sessions' scarves.  It's another way for me to give back to this wonderful organization for homeless women who are striving to better themselves technically, emotionally and spiritually.

Here's the "How-to"...

This session my dear friend and collaborator Suzan, aka Fabriclady from Stonemoutain and Daughter Fabrics donated a lovely stretch lace fabric in "Magenta", the chosen color for Session 59 grads. There was about 8 or 9 yards on the bolt, so I hoped there would be enough for the 24 scarves.

I used my entryway floor tiles as a way to size and cut the fabric...

 I used purple thread to serge the edges - purple is Women's Empowerment's logo color.

Once the scarves were cut and serged, I embellished one side with jewels to add some sparkle. Some jewels needed adhesive and other were supposed to be self adhesive.  (I use the term loosely as I saw several ladies with little jewels stuck on their cheeks...must have fallen off during the ceremony) So use the glue!

The embellishments were only added to one side of the scarf, to give meaning to the notion that the ladies change during the 8 week program...

And here's the story..

Graduation ceremonies at Women's Empowerment are a three hankie morning. Listening to the personal stories of overcoming adversity and fighting through struggles is a sort of "rising out of the ashes" triumph for many of these women. They emerge from the intense 8 week program with a new hope for the future, literally "empowered" to change their destiny. In the words of one graduate, "I am no longer defined by my past".

The success of Women's Empowerment is well established in the community, and they take notice of the accomplishments of these women in the public media, noting that many of them find housing and jobs as well as reestablish broken relationships with their children and families.

I often wonder what separates me from many of these women when I hear their stories.  Why did their lives take such a hard turn from the dreams that they must have had as children? We "can't know", as my daughter would say...we can only smile at the way they determined to take a new path toward a self-worth they never had, an inner strength they found and a budding confidence that developed in just a short eight weeks.

And the scarves? It's just a small thing for me, but I am honored to have served this awesome organization. And thanks, FabricLady, for being a part of something that's special to me.

Laurel. Because I can...


  1. These scarves are gorgeous, and I'd need three or four hankies listening to the stories of what many of these women have endured.

  2. Laurel, these scarves are an amazing part of the ceremony and empowerment of these beautiful women! I am so happy to have played a small part in their celebration of their accomplishments! Congratulations Ladies!!!


Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate all those who share and leave their comments very much. Laurel

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