When Rose Vetter moved from Manhattan to Leawood, she found that a series of church banners she had sewn didn’t fit in her new church. So she loaned the banners to Marion Presbyterian Church, where her daughter, Debbie Buchholz, attends church.
“That’s the most important thing to her, that they’re used and appreciated,” Buchholz said.
The banners fit perfectly under the church’s cross in the sanctuary. The series includes banners for Advent, Lent, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost, and Trinity Sunday. There is also a wedding banner and one made in memory of Debi May, a good friend of Buchholz who died of cancer.
The set for Advent includes seven banners. Each week of the season a different combination of banners is displayed.
Vetter began making the banners in 1995 and completed them over the course of about two years. They are all entirely hand-sewn.
“I don’t use any machine sewing at all,” Vetter said Friday.
She begins her creative process by reading related Bible verses and praying for inspiration. She then makes several sketches and chooses one to transfer to a long sheet of blank newsprint.
“It’s a lot of trial and error,” Vetter said.
She learned from experience that bold, contrasting colors work best so the banners are easily visible in church.
“You can’t hold back on colors,” she said.
Vetter and Buchholz both said their favorite banner was the one in memory of May. It is based on Psalm 23, also known as the Shepherd’s Psalm.