How to Make a Fabric Prayer Shawl

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Scissors

  • Fusible interfacing

  • Pins

  • Iron

  • Sewing machine

  • Fringe

Prayer shawls help focus the mind and heart for prayer.

Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo started Prayer Shawl Ministry in 1998, and many churches have since started their own prayer shawl ministry projects. Prayer shawls are often constructed by crocheting or knitting the shawls by hand, which is time-consuming. Individuals who want to spend less time making the shawls can construct them from soft fabrics, such as velour, fleece or quilted cotton. Making the shawl from cloth and constructing it with a sewing machine reduces the necessary time commitment to just a few hours.

Quilted Prayer Shawl

Step 1

Cut out two 18-by-60-inch rectangular pieces of fabric. The fabric pieces may differ in pattern and color or originate from the same bolt of cloth. Cut out a 17-by-59-inch piece of fusible interfacing.

Step 2

Center and pin the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the pieces of fabric. Fuse the interfacing to the edges of the fabric using an iron on a medium-hot setting.

Step 3

Pin the two pieces of fabric right-sides together. Sew the fabric together, leaving a 2-inch gap near the center of one of the shorter sides. Turn the shawl right-side out using the gap. Top stitch the gap closed.

Step 4

Smooth the fabric to remove any puckers. Iron the shawl, fusing the interfacing to both pieces of fabric.

Step 5

Sew decorative stitches or plain grids across the shawl.

Fringed Prayer Shawl

Step 1

Cut out a 36-by-60-inch rectangular piece of fabric. Lay a 17-by-59-inch piece of fusible interfacing on the wrong side of one half of the fabric. Pin the interfacing into place, and iron around the edges to fuse it to the fabric.

Step 2

Fold the fabric in half, right-sides together, creating an 18-by-60-inch rectangle. Place an 18-inch piece of commercial fringe between the right sides on the shorter edge. Point the fringe toward the middle of the shawl, and pin the layers together. Sew the fabric together, leaving a 2-inch gap for turning the shawl right-side out.

Step 3

Turn the shawl right-side out through the gap, and smooth the fringe and any puckers caused by the interfacing. Iron the shawl, creating a crisp edge at the fringe and fusing the interfacing to the body of the shawl. Turn the unfinished edges at the gap to the inside of the garment, and top-stitch them closed.

Step 4

Machine-stitch a 6-inch grid across the body of the grid, or place hand-tied knots at 6-inch intervals.