October 31 most people think of as Halloween – trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns, and scary movies. But it is also the anniversary of the Reformation, a change in religious, political, intellectual and cultural life in 16th-century Europe. It is usually thought of as starting in 1517 when Martin Luther’s 95 Theses was first published. This year is the 500 anniversary of that event. In Bible study, we’ve been learning about Luther’s life and influence. One of the things I learned about is Luther’s seal, known as Luther’s Rose and how it represents his theology.
A few weeks ago while I was talking about something else I had tatted, our pastor had jokingly said something about me tatting Luther’s Rose. That got me thinking about how I could do it. So I made one.
The red heart was the first thing I tried. I reviewed other tatted heart patterns and pictures I found on the internet and in my books at home. I put this one together, which is very similar to a couple I saw. It has a few small mistakes but no-one will know except me.
I tried several versions of a small black cross before I ended up with this one. The version I thought I was happy with ended up being a bit too small, so I had to enlarge it a bit. This is a very simple pattern that came out well as the center of the Rose.
The white rose was the hardest to come up with – at least to get started. Once I started it just came together. Okay, I just kept increasing each round by two picots :-). There are a few things I would do differently if I made this again, but overall I’m happy it.
The blue round was only having to decide on how many stitches in each chain fit around the rose. Luther’s rose description does not describe having green leaves but I think it helps define the separation of the rose petals.
The first of the gold outer rings was easy, too, again just getting the stitch count to work. The second round was a little trickier. I wanted to use Catherine Wheel joins but I’ve never used them in a project before. YouTube is a wonderful invention! I was able to watch Marilee Rockley do Catherine Wheel joins over and over until I got them right!
After finishing the tatting I needed to mount it. I had a large frame at home that would have worked, then I saw one at the store that would work sooo much better. Or a least looked like it fit the project better anyway. I chose two shades of grey cardstock to display it on, with two layers around the tatting so it didn’t get squashed up against the glass. I don’t have a round stencil that fit around the tatting so I used a cottage cheese container – worked great!
As part of the display, I included the meanings of the theology of the Rose. It came out very well!
At church, we celebrated Reformation today, October 29. I took my finished and framed Luther’s Rose and presented it there. I think it will look great there. My pastor liked it well enough he took my picture.
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“Known commonly as Luther’s Rose, this symbol was devised as a personal seal by Martin Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation and founder of the Lutheran Church, to symbolize his personal theological beliefs. It is now generally used to symbolize the Lutheran Church.
Luther describes his emblem:
The first thing expressed in my seal is a cross, black, within the heart, to put me in mind that faith in Christ crucified saves us. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.”
Now, although the cross is black, mortified, and intended to cause pain, yet it does not change the color of the heart, does not destroy nature — i.e., does not kill, but keeps alive. “For the just shall live by faith,” — by faith in the Savior.
But this heart is fixed upon the center of a white rose, to show that faith causes joy, consolation and peace. The rose is white, not red, because white is the ideal color of all angels and blessed spirits.
This rose, moreover, is fixed in a sky-colored ground, to denote that such joy of faith in the spirit is but an earnest and beginning of heavenly joy to come, as anticipated and held by hope, though not yet revealed.
And around this ground base is a golden ring, to signify that such bliss in heaven is endless, and more precious than all joys and treasures, since gold is the best and most precious metal. Christ, dear Lord, He will give grace unto eternal life.”