Christmas card evolves into a tapestry

This tapestry, which was hand sewn by nine members of the Malibu United Methodist Church, was dedicated as the church's Advent Christmas Altar Cloth. Pictured here, from left: M. Marjorie Knowles, Katie Spangle, Cora Coleman, Diane Jenson and Eloise Hoopes. Vicki Godal / TMT

The imagination of one woman sparks a work of art for the Malibu United Methodist Church.

By Vicki Godal/Special to The Malibu Times

On Sunday morning, the Malibu United Methodist Church specially dedicated a hand-sewn, satin tapestry featuring Mary with Joseph at her side on their journey to Bethlehem as the Advent Christmas Altar Cloth. The brainchild of Malibu Art Association founder M. Marjorie Knowles, the tapestry evolved from a Christmas card Knowles received from United Methodist Church Rev. Larry J. Peacock and his wife several years ago.

“I just looked at this card and thought it would make a beautiful tapestry,” Knowles said.

Knowles presented the original framed Christmas card to Reverend Peacock during Sunday’s dedication.

Knowles organized a sewing force of nine women from the church and the work on the tapestry began. The other women involved in the creation of the tapestry were Eloise Hoopes, Diane Jenson, Anne Broyles, Leah Sauter, Cora Coleman, Esther Lowry, Heidi Amundson and Katie Spangle. Working as a group, the women met once a week on Thursdays for a few hours to sew the satin appliqu├ęs of the tapestry. Knowles worked on the tapestry during the week as well. When asked about her motivation in helping to create the tapestry, Coleman said, “It was fun and it was for the church. And now when I look at it, well, it’s just awesome.”

It took the women four months to complete the tapestry, which measures about 32 inches by 68 inches.

Sunday’s dedication ceremony recognized the women who made the tapestry and blessed the tapestry. The tapestry may be seen at the Malibu United Methodist Church at 30128 Morning View Drive in Malibu.

Knowles founded the Malibu Art Association in 1963. Peacock has been the pastor at the Malibu United Methodist Church for 15 years. He was one of the creators of the Malibu Pie Festival and played an integral part in forming the Malibu Community Labor Exchange.

More information on the tapestry can be obtained by calling 310.457.7505 or by e-mailing