Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My First Prayer Flag

My friend Susan and I have started a new swap on Craftster called the Prayer Flag Swap.  There was a recent article about prayer flags in the magazine Cloth Paper Scissors that we are using for our guide. 

There is a cool blog called The Prayer Flag Project  that is dedicated to these flags if you want to read more on the topic. The original idea is that the prayer flag is a small banner to be hung outdoors, that slowly deteriorates and releases your prayer into the world. With that in mind, you can see that it is not expected to be a masterpiece of perfect stitching. Rather, it is an art piece that is thoughtfully and prayerfully made.

One of the participants in the swap happens to be my partner in another swap, and she suggested that we also exchange prayer flags.  I liked the idea because it would give me a chance to practice before the actual prayer flag swap started!  I decided to make it collage-style, with all the edges left unfinished.  Since my partner has a picture of a field of lavender for her avatar on Craftster, I used that as my inspiration as I gathered fabrics from my stash, and started cutting.  Here is an in-progress shot, before anything was sewn together:

We exchanged some possible words to use on our flags, so I used rubber stamps to write "prosperity".

I used machine-sewing to anchor all the fabric, and then I sewed on buttons and coins by hand.  I am extremely pleased with this first prayer flag!  I love the freedom of cutting and sewing without worrying about finishing the edges.  After this one I made two more, which are currently in transit to my swap partners.  I will show them to you next week.

 If you would like to make a prayer flag yourself, here are the simple instructions:

How to Make Prayer Flags
1. Cut pieces of fabric to 5" x 11". Use materials you already have on hand.

2. Fold the top down on each piece of fabric and stitch in place to create a 3" sleeve, making the flag surface 5" x 8".

3. Paint, stitch, embroider, appliqué, or collage the flags.

4. Add words, journaling, or symbols as desired. You can appliqué letters, add hand stitching, stencil with textile paint, or just write with a permanent marker.

5. Thread the flags onto a string or cord and hang them outdoors so the breeze will catch them and spread your intentions.

It's all up to you as to what surface designs or stitch techniques you want to use on your flag.


Kay said...

I love this idea. I do have a very basic question though, as I have never heard of prayer flags what exactly is a prayer flag?

Leslie Andersen said...

Thanks for your question, Kay. I have added a paragraph to this post that gives a brief explanation.

Alexandra Abarca said...

Hi Leslie so this is a interesting idea, I never heard about it before. So I want to see your progres in that.

Costa Rica

TinaW said...

Your flag is beautiful! Would you be interested in doing a swap with me? You can see some of my flags on my flickr page:

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