Saturday, December 31, 2011

Prayer Flags

In the same way that you can overlook Christmas items when putting them away after Christmas (you know-- you have everything boxed up and put away--and then find another Christmas item that you somehow missed; it has been right in front of you, but you somehow didn't "see" it),  I see Prayer Flags on blogs I visit several times a week.

Thursday morning, as I looked through my Google Reader, I must have seen one or two because later, thinking about TAST, it suddenly dawned on me that combining the two projects would be fun.  I finally "saw" the Prayer Flags as a great means of accomplishing two things at once.

Sometimes an idea just keeps sparking possibilities, and as soon as the thought of using Prayer Flags for the TAST Challenge began simmering, the creative juices began flowing.  I was immediately jotting down questions and promising themes.

 I've posted about wanting to make Prayer Flags before--now combining the Prayer Flags with TAST makes both projects more appealing.

All day Friday, I was either thinking about, planning for, or working on  Prayer Flags; the ideas and options were plentiful.   Even when running errands or finishing up the housework, my mind kept turning things around, considering and dismissing various concepts.

While there are any number of ways ways to make flags, I have decided to use my eco dyed fabrics, linen, and muslin and to keep the colors pretty monochromatic.  I'm also making sketches of embroidery designs...drawing inspiration from my own doodles, fabric prints, my bedspread, Jacobean embroidery designs, quilting designs, etc.  Although some of them are on an old envelope and others are on a scrap sheet of paper, I'm going to transfer them to a notebook where I can continue playing with ideas.

Yesterday afternoon, I went upstairs and cut or tore fabrics into 5 x 11 strips.  When the top is folded down approximately 3" for the twine to go through, the finished size will be 5 x 8".

Below, I've added batting and stitched them creating the passage for the twine to run through and to keep the batting in place.

Now, I'm really enjoying myself.  I have 8 pre-flags and 6 are already stitched, and now I'm thinking about elements to add: words, phrases, applique, embellishments, etc.

Here is the link to the Prayer Flag Project (with tutorials and more) and one to the Flickr page.  I don't know if I'll sign up there, but the blog has lots of inspiration and after considering various size options, I liked the finished 5 x 8 and the simplicity.  Of course, prayer flags can be any size or shape, but using the tute makes it easy to begin and the small size will be a benefit, too.

I don't know what I'm going to do with this eco dyed piece, but I'm not cutting into it for prayer flags.

I'm excited about the new year and have been making a list of things I'd like to do in 2012.  I'm not making resolutions, but I am creating a list of reminders to post in the studio.

One of the items on the list so far is to get out the personal "history" I began several years ago.  There are so many memories that I'd like to record for my grandchildren.  When my parents died, I realized I had questions that could no longer be answered about their lives before and after they married and began a family.

  Rian mentioned doing this on her blog some time back and reminded me that I wanted to continue working on my memories.  Are you still working on yours, Rian?

The list-making will continue for a few days, then I plan to cull it down to ten or fewer items and post them where I can see them daily.  I want to include everyday improvements, travel, creative endeavors, etc.

Are you making resolutions or forming intentions for 2012?  Tell me!

Wishing a Happy and Productive New Year to all of you!


  1. LOVE the prayer flag idea. I have been sporadically writing things down, a personal history type thing, I guess. Like you, there are many unanswerable questions that I have now that most of the elder relatives have passed. I'd like to leave my own children with more answers and details. Happy, happy New Year Jenny Clair! =-)

  2. The prayer flags are a wonderful idea! There are so many possibilities, and I can feel the excitement as I read your post.
    I, too, like the idea of a personal history recorded for my children and grandchildren. I should write it all down before I forget the details I know of my parent's and grandparent's lives.
    Happy New Year!

  3. DebbyMc - I think I'll enjoy the process of the prayer flags.

    Oh, good, you are creating a history of memories, too! All the siblings of my parents are gone--no one left to answer questions that didn't occur to me when I could have asked. I think our kids will appreciate it.

    Peace and Good Will in the New Year, Debby!

    Suz Thanks, Suz. The prayer flags should be a fun way to incorporate (52?!) new stitches.

    When I first started, I had a hard time, but then I quit worrying about continuity and just began writing what I remembered. Our parents and grandparents are so far away in time and culture from our children and their children and there is no other way for them to know if we don't tell them.

    :) Even our childhoods are pretty foreign to them--no cell phones or computers!

  4. Hmmmm, prayer flags are news to me, so interesting too. Good for you to be working away! Happy new year, my dear friend!

  5. I like this idea of making prayer flags. Looking forward to following your series.

  6. Connie - Happy New Year to you!

    Francoise - I'm enjoying the prayer flags so far; they provide a great canvas for learning embroidery stitches!


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