Prayer Flags Flying High (and mini tutorial)

I thought for sure that I had posted about making prayer flags but not so!  Prayer flags have a long tradition and they can be seen in many different configurations.   There is no right or wrong way.  There is a blog devoted to Prayer Flags at :  ThePrayerFlagProject.blogspot.com      There you will find tutorials and many examples of how various artists have interpreted and created their own Prayer Flags.  (mine are posted in March this year 2015)

I had thought about making and hanging some flags for well over a year and was waiting to be inspired it seems 🙂   A few months ago I was walking down the aisle of a local craft shop and found a package of burlap banner shaped pieces in the clearance section.  The first thing that I thought of was that they would be perfect for Prayer Flags.  And if I messed up, then the investment was minimal.

There were four of these burlap shapes in front of me looking like this:

burlap for flagseach measured 5 1/2 ” by 7 1/2 “

The first thing that I did before anything else was to stay stitch inside all the edges of all the flags to minimize fraying.  Burlap frays. I didn’t mind that,  It enhanced the rustic look that I was trying to achieve.  But I did want to contain the amount.    I used black thread and a zig zag stitch and stitched each flag on every side about 1/4 inch in from the edge.IMG_3498

        I figured there was no hiding of the stay stitching so I incorporated it into the overall design

You are goiing to need to attach a narrow muslin muslin hanging sleeve attachedsleeve to the top.  Do that now by machine UNLESS you are going to use that top space for your hand stitching later.  In which case you will attach the sleeve as the last step with each flag.

inspire_dream

Gather your fabrics and threads and design your flags.  I used muslin for the inspirational words, and a variety of fabrics: cheesecloth, bits of organza, felt, burlap.  Use whatever your design calls for!

hope_loveI also added a few beads, some ribbon and buttons and hand stitched with embroidery cotton of various sizes.      

The final step was to string the four finished flags together by running a length of hemp through the sleeves.

Details of the Four Flags Belowdetail_hope

detail_loe

detail_inspire

detail_dream

Fish Out of Water

When I posted here several months ago I mentioned that I was working on a piece that needed some hand embroidery to be added.  This was a fun project – something different and incorporating several different techniques.

Here is a photo of  my Fish Out Of Water

And here is an overview of how I made him.

I collaged several fabrics onto a mottled yellow background.  I made a stencil from a fish drawing and when I cut it out I was careful to keep the remaining stencil material intact so that I could use it too.
Then I painted the fish image onto the quilt using the stencil and acrylic paint.  When it was dry I thought that more contrast was needed around the fish so I used the “fish” part of the stencil and painted around the outline.

I outlined the collage pieces with perle cotton and added embroidery to the fish.  Then I added some beads and a button eye to accent the fish.

Outline Stitching and Button Eye

Beaded Tail

Finally I stitched and beaded a spray of coral.

Beaded Spray of Coral

I used a pillowcase type of backing and accented the edges with a perle cotton running stitch.