Thursday, December 22, 2011

Health, Harmony, and Balance

So enough with the teasing...I was making miniature prayer flags! 

I've always loved the images of prayer flags in the Himalayas and the meaning behind them, so I thought it would be neat to make a little mini version for my Christmas tree.  I ended up going in a different direction with the tree this year, but still used the idea to make gifts for my friends at work. 

One of my favorite things about this project is it allowed me to use up some of the small pieces of fabric I've been saving!  I keep all my scraps sorted by color in big ziploc bags. 

 I rooted through the bags to find the five colors I needed: blue, white, red, yellow and green. 

I cut the individual blocks without measuring.  I wanted the finished product to be kind of loose and free and organic, so measuring or using a rotary cutter wouldn't have been appropriate!

 I used both solid and print fabrics.  If you are going to do the next step and rubber stamp on the flags, just try to use subtle prints so the words show up.  I think the flags would also be effective sans words, in which case you can use more busy prints, but for the ones I was giving as gifts, I wanted their meanings to be clear.

This little set of rubber stamps came from JoAnn Fabrics, and I bought it with a 50% off coupon.  It is a handy little thing to have around.

Each color represents one of the elements.  Blue is sky; white is air; red is fire; green is water; and yellow is earth.  You are going to want to do these assembly-line style!
Make yourself a pile of each color so you can just sit down at the sewing machine and fly through them!

Again, I'm not being very precise here.  I didn't want the finished banners to come out too perfect.  Just fold the top bit over a length of hemp cord...
...and sew a little channel in the flag.  Be careful not to catch the cording in the stitches!

I didn't clip the thread after each flag, because that would a) waste a lot of thread and b) take longer.  I just moved a little ways down the cording and continued with the next color.
It's sort of reminiscent of when I made my first quilt ever!

Once you have all five colors on there, you can cut all those threads at once.
Nice and neat.

Then slide all your flags together and tie a knot at each end so they don't slide right off the cording!

And there you have it!
I am including a little explanation with the flags, explaining that my simplified version of prayer flags is meant to be a wish for health, harmony, and balance in the coming year. 


dude said...

Love it! planning to steal it!

Belinda said...

Very nice, Susan!