I learned about prayer flags several years ago and was intrigued with the idea of a physical manifestation of hopes and desires. I've seen prayer flags others have made since then and of course I wanted to play along. Not until recently have I been motivated enough to take action however. I'll give you three guesses as to what prompted the creation of my first prayer flag, and the first two don't count. ;- )
I was working with my purple scraps when I came across a piece of Cracked Ice from long, long ago. It was already the size prescribed as a base for prayer flags according to the format developed by a guest on Quilting Arts TV. (If you search 'prayer flag project' you'll find pertinent links.) That was all I needed to get me going.
Next I cut a square of wool felt, and when I pulled it from my stash I also found this piece of hand dyed something - I don't know what it is. It has sort of the texture of thin paper. It's not woven, it might be an interfacing material. Whatever, it seemed appropriate to use. I stitched the word free hand - I tried to keep the whole project quick and spontaneous although it took most of my working day to reach completion.
I added the turtle as a reference to the humble tortoise in Aesop's fable of the tortoise and the hare. The crescent moon was added because the moon gives lesser light than the sun but still has it's moments of shining brightly. I stitched the heart charm down with red thread in a zig zag to indicate a broken heart, the essence of humility.
When I was rummaging around for the wool felt and other bits I came across strands of dyed silk ribbon that blended beautifully with the lavender of the background fabric. I made them into a tassel to be stirred by the breezes, thus carrying my prayer out into the world.
So far it has only hung on the fence for a day. I want to make more flags and string them together. In the meantime, this one hangs in my studio where I can be reminded to practice humility even as I pray for humility in our nation's leaders.