Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year - New Challenges

Happy 2016 one and all. I hope that 2015 was good to you and that 2016 will be even better!

With the start of the new year I started a new challenge. There is a small group of us that will be making a prayer flag each month for the entire year.

We are taking turns choosing a theme and an inclusion but beyond that there are no rules. Our flags can be made out of any medium and any size or style.

I'm torn between styles so who knows, I may end up with more than one flag some months.

Our first month's theme was chosen by Terri. It was pretty much Terri's plan to do this on her own and she was kind enough to let the rest of us jump on her bandwagon, so a big Thank You, Terri. Our theme for January is Hope with an inclusion of wings or feather(s).

I decided that I wanted to make my flags out of fabric. I have only recently realized I can sort of sew and I didn't want to intimidate myself so I chose muslin as my base because I am familiar with it and know it's not hard to work on.

First I made the little rod pocket at the top (that may not be the right terminology but you get my meaning). Next I spread a coat of white gesso in the center leaving about 1/4" space from the edge untouched.

When the gessso was dry I covered it with green acrylic paint and set it aside to dry. While that was drying I took a small piece of muslin and gessoed it. When dry i went over the white gesso with black gesso (I used gesso instead of black paint because I like the grittier finish). When it was dry I used a white Sharpie paint pen to draw a feather and then machine stitched it onto the now dry flag.

I drilled holes in Scrabble tiles to make our theme word of Hope and hand sewed them onto the flag. It was looking a little blah at this point so I used acrylic metallic paint and added a few circles randomly for a bit of interest.  I outlined the circles and wrote a few lines of the Emily Dickinson classic around the feather with a fine tipped Sharpie marker.

I sewed the feather off-center to the right side of the flag because I have some beautiful sari ribbon that I wanted to use as well so I chose a few strips of that and sewed it on the left side. Once it was done it looked unfinished so I just stitched the little bird and glued it over the stitching.

I used another length of sari ribbon through the pocket and it is now hanging in our house! 

I believe traditionally these flags are hung outdoors so the wind and energy carries the prayer and blessing to those along its path. My flags will be hung in our house and, hopefully, bless those who pass through.


  1. Renee
    There is such beauty in this piece of art. I particularly like the boldness and the contrast of the black and white feather set against that vibrant background.
    I feel such energy exuding from this yet at the same time there is also a sense of serenity.

  2. Thanks for sharing your process....your are a master of your craft and I so enjoy seeing what your creative mind comes up wth xx

  3. Inspirational project indeed! Thank you for sharing and I'm very happy I found you! xDebi

  4. love love love so now i read how you did your feather. brilliant!

  5. I love the idea of Prayer Flags! Yours is fabulous, Renee!

  6. I love what you've done with your prayer flag. I have made some in the past and I really like making them. I would have never thought olf using gesso and painting on fabric so you've got the wheels in my head spinning with ideas. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. I absolutely adore this flag, Renee; and am totally thrilled to pieces that you're sewing and have joined the project!!! ♥

  8. Thank you for inspiring, challenging, and sharing. I created My Flag of Hope 2016 and posted it on

    1. Peggy Jo, I'm so glad you are playing along with us. Thanks for the link - heading over to see now.


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