Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Prayer Flags

This is my first time joining in on one of Lenna Young Andrew's Creative Swaps. This swap involves making three prayer flags. I was really excited to join in!

 According to Wikipedia, "A prayer flag is a colorful panel of rectangular cloth, often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and for other purposes." You can read more about it here.

We were to make three flags that measure 5 by 8 inches and they should include a word, a prayer, a wish or a hope associated with it.

Here is my first one!
I dug into my stash of fabrics and trims and put these together.
I always buy vintage sewing items when I go treasure hunting and one week came home with a can of little pieces of trims and lace. The top of this is an old collar. I clipped apart the sequin trim to make separate flowers and embroidered some stems. The green and white bottom piece was in the can too. I wonder what it used to belong to! It fit perfectly on my flag. I added a button and the word "Grow" and had my first flag.

For the next two I used parts of vintage handkerchiefs.
The base of this flag is an old child or doll pillowcase. It already had the white lace attached to it.
I took the colored crocheted lace from the edge of one handkerchief and the butterfly came off the corner of another one.
I also added some beads and a pretty button.

This next one used two handkerchiefs. 

I cut two sides off of one and gathered them to make ruffles and the center became the center of the flag.
A second handkerchief was used to make a top flap. I used the rest of its blue trim to add to the sides of the flag and to trim the top of the ruffles.

I actually made four flags so Lenna could have one as a thank you for hosting the swap.
Lenna, choose whichever you like!!

I wanted to use some of my vintage lace stash for one so I made a flag using several different pieces.

I  started playing with the pieces and ended up creating something that looked like an article of clothing. The collar pieces came from that can I was telling you about. I got so much joy out of that $1 can!

I added a sheer layer over my base fabric and then added more trims. I also made two little pockets and put a surprise inside.
I used the word "treasure" here because of how I feel about the old beautiful things that can still be rescued and appreciated. I have also been doing a lot of genealogy research and am so fascinated by old photos. I long to have photos of my ancestors that I don't have. Other people just get rid of them. So these two cuties are going with my old lace to remind people to treasure the past and the beautiful things that have managed to exist long past the time their owners loved them.
I had a great time working on these. Thank you, Lenna for having this swap and I hope to participate in more!


  1. Susan, Thanks for such a wonderful blog post explaining how you made your prayer flags for the swap. I so appreciate this! You are very kind to make an extra one for me, thank you. It will be a hard choice . . . . Looking forward to receiving them soon. Lenna

  2. Susan, I love these! There is a great Dar Williams song (sorry, can't think of the name or CD it is on) about a visit she made to India and the prayer flags she saw there. The image has always stuck in my mind. Yours are so completely American. Good job.

  3. Wow Susan - and to think you were stumped earlier! These are wonderful - I love how you used your stash...And the Treasure one is really neat - well done! J

  4. These are awesome Sue! So pretty and very inspiring!

  5. Dear Susan your prayer flags are all so beautifully made, great Idea with pockets for little treasures. Wish you a lovely weekend dear friend.
    Hugs Anni

  6. Just wonderful, Susan! I'm really liking the prayer flags with bits of vintage in them. Will have to dig through my collection of bits for my next efforts. Well done.

  7. Hi, Susan. I absolutely love your prayer flags. My favorite is the ecru flag with the collar. Your work is lovely!

  8. Your prayer flags are very lovely.Love the Treasure on with the little pockets containing childrens' photos.