Saturday, April 5, 2014

Prayer Flag

Prayer flags have become a hot trend in the quilting world. They have an interesting history and have been around for years. The traditional Himalayan belief is that they promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. The flag is hung outdoors and as the flag fades and deteriorates from the elements, good will and compassion spread throughout the earth and become a permanent part of the universe. Our world could use a few prayer flags, don't you think?

When my community experienced a devastating flood this last fall, my art quilt bee decided to make prayer flags.

My flag depicts two hands reaching to connect; the higher one pulling the lower one to safety. Using a micron pigma pen I wrote the word Reaching on the upper left side and the words For Higher Ground on the bottom right.

An embroidered running stitch depicts swirling water on the bottom hand. I used brown embroidery floss because the flood water was dirty and contaminated.

I added additional embroidery to connect the two hands by the symbolic water. I wanted to show that even though some of us were not affected directly by the flood, we were all connected through it.

The background fabric is commercially printed batik. The fabric for the hands is a piece that I had painted with fabric paint. The hands are fused onto the batik. On the surface I used brown paint to stamp horizontal lines.

My art quilt bee strung all of the prayer flags together that the members made and displayed them at our annual quilt show. The compassion and good will that came from neighbors helping one another to recover continues even now. It will be a long time before our community is made whole and recovers from the damage that occurred. 

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