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Monday, May 26, 2014

Quilting Comfort Zone

This past year has been a real adjustment for me and my quilt making.  I loved making and donating the 9" x 12" AAQI quilts.  When AAQI reached the Million Dollar goal and was no longer accepting donations I was at a quilting loss.  I have made only a few large quilts, but always found them hard to manage and frustrating.  I have made a few wall hangings, experimented with different techniques, but still couldn't find my quilting comfort zone.  Last year, while surfing the net, I discovered Prayer Flags.  They have a long history beginning in Tibet over 2000 years ago and in recent years have enjoyed a new twist.  They are creations of art with a message. Quilters and mixed media artists are using laces, bangles, beads, ribbons, fabric pen and paints to embellish the little flags.

About eight months ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with Lymphoma.  She was going to undergo aggressive treatments and was scared.  I kept trying to think what could I do for her.  Then it came to me---Prayer Flag.  It was the first of many I made last year.  I included ribbons, buttons, lace and written words---strength, faith, patience courage and love.  The prayer flags were a major success.  Every flag I sent last year was greatly appreciated and have been displayed for many months since the illness or crisis has long passed.

My Prayer Flags vary in size, but all allow me to make a quilt-type base embellished with a variety of options and add a personal touch for the recipient.  The flag pictured above is being sent to a friend who is recovering from triple bypass heart surgery.  She likes the oriental look, so I tried to pick a fabric with that feel.  The flag is 6" x 13 1/2" and will be in the mail on Tuesday.  The flags send a message of positive thoughts and prayers.  They give the recipient a stepping stone to their own personal prayer time or reflection during a difficult time in their lives.  And like the original Prayer Flags of Tibet, flapping in the wind, the message will live as long as the flag is displayed.  With each flag I include a note telling the history of Prayer Flags and how they may be displayed so that their message would spread far and wide.

These little flags send a far more personal wish for wellness than a Hallmark card.  I will be making more flags as the months go by.  The flags allow me to do both machine and hand work on a small quilt like gift for someone who may need a lift.  I'm sure I will be posting more about the flags and finding my quilting muse.  Remember our soldiers past and present on this Memorial Day and Happy Quilting!

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