Last week I asked a handful of my coworkers to join me for an afternoon of crafting, or as I like to call it a “crafternoon”. We spent an hour making prayer flags in honor of National Prayer Day, which is today.
Modern Prayer flags spring from a rich tradition tied to the Buddhist faith. In today’s society, makers continue to create these flags, often with a personal spiritual component. I gave my information about this fiber art tradition and I encouraged them to focus on an idea, phrase, or word they want to send out into the universe as words in the wind. Each participant had access to supplies in our craft corner in addition to the paper flags, embellishments, paints, papers, dyes, and more I’d laid out for them.
Our group ran the gamut from occasional crafter to experienced fiber artist. I’m incredibly impressed by what everyone made with very little direction. Several participants didn’t know where to start, but once they got going it was inspirational to watch their individual processes unfold. Here’s a look at our craft time and our prayer flags along with thoughts from the makers:
My inspiration came from my favorite quote from Walt Disney. In crafting and in life, it is fun to challenge the norm and do “the impossible.” – Nicolle McMurray
I love to use alcohol inks and wanted to experiment a little bit with them to create an interesting background. –Hollie Kuhlmann
I choose to write ‘Be You’ on my prayer flag because that is the biggest aspect of my life that I’ve struggled with. Our culture is so driven to be ‘normal’ that we often get lost in the crowd. ‘Be You’ is a reminder to myself and anyone who reads it that it’s okay, be nerdy, quirky, or whatever it is that makes you, you! – Madeline Orth
My words in the wind are a representation of how I want to continuously view and live life. I included a mountainous view with overlaid patterns and the definition for elysian. Elysian: means beautiful or creative; divinely inspired; peaceful and perfect.” – RJ Sylvester
I have wanted to make a prayer flag for such a long time and was happy I could see the huge variety created by my coworkers. Mine was a small first attempt, but inspired me to plan another and purchase those materials the next day! – Sue Cooper
My piece is about how the world connects us all. Each square has a unique color that separates it from the others but in between them connected by the ribbon is a small depiction of the earth. I think that understanding starts by sharing and that’s my hope for prayer day this year, we see how much we all have in common. –Chris Powell
When it comes to making prayer flags, the possibilities are truly endless. It doesn’t matter how many fiber art techniques you know because you can make these however you want and out of whatever you want. Learn about the history of prayer flags, the contemporary prayer flag movement, and find more artistic inspiration for your own flags when you download the Quilting Arts Presents: Prayer Flags eBook. Or better yet, order the Prayer Flag Collection for yourself and use the stencils and fabric paints to create unique and meaningful fiber
Go ahead; give yourself an hour to create a prayer flag today. I can’t wait to see what you make!