Sometimes I think that if it weren’t for challenges and art swaps and deadlines, I wouldn’t spend time making art. Really, I probably would. I knit without challenges and deadlines, but knitting is the type of craft that can go everywhere with you. I often carry a sketchbook or camera and I use them, but they can sit for days, untouched, in my bag. Fabric art, however, is much less portable. I can’t really carry my sewing machine, and foot pedal, and power cord, and iron around with me. To play with fabric or make a quilt requires me to spend my time in a specific place. It’s less spontaneous for me than other types of art. That’s one reason I sign up for swaps and challenges.
The current swap I’m in is one of Lenna Young Andrews’ Creative Swaps. For this swap each participant is making 3 prayer flags. Part of the challenge is to have a word or prayer associated with each flag. My flags reflect some of my prayers for the New Year.
I made one flag for myself. It’s a Rosh Hashana prayer flag. (The apples and honey motif probably make that clear without my pointing it out.) The apple comes from the fabric I bought to make Rosh Hashana napkins. “Hope” is stenciled on using deColourant – a product that removes the dye from fabric. This one also added color. I used deColourant for the words on all my flags.
The first flag I made for the swap says: “Explore.” For this flag, I copied a map of Paris onto organza and fused it to a green base fabric. I added a key and on the back I fused another piece of organza with a page I had copied from an old book.
My next flag is one with a prayer that I will be sending out to many people – a prayer for healing. This one has the word “healing” discharged from a scrap of one of my favorite fabrics. It’s stamped with leaves and has both a stenciled and a button butterfly.
My final flag for this swap has a hope, prayer, wish that is simplicity itself – love. Again, the dye was removed from the blue fabric for the word balloon and “love” was added using the deColourant with dye.