Prayers for the New Year

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.


About wallcough

Trying to find beauty and joy in the world around me . I am many things, among them a quilter, a knitter, and an incessant reader. There is not enough time for them all, so I jump in between them as the mood hits me. Professionally - a rabbi; a hospice chaplain.
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3 Responses to Prayers for the New Year

  1. amysue says:

    Wow. Love these! I’ve been making prayer flags to hang in a string between two trees in the back this fall-I want enough to have them up by sukkot. I plan to let them weather the year and let the intentions go where they need to. Unlike you, I suck at all the actual skills involved and take short cuts and have wonky seems and edges but one of these days I’ll do better (I just made the saddest table runner because I hurried and didn’t want to bind it. It’s for me so ok, but going forward I need to slow down).

    I never heard of decolourant and am now going to get some. I plan to post my latest flag in progress on FB and see if anyone wants to make some and contribute to my string of flags ( I know some of my daughters friends have mentioned they would)

  2. I like your prayer flags. The decolourant idea is a good one.I’ve never seen it either.I am just a tad addic ted to making them at the moment.I have a few requests and swaps to do now.It’s good to have that stimulation for making things isn’t it.

  3. Linda K says:

    Hi Julie. I wanted to let you know I received one of your beautiful flags
    in the swap! I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to get the one that says
    “explore” with the printed Paris map and French theme as it is a place near
    and dear to my heart. Thank you so much! PS I tried to email you but had an incorrect address. So glad I found your blog thru the swap site.

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