Friday, February 26, 2016

Sew a Prayer Flag

February 2016
Sheree McKee

A prayer flag, sometimes also known as a peace flag, symbolizes community, caring, positivity and goodwill.  

In many cultures, they hang outdoors in the wind, intentionally allowed to weather and wear down to threads. The winds are believed to send the prayers and positive thoughts throughout the world.  The remaining threads then fall downward and return to mother earth.

Prayer Flags aren't difficult to design and sew.  They are relatively quick sewing projects.   Commonly, they are quite small, but they can be created in any size or shape.  The ones I have been swapping are approximately 5" wide and 8" tall, just a little bit bigger than a fabric postcard.
Blessings by Sheree McKee 
of Michigan

Blessings by Susan Brandli 
of Virginia

Our PostCardMailArt swap community (a Yahoo Group)  has offered several modern Prayer Flag sign-up opportunities this past year.  We have kept ours rectangular in shape for these swaps.

I believe a lot of my creative friends will intend to hang these modern versions indoors, or give as thoughtful gifts.  They can be hung on a wall, a fireplace mantle, as a window valance, or draped across a doorway.

There are  few styles I am attracted too.  I adore those using vintage linens and torn edge fabrics.

Our Swap Guidelines:
  • Finished size 5" wide by 8" tall
  • Must have a 1 1/2" open casing at top for stringing on a ribbon, cord, or rope.
  • Made from fabric
  • Embellished in a variety of textile methods
Joy by Sheree McKee 
of Michigan

Joy by Joan Lane
of Florida

 Themes ~ anything 
you can pray for:
Blessings, Bloom, 
Compassion, Courage, 
Dreams, Energy, 
Faith, Friendship, 
Forgiveness, Growth, 
Health,  Healing, 
Love, Nature, 
Peace, Sunshine, 

Here are some wonderful websites 
and blogs to get you started 
on your first Prayer Flag:

Sunshine by Sheree McKee
of Michigan

Sunshine by Sue Balchak 
of California

February 2016
Sheree McKee
You might enjoy this link to my previous blog about

Monday, February 8, 2016

Wrapped Edges on Fiber Postcards

Sheree McKee
February 2016

The majority of fiber postcards I receive, are made with an overcast stitched-edge finish.  But there are other options that include wrapping.

Lace wrapped side edges with
scallop trimmed top and bottom

Valentine 2016

A wrapped edge is a pretty easy finish for your fabric postcards.  You can use most any fabric or trim that can be folded in-half lengthwise.

It won't take you long to master this technique. You can wrap only two sides, like I did on this Valentine postcard to the left, or wrap all four edges!

FOR LENGTH, cut approximately 6+6+4+4+3 = 23" long of desired fabric or trim.

A GOOD WIDTH, is 1 1/4" wide, which results in a finished 1/2" - 5/8" wrap on the front of postcard.

Valentines made in 2013

Options for Wrapping
  1. Double-Fold Bias Tape
  2. Flat lace 
  3. Fabric strips
  4. Fold-over braids
  5. Duct Tape (yes!)

In this view of the back, I used bias tape
in four separate steps.  

This is an easy method.

Easy Method:
Don't try to turn or miter any corners, instead you will wrap and sew each straight edge separately.  Work clockwise around your postcard, but trim the wrap after each straight edge and before you continue to the next edge.  There will be raw edges at corners, but a postcard does not get very much wear and tear to worry about this.

Advanced Method:
Use a continuous wrap, plan ahead for mitering at corners and connecting at the final meeting location.  This will take longer due to the careful mitering and turning at corners.

For Variety:
  • Cut fabric strips with scallop rotary cutter or pinking shears.
  • Layer more than one fabric color.
  • Insert rick rack for interest

Apply with:
  • Fusible webbing
  • Double-stick tape
  • Fabric glue stick
  • Then finish by stitching

Helpful Tips:
  • Cut strips after you apply fusible web
  • Leave postcard perimeter free of design elements at least 3/4" from all four edges

Lace wrap on two edges only

Scallop rotary edges, fused then stitched

A double flange method made by 
Nancy Goodman of Illinois

A pinked cut edge by Nancie Voegele of Texas

You Might like these links to my past blog articles: