Easy Sewing Project for Mixed-Media Artists

Over the long Memorial Day weekend I spent a lot of time on my porch. I drank peach iced tea while dyeing fabric, screen printing fabric, and sorting through a bag of fancy fibers I might use to embroider the fabric later.

mixed media fabric art prayer flag lafazio
Fabric art prayer flag by
Jane LaFazio, using painting, printing, and stitch.

My fabric art activities, combined with the number of flags flapping in the warm breeze due to the holiday, had me thinking of the prayer flag I made a couple of months ago. I could envision a string of them bedecking the porch all summer long. It wouldn't take long to make them, either, and I could practice all the surface design techniques I like on these little works of textile art.

Prayer flags are an easy sewing project: at minimum you only need to stitch the casing in the top to run a line through for hanging and you can do that with the machine or even by hand stitching. (And frankly, you could use fabric glue or even gel medium instead of sewing, if you wished.)

Here is the basic technique for making a prayer flag from an article, The Prayer Flag Project: On a Mission of Hope by Jane LaFazio in the March/April 2012 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.

How to Make Prayer Flags

1. Cut pieces of fabric to 5" x 11". Use materials you already have on hand.

2. Fold the top down on each piece of fabric and stitch in place to create a 3" sleeve, making the flag surface 5" x 8".

3. Paint, stitch, embroider, appliqué, or collage the flags.

4. Add words, journaling, or symbols as desired. You can appliqué letters, add hand stitching, stencil with textile paint, or just write with a permanent marker.

5. Thread the flags onto a string or cord and hang them outdoors so the breeze will catch them and spread your intentions.

It's all up to you as to what surface designs or stitch techniques you want to use on your flag.

mixed media fabric art prayer flag miller
Prayer flag by Ileen Dalke Miller, using free-motion embroidery,
fabric embellishments, and paint.

Surface design ideas include:

  • Screen printing techniques
  • Gelatin monoprinting
  • Applying digital photos vis heat transfer or inkjet transfer
  • Textile paint
  • Stamping
  • Stenciling

Easy sewing ideas include:

  • Appliqué designs with fabric scraps
  • Fabric collage
  • Free-motion embroidery
  • Hand embroidery
  • Patchwork

As I said, making these little pieces of fabric art is a terrific way to experiment with new techniques and supplies. Each one requires just a small investment of time and materials, but the payoff us great in art and spirit!

For inspiration, techniques, and supplies for making your prayer flags, be sure to see what we have to offer in the Cloth Paper Scissors shop.

P.S. If you were going to make a prayer flag, what would it say? What materials would you use? Share your comments below.


Blog, Fabric Art