Monday, July 22, 2019

Wish Flags!

I have long admired the beauty, and the concept, of Tibetan Prayer Flags, so when Tina Walker came up with the idea of using StencilGirl stencils to create Wish Flags, I jumped at the chance.

(You can see Tina's post on the StencilGirl Blog, StencilTalk, by clicking here.)

I pulled out two of my favorite designs: a face silhouette from Borderlines, a StencilClub December 2017 set designed by Seth Apter, and Sacred Feminine, a goddess/tree of life design by Carol Wiebe.

For the silhouette flag, I used some hand painted fabric that I had been hoarding for years. I had tried a very cool technique: drawing on fabric with colored Sharpie indelible markers, then using a paintbrush and isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol on the marker, which made it behave like watercolor on paper. (For my blogpost about creating that fabric, click here.)

I positioned the Borderlines face silhouette stencil on my fabric, then sponged white acrylic paint on using a cosmetic wedge. It looked pretty good, but the white was a bit lighter than I wanted. I decided to put the stencil back on and go over it with VersaMark ink. After removing the stencil, I sprinkled white embossing powder liberally over the fabric, shook off the excess powder, and blasted it with my heat gun. Success!
The next phase was to decide how to finish it. I auditioned all kinds of trims and ribbons, and finally settled on combining two laces on the bottom. Before I added the lace, I stitched a casing at the top for a hanging rod to go through, and finished the sides. The lace echoed the strong but feminine mood I was aiming for.
I reinforced the casing with a decorative floral stitch.
Some of the lace needed to be hand-stitched to ensure that it wouldn't unravel when hanging outside.
For the purple Goddess flag, I first sketched out my idea on a piece of watercolor paper and used sepia ink where I wanted the figures to go. I was happy with the look, so I moved on to fabric.

A deep purple commercial batik seemed just the right fabric, and i decided to use white acrylic, applied carefully with a cosmetic wedge sponge through the stencil.
 One change I made was that I decided not to have any words on the flag. Instead, I flipped the tree stencil creating a mirror image that sugggested roots.

 There was a lot of fabric at the bottom and I debated about whether to cut it off and add a trim or beads and auditioned a lot of items to hang from the bottom--from coins to beads to feathers. In the end, I decided to cut the fabric and create a fringe, then hand-stitched some indigo and white cloisinee beads to each fringed strip.
Each bead was hand-sewn to the bottom strips, which added both weight and visual interest.
Last but not least, I attached a few beads to a strip of the fabric that would hang from the edges of the hanging dowel.

I live in a high-rise building in New York City and don't have a yard or even a patio, so I am gifting the flags to my brother. They will be delivered when I visit him later this summer, and we can hang the together.


ann barnes said...

Linda, your flags are incredible! I love that each one is stunning in its own right! The soft and strong feminine flag looks beautiful with the lace and I was thrilled to read how you pushed ahead to really get the white to stand out, it has a wonderful impact! The striking purple flag is amazing! It totally speaks for itself. Always a treat to see your textile projects!

Jill McDowell said...

Linda, your textile art always inspires me. You make me want to get out my sewing machine and start stitching. Love these flags..