Saturday, January 17, 2015

Prayer Flag Swap

When we ask for what we want, we are telling the world how much we want it in our lives. A big part of asking is knowing yourself first, and then being clear communicating the desire.

I know that my words have power, and when I joined what seems will be a monthly Prayer Flag swap, I was in the moment and didn't really have a long range concept. For my first PF, I made two, one to send that had an intention for my partner, and also hung the first (test) one I made in my back yard. In one very huge way, I didn't think it was good enough to be swapped. And yet, I love it.

The one I received had the word "Harmony" on it and hangs next to my North door entrance. It is so lovely that I know it would never go outdoors. I honor that fabric artist who was from Switzerland and did such an amazing job on it.

I looked at some pics of the Prayer Flag Project that are posted online and realized that for every very creative PF there might be 10 or more others that weren't posted. I always seem to struggle with my creativity and know I get into my head too much about it. It takes time for me to engage intuitively. That is why I have both an orphan bag and a wonky box for quilt blocks or borders that came out as not quite right or good enough. They will be repurposed eventually and no one will notice that they are either orphaned or wonky.

Partners for the February PF swap are assigned 2/1. There are specific guidelines for the size of the PF and that it is to be hung outdoors with unfinished edges so that it frays in the wind. It is to have a hem for the hanger so that folks can string them together if they so desire. The person I send to is not the person I receive from, and it could be different each month. Its really going to be an act of Spirit.

The only things that are in my control include my monthly intention, and the fabrics and designs I use. Yet, I still needed to use up thread on my bobbin so I could start a different project. For this one, the color of my thread didn't matter.

Remembering how Rex & I did our calendar quilts, we agreed that each month's block would have some visual cue for the way people think and see the calendar. 

I pulled that pinkish solid for the foundation of the February PF and thought about the energy I wanted to call in or ask for. I wanted to make it in rows of color for the elements: Blue for Air, Red for Fire, Green for Water and Yellow for Earth. I pulled out the 3" square shoe-box and started pulling those colors, stitched them so they would layer over each other and blow in the winds together and independently. It has the look of a patchwork quilt, yet keeps all edges free to fray.

All the while my intention was different from how I put it into the quilts I make, yet seemed to want me to pay attention. What was I asking for and did I really want it? I kept sewing, trimming the bottoms and sides to keep it within the guidelines.  

And then, I knew what I was asking for, and found a piece of fabric I bought that had words on it. This is the one I cut out.


No matter what other things in life I say I want, like peace, prosperity, good health, happiness, love, and even heat in my house, hope is what spins my creative, spiritual wheels.

With hope, there is life, there is joy, there is excitement and laughter. It doesn't mean that things are going to work out the way I plan because plans are often insignificant to the real workings of life. But it does mean that I can still experience the wonder and joy and excitement that is also part of the real workings of life.

The first PF I made & hung in my back yard was also infused with the intention of HOPE, which I only discovered after browsing through past posts here on my blog. Two very unplanned themes let me know that this is what I want, what I would like to make my personal prayer for this year. HOPE. 

After thinking awhile, I realize what triggered my loss of hope were moments when the plans or expectations I had did not come into fruition. I hadn't picked myself up from certain losses. And in some cases, I was giving up because I could not see hope in other ways where change was possible.

The official swap doesn't start for a couple of weeks. I plan to make two; one for myself each month that I will hang outside on my trees or arbors that brings me hope and the second one for a partner.