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i am a creative person. mother to a daughter who is an active young woman and a constant blessing in my life. i hope that you enjoy your visit here and that you will return often.

Friday, September 21, 2012

prayer flags

did you know that Mother Teresa had this message written on cards that she handed out to those she came in contact with who were seeking answers to questions and sometimes feeling conflicted in their faith? she referred to them as "business cards".
i've been reading about her and finding that she was quite an amazing woman~! so strong. so focused. so faithful.

i occasionally find a quilt or a piece of a quilt that is advertised for sale as a "cutter" that i think i may be able to work with. this particular piece was purchased quite a while back just as you see it here (minus those grey outlines in the lower right hand corner). it's quite thin in places, the top has  worn through to the batting here and there and within the batting there is the occasional tiny brown  cotton seed. it has some seams that are damaged and the  maker didn't seem to mind that many of the seams didn't match up just right.
for whatever reason it had the one square removed from the lower left hand corner when i purchased it. old pieces like this one whisper stories of their previous lives and invite me to love them. 
invitation excepted~! 

when i acquire these types of pieces i think about  the limited time, energy and resources that were available to the quilter who created them.
if he/she were to see what i create from his/her work would that maker feel that the newly created piece continues to whisper it's own history while at the same time carrying on a new purpose? i hope so.
my thoughts focus on what my own skills and materials should bring to this history and how i can carefully morph the work into something greater than the sum of it's parts.
i consider whether i am showing the proper respect with the choices that i am making.
those first cuts are always a little bit stressful as i think about what my responsibilities are towards the original maker, the worn textile itself and my own creative vision.

notice the two separate smaller squares that have been outlined in grey in the above photo. those two squares have become my second set of prayer flags.

this one is for a friend who will be moving along to a new life in a new community soon. i will miss her and i'm wishing her all the best as she moves forward in her own personal journey.
i liked the way that the arcs formed of triangles within the blocks from the old quilt looked like wee banners when set on point within the prayer flags.                

and this next one is mine to keep as a reminder of our friendship. i will see (as well as hear) it and be faithful in my prayers for her.
the bell sewn to the bottom of the flags ring when caught by the breeze.
i enjoy the gentle auditory reminder even if i don't happen to be able to actually see the flag.
if you would like more information about prayer flags as well as a chance to see many more it's worth a visit to The Prayer Flag Project Blog.

you probably also noticed a larger grey outline in that previously mentioned photo . . . those were the cutting lines i used for an additional project: a doll quilt.
this is something that i try to do from each of the cutter pieces that i acquire. doll quilts are a favorite of mine and often the other newly made pieces go to another home. the doll quilt stays with me and becomes part of my growing collection. it's a fun way for me to remember and pay respect towards those (and their beautiful work) who have come before me.

i've just barely begun to work on the repairs that are needed for this smaller quilt. it's going to be a time consuming project and for an example of some of the mending being done you can click on the photos of the prayer flags above.
i'm excited about how i think that it's going to work out. i'll be posting more about the doll quilt in a future post.

recent gifts include:
  • sunrises full of intense colors
  • fly traps (~!!~)
  • fabulous finds at the thrift store
  • bright red geranium blossoms


  1. I love your prayer flags, Libby Q! I like the bell!
    I wish your friend well. She's blessed that YOU will miss her.
    I am home today. I can't wait to look at the art journaling mag!
    God be with you, good soul.

  2. I love it! I have added a bell to mine and think of you often as it rings. It's a gentle, lovely ring that fits perfectly with the prayer flag.
    Love your cutter and it seems to me you are putting it to great use.

  3. You are so innovative!! Love the way you have rescued the old quilt!

  4. I love what you are doing with the old quilt. I have a hard time calling any of them "cutters"! I know I would love it if future quilters brought new life to my old quilts. Your friend is lucky you are in her life. I wish her well. Can you recommend a Mother Teresa biography?

    1. yes, i can.
      i have a book called "Mother Teresa No Greater Love" which is a collection of her teachings. it also contains info about her life. not a biography per se but an interesting read.
      i also have "Mother Teresa Her Essential Wisdom" which is a collection of inspiring quotations from Mother Teresa. also not a biography but again has interesting info as well as inspirational thoughts that Mother Teresa had and lived by.
      i guess a biography would be a good idea. i'll have to look for one.


    2. thank you all for your comments and support of my use of the quilt piece. it's good to hear from other quilt enthusiasts that i'm not making some kind of huge mistake.


  5. Love the rose photo, very soft.

    Great way to repurpose and give new life to such beautiful handwork.

  6. Very nice sentiment with those prayer flags. Looking forward to a future 'mended' doll quilt!

  7. Your prayer flags are wonderful and your stitching is lovely as always.
    What a nice reminder of a special friend.
    I look forward to seeing the doll quilt :)
    Mother Teresa really was an incredible woman and real force for good in the world. I hadn't heard about the cards before.

  8. it's very interesting to read your story about the quilt piece. It is a bit with the same idea that i decided to try to embroider my piece of linen. The characters seemed to ask me to give them life and colors. And i couldn't say no.

  9. I like that you have given the piece so many new lives! It was destined to go to the rag bales or be cut up anyway.
    Your work is wonderful.

  10. Hi Libby,
    I've added a link to your blog on the side bar of my "Adventures with Thread" blog. I love how you're expressing your creative journey :o)


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