2015 Quilty Resolutions: April Journal Quilt

Okay, Sandy here, once again cutting myself some slack.

I realized that the prayer flag I've been working on is all one big experiment, so I'm now counting it as April's journal quilt, even though it's not 8"x10" or even, arguably, a quilt. It has two layers, not three, and it's embroidered but not quilted.

Work with me, here.

I present to you my April Journal Quilt project: a prayer flag.

The front is a piece of cotton batting I had experimented on in my dye studio--it was originally a normal cotton batting-cream color; I dyed it black. You can see how mottled it came out. Kinda cool.

I then did some needle felting on it with some dyed wool rovings I'd had in my stash for about a year (not dyed by me). I had fun blending the colors. I've done a little needle-felting here and there but nothing really terribly extensive, so I'm still getting the knack of it. Not hard at all, of course, but now I probably should start actually reading up on it and really figure out what I'm doing.

I also wanted to play around with beading, and I'd picked up some really wonderful beads at a bead shop recently. Dropped a bundle in that bead shop, so you'll be seeing a lot of beads on future projects. That bird (which is likely a swallow given the tail feathers but I'm choosing to call it a peace dove) is one of my faves.

I started working on this prayer flag shortly after I'd received word that I'd been accepted into the D.Min. program (listen to episode 180 if you'd like to hear more about that). At the time I started working on this project, I hadn't really decided what my prayer flag would be about--but then I ran across this great quote from William Shakespeare and it just seemed to completely fit where I am in my life right now: "To unpathed waters, undreamed shores...." Now, to be clear, the quotation is from A Winter's Tale which is one of the few Shakespeare plays I haven't seen or read so I don't know the storyline; it's actually taken from a speech in which the speaker is advising others NOT to go off in unpathed waters but to stay on a more known course. But I choose to rip it heartlessly out of context and cast it in a much more positive light. I'm rather enjoying, for the moment, being in unpathed waters and heading towards undreamed shores.

So there, nyah. It's my prayer flag. I'll do what I want.

I finished it off with a little embroidery accent in the swirls (yummy variegated Razzle thread from Sue Spargo's website), and then put a black felt backing on it and did a blanket stitch around the outside. The stitching isn't nearly as visible in person as it is in this picture; it's largely buried in the felted sections--you really almost can't see it. This picture does demonstrate the great lighting I have in my sewing room, I guess. 

My April Journal Quilt/Prayer Flag is now hanging near my office desk to help me remember this positive attitude when the blood, sweat, and tears start.