Friday, April 24, 2015

Prayer Flag Tutorial by Jamie Fingal

I have been making prayer flags for about 3 years, first primarily for my own healing.  I felt it was way easier to make a small project, than to struggle with a large one.  I've made these for myself that hang in my studio, in my backyard and gifts for friends. I have made 5x7, 6x8 and now 4-1/2 x 8-1/2 #658113.  I used a Sizzix Fabi die cutting machine (same as the Big Shot) and the die cuts a perfect rectangle 4-1/2" x 8-1/2"  This photo is of 3 pieces of wool blended felt (National Nonwovens TOY002), that were cut on the machine.

This text fabric is from my line 'Heart and Soul Sisters,' by Hoffman Fabrics - all about being brave, strong and bold girls who dream big.  So there are great words to use on flags  The fabric is pre-fused with Mistyfuse, so I can cut out the things that I want, and iron them onto my composition.

These are words of encouragement for a dear friend who needs some good cheer

and some little drawings are part of the collection with birds, flowers, do-dads and houses, which make the perfect accent piece

I begin by laying out the words onto the wool blended felt, and not ironing them down yet.

I added some background, placing it under the words, so there is an overlap.  Some colors at the top and bottoms to make the flags more colorful.  When I am happy with the placement, I press them with a hot dry iron on the cotton setting
Flip them over, and cut the excess fabric from the back, using the felt as a guide with some sharp scissors
Here is a drawing of the flower dies that I used from Sizzix

I had made dozens of these flowers for another project - all with Sizzix die cuts in the Fabi machine (Big Shot).  I admit that I do have a sort of addiction with Sizzix flower dies. They can be used so many ways.  They are all pre-fused with Mistyfuse, to make it easier to put them together, and then on another project. I think they are totally fun!
I selected three flowers that would work for the flags.  I hand cut the stems and leaves out of a darker color of green so they would stand out on the lime green background.  I placed the stems under the flower petals.  Press into place, using a hot dry iron.  Note:  fabrics can be repositioned if they are fabric to fabric.  Fabric to felt sticks remarkably well, so you cannot reposition your artwork.

Using one piece of hot pink wool blended felt, I placed the flags on it, making sure there was a bit of space between each one.  This is my backing, and the idea is for it to show all the way around the edges when completed.  I pinned the top to the pink and free motion machine quilted each flag to the pink.  First with an outline around the flowers, and the tops and bottoms of the text and coordinating fabrics. This is yet another way to practice free motion machine quilting.  I free motion zig zagged the edges, all the way around.

Using a rotary cutter, mat and ruler, I trimmed the edges leaving about 1/8th of an inch all the way around.
Then I pressed them all with a hot iron, because most times when you machine quilt, the piece shrinks a little from the stitching.  The iron flattens everything out.

Be true to yourself, be strong

Be authentic, be bold

Be brave

I machine sewed them to a long piece of ribbon for easy hanging.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on making prayer flags!  Feel free to visit my Twisted Sister blog for more 'How To's'  -- Jamie Fingal


  1. Splendid! That little bit of pink backing framing the flags really makes everything pop! I went back and forth a couple of times to compare the before and after backing pictures.