A Collaboration of Wishes

Earlier this year, Tina Walker sought out participants in a Wish Flag collaboration and I jumped at the chance! Our task was to use StencilGirl Stencils and create wish flags in whatever design we desired. I wanted flags that would remind me every time I looked at them to take some action, and I knew exactly which stencils I wanted to use to convey those actions. I have previously used Roxanne Evans Stout’s stencils before and knew that they would be perfect for this project. I also used Mary Beth Shaw’s Hunab stencil, Karen Johnson’s Ms. Nik stencil, and Carol Wiebe’s Lunar Symbols stencil. Here’s how to make these:

  1. Head to your local fabric shop and choose backgrounds that speak to you. My choice was batik style. You should also choose your favorite fringe. In this case, I chose gold coins as I imagined them waving in the wind and gleaming from the sunlight.

  2. While at the fabric store, pick out some quilt squares. I picked my mini squares up from the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY (where one of our favorite artists has her store, Ephemera Paducah) but larger versions are available at your local craft stores. You will also want to get some watercolor paper as it is very sturdy and can withstand multiple rain showers.

  3. Cut the flags to your desired size. Mine were about 9 x 8. Cut pieces of watercolor paper about three inches wide and five inches long. Cut the fringe to the same width as the fabric. Cut the quilt squares so that are about a half-inch shorter in width than your watercolor paper and about the same length. For example, if the width ends up at two inches, cut the length the same.

  4. Use brads to connect the quilt squares to the paper. Add gold fringe to the bottom. You might even want to consider using metal stampings. They will rust nicely in rainy weather.

  5. Using gold embossing powder and an embossing ink pad, emboss the stencils onto the fabric being mindful to leave about an inch at the top.

  6. Using two colors of acrylic paint, stencil the watercolor papers with the Hunab stencil.

  7. Fold the top one inch of the flag over and adhere using Fabri-Tac or similar permanent fabric glue. (It really does work!) Glue strips of silk sari strips across the top. Glue the fringe strips at the bottom.

  8. String the flags and the watercolor paper with jute, sari silk strips, chain, or other types of materials that seem interesting to you.

  9. Hang the set of wish flags where you can see them daily. Mine are hanging at the end of the pergola closest to my kitchen window. Notice the plant beneath? Hummingbirds love to frolic around it and the flags.

Are you interested in Tina Walker’s blog post on the experience? Check it out here. As of this writing, my flags have been hanging for more than a month now and very little damage has been done to them despite multiple, multiple, multiple severe thunderstorms. Why not add to the collaboration and create your own? I would love to see them!

And hey, if you are interested in learning how to create more art, you should check out our year-long art workshop, Art Walk Alchemy 2019. It’s never too late to get started on something new!

Anne Marie