Monday, October 11, 2010

Embroidered Wedding Prayer Flag (with pseudo-tutorial)

As I mentioned in a couple of recent posts (here and here), I have been very much looking forward to the October wedding of my best friend. The wedding weekend has finally arrived, and the big day was yesterday, 10/10/10!

The brides invited their guests to decorate squares of fabric that would hang as prayer flags at the site of the wedding ceremony, which was held outdoors in the beautiful Hudson Valley. Here are a few of the flags:

I'll show you the one I made in a moment, but first I have to gush over the flag made by my girlfriend's grandmother (AKA Grams):

A craft-themed prayer flag with an embroidered Care Bear and a wee knitted sweater?! (Pardon me for a moment while my head explodes from its awesomeness.)

Like Grams, I decided my prayer flag should feature embroidery. I was a reader at the wedding, so I decided to stitch the first two lines of the poem I read, which was W.H. Auden's O Tell Me The Truth About Love:

I'm pretty darn enthusiastic about the method I have been using recently to transfer designs onto fabric, so I snapped some photos as I worked so that I could give a bit of a tutorial in this post. 

Here's the fabric before I started working. It's cotton, and vulnerable to fraying so I protected the edges with tape:

Then I drew my design on a bit of Sulky Solvy Water Soluble Stabilizer. (I love this stuff: it's super-easy to stitch through, and when you're done stitching, you just submerge your piece in warm water and it dissolves like magic! It's perfect for transferring a design onto something that's too dark for fabric marker). I taped the Sulky to the fabric so that it would stay in place while I basted it on.

Then I basted the Sulky into place:

Then I stitched! Here's how it looked before dissolving the Sulky:

And here's how it looked afterwards! I did get some fraying on the edges when I ripped off the tape, so I just used my pinking shears to tidy it up. (I am just now noticing that Grams did the same thing!)

Sassy insisted on inspecting the piece before we left for the wedding. Doesn't he look ominous here?

Getting a closer look. 

Happy, happy wedding, M & L! I was also very honored to create a little pouch that held their rings during the ceremony -- you can expect to see photos of that here in the coming days!

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