Saturday, 18 June 2011

Mandala-ing again

Prayer flag border

 So the tricky thing about this quilt has been the circles and curved seams, the straight lines being a relative breeze. Also, I was determined to get the right number of lotus petals so there was a bit of geometry and compass use involved (I am now the proud owner of a protractor for the first time since GCSE maths).

This was all whilst watching the Battlestar Galactica box set. So now every time I gaze at the centre of the mandala I get a slowed down version of 'All along the Watchtower' playing in my head.

The outer ring of 64 lotus petals that 'represent the purified state of mind and the nerves of the heart' was hand-sewn to Buffy the Vampire Slayer with red wine accompaniment.

Once the basic ring was complete the task was to set it in the centre of an even bigger square, because straight lines are much easier and bed shaped. I had bought a couple of Tibetan prayer flags a few years earlier (would you believe from a shopping centre off the M6?) with this quilt in mind. I wanted to incorporate these flags into the quilt and because the material is so flimsy I first had to sew them onto plain white cotton.

In doing this I have most certainly committed a huge faux pas. The idea is that these flags are hung in high places and when the wind blows the air is sanctified and purified by the Mantras, promoting peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. Because the mantras on the flags are sacred, they should be treated with respect and 'not placed on the ground or used in clothing'. Whoops.
The other oversight was that they are supposed to disintegrate as the images fade from exposure to the elements, 'just as life moves on and is replaced by new life'. I have to say I was warned, but I really liked these little fellas (wind horses).

Wind Horse

I started to panic a bit when I kept snagging threads with hangnails and needles - they definitely weren't going to stand the test of time. I did eventually find a solution to this, by sewing coloured organza* over the flags so now I have probably committed an even bigger sin, and I can almost hear these little trapped voices squeaking 'let me out'.

*Emergency organza shopping trip to Just Sew, my favourite friendly fabric shop

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