Hi, Good to see you back.  I hope you are enjoying my post’s.  In the last one I said I would take you through the creation of the Dragon, which by the way, still does not have a property show name yet, but I am sure that will come.

For those of you that have been following it on my FB page you may have seen a little of it but I want to show in more depth the stages that this has gone through and the amount of work that goes into the competition pieces.

So how did it all start?  Whilst surfing the net (is that still a thing? Lol) I came across a number of black and white drawings of dragons and three really stuck with me as all I could see was a quilt.  Has that ever happened to you?  I contacted the original artist and asked her permission to use the image to create a quilt, and was over the moon when she said ‘Yes, not a problem’.  So, this is the original image.

Now to get it onto a piece of fabric at the right size.  First of all I printed it off at a number of sizes, well I say I did, but in reality it was printed on a good number of sheets and cello taped together. I had to ensure that the image was going to be of a size that I could actually stitch all of the tiny areas that are easy to create with a pencil, but stitches, not so.  The circular areas needed to be circular when stitched, and not square with only 4 stitches creating it.  When I was happy with the size I then had to transform it from the original image into a line drawing.  Bring on the large roll of tracing paper I have and the big tables, which are thankfully quite high and saves my back from aching so much.

You can see here the tracing process. This bit along took one and a half days to do.

So, now I have a very large sheet of tracing paper with a line drawing on and this has to be traced onto the fabric, for which I chose black cotton.  Hmm, black.  No it is not easy to see through.  Thankfully I have a very large light box which my fabulous Dad created for me and which made this aspect so much easier.  However this still took more than a whole day to do, and a good number of leads in my white marking pencil.

In this photo you can see the fabric on the light box and the design being traced onto it.

Now, at some point I had to decide what sort of colors I was going to use on this, and I knew from the offset that it was going to be painted with fabric paints, so I had to have some sort of idea as to colors. So, it was literally back to the drawing board and break out the coloring pencils.  Then it was a trip to the NEC and a large internet order for more fabric paints.  Well, you have to don’t you 😉😉

In the meantime, I had to start stitching the outlines or there would be nothing to paint.  So, my long arm was loaded, with two layers of wadding and the image was lain on top and basted across the whole of it.  This means I can work on any area of the dragon I want to and am able to wind it back and forth as needed.  Once this bit was done, I could start stitching the outlines, including all the tiny little bits. This bit I know is going to take some time and it is going to involve hundreds, literally, of stops and starts, knotting a burying of threads.  It is a tedious but essential part.

I will take you through more of the stitching and into the painting in the next blog, but in the meantime, feel free to post comments and questions and I will do my best to answer them.