I hope the last blog gave you a little insight into how I am creating the Dragon quilt. There is still so much to be done with it yet and some will have to stay a bit of a secret until later on but I will take you through the whole process eventually.
When I left you last time the design had been transferred onto the fabric and was ready for stitching the outline ready for painting. Easy when you use a Longarm I hear some of you say. Well I can tell you now, its not, and the fact that I was using black thread on black fabric did not help! Some of the drawn lines had to be followed precisely and some were not as critical. In order to follow the lines accurately I used a number of rulers, both straight and curved and one with a hopping foot guide cut into it, but there were lots more areas where it was just me guiding the foot of the machine around all the lines.
If you look at the design in any detail you will also notice that there are lots of areas that are ‘stand-alone’ and not attached to anything else, e.g concentric circles. Some of which were not that big to stitch out in the first place as this picture shows. The hopping foot measures 1/2” wide so you can see the size of some of the shapes and areas.
Now because this is a show quilt I knot and bury all my thread start and stops, so all these stand alone areas had one of each, a stop and a start. I knew there would be a lot but I didn’t really bank on it looking like a hairy monster. This is when I start to wonder about my own sanity. What the heck was I thinking about 😂
This is just the beginning of all those thread ends
This is how it looked when I had finished.
ALL these had to be knotted and buried, so off the frame it came and went home with me to do in more comfort. It took a full day and a half to do all these. Thankfully I have a set of fabulous easy-thread needles called Spiral Eye needles so no having to poke the threads through an eye and hope you hit it first time. So much quicker with these so goodness knows how long it would have taken with a conventional needle. This is the needle I am talking about and you can see just how small some of the ‘standalone’ areas are here too.
The back view however gave me an insight to how it would look once the hairy beast had been tamed. Now was the time to start getting just a little bit excited about how it could look.
So, one and a half days of knotting burying later it was ready to start painting, – yes it took me that long to tame it. This is when you hope that you are going to be able to do it justice with your painting skills, and hope that it doesn’t start to bleed into other areas. I had acquired a good number of fabric paints, so, it was time to begin. Grit the teeth, take a deep breath and dip that brush in that pot and get it on the fabric.
I have to say it went through some strange looking stages as the colours were added, but I could see its potential beginning to emerge. This is time consuming work and was obviously going to take some time.
I will leave you with some photos of the stages of its emergence as if from a chrysalis and will join you next time for the next installment. It might even have a proper name by then 😉