Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Dragon rinsed and beyond

Ok here is the dragon after rinsing to remove the marking pen..did it work, well yes and also no.

 There is a hint of the pink remaining in the lettering. I am not worried about that as it has just had a couple of rinses in cold water and not a full wash.  So I anticipate that will ease out that last little hint.

The stay put colours have lost a little of their depth however, I am ok with that.  I hope that the full wash is as kind.

So are you wondering about the not part, well with the grey outline gone the design lost a certain sharpness.  I had tried doing the outline from behind in a dark colour thinking it would soften to something close to approaching the grey when viewed from the front (not having a dye pen in grey, the pastel is too thick). I think the best way to show the result is this close up of the dragons head after the washing. The dragon looks in need of a dentist don't you think?

Dragon face

I stared at it for a little while and made the decision to re outline from the front, knowing that would be a less subtle effect than I had been getting from the grey but the teeth and claws needed something doing.

Dragon face

Now those teeth look "all the better to eat you with my dear" ok, not the wolf and not grandma but you get the idea.

Dragon all set, time to move onto the letters.  Some touching up to the green lettering on the lower right (the pen is running out and faded, which considering this set is over 16 years old is still rather impressive) in between filling in the letters, giving the pen a rest in between.

So some letters blue, some letters green and some teal a touch of the gold here and there and I feel that the panel is finished.

It took a surprising amount of white pastel (special fabric dye, not normal artists pastels) to get to this point.  The white helped to blend the other colours. Here are my pastels. You can see which ones did all the work.

Oh right, the finished look, well unless I change my mind tomorrow and start messing about with it...I do that sometimes.

This is where the Dragons went...

Presuming I stop with the panel at this point, 
 to quilt or not to quilt, that is the question?


Sunday, 8 January 2017

First Sunday stitching of 2017

Now there is no Christmas deadline to encourage over optimism the amount of white remaining looks to be an uninteresting prospect.  Thank goodness for little bits of blue that will I hope break the monotony.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Dragon in colour

Well this is the picture before the scary moment, the moment when I hope the pen that is washable washes out. Still scary, even when I have washed these pens out time after time.  More of a worry, will the colour I want to stay in stay put or will it fade.  As I type, it is spinning in the washing machine.  Fingers crossed.


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Monday, 2 January 2017

A touch of colour

and the dragon begins to form.  The lettering is not as evenly spaced as I might have liked (and I spotted a spelling mistake or two and had to correct) however it is mine and will fit in with my crafting motto.

Its back to work tomorrow so not sure if this project will continue at the same pace but at least it is progressing.

  • Sleeping Dragon

Sunday, 1 January 2017

In to 2017

This time last year I posted in-to-2016 about my thread ball and I noted that once the display case put an end to balling thread that the parsimonious craziness did not come to an end.

Now my local council kindly gives away free cloth bags at the local show as part of the drive for recycling.

I had one of those bags, I started popping my fabric scraps into the bag as per my   Bits-A-Quilt  projects. So of course the bag was to hand when I was working on quilts and producing those lengths of thread which needed a purpose.

So, I started stitching the thread (doubled up) into the top of the bag. This particular use it up started when I was quilting my hidden-star-hidden-beauty-quilt.  with its differing browns and golds.  And kept going with the colours from quilt after quilt.  I can look at the bands of colour and recall quilts that I have made and given away.                 

You can see the first bit to the left of this picture, I think there are threads from at least ten quilts (both the quilting left overs and the tacking thread) in this band.

The patterns change as it moves around the bag depending on the colours available from the projects at hand.

Now as I added the stitches something unintended happened. A little tighter each trip around the band as I worked my way to the top.

This reduced the diameter quite considerably. You can get a hint of it on the picture to the left.

I have stopped adding thread as I needed to leave room to sew on a lining to the bag.

Like some other projects that I thought might get finished in 2016 this one has not quite made it.

I have the lining in but the edges have not all been sewn over just yet.  And yes I am using thread from the last quilt I was working on tree-quilt (and the pink thread I tacked that one with).  I may even need to make another quilt just to get enough thread to finish it LOL.

This is the top of the bag (stuffed with bits) before the lining goes in.

So once the lining is all sewn on, will that be the end of it?

Well..no..the friendly local council keep giving me nice cloth bags.  So there is plenty of scope for more thread decorating and using up in the future.

1st Sunday stitching update of 2017

Well even stitching during Christmas films did not speed this up in time to get finished for Christmas. Whilst the dark pink is finished there is still lots of white to go, some blue ans a little light pink.

Can you tell what it is yet?  To be honest if I did not know what it was I don't think I would be know from this.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

The next step

in the project. Working out the words. This was a full pack of pencils when I started designing the lettering. You will see that after a lot of rubbing out and redrawing there was quite a reduction in pencil. 

Which resulted in this arrangement. Please note that the red lines were already on the bit of flip chart paper I was recycling to make the pattern. and should be ignored.

Sleeping dragon? This is where the dragons went...

Now the trick is to get the writing onto the material around the dragon already traced on. I have made a start and it is not going well. The original transfer of the dragon must have had some slippage as it does not fit exactly to the pattern.  I am going to see what it looks like once I have wiggled and jiggled and slipped it about to get the letters in. If it looks ok then on with the project.  If not, well that pen is washable you know and I will just have to prove it all over again and try tracing the design out in one go dragon and quote at the same time....

Monday, 26 December 2016

A small start much delayed.

You may, or may not and if not try this link (link to older post) recall a design I put on a hairbrush.  A sleeping version of Monument Dragon.  Well I wanted to use the same image to make a cover for a small duvet.

I enlarged the design using an overhead projector and copied it out using washable marker onto some white fabric.  It then got popped into a bag with the bits for the Tree Quilt Project and both were left for some time while I worked on getting Rainbow Cat and the leaf quilt finished for the show.

I then decided the Tree Quilt bits needed a refresh and popped the contents of the bag into the washing machine.  As I lifted out the bits and hung them up I came across a large piece of white material.  I wonder what I was planning on doing with this I thought, it is too small to be backing for this quilt....Oh! it was my dragon, well proof positive that the washable pen was in fact washable.

Just as well I had kept the enlarged design as I had to draw the whole thing out again.

  You can just about see it here.  The start is further delayed as a result of the Dragon Batik bag.

I liked the result of the quilted writing on that bag so much and this design has so much white space on it that the idea of adding some words just won't go away.

The words that I kept turning to is a section of prose from a Terry Pratchett book,Guards!Guards! I keep trying to find something shorter or simpler but that section appeals to me so very much, it yearns to be used.

So I have taped some extra paper around the edge of my enlargement of the dragon and need to work on a style for the words and of course getting the spacing right to fit it all in.

Then transfer to  the fabric and make a start, hopefully in the not too distant future, on colouring it in with permanent fabric markers.  Wish me luck, I feel I am going to need it, there are a lot more words to fit in this time.

(here is the link to the design with words the-next-step)

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Tree quilt

Some time ago I made a blue-and-brown-and-cream-quilt, when posting about that quilt I mentioned my problem with counting and that I had made a panel more than I needed, in fact I made two too many.

I originally gave them and the left over squares to that quilts recipient as she was interested in quilting herself.  However, a move meant she parted with her sewing machine and so she gave me the pieces back.

They became a sew a bit and see what happens project if I had a bit of extra time when working on another project.  On occasion I played around with the layout at the quilting group and would be asked who was it for.  The reply, I don't know yet.

I have a collage of various quilts as my "wall" image on Facebook, the blue and brown and cream quilt is amongst them.  A lady from Church asked me if I had any quilts I was willing to sell and mentioned she liked that quilt.  Of course I no longer had that one and told her so.  She offered to buy the materials to make a quilt and pay for my time, something big enough for lying on the couch and snuggling in.

I told her I would think about it, which was sort of true.  I already had in mind that I would make her a quilt but had not thought quite what to do. I was waiting for her recent move to be over and a hint of her new decor.  This preference for a previous quilts colours, given a top was part constructed was a light bulb moment.

Blue and Brown and Cream quilt

I added just one more set around the central design then a wide boarder of dark blue and I was all set to quilt.  As the pattern had not started out with the recipient in mind I wanted the quilting to be a more personal reflection of her.

A mother,foster mother, grandmother  and foster grandmother she has spent her life working with children and  strengthening the family.

 So a hand quilted tree in the middle with the word family machine quilted under it. This is it from the back as it does not take a good picture from the front. 

Stick people

Stick people
Four hand quilted leaves in the corners to represent her four children then little stick people machine quilted on the edges, male and female again representative both in figure and style of the children in her life.(I did not have the energy to do one for each grand or great grand child and after all that number is quite likely to increase, it is up to twenty seven already!)


For those of you familiar with my religious affiliation the three little apliques of Sun, Moon and Star (using pieces from the quilt material) alongside side tree and family will be a symbolism you are familiar with.  My friend certainly was, as I gave her the quilt she exclaimed with delight "oh you did it, you made a quilt, it is exactly what I wanted" and  again offered to pay me for it.


I smiled, hugged her told her not to be daft that it was thanks for years of friendship and that her obvious appreciation and open joy in it was the best of payments.

And I meant it!