TGIFF: Dragon Flimsy

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I’m not sure when I started this project, but I know that my husband chose the dragon fabric in the center in 2010, just after we moved to Vancouver, Washington from Reno, Nevada. I don’t think I cut into it until at least a year later, possibly two.

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Initially, I had trouble deciding what to do with it because of the way the dragons were spaced and oriented on the fabric. I couldn’t cut around a dragon, including seam allowances, without cutting into its neighbor. I considered cutting more closely around them and appliqueing them onto something else, but then I would have lost all the beautiful color and design in the dragon fabric itself.

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Once I determined how to handle the dragon fabric and created the center panel, I wanted to do something that would emphasize the beautiful colors without feeling “feminine.” The spikiness of triangles suited my purpose, but standard flying geese didn’t seem to fit the bill. Based on techniques I learned about ten years ago in a class taught by Joanne Belling, I varied both the center and outward points of the triangle in an attempt to evoke the movement of a dragon’s spine.

I love the way they turned out, but those geese took me FOREVER. I definitely learned a few things about designing my own quilts, such as to be grateful to all of those who do it professionally because it is HARD.

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Around the time I was half-way through making all those geese, my husband wandered into my sewing room and asked if it was going to be big enough for him to cuddle up in. Umm…NO! Based on the size of the panel I’d been able to create, I was aiming for something he could hang on the wall in his office. WHOOPS!!! So that explains the massive borders.  😀

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He’s 6′ 4″ (193cm), so this thing is BIG. It’s about 85 by 102 inches right now. He doesn’t know I’ve finished it, so I’ll be excited to give it to him later this year once it’s complete. I had to utilize my intended backing fabric for the borders, so now I have to go fabric shopping. My stash doesn’t contain anywhere near enough coordinating yardage to back this bad boy.

The embroidered motifs are from Susan Briscoe’s book, “Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match.” I hope I haven’t committed any cultural faux pas, as I have no idea what–if any–region of the world the dragons are meant to be from. I just thought the motifs were beautiful and that my husband would like them.

I’ve lined up an awesome long-armer who is going to quilt dragons in the negative space for me. It will likely cost me an arm and a leg, but it will be worth it.

Linking up with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, hosted this week by Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts. She’s made the most unique and interesting sports uniform quilt I’ve ever seen! Have a great weekend!

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