Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Finished Pixelated Dragon Quilt

For the past few years, I've made a couple quilts for Christmas for my in-law family. Since the recipients know they're receiving quilts, I usually ask for color choices and general styles. Here's how the conversation with my brother-in-law went this year.

Me: What colors do you and your wife like?
BIL: She said we'd like something in black, red, and gold with dragon motifs.

He was joking at the time, but when I reminded him that I was making separate quilts for each of them, he said a bit hesitantly, "Well, I actually really would like a dragon quilt." So, that's what I set out to make for him.

I brainstormed for quite a long time about different possible ways of making a dragon quilt - paper piecing, applique, patchwork. I had almost settled on paper piecing, but wanted to enlarge all the patterns I found. I kept hemming and hawing because I wasn't fully committed. Then, I happened upon the Patchwork Pattern Maker from the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is this really great tool you can use to turn any photo into a quilt pattern. I searched for and tested several images of dragons until I found one that I liked and thought would translate best as a pixelated image.

Pixelated Dragon Quilt

I cut up three inch squares of varying prints in black, gray, green, red, orange, and yellow. For the background, I used whites and creams, whatever I had on hand. I then added some wide strips of fabric to the bottom of the quilt, representing a building or some other hard surface that the dragon is landing on or taking off from.

Pixelated Dragon Quilt

I quilted the body of the dragon in wavy lines and the wings have a scale motif quilted on them. The background I quilted in meandering loops.

Pixelated Dragon Quilt

I quilted each section of the "building" with a separate design. This one shows the angled meandering stipple and if you look closely at the yellow, you can see large ripples.

Pixelated Dragon Quilt

The back is comprised of various green fabric strips. I'm kind of a one-trick pony when it comes to quilt backs (if I piece the back at all), so I was glad to have a fairly easy, but not a flat sheet quilt back.

Pixelated Dragon Quilt

Sunday, January 4, 2015

It's about time I blogged again, eh?

Beuller? Beuller? Anyone out there?

I can't believe four months have passed since my last post. Well, I guess I'm not surprised. 2014 was a crazy year for me. I started grad school, got laid off, found a job, had a parent pass away, had another child start school, and ended the baby stage in our family. I still managed to make things, but the documenting part fell by the way side. I'm not sure I'll be any good at blogging this year, but I do hope to keep track of my projects better throughout the year. Here's my first attempt at catching up.

After seeing Angela's Arkansas Crossroads quilt she made out of Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee line, I knew I had to use my DS Florence fabric to make one of my own. I pieced the top several months back using Florence, coordinating solids, and Kona white.

Arkansas Florence Crossroads

Once it was all put together though, it didn't quite feel like "me" so I let it sit for a while. As Christmas neared and I hunkered down to finish gifts, I realized that this quilt was begging to be given to my son's teacher. My son is high functioning autistic and has attended a specialized school for the last two years. He's been blessed with a saint of a teacher and I wanted her to know how much we love and appreciate her. What better way to say that than with a quilt?

Florence Arkansas Crossroads Quilt

I really love how the quilting worked out with this one. In the main patchwork blocks, I quilted fairly tight meandering loops. Then, in the white sections, I quilted squiggly lines. The texture it created is so fun, and you can see it pretty well from the back.

Florence Arkansas Crossroads Quilt

The scrappy binding is made up from several pieces of leftover binding strips from other projects that coordinated well with the colors in the quilt itself. (I love it when things work out that way!)

My son delivered the quilt to his teacher's house, who leaves only a couple blocks away. She was touched by the gift and he said he was glad to have made her feel happy. And I was very happy to hear him say that.


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