Saturday, January 14, 2012


This quilt has been one heck of a learning curve. I don't draw and really this quilt is heading in that direction. Fortunately I have a starting sketch drawn by my tattoo artist to work from. That helps except it is the first sketch he made and he did edit it when he worked form it and now I am looking at it up close I am finding I need to change things. That's really scary. The next problem is the shading. The first problem there is I have a limited number of shades of thread and blending them doesn't entirely work, so I need to reduce all the shading on green areas down to 4 shades. To be fair I still haven't quite managed that I hope I will come up with a cunning plan for the rear leg in shadow. 

The absolute hardest thing though is working out which direction my lines need to go. Most of the time it is the same way I would quilt the shape but not always. The belly scales took me two attempts to get a result I liked. Fortunately I was fairly light with my first attempt so I didn't need to unpick just over sew. They aren't done but they are coming along now. They are pretty intensive my shoulders and neck have just informed me, and having just broken a needle as well I figured it was time for a break. Maybe I can get the rear scales done after dinner. That would be pretty exciting.


Feather on a Wire said...

It's looking seriously fabulous.

Sandy said...

I haven't had a look in the past couple days, so this may be too late for an idea for shading.

What I do is use 2 thread colours on either side of what I really want and the blending of them in one needle helps with the steps in the shading. Not sure if you can do 2 threads in one needle on your kind of machine?

Also I think the advice about the essence is a good one. I generally put it this way...'It doesn't have to be ----, it just has to look like it.' (this comment was generally directed to my son when I was doing some sort of costume for him and he was getting hung up on the details.)

Also, don't forget you have your nose up to the piece and not very many others will be looking at it that closely - or at least for that long. And besides, with your machine, you are only seeing the dragon in bits. It is wise to take a good proportion of the time to stand back and look at the whole. It is alot easier to get the essence then.
Looking forward to seeing it.
Sandy in Bracknell

Ferret said...

Duh! My first thought was 'that won't work'. I would have to run a huge needle which would do too much damage with this level of shading. No I wouldn't I would just need to run thinner threads, which I have tons of and in more colours than I do the thicker threads. Obvious. Why the heck didn't I think of that, I've done it often enough in hand sewing. Oh well I will know for next time, and now you've said it I think there will have to be a next time. that and I have enjoyed this a lot.

I actually went for sewing the same scale several times with the closest thread colour I had then once with the one to the other side of what I really wanted. It works pretty well. Combine the two techniques and I can have lots more colours :)

I use my phone to photograph the work as I go. I can't stand back and I haven't got room to unroll the whole thing, so mostly I hope. I won't see it properly until it gets to Quiltfest.