I mentioned before that I am entering two quilts in my guild's first-ever show this month. The first is "Tyger! Tyger! Burning Bright" (my Star Quilt Along quilt). The second is called "Dragon's Moon."
This quilt was started in a class I took back in 2002. The design is from the Marge Edie book, Bargello Quilts, and is called "Fractured Rhapsody." I finished the quilt top pretty quickly, but then was feeling really uninspired by it. Later that year, I took a beading class from Nancy Eha at the Houston International Quilt Festival. That's when I decided the quilt needed BEADS!
The Asian fabrics prompted me to check out a Dover clip art book titled, Chinese Designs, from which I adapted the dragon design.
Then, thinking the quilt seemed a little unbalanced, I decided that the dragon needed something on which to focus his rapt attention...
And so the moon appeared. It's an appliqued organza circle surrounded with beads.
I completed all of the beadwork and quilting in 2005. (I have no idea how many beads are in that dragon... but there are a LOT and it took a LONG time to do.) I even got most of the binding sewn down. But then I stalled, and the quilt sat in my UFO pile until I decided to enter it into the show. Last month, I finally finished the binding, got the sleeve sewn, and made the label.
It only took me 7 years!
It's funny... looking at this quilt now, there are a lot of things I would have done differently. The moon would be bigger and have a lot more beading (it's just way to subtle compared to the dragon). I would have added a weight to the bottom right corner to balance the weight of all the beading. I would have done a lot more quilting (the quilting is pretty minimal on this... just following the wave pattern of the bargello design, and pretty sparsely at that. The weight of the beading really called for more quilting, I think). But one thing I wouldn't change is the dragon. I just think he's pretty darn cool. And that's why I want to show off this quilt at the quilt show.