Friday, January 20, 2006

"Immature Dragon Frolics in the Sea" JQC2006

Wed. -I finished my journal quilt (again). Realized that I had not done any sewing or fiddling or creative all day, and decided to put the binding on and call it done. At least this one is the right size.
Thurs. - Pictures are now uploaded to Picasa, and I'm ready to put this entry together.














Notes

1. Used gold tissue paper for the dragon, who is a bit too glittery, and I'll try to tone him down. Background is blue tissue on lime green felt, and highlighted with gold ink, white ink, and some metallic powders. Fabric pieces of waves are fussy cut and all is applied with some dabs of fabric glue for the nonce. Can use blue bamboo fabric for binding; gold metallic thread for quilting.
















2. Used Golden gel medium on him after giving him more distinct features with a fabric pen. The gel medium will protect the ink and dulls him down a bit. Maybe one more coat...This fellow came from an embroidered Mandarin Dragon robe; I had seen him somewhere else as a detail, then last night, found another picture and realized that he had been the main feature on a beautiful garment. He (well, the original, to which my dragon bears only a passing resemblance as I could not begin to include all of the detail) is known as The Rising Celestial Dragon, and the robe is from the Qing Dynasty 1796-1820. My dragon will be, oh, Immature Dragon Frolics in the Ocean, or something.












3. Used variegated metallic thread for machine quilting at the top and alternating silver and gold embroidery thread for hand quilting at bottom.
metallic gel pens help bring out features, but still not too clear.

Added two kinds of beads at top and black beads for eyes.

Decided against the blue bamboo fabric for binding and used this red instead. Fused binding
again.









Detail






















4. Back with journal details printed on fabric. It reads:

January 29 is the date of the Chinese New Year in 2006, and I wanted to use this idea in some way on the January journal page. After finding a picture of a Chinese dragon that was part of the embroidery on a Mandarin Dragon coat during the Qing dynasty, I decided to work with this image (which sadly loses all of the lovely detail of the original).

Applied fusible to a piece of felt, then crumpled blue tissue paper and ironed it onto the felt which created a nice texture. Next, I found some sheer gold foil (also "tissue paper"), traced a general outline of the dragon on the foil, and cut this out. This was the most difficult part as I could barely see the outline and cutting the detail was time consuming and hard on the eyes. In my scraps, there was some Asian fabric with blue on blue waves that I fussy cut and arranged with the dragon on the blue background. Fabric glue kept things situated until stitched on. Next, the machine quilting with variegated metallic thread, hand quilting with silver and gold thread, application of beads. Finally, creating this page, and the binding will finish things up for this month.

Since the Dragon is extremely important in Chinese Mythology, here are some random Dragon facts:

  • The Dragon pre-dates Chinese written history.
  • Imperial Chinese dragons have five toes/claws on each foot.
  • Chinese dragons are strongly associated with water.
  • Chinese dragons symbolize power, excellence, heroism, nobility, and divinity.While they can be vain, Eastern Dragons are beautiful, gregarious, and wise.

I like the association of the Dragon with Tai Chi postures such as "mature Dragon leaving the water." My Dragon, however, is "immature Dragon frolics in the sea."

Jen Mullen Bayou Quilts

22 comments:

  1. Fascinating piece Jen - thanks for the detailed walk through it. I haven't tried anything like this, but I sure like your results - may have to branch out one of these days!

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  2. Your dragon embodies a most endearing American quality, I think: building on ancient traditions, but with great freedom and humor!
    I really like how you combined the machine quilting and the hand embroidery. They bring out the best in each other and provide an interesting structure for the piece.

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  3. oh Wow Jen! He's gorgeous. I so love your work. The texture you've brought to it as well as design is just delicious. I'm a dragon in chinese signs (though a wood element) and have always been drawn to them :)

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  4. I love your dragon, Jen! He has such personality =-) And I love the sparkle of your piece, the blue is so rich. The waves are perfect and add even more movement to his frolic! Great!
    DebbyMc

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  5. I love how the dragon turned out and it was so cool to see all those in-progress pics!

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  6. WoW! I wouldn't even know where to begin to make such a stunning quilt! Where did you learn how to work with all those mediums? I especially love the water fabric, and the way you cut it to echo it's fluidity. Your explantion on the back of the Chinese dragon is wonderful! Thanks for breaking down the process of making this so clearly. Great job!

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  7. How cool to read and see your in-progress notes and pics. The dragon really evolved with each technique!

    The info about dragons is really cool too!

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  8. Beautiful work! I love the way you combined papers and fabric. This is definitely something I hope to try.

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  9. What better way to start the new year and your journal than with a dragon? especially with your involvement with the robe and Tai Chi. Very well done and fitting.

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  10. I love all the layers in this piece, the combination of fabric and paper. Your dragon is great.

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  11. I agree with everyone's comments and I am fascinated with the felt/paper technique. I like the boldnesss of the gold and the red binding compliments the energy of the adolescent beast. Really looks like you had fun creating this piece.

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  12. Wonderful piece Jen. Your dragon turned out great. Looks just like the ones you see in the Chinese New Year parades. I like how you journaled everything on the back.

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  13. Very creative, Jen. I like variation of textures; the metallics, the crumpled tissue and the patterns of the waves.

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  14. This piece, the process and explanation of the dragon says so much about you.This is what I am working toward and you have accomplished it beautifully.

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  15. Jen - I like your dragon and am very impressed with all the techniques you used.. more inspiration for journal quilts in my future

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  16. I love the colors. Red was definitely the best choice for the binding. "Frolic" is the perfect verb for what your dragon is doing.

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  17. A wonderful piece! Love the combination of materials. I already feel a hamster gathering all kinds of fabrics and embellishments but you even offer a bigger source... Thanks for explaining evrything so well, learned a lot from it.

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  18. You used such a wide variety of media and techniques in this piece - I'm agog at the many layers of techniques for such an innovative piece. I can't wait to see more of your work!

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  19. Facinating walkthrough of techniques, and a beautiful result! The combination of materials is inspiring in a whole new way. Jen

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  20. I can't believe how many techniques you used that I have never even thought to try. Good going - very inspirational. It turned out just spectacular.

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  21. I would never have thought fusing tissue paper or gold foil to felt would turn out so interesting! Great job..

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  22. i love the stitching lines and the binding on this terrific quilt. thanks for sharing!

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Good to hear from you!