The March Journal Quilt celebrates the lion and the Chinese Lion Dance. Dating back to the early Ch’in and Han Dynasties (Third Century B. C.), the Chinese Lion Dance is associated with the Chinese New Year, the consecration of temples, the opening of businesses, planting and harvest times, weddings, births -- celebrations. The lion dance is believed to bring luck and happiness.
The lion is enacted by two dancers. One handles the head and can move the lion’s mouth, eyes, and ears for expression. The second controls the body and tail. These are usually skillful kung fu students and their movements are full of life and energy. accompanied by three musicians playing a large drum, cymbals, and gong, the lion is led by a Little Buddha who teases it with a fan or giant ball.
If you ever have the opportunity to watch the remarkable antics of these joyful and flirtatious creatures, don’t pass it up.
This piece was needle-felted onto a piece of fabric that was then stitched with various threads for texture and design. The needle-felted head was then cut out and sewed onto the background fabric.
Here is the needle-felted head before being cut out. I left some of the wool partially needle-felted, but loose to create the "beard-y" look.
Here is the final version. And detail.
The colors, details, and expressions vary slightly among lions, and there is a difference between Northern and Southern lions. This is an example I've posted before -- an excellent video clip of a portion of a lion dance.