Thursday, March 23, 2006

March Journal Quilt

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.

Jen Mullen
Bayou Quilts
March 2006

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.


  1. oooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh!

    Scary AND beautiful! And your mitered bindings are perfect...

    Is there a technique you have NOT experimented with?

  2. Wow!...this is truly fantastic! Great composition, perfect combination of techniques and materials to convey your should be mighty proud of this!!!!!

  3. I really like how the background fabric works with the lion. I wouldn't have thought to combine the two.

    Good job!

  4. Very beautiful I do love the fabric and the lion ,the combination is lovely

  5. Fabulous Lion and the technique is just right--also like the accompanying fabrics. Very well done, Jen!

  6. Beautiful color combinations and workmanship and an interesting concept.

  7. That lion's head is wonderful and so is the background. A very successful piece of art.

  8. Jen,
    This is so coooooooool. Doing needle felting for the head adds so much more to this piece. Great job!

  9. Nicely done. I especially like the "beard-y" look (plus it's fun to say!)

  10. Incredible. Beautiful needle felting.

  11. Fabulous! Such a creative approach that totally worked! The felting is wonderful, and works so well with the background. I too like the "beard-y" look.

  12. Wow Jen, amazing! I love the lion's head, and what a perfect way to use the needle felting. He is wonderful! Jen

  13. Fun & joyful, something the world needs more of!

  14. You mean there are 2 people inside that costume dancing on those polls!!!!????????????

    You depicted the costumed head really well.

  15. Very cool portrayal and I like the colors!


Good to hear from you!