I was recently approached by a friend to design for her, a few oriental motifs to compliment the quilt she had assembled for her nephew and his wife. The kicker was she was asked to use some oriental fabrics they had purchased while teaching abroad for a year. (Rayon)
She did a wonderful job, using large pieces and making a modern quilt top using very traditional Chinese fabric. The quilt is full of Chrysanthemums, Dragons and Phoenix.
Yummy I thought.
It's great when I have a customer who knows what they want and in this case she wanted the quilt to remain with a light feel, so loose themed meandering was her initial request.
But she had a center block that featured a large Mum and a lot of unbalanced negative space.
Perfect spot for a Dragon and a rising Phoenix. ( Ying / Yang )
A lot of illustrations of dragons come complete with fire. I needed to start with something simpler. I hauled up the classic 9 Dragon wall in the Forbidden City.
This was a great starting point, but I wanted to look at simpler still. A lot of neat features though.
I found a picture of the Welsh Dragon, but it was more of a Griffin than a Chinese dragon.
This next guy was more like it but not standing in the pose I wanted.
So I was forced to start drawing.
This elegant Phoenix easily flipped and turned into this handsome girl.
The wings are understated in all this but would be fleshed out in the stitching.......
The tail could go on forever!!
The dragon needed a more ferocious head and stretching out so the two illustrations together, would wrap the Mum, a fixed feature of the fabric.
Using my projector I could size and place them in position on this plastic sheet.
I have since changed the dragon, bringing his head further down well beneath the corner of the Mum panel.
So I sent these off to my friend for her approval.
I've ordered thread. All of my red is blue/red, not the orange flame red this fabric features. So we need to wait for that.
I guess the biggest question is how simplistic does the feature have to remain.