My momma always told me I should not pick favorites - but I think this Dragon might take the cake. In Karate - The Dragon represents "wisdom and fighting spirit". It has always been one of my favorite animals as I've trained in the martial arts for the past 9 years and am enthralled by this mythical magical creature. After designing the Crown and Star, this was the next block I designed not being able to wait any longer. I originally looked to Sarah's Magic Parade dragon as the inspiration for this block, but wanted this dragon to represent the "fighting spirit" and add to the quilt, a feeling of power and fierce determination. The Magic Parade dragon was so sweet and also intricate. The little Tiny Dragon print dragon was a simple silhouette that worked perfectly and fit the image for the quilt.
I used Sarah's Castle Plans print in white as the background, as if to say this is the land the dragon presides over. The Castle Plan print is a directional print. If you are making this quilt using the kit from the Fat Quarter shop, or as is, all you have to worry about is making sure to keep your castle plan pieces upright (this is also true for any directional prints you may want to use). See the previous photo tip from the Castle Block post to fussy cut your pieces. As you can see in my photo above, they don't have to match up perfectly along side each other as they tend to blend nicely on their own.
As part of the Dragon block release today, I'm sharing my tools tips and troubleshooting. If you are new to paper piecing, you can find some detailed information on learning to paper piece with the Land of Magic Crown tutorial (working 1 full block), the Land of Magic Star tutorial (working one block in multiple sections and connecting at angles), and the Land of Magic Castle block tutorial (working with directional prints and "fussy cutting").
When working on any paper piecing project, I always have the following tools near my machine. I used to get up every five seconds, run to the iron or cutting mat and then back down to sew the next step - it wasn't just exhausting it was time consuming. By having these items nearby, you can save a lot of time while sewing. You will still need your iron for larger pieces, but a seam presser will be great for those smaller pieces.
|(Small self healing cutting mat, clear ruler with 1/4" line, seam ripper, fabric scissors, rotary cutter, seam presser)|
The Dragon block is the first block that will utilize many large fabric pieces. Some of these large pieces are only one large piece as it's own section. When working with large pieces, you can pin the larger fabric piece in place before attaching additional pieces, or glue baste them to stay in place. I don't prefer to use pins as they are often in the way when trimming edges. Glue basting the fabric to the paper with one or two little dots and then pressing (on fabric side) will keep it in place and offer the ability to easily sew and trim without shifting or having to remove pins. If you have a piece shift (large or small), as I did below, you'll need to unstitch the pieces and adjust.
You may not have to unstitch the entire seam, only the portion that is buckling with excess fabric. While unstitching, be careful not to rip the paper. To avoid this from happening, I start ripping the seam on the fabric side first. If by chance you do rip the paper, use a piece of washi tape or masking tape to hold it back together. Using a stronger tape, could make it more difficult to tear part later when taking all of the paper off the block. Once resewn flip it over and re-trim the seam.
Before trimming and piecing all of the sections together, lay all of them out to be sure the image looks correct. This can help you to discover any fabric mistakes prior to having the block entirely pieced together. Check again once all sections are trimmed, and continue to do this as smaller sections are sewn into larger sections.
Our guest blogger Angie from Gnome Angel was also very excited for the Dragon block. Angie picked an awesome "scale" like print and shares all the details of her block on her website. Isn't this photo awesome? I can't wait to see what she makes with the block. I can see a whole quilt of dragons too though.
To see some other awesome dragons made by my pattern testers, check out my instagram feed throughout the next two weeks.
For those of you playing along and sewing along with each new block release...wanna know what prize you'll be hoping to win? This time we have an awesome giveaway from Electric Quilt Company. I could not have made these blocks as quickly as I did with out the awesome EQ7 program I use on my Mac. I have now had this program for only 2.5 years and have learned so much from simply using it. I love their program so much, and they love my patterns too - and decided to make me one of their DoYouEQ artists! How awesome is that? Their website is chock full of books, software and so much more. They have some tutorials to help you along the way and an awesome FAQ and help section as well.
The Electric Quilt Co is generously giving away 1 EQMini software program to 1 lucky participant that finishes their dragon block and posts it on Instagram. EQ Mini is a scaled down version of EQ7. You must be following myself (@kidgiddy) and @TheElectricQuiltCompany using the hashtag #LandOfMagicQuilt so I can see your block and choose a winner. You will have until the Mermaid block is released to get your Dragon block finished and entered for your chance to win. This is an awesome opportunity to get your feet wet in designing your own paper piecing quilts. This is open to a domestic or international winner. Depending on your location - you will either receive your prize as a hard copy of the software, or a digital version.
As always, please advise any questions you may have and thank you again for joining with me in this sew-a-long. Thank you again to all of my awesome Land of Magic sew-a-long sponsors too!
Disclaimer: I received fabric from Michael Miller Fabrics back in April to design this quilt for Sarah Jane Studios Quilt market booth. I have not received any product or monetary means from the sponsors of this sew a long for this sew a long or for their participation as sponsors. Opinions are my own, and there are no affiliate links. Thank you.