My dragon quilt! It is done!
I’m still pretty amazed that it’s finally done. I can’t even remember when I started working on this. It was last year sometime during the summer, so it must be coming up on a year now. I started planning this quilt when I nabbed The Weekend Quilter from a listing on Paperback Swap. It’s a neat little book and has a lot of quilt patterns that the book claims can be made in a weekend. I honestly don’t think that’s the case unless you already have your fabric, batting, binding, and threads all chosen and purchased before you begin, but the construction of the ones I’ve really read through do look like something you could dedicate a weekend to and come out with a finished quilt.
This one in particular is done using the pattern called “A Piece of Summer” from The Weekend Quilter. You can see that there’s nothing radical about the construction. The squares are about 8”, which makes cutting the plain squares quick and easy, and the pieced squares are done using some pretty basic right triangle techniques, which are clearly explained in the pattern. It didn’t actually take me long to piece together the top. I think picking out my fabric colors took longer. And I like that this top mixes really simple plain squares with simply pieces squares to make this look a little more complicated than it is.
I don’t know if you can see from these photos, but the color basis for this quilt are all pulled out of those little triangles of dragon fabric. This dragon fabric has gone through a lot. My mom originally bought this to make my youngest brother some curtains when he was little. Unknown to me at the time of starting my dragon quilt, my mom had also started working on a quilt using this fabric to base her colors on. So my little scraps there? They’re the scraps of some scraps. It’s kind of amazing that you can do that with quilting. The blue and the green also came from my mom’s quilt scraps and the white fabric came out of the collective trunk of fabric in our house. I bought the purple, pink, yellow, and backing fabric from Jo-Ann’s using a few coupons. The red fabric came from a haul that my sister had gotten from our grandma that she used for a photography project in college.
I’ve posted about my first quilts before, so I didn’t expect to have any issues with the actual quilting part of making my dragon quilt. I was wrong! First, I tried to quilt this using invisible thread for the top and cotton thread on the bottom. This didn’t work out. The invisible thread kept pulling the cotton up out of the top, regardless of what I did with the machine tension. So I ripped that out.
Then, I thought I’d try doing the blue for both sides, but I didn’t like how that looked on the top, so I ripped that out, too.
By the time I had decided on blue for the back and white for the top, my sewing machine started fighting me about everything. I was using a Singer Inspiration at the time, which I had gotten as a gift about a decade ago. I used it in spurts for most of its life – really heavily for a week or two and then not at all for months. I know I didn’t really take the best care of it because it was my first sewing machine and the poor thing had been dragged to and from college for four years. Not an easy life for a sewing machine. My sister had the same machine and had used it in a similar way and both of our machines started acting up at around the same time. Nesting regardless of tension settings, increased motor noise, and mine started this fun game of jerking the needle to the left every 20-30 stitches so that even the straightest of lines looked terrible. It was awful.
I bought a new sewing machine with my tax return earlier this year, but I kind of avoidable working on the quilt for a while. There was just so much aggravation with the old machine that I didn’t want a repeat of those machine fights. But once I actually sat down with the new machine and the quilt, I flew right through the rest. Only the binding really gave me any pause, but that’s mostly because I’m not great at making binding strips yet, so the back on the quilt had some uneven binding flaps. That was easy enough to fix with some quick hand sewing.
The finished quilt fits the top of a twin sized bed, which I think is probably the case with the other quilt patterns in The Weekend Quilter. It’s a great quilt to do and I’m really pleased that I finished it. It’s now another layer on my bed and it makes me happy to have it around in my room instead of tucked away upstairs in the craft room.