Another fairy dragon

The embroidery machine has surpassed the four million stitch mark. That is a pretty good milestone considering most of what I do is computer-assisted conventional sewing with a much lower stitch count. But once in awhile I mix my metaphors, and the butterfly wings on the fairy dragons are probably my favorite.

This one’s in pansy colors, or Mardi Gras if you prefer.

Unfortunately, I think it’s past time for a tuneup. This is vinyl I’ve used regularly, threads I’ve used regularly, and I tried changing out the bobbin and the needle and the machine speed and tension and everything else I could think of. I’ve checked the hoop screws, tried a top stabilizer, everything. It still runs fine on minky and other things, but white vinyl is the canary in the coal mine for coverage issues.

I have a fair queue of things in “finished on the machine but awaiting final assembly,” including a gold version of the fairy dragon, and this is the kick in the pants I needed to get the Viking out and give it a test run, but I’ll still miss the larger-format machine while it’s in the shop.

Dragon taggin' day

I’m now up to, I think, three wrong-color shipments. After the next-to-last one, I made myself a reference sheet. And then I shipped a teal dragon instead of a peacock because my brain just went “yep everyone is ordering the latest color” and didn’t even look at the reference sheet. So the time has come to label things.

I have a sheaf of little string tags, but if you’ve seen my thank-you notes on packing slips you know my handwriting is less-than-great. So I pre-printed some.

The background is a copyright-free image from, (thanks, NASA/STScI!). I could have cut them on the Silhouette but it was easier to pull out the 2″ circle and hole punch. That tiny Swingline thingy is a hole punch and not a stapler as I thought when I picked it up for less than a dollar in a clearance bin.

For strings I used my rotary cutter to halve one of the generic-brand floss skeins I keep around for just such an occasion. That’s just the right length to slip through the tag hole, overhand knot, and then lark’s-head around the dragon tails.

Hopefully that will help. Now I just have to fix everywhere I call emerald “Mallard”…

Last-minute Valentine dragon

I’ve been a little quiet lately because I was bound and determined to actually finish one of the art dragons. And I did it, albeit a little later than good marketing would prescribe – Valentine items should be listed in mid-January.

I picked up a couple colors of Ben Textiles Royal Velvet that looked like they might be leaving fabric-dot-com’s stock, and then when they arrived I questioned all my life choices. The teal is nice (though dark, which is why I hadn’t ordered it before) but the fuchsia? It’s a great color but it is definitely not a dragon color.

… unless it was a ridiculous Valentine’s Day dragon, anyway. So I started noodling around with hearts in the wings, hearts in the frills, and somehow ended up stitching the thing out and thinking “well now I have to get it in the shop by V-day to have *any* hope of selling such a crazy thing” which gave me a deadline to work toward and, well, here we are.

I’m kind of embarrassed that my first finished “real” art dragon — one made without the peculiar constraints of all-in-one-piece sewing — is a novelty dragon. Whatever it takes, I guess. It’s a funny little hybrid critter, with the Celestial’s “noodle” body and the crimson Draco Splendens’ fish face (with hearts replacing the betta-fin frill).

It doesn’t absolutely have to be a Valentine dragon – it can hold a ring, so there’s a little bit of engagement-gift possibility.