Aldi has $5 letter boards this week so I finally joined the trend and got one. I will not use it for every blog title, I promise.
These dragons aren’t going in the Embroidery Patterns for a change. The dragon is from an Urban Threads design – I imported it into Inkscape, borrowed just the top outline path, rescaled it and let Ink/Stitch choose its own stitch points on the path. You can’t rescale everything that way but it worked fine for this. It didn’t stitch the same points coming and going (it’s a continuous-line design) like it did in the original design, but it’s a slightly sketch-style design anyway.
Mostly resting my wrists after completing the dragons, but I whipped up another little freebie snap tab design. Apparently my lavender dragon was close enough to an Aerodactyl for someone, so one of these will get tucked in with that.
I had heard that the greenhead flies were bad this year, but I didn’t really grasp just how bad until I drove out to the birdwatching point on Brigantine Island and thought I must have disturbed a honeybee hive. The car was swarmed when I pulled into the parking area… and then I realized they weren’t bees, they were greenheads. And that was with a brisk onshore breeze that should have blown the bulk of them further inland (Brig is a barrier island, so the marshes were downwind of us).
I’ve finally got another couple of art-doll dragons ready for the shop. Tomorrow is forecast to be nice and sunny so I’ll wait until then to do a proper photo shoot.
The blue dragon is one I’d completely forgotten about. I sewed it right after the Gold Sparkle Dragon but its little headknobs just would not turn, so I tossed it in the rework bin thinking I’d have to come up with separately-sewn horns to put on it. It fell out when I tossed another failure in there, and I tried a Dritz Quick-Turn rod on it and they popped right out. It’s the last of the smaller size dragons.
The Silver Sparkle is the first with (partially) wired wings, and the last sewn-and-turned dragon. The tall skinny legs are just way too hard on my wrists, but that’s as large as I can get on the 5×7 hoop without multiple hoopings. Which, of course, I’ll do soon.
Watch the sidebar for these to be listed, along with some new colors of beanie dragons.
This isn’t much of an embroidery design; it’s just Ink/Stitch’s built-in font. But if I wore ball caps* and had a hat hoop, this is what I’d wear. Not in red** but maybe teal or purple. The file includes a 4×4 size for hats, and a 5×7 size for totes or whatever, in case you still haven’t tried Ink/Stitch out yourself.
I was looking for the right thread to finish a few dragons, alternate greens and bronzes, when I realized one of the ones I’d picked up had my childhood initials on it. Hmm, what would I have made that was… oh.
In junior high home ec, we made two projects. Despite having taken a bunch of Stretch’n’Sew classes with my mother and regularly sewing in polyester knits (it was the 70’s, okay?) the teacher required us to all sew in non-stretch fabrics, so I made a skirt that I had outgrown by the time it was finished.
The second project we had more freedom on, and I sewed a pillow. Couldn’t just be round or square, oh no. Then as now, I had to make something *slightly* beyond my abilities, so I decided to sew a doughnut-shaped pillow. Out of avocado-green shag faux fur (it was the 70’s, okay?).
I learned two things out of that: one, you can’t machine-sew the inside of a doughnut if you expect to be able to turn it (at least, not without some weird tricks I didn’t know then). Two, there is not enough stretch in shag faux fur to sew it as a simple flat shape. Stuffing it will pull the outer seam in (fine) and the inner seam “out” (not fine), so the taut seam in the middle made for a less-comfortable pillow than I had imagined.
In other news, I’ve been working on more colors of hatchlings, ordered more gold minky and yet another green (not avocado; it is not the 70’s) to try out.
I’ve been resting my wrists a bit before working more on the art doll dragons; I’m a week or two late in getting them posted, but this batch is kind of a step up in complexity and I want to make sure they’re done right.
I’ve been restocking beanies and experimenting with different colors for the bronze and/or greens; those will likely show up in the limited-edition slot after the lavenders sell out.
My off-machine time has been taken up working on the not-ready-to-photograph sea dragon, but I kept the machine busy the last couple days making teacher gifts for the Head Start site I volunteer at. We’ve hit the end of a session (though it resumes for the summer after a week break), so I made a couple of hand sanitizer holders for the teachers in my classroom, and let the other classroom’s teachers and the lunch lady pick from a random assortment of snap tabs.
The Hispanic lunch lady jumped right on the taco one.
The rainbow ones were larger than I’d expected (all these have been Designs By Little Bee patterns), but one of those went too.
The dragon emojis (a design of mine) had already gone out in Etsy orders.
I also converted the pug plushie design into a snap tab; it’s a *lot* of color changes, and I lost the underfill for the pupils. So this batch will go as freebies in any pug plushy orders I get, and I’m not sure I’ll make any more.
The art-doll style dragons are proving to be pretty hard on my wrists. I have both tendinitis and carpal tunnel going on, neither of them very serious (yet!) and turning tiny dragons, jamming stuffing in until they’re rock-solid, and then hand-sewing openings and wings and such through multiple thicknesses of upholstery fabric requires a lot of effort.
Of course, that’s not all: I have managed to forget to cut out the topstitching window in two or three wing sets. I finally gave up on the silver one and picked all the stabilizer out of the topstitching instead of redoing it).
At any rate, I am almost ready to start listing them again. As I’ve mentioned, I have two Etsy slots for them, so my plan is to get four finished (or nearly-finished) dragons, list two, and be ready to fill a slot as soon as it sells out.
The silver sparkle dragon just needs its wings sewn on (they’re just resting in place there) and its horns attached and it’s done. It’s probably the last dragon I’ll make that I have to turn.
The blue dragon started out as a sea dragon – the wings are based on a guillemot/murre, which uses its wings to swim underwater like a penguin as well as fly above it. But I didn’t care for the contrast of the first wings so now it has blue star-and-nebula wings, and its name varies between “lesser sea dragon” and “sea-of-stars dragon.” It’s done except for finding a glue that will work on the eyes, and for picking the white stabilizer out of its seams.
I reverse-sewed it like I did the silver dragon (remember the silver dragon? I’ll get back to it, I promise). I didn’t have to turn it, but I did sandwich the stabilizer in to act as interfacing in the crest, and it doesn’t tear away easily without shredding the raw fabric edges. It wasn’t as visible on the silver dragon, but it really shows up in the blue.
I have another silver dragon in the works, reverse sewn but with gray cotton as stabilizer. True D&D nerds will recognize it from its wing, in the foreground waiting to be cut out: a Dungeons and Dragons silver dragon has two “thumb” claws on each wing. This one won’t be quite as ornate as the earlier one; more on the order of the lesser sea dragon.
The fourth is the teaser on the right: an over-the-top six-hooping Greater Sea Dragon. The previous ones are all four hoopings: body, legs, head, and wings. I’m pretty proud of that one. The mockup went fine, but the real thing has required a couple of restarts. I’ve current gotten through three of the five hoopings, and only tackle them when I’m feeling particularly focused.