Me: What colors do you and your wife like?
BIL: She said we'd like something in black, red, and gold with dragon motifs.
He was joking at the time, but when I reminded him that I was making separate quilts for each of them, he said a bit hesitantly, "Well, I actually really would like a dragon quilt." So, that's what I set out to make for him.
I brainstormed for quite a long time about different possible ways of making a dragon quilt - paper piecing, applique, patchwork. I had almost settled on paper piecing, but wanted to enlarge all the patterns I found. I kept hemming and hawing because I wasn't fully committed. Then, I happened upon the Patchwork Pattern Maker from the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is this really great tool you can use to turn any photo into a quilt pattern. I searched for and tested several images of dragons until I found one that I liked and thought would translate best as a pixelated image.
I cut up three inch squares of varying prints in black, gray, green, red, orange, and yellow. For the background, I used whites and creams, whatever I had on hand. I then added some wide strips of fabric to the bottom of the quilt, representing a building or some other hard surface that the dragon is landing on or taking off from.
I quilted the body of the dragon in wavy lines and the wings have a scale motif quilted on them. The background I quilted in meandering loops.
I quilted each section of the "building" with a separate design. This one shows the angled meandering stipple and if you look closely at the yellow, you can see large ripples.
The back is comprised of various green fabric strips. I'm kind of a one-trick pony when it comes to quilt backs (if I piece the back at all), so I was glad to have a fairly easy, but not a flat sheet quilt back.