Thursday, September 13, 2012

Another Day with the Dragon

When I first saw this piece, I wanted to take the class and stitch my own dragon.  It’s not that I’m crazy about dragons, I just liked this piece.  I was reluctant to register for the class because it was billed as an “advanced” class and I’m not an advanced stitcher, especially when it comes to working on canvas. I liked the piece so much that I went ahead and registered to take the class at the Pittsburgh National EGA seminar and thought I’d somehow get through it. My friend Rhoda had previously taken the class (she is really an advanced stitcher) and she said she would help me if I needed it. 

The first morning of the four day class, the teacher handed out the materials and said to thread up with the silk for the body.  Someone in the back of the class asked what size needle to use.  The teacher stared, then said, “What size needle do YOU think you should use with three strands of silk on congress cloth?  This is an advanced class, so you should know what size needle to use.”  I usually sit in the front of the class (as I did in this class) and don’t say much, but this day, I wanted to crawl under the table and I was determined not to say anything to prove I wasn’t supposed to be in the class because I wasn’t an advanced stitcher.  (And just for the record, I didn’t know what size needle to use, but learned the size to use with three strands of silk on congress cloth is 22.)  Three months later, I took the DragonMaster class from this same teacher at Calloway School of Needlearts and she was like a different person. To give her the benefit of the doubt, she may have been ill or had other problems in Pittsburgh, but she was not a happy teacher that week.

Anyway, the point of all this is that it’s not as difficult as it looks.  There is a lot of couching, some satin stitch, maybe the pattern on the wing is a little more challenging, but it can be done even if you aren’t an “advanced” stitcher. Well, maybe an advanced stitcher could make it look better, but I have to say, I’m happy with mine.

Yesterday I stitched a good part of the day and completed the mouth outline by couching a twisted cord made from one strand of the red silk; I stitched over each stitch in the body with the accentuate to give the body some sparkle; and I did the leg and body outline by couching a twisted cord of one strand of the gold silk.

I have other things to do today so I won’t be stitching, but should be able to get back to it on Friday.  I am getting very close to the finish. I still need to attach the eye, make the claws, do the rays coming off the sun, outline the underbelly, and do the grounding stitches. There might be something else, but I think that’s all that is left.

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