Crafting with dragons and other fantasy creatures

Sunday, November 15, 2009

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I have a dragon snorting over my shoulder about how long it's been since my last post. I have no excuses, won't even pretend to have one. My poor Dragon Month went half empty. So to do a bit more with dragons and open things up to the wider realm of fantasy, I give you a few books for fantasy needlework and other craft projects.

First up is Needlework Dragons and Other Mythical Creatures by Carol Gault. This book contains a range of projects incorporating needlework, cross-stitch, and quilting, though don't limit yourself to using the designs only as shown. The quilt design could be worked in satin stitch on a pillowcase, for example. It's all a matter of viewing the possibilities and scaling the pattern for the project in mind.

Some of the patterns in this book include: Dragon in the Sea needlepoint wall hanging, Taiyun needlepoint pillow, Dragon blackwork framed picture, and a Mythical Character Cross-stitch alphabet project. In addition to the directions for the projects, Carol Gault has chapters on choosing materials, helpful techniques, and finishing hints. This book was published in 1983, so it may be hard to find now. But if you enjoy needlework and fantasy, this would make a great addition to your library.

Next up is the Great Book of Dragon Patterns by Lora S. Irish. While this book has some instruction to drawing your own dragons, it is not to the level of the DragonArt book I reviewed last month. What makes this a great book is the multitude of patterns that can be traced for an assortment of projects. Carve the patterns in leather or wood, paint them on paper or clothing, or embroider them into a multitude of gifts. Patterns range from mean and scaly to cute and whimsical. A few dragons are arranged around a block of space, perfect for use on a plaque. This book should be easier to find as it was revised and rereleased in 2004. We bought our copy at The Leather Factory.

Another designer of fantasy patterns for cross-stitch is Tereza Wentzler. I have two of her books: Tereza Wentzler's Celestial Dragon and The Best of Tereza Wentzler Fantasy Collection. These are patterns for the experienced stitcher, being highly detailed. The Celestial Dragon takes 11 pages for a single pattern due to its intricacy. The fantasy collection includes patterns for Castle Sampler, Stroke of Midnight (Cinderella fleeing the ball), and Unicorn.

The patterns come with clear instructions, though I have not yet attempted any of them. They are beautiful, though. Before working any of these patterns, I recommend making a photocopy of the design in order to mark the stitches you've completed. I've been doing that with another cross stitch pattern. It really helps keep track of all the detail which leads to fewer errors and less need for unpicking stitches to fix a miscount.

Have fun exploring the options of crafting with fantasy creatures. Regardless of your skill level, these books should get you started on combining crafts with fantasy. Take a look through your local craft stores for patterns, kits, and more that incorporate fantastical elements. Perhaps you can design your own. Happy crafting.


Emily White said...

Very cool! I love crafty type things!

Anonymous said...

I am going to try to make a clay dragon now that the quarter is over :P I have some left over clay from my project. Maybe Ill use your pic as my model :D

Jaleh D said...

Sure! I'd love to see how your sculpture turns out.

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