September 28, 2017

Foundation Paper Pieced Quilted Blue Dragon


Geometric Quilted Dragon | Foundation Paper Piecing | Shannon Fraser Designs | Kona Cotton | Blue Solids | Quilting Technique | Modern Quilting

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this with you before now!!

I made this pretty over a year ago and could have sworn I shared it with you. Well, today’s the day!!

This was an epic foundation paper piecing project.  The most complex I’ve tackled to date with no less than 16 different sections to piece and then sew together.

It’s called the Geometric Dragon Paper Pieced Pattern and is designed by Kristy from Quiet Play.

Geometric Quilted Dragon | Foundation Paper Piecing | Shannon Fraser Designs | Kona Cotton | Blue Solids | Quilting Technique | Modern Quilting

It caught my eye a ways back when I was perusing Craftsy’s pattern repertoire. My significant other was born during the year of the Dragon and I thought it was a perfect handmade gift just for him J

If this is your first time trying this technique, then I wouldn’t start with this project! 

It’s not difficult, it’s just time consuming and lots of fiddly little bits. I would recommend starting with something a little easier like these butterflies. or my free Medallion Squared pattern. These tutorials will also give you some quick tips on paper piecing in case you need a refresher.

Geometric Quilted Dragon | Foundation Paper Piecing | Shannon Fraser Designs | Kona Cotton | Blue Solids | Quilting Technique | Modern Quilting

Since he’s a lover of blue, I thought I would use up the Kona Cotton solid scraps left over from the Dresden Plate quilt I’m still in the process of hand quilting.  The latter is really slow going, but then again, I knew it would be. Honestly, this gift was in part due to the fact that his quilt is still not ready and I wanted him to at least have a finished project to call his own! 

I believe foundation paper piecing is either something you love or hate. I don't think there's a middle ground here! I actually quite enjoy paper piecing; it’s quite a relaxing and methodical process.  That is, until you muck it up! I never seem to fail to make at least one error during the paper piecing process. Gah!

Like this one.

Geometric Quilted Dragon | Foundation Paper Piecing | Shannon Fraser Designs | Kona Cotton | Blue Solids | Quilting Technique | Modern Quilting
Wrong!

Geometric Quilted Dragon | Foundation Paper Piecing | Shannon Fraser Designs | Kona Cotton | Blue Solids | Quilting Technique | Modern Quilting
How it's supposed to look!

Where I sewed a seam and didn’t realize one of the other pieces of fabric had flipped back over and was now caught in the new seam. Argh. Seam ripping these tight little stitches is not my idea of fun, but I was too far in to start over again!

In all fairness to me, it’s usually a new mistake that I haven’t made before, so at least I’m learning!!

J – J was another problem.  Third time was finally the charm in getting this one right!

Mistakes Happen! | Geometric Quilted Dragon | Foundation Paper Piecing | Shannon Fraser Designs | Kona Cotton | Blue Solids | Quilting Technique | Modern Quilting

To help you avoid some of these errors, here are a few Foundation Paper PiecingTips:

  • Prepare everything in bright light as the colour differentiations were quite subtle in low lighting
  • Iron seams open to help reduce bulk.
  • Where angles are involved, cut your pieces of fabric larger to really ensure you’ve got the entire area covered.
  • Don’t despair if you make a mistake. It happens to all of us. Just keep at it!
  • Oh and did I mention you should work in a bright space? It’s worth repeating 😉
  • I might consider marking the colour next to the numbers to avoid unnecessary repeats.  Or, I could just get better lighting 😉 Like this one from DayLight Company that’s on my wish list!

Some of the angled pieces took a few tries to piece together nicely.  I’m looking at you ABC to DEFG! But the piece re-doing and seam ripping were well worth the time and effort as the final dragon is quite majestic!

Geometric Quilted Dragon | Foundation Paper Piecing | Shannon Fraser Designs | Kona Cotton | Blue Solids | Quilting Technique | Modern Quilting

Once the dragon was complete, it was pretty straightforward from there on out.  I added 3 borders in varying coordinating blues.

Geometric Quilted Dragon | Foundation Paper Piecing | Shannon Fraser Designs | Kona Cotton | Blue Solids | Quilting Technique | Modern Quilting

And since I’m still on my hand stitching kick, I used a 12 wt varigated Aurifil thread, called Storm at Sea, that I’ve been using for the Dresden Plate quilt I’m still working on.  I was quite hesitant about variegated thread in the beginning and had actually discounted it when I first got my Aurifil Thread Color chart, but, wow, are they ever pretty and versatile!

Geometric Quilted Dragon | Foundation Paper Piecing | Shannon Fraser Designs | Kona Cotton | Blue Solids | Quilting Technique | Modern Quilting | Hand Quilted | Aurifil Thread 12wt Varigated Blues Storm at Sea
Do excuse the stickers - there from the wrapping when I gifted it!

Have you given foundation paper piecing a go? I would love to hear any tips you have that make your process more efficient! Share in the comments below 😊

Happy quilting my friends!

xo
Shannon

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2 comments:

  1. That is a crazy paper-pieced pattern! It's gorgeous though. I agree 100% with your tips - good lighting is a must and I always write my colour choices on the paper to make sure I'm not getting confused. Even when I do that, I've been known to mess-up and have to take the seam ripper to my piece.

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    1. Thank you, Izzy! So happy you like it! Seam ripping these pieces is definitely the WORST! But I do love the end results! And always remind myself of that when I’m cursing my way through unpicking those itty bitty stitches 😉

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