This wall hanging is so long, about 5 foot, that to get a passable photo I had to take two. (Apologies because the lower half was take from a bit further away than the top half)
The fabric is an indigo, hand-stamped, batik which I purchased in Yunnan province in China a few years ago and have been thinking of quilting and using as a wall hanging. It's story is this: I was traveling with only three other people (plus American and required Chinese guides) in Sichwan and Yunnan provinces. We visited a Miaow village; they are a tribal people, have attractive stone villages and live in beautiful rolling foothill of the eastern Himalayas. Although we were a very small group of tourists, our arrival triggered a serious feeding frenzy. We could barely look at the village and the people's costumes because venders were shoving things at us telling us prices. I saw an indigo dragon fabric and paused a moment go see how long it was. The woman was asking a price as high as I would have to pay retail in the
US. I said no thank you. Eventually the venders realized we were there to listen to the village spokesman and to wander around the attractive village and countryside.
A couple of days later we were at a grotto that is a minor tourist site. We were the only tourists around, there were a couple of women with brassiers selling delicious smelling roasted sweet potatos and a few tables with items for sale. On one was this batik which I recognized as surely from the same workshop as the one I'd seen before. This time the vender's price was half that asked by the Miaow woman. I bought it.
I machine quilted around the designs, added the navy border and added some quite narrow silver colored braiding. I can see that the stamps of designs along the sides are out of sync with one another near the top -- a "mistake" that makes me like the print more than if it were perfect. However, as I worked on it, I liked the scaly body of the dragon, felt his feet were too small and his head very much too small. He looks like a fat worm with a little dragon head. I remember that some poem or epic from early English lit. called dragons "worms". And I think Tolkein calls his dragon, Smaug, in The Hobbit a worm. Still this worm seem to have no menace, has no wings and seems a pussy-cat of a dragon although it is quite authentic as handwork from another country. So I have mixed feelings about my personal Smaug. I look forward, in a couple of weeks to seeing the movie of The Hobbit. For now my fat wormy dragon hangs in a space just the right size for it but I think his tenure is limited.
This strip quilt was made using drier sheet as the foundation. This quick and easy method is always fun because I can choose exactly which piece comes next but will always be surprised when I put several together and see the patterns formed.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!