I first saw Dragon Scales, a technique by Gillian Conahan, while doing research for the articles on The Beauty of Texture series. At that time, I couldn’t see how to work it in nor had I the time to play with what appeared to be a totally different sort of fabric manipulation. It stuck in my mind; running it over and over until I had to try it out, first in paper and then in fabric.
Arrowhead smocking has the bottom points of the arrowhead tucked inside the row below. Gillian’s dragon scales had the points on top.
I’ve renamed my version of the design Diamond Petals. You’ll see how I made use of leftover fabrics from two other garments to create these petal samples.
While attempting to adapt this work to the sewing machine, the fact that all the stitching was off straight-grain resulted in the need for a stabilizer. Many types of stabilizer were tested, from plain tissue to woven iron-on, to tear-away and finally settled on non-woven very light-weight stabilizer/ interfacing. This held the grain and folds accurately but allowed the fabric to be folded with less bulk than other types. The design takes up both in width and length from the original sized piece of fabric.
This could be an interesting technique in garments, artwork, craft objects or quilting. It isn’t recommended for children’s wear or items that need to stand up to abrasion or machine washing but you be the judge.
Designed by Judith Marquis
Amberlane & Amberpetites