Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Doggedness of the Dragon

...or the tenacity of its tatter! 
#44-100 Motif Challenge
Pattern by Anne Buvold

This is a gift; luckily it is the best one yet.  

I got the wings right this time, EXCEPT the last one is supposed to be started on the back side and a mirror image of the first, but it ended up being on the front side when I attached it to the body. 

I am not sure at all how that happened, as I concentrated throughout in order to avoid this very thing! Grrrr.

However, considering I was never going to tat another dragon, I am pleased with the result.  This one is tatted in Altin Basak #50 and Lizbeth #40.


Dragons - mine at least - tend to have a very floppy nature, no matter how tightly I tat. So, I embarked on a very risky experiment.

Risky, because I have read a lot online about the dangers of stiffening tatted pieces.  I think I have been intimidated by all the chatter, and so never attempted to stiffen motifs.

This time, I took the plunge.  I used the only glue that I have - a non-toxic white liquid that I got from who knows where - watered down to a consistency I thought felt okay. How's that for scientific? : ))

I wet the tatting, got it into shape, and pressed the excess water away with a paper towel. Then I dabbed it all over with the water/glue mixture, put a piece of saran wrap over it and placed it under my heavy-pressing vase for a while.

Lastly, I removed the vase and the saran after about an hour or so and let the thing air-dry.

It is stiff, but not overly so. The dragon feels a bit rough because of the glue, but it seems to have done the trick!


  1. Very pretty Colors. Congrats on your Dragon.
    Happy New Year

  2. Fox - she looks great! She will bring a smile to someone face :-)

  3. FYI - I stiffen with spray starch, which does no harm and can be easily washed out. I put the motif on a plate, spray heavily & finesse the motif into shape, then microwave for a minute. Works great!

  4. I think that's the prettiest dragon that I've seen! I love the colors, and I generally don't care for pink. Is it my age? ; )

    My efforts at stiffening have been pitiful. My friend Denise gave me some tips, and I think I'll try them... I'm just not sure when!

  5. Very nice dragon...I have been scared to try the glue, grandma used to use a sugar solution...but all I have tried is spray starch.

  6. Your dragons have always looked great to me! I'm hoping to try this pattern, as Anne's diagram makes it much more clear to me than the written instructions! I think the wings look great! I'd never know you had a problem with them.

    I think it's just fine that you used the glue. It would make him much easier to play with; and I know my little great nephews would have fun with him!

    It's always necessary for me to stiffen my 3-D eggs, balls and bells, as well as certain snowflakes with the longer 'arms' I've had great success with Aleene's fabric stiffener, which is similar to watered-down white glue. Many of my items are 20 years old and have not yellowed. I have other tricks for re-shaping items if they get 'wonky', which I plan to discuss in my blog.

  7. The dragon is excellent! I'm not big on pink,either, but is looks good on this dragon.
    I don't stiffen tatting much for several reasons:
    1 I'm lazy
    2 most of the tatting I do looks good without it (according to me)
    3 I'm leery of discoloring it.
    I applaud your courage on trying it, and that it came out well *clap*clap*clap*

  8. Great comments! Thank you!

    Kathy, I look forward to reading that post. I had to admit to Crazy Mom that I don't even know where to buy starch, as I have NEVER used it in my entire life! (Never much on the domestic arts, I'm afraid, though I once made a great souffle!)
    Fox ; ))

  9. Your dragon is beyond beautiful...it is magical! Blissful and Creative 2012...

  10. Coming back again to say I'm so glad Crazy Mom brought up the microwave! I also use the microwave but I thought it might sound too scary! It cuts the drying time from hours down to a minute or so! The item won't be totally dry, but it gives you a chance to do some tweaking, and it will become dry in a very short time after that.

    I do, however, put a cup of water in the microwave, just as a precaution to avoid any damage to the microwave, and I use a lower power. If I'm doing several items one after another, I discard the heated water and start with cold water again, so as not to superheat the water. These precautions may not be necessary, but it makes me feel better to follow them!

  11. Very cool Foxy, but since you have 3 grandsons who is the lucky fella?

  12. I always stiffen my tatting (especially if it is to be worn)... I just use a simple white glue (like Elmers).

    One thing though... never use white glue with aluminum... it will cause it to rust, and bleed the rust right on to the tatting! ACK! that happened to a pair of earrings I made (before I switched to all silver-plated findings)... I ruined some great thread

  13. Oh, and i love that dragon, you are right it is the best one to date... and you are also right on the wing.. I do now see the difference (after you pointed it out)

    Still good though...

    This is one reason I do not like tatting Front Side/Back Side :-D

  14. Jo, Funny you should ask! The dragon is going to Gian's sitter, so that I can visit TWO of those said grandkiddles!
    Fox : ))

  15. Beautiful dragon Fox. I haven't gotten the courage to tat them yet!

  16. Hi Fox,

    He is gorgeous and beautiful colours. well done

  17. Lovely color choice! I just use a steamy iron and the same fabric starch that we use for clothes.