Quilt finish: Kinniken’s Dragon

I’m pleased to present my version of the Boomerang quilt: Kinniken’s Dragon. This one is headed out to my brother on the east coast.

The finished quilt being held up by the corners
Kinniken’s Dragon, 2020.

The minute I saw the Boomerang pattern by Jaybird Quilts, I knew I wanted to make it. I also loved the way Angela Walters quilted the one on the cover of the pattern, and I couldn’t wait to try something similar myself.

A folded quilt showing purple fabric, fabric that looks like newsprint, and a striped binding
A colorful quilt draped over a brown easy chair
The corner of a quilt showing blue blocks and a striped binding
a close up of green quilted blocks
pink quilted blocks, a label that says "Handmade by Rachel Smith" and part of the back of the quilt

Of course, it didn’t quite turn out the way I envisioned it at first. To start with, I chose ombre and patterned fabrics, not solids.

A stack of fabrics in many colors
My chosen fabrics, cut into strips and matched by color.

I picked coordinating colors and planned for each diamond block to include both the ombre and the mottled fabric. The pattern was really easy to work with. I did pick up the Super Sidekick ruler, and I highly recommend it. It made it a snap to make all the triangle patches.

I loved the way the blocks turned out, but when I arranged them on my design wall the way the pattern suggested, I was disappointed in the result:

Diamond quilt blocks on a design wall
The blocks laid out on the design wall the way the pattern suggests.

This layout looks fantastic with blocks made from solid, coordinating fabrics. With the ones I chose, it just looked messy and chaotic.

I left it there for a couple of days. Every now and then I’d stand in front of it, seeking inspiration. Finally, I wondered what it would look like if I (gasp) turned one of the blocks the other way:

Diamond quilt blocks on a design wall
Check out the pink diamond in the lower right!

I’m not kidding, y’all, it took me three days to think of this. Even then I wasn’t completely sold, because I knew it would make it harder to quilt it the way Angela quilted hers. But I left it like that for another couple of days.

Then I thought, “Hmm, what if I grouped the colors together into patches?”

Diamond quilt blocks on a design wall
Starting to group the colors and flip more of the blocks around.

This is when I finally realized I was going to have a quilt I loved at the end of this process. The shimmery texture reminded me of dragon or fish scales, and I was listening to Lord Valentine’s Castle while making this quilt, and its name suddenly came to me. (For those readers who aren’t avid sci-fi/fantasy fans, Kinniken’s Dragon is the name of a gigantic sea creature from that series, a water-king, part whale and part dragon. Well, not his real name. Just what people call him.)

I still had a ways to go before I got the blocks just the way I wanted them. Here’s a gallery of the progress shots. Some of the changes are quite subtle.

And here is the final arrangement with the setting blocks added along the edges, sewn together into the finished quilt top:

Colorful quilt made of diamond shapes that look like dragon scales
The finished quilt top.

I chose a wide newspaper-print fabric for the back and a gorgeous stripey binding that I promptly fell in love with.

The back of a quilt made from a newsprint-like print in strong sunlight
The quilt back in some strong sunlight.

It took me a while to decide how to quilt it. I wanted to match the thread colors to the top so that they would blend in, and I was mostly successful. But it meant swapping thread several times. I quilted the straight lines first to stabilize the quilt. Well, also because I can’t do free-motion work with my ruler foot without the thread breaking, but that’s a topic for another time. Then I filled in with the feathers and the wishbones.

the corner of a quilt showing green diamond blocks and a striped binding
a close up of blue diamond shaped quilted blocks
a very close up photo of quilting in a green diamond shaped block
I just adore that binding.
A folded quilt showing green blocks and a newsprint-like backing
a quilt folded over on itself showing green and blue diamond-shaped blocks

I’m so pleased with the final result. Now to pack it up and ship it east!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. L says:

    This is an amazing quilt! What line of mottled fabrics did you use. Your fabric choices make this the most spectacular boomerang quilt I’ve seen. Bravo!!!!

    1. Rachel says:

      Thank you! The mottled fabrics are Color Flow by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry for Benartex. I love how they look next to the ombre fabrics in this one. They have such a deep, rich color.

      1. L says:

        I agree. I can’t imagine better fabric combinations. Thank you for the info on the Color Flow fabrics. I hadn’t seen them before.

  2. sonjastone says:

    This is absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Rachel says:

      Thank you!

  3. L says:

    Rachel, did you use the same amount of each fabric that the pattern calls for or did you use more of any particular fabric? I’ve found a few of the Color Flow fabrics still available. My little fabric acquisition problem wants to order probably more than I need, so I thought I’d ask.

    Thanks again for showing us your quilt. You are really inspiring.

    1. Rachel says:

      I made the lap size quilt, and I used 24 fat quarters (one extra). Half were ombre and half were Color Flow, and I matched them up in pairs. With the ombre fabrics, it didn’t always quite work out; if you look closely at the quilt you can see where some of the blue Color Flow ended up next to a pinkish part of the ombre strip, but it worked out okay. I think I dipped back into my Color Flow stash to make the setting triangles, because in the pattern they are all a solid blue but I wanted them to match whatever was next to them. I put the diamond blocks together before choosing which fabrics to use for each setting square. So you might want a little extra if you plan to do that. Good luck, and I’d love to see a photo if you make one like this!

      1. L says:

        Thank you! I will leave a pic if I ever do make it. I often don’t have as much energy as I have “want to,” though.

        I like just sitting and looking at your quilt, so that may suffice.

        Truly, your design and execution are perfect. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.

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