The Dragonfly

I have always loved dragonflies. They are like small flying jewels.
I know they sew your lips together if you believe Snoopy ;-) but actually this is just an old superstition as the Britannica tells us: "
The term devil’s darning needle is derived from a superstition that dragonflies may sew up the eyes, ears, or mouth of a sleeping child, especially one who has misbehaved." I've never heard of this superstition in my area, but I know that some people thought a dragonfly could sting or would drill into your eyes.

At the Jewelry Artisans Community we have a bimonthly challenge and the first one of this year - take a look here - was to try out something new, a new material, technique, or tool.
My first thought had been to finally use my Kumihimo disks, but somehow I just didn't feel like it. I don't have the right weights or spools and on top of that I have been too lazy to check out how exactly it's done.

Then, inspired by a documentary about embroiderers in India that I have watched a while ago, I thought of sequins. As I don't sew, I had never used sequins before except in a very short polymer clay jewelry venture with a friend 30 years ago. In fact I'm not even sure if I used them, but I had some scattered in my old stash boxes at some time.

What to do with sequins, though? Well, I love dragonflies ...
I looked through dragonfly pictures and I looked through my stash to decide on a color combination.
There was this acrylic cab on which I then based my choice of seed beads. Luckily I had everything except the sequins in my stash and could start right away while I was waiting for the sequins to arrive. It was more difficult than I had expected to find what I wanted, 4 mm clear AB sequins.
I had already decided not to make the body from single bigger beads, but to embroider the whole piece. For the wings and body I used seed beads in different sizes and different gold tones plus black and alabaster white, also gold lined bugles, and for the head I used gold coated hematite beads and bronze Twin Bead eyes.

To enhance the overall golden look, I chose to sew the sequins on using the method of adding a bead on top.
This is the end result. Almost.
I took this picture in my hand to show the size. Now what? I didn't trust an ordinary small needle to work. I hate big brooches with small needles. A necklace?

A friend convinced me that my dragonfly would make a good pin and advised me to check out hat needles etc., and that's what I did.
I found some that had larger filigree disks attached to the pin which I could sew to the backing easily and, which is much more important, safely.

Unfortunatley it's a rather grey day today and although I could see a beautiful green shimmer in the sequins at one moment, my camera wasn't able to pick it up. You'll have to believe me when I'm saying that the wings shine in different colors and are more beautiful in the pictures.
Here's a closer look at them, by the way, to show you how the sequins are sewn on.

I have to admit it was much more fun to work with sequins than I had expected, so much actually that I already used them again on a second project that you will get to see soon, I hope!


  1. This piece is absolutely stunning, Cat! I love dragonflies.


    1. Thank you, Michelle!
      We don't have a pond that near to us (about one block from here), so I usually don't see them in my neighborhood, but once I saw one in our garden and it made me so happy. Somehow I saw it a sign of good luck that it took the time to come visit.

  2. I just don't believe that something as beautiful and graceful as a dragonfly would do something like sew a child's eyes shut. Whoever made that up must have been jealous of the dragonfly!

    Cat, this is just such a wonderful creation. I love everything about it and I bow to your genius and creativity.

    1. I wonder if it's a superstition from the "good" oooold times, but I didn't find a source from when it was.

      Thank you very much, Dawn, and don't forget that without your challenge topic I may never have made something like this.