Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dragon Age Week Day Three: Dragon Age Keep Banner

Dragon Age Keep Tower...
The Dragon Age Keep is where you can set up your personal history in the Dragon Age series in preparation to play Dragon Age: Inquisition! If you've played Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II while connected to the servers you'll be able to sync your prior playthroughs at the Keep and choose which specific version of the Warden and Hawke's story you'll use.

Did your Warden make the ultimate sacrifice to save Ferelden? Does Anora rule with Alistair? Did you romance Fenris? Did you execute Anders or let him live? Side with the Mages or the Templars? In the Keep, each decision has a beautifully illustrated tile to accompany it, and you can change any decision you've made, or make it for the very first time if you've never played before. When you're done, you can watch a lovely animation of your personal story, narrated by our favorite storyteller - Varric himself! Save your world history, then export it, and you'll be ready for the Inquisition.

I love the Keep! I was part of the closed beta testing, and was so excited when it opened up for everyone. I adore the tower logo and thought it would be fun to make a small banner to celebrate. The materials are easy to get at any craft store and fabric shop, cost less than $5 if you already have needles and thread and it comes together quickly. Make one this weekend before Inquisition releases next week!

Most of the supplies needed...

First, gather your supplies. I used a 9x12 piece of black felt, and found some grey cobblestone felt with great texture for the tower. You could also use light grey felt. You'll also need heavy paper for the template, a Sharpie pen, Tapestry needles, embroidery floss, a small stick or dowel, some cording and some fringe for the bottom. If you don't sew, you could use tacky fabric glue to attach the tower - just not too much or it could bleed through, and a glue gun works for the trim.

Using template to trace around.

You could draw the Keep's tower freehand or to get an exact copy of the shape, I went to their Twitter page, clicked the avatar to make it bigger and copied it to my computer. I opened it up in Photoshop, made it bigger and printed it at the size I needed. If you don't have that program you can simply make your printer print at the size you're wanting. It took me 4 tries to get it right, so don't worry if it doesn't work the first time. When you're happy with it, cut out the template, then use a marker to draw it on your grey felt, and cut it out of the felt with sharp scissors.

Stitching the tower to the felt.

Next, figure out where to put it on your background - I placed mine just down from the middle - you'll need to fold over the top to make a pocket for the dowel or stick, so remember to account for that! I found it stiff enough that I didn't need to pin it first. I used six stands of light grey floss, and sewed it down with buttonhole or blanket stitch. When that's done, cut the fringe just slightly larger than the width of the banner. Fold a small bit behind itself and sew it down to prevent fraying, then stitch it to the bottom of the black felt. I used a running stitch.

Take your stick or dowel, cut it slightly longer than the width of the felt. Now you'll know how far to turn the top over to create a pocket for the dowel. Stitch the folded part to the back of the banner, and you're almost ready to go. Insert the stick, and attach the cording with some clove hitches so you can hang your new Dragon Age Keep banner!

Finished Dragon Age Keep Banner

Hang somewhere where you can admire it, or give to your favorite Dragon Age fan. While you're waiting for Tuesday, you can also log in to the Keep and play the fun text-based game: The Last Court! I'd love to see your banners, so if you make one, please leave a comment with a picture. Have fun in the Keep!

(These Dragon Age posts originally appeared the week before Dragon Age Inquisition released in November of 2014 on my old blog. I've moved them here so I can keep all my geekdoms in one place.)

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