A whimsical Dresden quilt – the making


a little history about dresdens

 So the Dresden Plate quilt block is named after the city Dresden in Germany.  A place known for it’s romantic embellishments during the Victorian era.

Porcelain plates were created there with lovely floral designs.  Here is some of them.

The Dresden Plate was a popular quilt during the 20s and 30s and still remains popular today.  It’s obvious why too.  They make up some amazing quilts.

Look at this one.  And oh my goodness this one!  And another favorite of mine, this one.

We are not only still making them after all these years, they’ve even gotten BETTER!

the Dresden quilt I’m working on

For the past few days I have been working on a dresden quilt for a quilt order I have.  This will be my fourth dresden quilt that I have completed.  Here is the last one I did.  And here is the very first one I made that I was madly in love with.

I learned much with both of those quilts.

The biggest thing I learned is that I am a fan of making dresdens, but I am not a fan of quilting dresdens.

It’s irritating to quilt them down after you baste.  The quilt is heavy.  It needs turning this way and that to properly sew them down.  It’s a thousand times easier to just sew them down onto a square.  And that sounds nice doesnt it?  However, then you still have to quilt them and you are again left with having to maneuver your machine and quilt to these frustrating positions.

Last time I made this quilt I knew this, so I prepared and decided to quilt as you go.  But I chose a tutorial that didn’t live up to my expectations that consisted of quilting all three layers by blocks one at a time.  Sounded easy enough, until I had to piece the blocks together and made it incredibly hard to get a quilt that I was pleased with.

This time I will again use the quilt as you go method, but I’m using this one.  Here is why:

with this method I will sew/quilt each dresden down onto the top fabric and the batting, getting the top of the fabric quilted and the middle of the flower quilted in a cute design, like swirlies.  Each block will still be small enough for me to maneuver my home machine.

Then I’ll add the backing and I plan on doing a meander quilting design at that point all around the dresdens, but not on them.  This should give me enough quilting on the quilt to be happy and on all three layers and not lose my mind while doing it.

I feel like it’s a good plan.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

On to the fabrics:

My buyer chose the fabric collection Anu by Hawthorn Threads.  It’s lovely isn’t it?  I’m pretty smitten.  The colors are great, and it’s got all these scenes of nature.

These are fabrics that Hawthorne Threads prints themselves, so they are a little stiff to work with, but they wash up nicely.

My quilt buyer gave me some creative freedom with this one, something I’m always grateful for.

So this is the color palette that needs to be used, but I can add in fabrics to give it more depth.

I ordered the full collection and it came with these lovely panels.  I was going to keep them for myself and use them for pillows, but kept thinking how lovely they would look in the quilt surrounded by the dresdens.  I’m hoping my vision is correct.

The four smaller blocks are the same size as the dresdens, 12.5″ unfinished.  The larger panel will be in place of four blocks and measures 24.5″.

And this is what cutting 1,460 dresden blades did to my space.  yes!  YOu read that number correct.

I’m making a king size quilt that should measure about 108″ square.  I’ll have 77 dresden plate blocks, the four small panels and the one large panel.

Doesn’t look too many when piled up here though.

a few of my favorites.

So I sewed them all, then punched them right side out, then pressed them and now I’m sorting them and grouping them into groups of ten.

Most of my dresdens will be using only two fabrics, but there will be others that are mixed and scrappy looking.  This will be something different from the other dresden quilts I made.

That’s it so far.  I’m still piecing the dresdens.  After this step, I’ll move onto sewing them down onto the top fabric and batting.

More info on sizes of my pattern later.

Help Links

dresden ruler (exact same one I use)

a great dresden tutorial (its how I learned to make them)

xo, Melanie


Utopia Fabrics

utopia rag blocks

Hello, all!

I received an order for a large rag quilt in the Utopia fabrics by Francis Newcombe.  I didnt give them much thought until I pulled them out to begin making the quilt.

Um, wow!

The colors are just amazing.  Bright and bold.  That purple!  I can rarely enjoy the color purple, but the shade in these fabrics just owns me.


And let’s not forget those deer.


It seems rarely that deer fabric is made with a feminine feel, but these are for sure meant for us ladies.  What beauties!

What I love most about these fabrics though, in contrast to the pops of color all the fabrics possess, they are all woodland themed.  It’s all deer, elk, birds, trees, dandelions.  Seems to me that most woodland themed fabrics usually have a more earth tone, and I just find this one surprisingly different.


You can now find the Utopia rag quilt in all sizes in my shop here and here.

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In shades of white, gray and mint green, I made this lap rag quilt.  It measures 56×56 inches.  It’s one of a kind and ready to ship here.

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Thanks for following along!


Everything Nice + Swank

You’ve seen my Everything Nice fabrics before. This past week I made a minky backed patchwork crib quilt. It’s quite dreamy, I think. Soft. Cuddly. What more could a little babe want?

I quilted it with a bit of a serpent meandering. My favorite since it seems to be the fastest.

This one is backed with teal minky, and binded with a red and white polka dot.

This one is ready to ship for a limited time in my Etsy shop, but after it sells it will be made to order.

I also wanted to share a new fabric collection I’ve put together. Arriving just last week, meet Swank.

The colors were inspired by a recent quilt I made with similar fabrics chosen by one of my customers. I will get a quilt made as soon as I can in these. I cannot tell you how much I love the script fabric at the bottom, if I tried it would take a whole post. LOVE does not describe it adequately enough.

Thanks for reading!

New Fabrics + Order Progress

Hello, hello!

I finally got all these gathered and together and photographed. It’s a new fabric collection I’ve put together and I am just LOVING it.

My all time favorite print ever in the history of all favorite fabrics is that green one right on the top. It is just divine.

Most of these are Amy Butler fabrics, but I’ve thrown in a few surprises to round it all out and soften it up a bit. Third one from the bottom has tiny bird silhouettes all over it, as if they are soaring through the air.

I cannot wait to make a quilt with these and hopefully will get to do so soon.


Patricia P: I finished your quilt and it is now in the wash. It will ship out sometime today.

Julie W: batting and backing was cut for your quilt.

Customer Pictures + Order Progress

Remember when I did those test InstaWall quilts? Well, the final one finally made it all the way to Australia and I can show you the pictures I’ve received so far. How cute, right?!

This past week I actually sold a throw holding a whopping 36 pictures, so pretty soon I will get to working on that and you can see the other size. Thanks so much for the pictures from these two Mommas. I hope you enjoy your InstaWall quilt.

If anyone else is interested in purchasing an InstaWall quilt please find all the details here.


I did manage to get a little work in on Labor Day in between enjoying the last of summer. Somebody needs to tell the climate around here that summer is over though. We are still in the nineties and the air is thick with a humidity that you can’t imagine unless you’ve lived here.

Jolene T: I am working on this beauty above. And can I say that these fabrics are beyond scrumptious. These are Heather Bailey’s Up Parasol fabrics in the persimmon colorway. LOVE those hummingbirds!

I have this quilt 90% stitched together. It will ship out today.

I also finished the order for Jessica K. It will ship out today.

Have a good week!!

New Listings + Another Picture Tease + A Pattern + Order Progress

So many things this weekend…..

I hope you have enjoyed the weekend. I’ve been pretty busy. No relaxing by the pool for me, I’ve been going and going nonstop.

Let’s start with the new listings I listed this weekend.

This quilt was for an order. It’s made with Anna Maria Horner’s Pretty Potent fabrics in the ‘queen’ colorway.

What I like most about these fabrics is not just pretty fabrics to work with but each of the fabrics represents a healing plant. For example there is aloe Vera, eucalyptus, primrose, thistle and more.

This quilt is available in large throw size (shown here) in my ETsy shop here. Or if you want it in a different size I have it custom order here in all the colorways.

You’ve seen this quilt. It’s uber popular in my shop right now. It’s a good thing, b/c I purchased a whole bolt of the fabric collection when it was on sale earlier this year. I love when I make good purchases compared to buying a whole collection of fabrics by the bolt and having it sit on my shelves year after year unloved by my customers.

This is Joel Dewberry’s Notting Hill in poppy. This is the first nursery set I completed with it, though I’ve made MANY quilts from it. My favorite fabric from this one is those red tulips.

This nursery set is available here in the shop. You can also add crib bumpers, teething guards, changing pads, pillows and curtains.

Now for that sneak peek…

This picture has gotten a lot of love on my Instagram feed.

I did not make these, but I will share that info when they are what they will soon be. These crochet granny squares are for a new product, coming this week. I’m super excited about it, and wanting to share, but must wait. Soon. In the meantime, they sit on my desk, me drooling, and petting them. I really need to learn to crochet. I MUST have this. And maybe this one too.

I have listed the Washi Tape Quilt Pattern in PDF for on Fabric Bird here.

It probably took me a total of 7-8 hours to complete this. A fact I’m not happy about. There was a lot of different things in it though, so maybe that is why. I’ve thought about purchasing the Electric Quilt 7. Not sure if it good for creating patterns? If anyone has any insight, I’d appreciate it.


The following orders shipped out. Done. : Jessica B, Odell H, Melissa P, and Tomas L.

Tamara A & Lindsay D: Your quilt tops have been completed and batting and backing have been prepared.

Tiphanie B: your clothing has been cut into blocks

Pamela R: Your quilt top, batting and backing have been cut into blocks. Your blocks were pinned.

The following orders quilt tops were cut into blocks: Shelly F, Danette H, and Sunny F.