A whimsical Dresden quilt – the making

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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

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Dresden Pillows & Quilt Ladders

I’ve been busy.  Busy working on orders and busy trying to use up scraps on new small projects.

Pillows first.

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My scrap stash is pretty immense.  Like I could go a year without purchasing any fabric and still make something every day of that year.  I’m not bragging, I’m more drowning.  I don’t like it piling up, but I can’t throw it away.

When I do pull from it, you can’t even tell something is missing.  I sometimes feel like a hoarder and get stressed about it.

And sometimes I find something that I didn’t know I had that is just perfect for whatever project I’m rummaging for.

These are the times that I like having a big stash.

If you can get past the constant clutter that is.

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I’m rambling….  I made three half dresden pillows, one I gave away and the two pictured here are for sale in my Etsy shop.  Both are made with the just the most eye popping colors and fabrics.DSCN0909_renamed_20102

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I go back and forth on how I make pillows.  I’m never completely happy with any one way, but I think I finished these in a way that makes me very happy.

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I cut one big piece, the size I needed (not front and 2 pieces like I normally do), then quilted all over it.  I then sewn the dresden down.

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I used two pieces of binding to do the edges of the envelope closure.

The folded it up how it should go and then I serged it closed.  I normally don’t like pillows serged, but with the batting it made it a nice THICK clean serge that turned out perfectly.

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There are in my shop here and here, ready to ship.

yellow bloom

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My husband has opened up a wood shop on Etsy.  Find it here.  I finally talked him into adding a quilt ladder.  Because I’ve wanted one for so long.  And every time I find one at an antique store or flea market, they are always too narrow.  I needed one to not only display my quilts, but also store them, so it won’t looks too crowded on the couch.

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He finally made me one.  I’ve listed this in my quilt shop as well.  They are made to order and are available in the colors: aqua, vintage white, and stained wood.

Doesn’t he do a nice job on the distressing?DSCN0897

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Find the quilt ladders here.

One last thing—  We are having a big big sale all week long for July 4th, so go treat yourself to some comfy cozy.

Details are in the shop banner.

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Some Custom Work and a New Crib Set

Hello, friends!

If you follow along with me on Instagram then you probably already saw a picture of this quilt.

I have been working on it off and on for about a week now. It is a custom order from my etsy shop inspired by this quilt.

My first go round making the Bloom quilt I found the dresdens to be a bit tedious.

With this version I broke it up into several days. On the first day I cut all my blades for the flowers. On another day, I laid them out and stacked them up. They get 20 blades per bloom and I had seven blooms. On the next day, I chain pieced all the blades together. Days after that was spent, putting on the flower face, and then of course the rest of the quilt.

The flower face I did a bit different this time too. I used interfacing and stitched it on right sides together and then turned the face inside out. So they have no raw edges. Yay! I am not a fan of applique, but even I can enjoy making this.

I quilted the quilt without the Dresden plates on it. I used my walking foot and just made diagonal lines. I’ve been doing a lot of quilting lately and really playing with designs, but I have to admit that I don’t like using the walking foot. It’s great for binding. Saves me so much time on binding and I can’t imagine going back to not using it for that step, but on the quilting. It’s very boring. And very TIMECONSUMING.

After the quilt was quilted, I went back and put the blooms on it and quilted them down.

There was also a name and bible scripture added to it. The lady that purchased the quilt had the letters sent to me and I just stitched them down.

If you are interested in a Bloom quilt for yourself you can find it here.

This was another custom order that I just finished up. It’s my Follow Your Arrow quilt, but in happy little girly colors. I LOVE the black polka dot binding.

I’ve told you how much I have been enjoying learning to free motion quilt. Well, I just can’t say enough about it. I did curls on this quilt and I think it’s my favorite that I’ve tried so far. This quilt came out of the wash just about perfect. It was in the perfect state of crinkleness, soft and if it had been bigger I might have just wrapped it around me and snuggled for a bit.

I think the quilts look so much better with this level of quilting than before.

It was actually part of a nursery set that is now listed in my shop.

Find all of it here.

Thanks so much for reading and have a lovely day!

Dresden Plate Quilt Block

With Bon Iver playing in the background, I sat down and began sewing the petals on this one together. I was surprised at how easy this quilt block was. It looks difficult, but the hardest part to me was the ironing. It WAS time consuming. That being said, I still imagine that at some point I will be making a quilt full of these blocks with whimsical nine patch sashing. Until then, this one will be going in my sampler quilt.

The name Dresden plate had me curious so I looked up the origins of it and found this. This was a popular block in the 20s and 30s. I love that we are still using it today, just spruced up with more modern fabrics.