Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mmm...That's Pretty!

"Mmmm...that's pretty!"  

"Oooh, look at that! It lays flat!"

"Gosh...that's just pretty!"

This is what I said about 134 times last week as I was making this lovely little block:

FRMQG Block Swap ~ Kelly's Dresden Plate

I made it for Kelly, who is in the Front Range MQG with me, and we're both part of the in-guild bee. This is the first Dresden Plate that I've made, and while I've always respected the Dresden and thought they were beautiful, I never really had the desire to make one.

That's why quilting bees are SUCH good things! They force you out of your comfort zone and make you do things, and try things, and stretch in ways you probably never wanted!

Honestly, the only thing about making the Dresden that I didn't like was cutting the blades! And even when I sewed all the blades together and they didn't quite lay down like I thought they should, I still didn't dislike it like I've disliked making other blocks.

In this case, I jumped on Facebook, went to The Modern Quilt Guild Facebook group and said "Help! My Dresden is warbly. How can I get those blades to submit to my will?" And within a minute, maybe two, I had two really good suggestions, and then more followed later. I was able to snip a little, press a little and work out the kinks to get the circle to lay down flat, and I was pleased!  :)

Next challenge was putting on the hide-my-edges circle. Applique. I'm not afraid of it, at all, but I wanted it to be a good circle, and I wanted the look to be clean, not raw-edged. My friend, Susan, who is also in the FRMQG, told me this trick:

Take fusible one-sided, sew-on interfacing (I used SF 101) and put the fusible, bumpy part against the right-side of the gray polka-dot fabric (cut into a square larger than the circle you want to cut), and then trace your circle with a pencil of fabric marker, and stitch around that line, with a smaller stitch-length for easier turning. Trim a 1/4" outside that seam line (I used pinking shears), and you've got a circle! Next, cut a little slit in the interfacing, and pull the polka dot fabric out through the hole and push out the edges. (I'm not explaining this right!). Next you iron it into place on the Dresden, following the directions for the fusible interfacing. The circle should fuse to the Dresden, provided you laid your interfacing right! :)  After that, I took some thread and did a little whip-stitch all the way around. Happy!! 

I think a lot of Dresden plate tutorials have you do something very similar, it's just that you use two pieces of the same fabric, right sides together, stitch a circle, cut a slit, etc. But how in the name of all things holy, do you get it to STAY while you sew?  This way, it's fused down, but not stiff like other fusibles, and it worked like an absolute charm. Charm! Loved the technique. Thanks, Susan!

I really love that little block. :) I don't see myself making an entire quilt of Dresdens any time soon, like Mary did, but I definitely think they are more beautiful now than I did before.

And, in other news. Truth news...being financially responsible is HARD!!  Not eating out for lunch but once a week? HARD!! I think I've used up all my mulligans through March! :)  Ugh. Why does convenience have to be so expensive??

I'm going to do better this week, though. That's my vow. It's tempting to just take that off my list, but I know that a lot of my disposable income goes to Chick-fil-A lunch out, and if I'm going to reign in my spending, then I need to not be eating out. And not buying fabric. So far, so good, there. It's been tempting since there have been some ROCKING good sales, but I don't need any new fabric right now, I'm being good.

HOWEVER...tomorrow night, the FRMQG is having a meeting at a new-ish fabric shop in Denver called Snappy Quilts, and we're having the ladies from Sweetwater come and speak!! Yes, you read that right. Yes, you can be jealous. I am SO


Excited to meet at Snappy Quilts, excited to meet in Denver (we usually meet in Monument, north of Colorado Springs), excited to meet some new friends, excited to hear the ladies of Sweetwater talk about how lucrative fabric design, and pattern writing, and book writing can be. (hardy har har, I know...there ain't NO money in it!).  I'm glad the weather is cooperating. :) And I know it's gonna be a fabulous night. Well, for everything except my budget. :-/

I hope you have a great week!


  1. Oh that block came out fab, and thanks for the fusible interfacing tip for the circle, genius!

    Have fun at your guild meeting, but I think you may get a pass on when fabric designer royalty comes to visit, after all, it doesn't happen every day of the week ;o)

  2. I love your block! And how's this for coincidence: I sewed a Dresden plate block today, too! Mine doesn't look as good as yours, but I did learn to take the paper foundations off before sewing the outside pieces on. Maybe we should have a challenge . . .

  3. Your block is so lovely.:) That is an awesome way of doing the Dresden! I used two pieces of fabric for the circle, but I like your way so much better. Excited about tonight! See you then!

  4. I'm not an generally envious person.....but I'm seriously a bright neon shade of green right now reading about Sweetwater!!!!!! : ( Had I known I would have totally crashed!!! I'm denver on Wednesday : (

  5. I am thrilled that you worked out the Dresden and you didn't let it best you. It looks great Melissa! And thanks for the appliqué tips.

  6. Looking at Dresdens on the web today. Wish I had snow to take a photo in! Love the dresden in the snow!


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