Dresden Plates


It has been fun sewing my Grunge, Seeing Stars rainbow these past two days.

I finished the plates, then made the centers at our guild meeting yesterday.

When I got home I appliqued the centers in place

(after I replaced Mr. Too Dark Blue… he’ll have to wait for a different project)

You can see for yourself that there was no contrast between him & the pretty black center fabric.

So, I replaced him with a grey plate,

then I stitched the centers in place & dampened the centers to remove the paper templates.

During dinner we got to watch them dry.

I put them on our kitchen table & turn on the ceiling fan.

It makes the drying time quick!

(An advantage of the kids growing up & moving on is that

we don’t need the whole kitchen table for dinner anymore.

I also spend less money on food… but at times the quiet is deafening!)

After our dinner was cleaned up I glued the plates to the background squares

then got out my box of Sulky threads & played the matching game.

That was fun!

Typically I use one spool of thread, Sulky Medium Taupe #1180.

It blends with all of my “muddy” colors so well,

but these bright fabrics read as solids & all 12 petals are the same

so I wanted to match them as closely as possible.

Did you know that if your thread color is a little darker than your fabric that it actually matches better?

Try it!

Next, I stitched the plates in place.

Theresa asked about my applique stitch,

so I’ve added a couple of close-up pics here:

It’s a tiny blind hem stitch.

It takes a few straight stitches, then a zag to the left.

I adjust the stitch length really short & the width really narrow.

I had a hard time getting a pic where you could actually see the stitches

because they’re so small & the thread matches so well.

That’s the reason I use this stitch.

In my opinion it resembles a hand stitch.

In fact I’ve had multiple quilters with their noses close to my quilt adamant that I’d done the stitching by hand!

(Obviously they don’t know me at all! They just see my work!)

The stitch shows up better on this aqua plate

where the color of the fabric changes to a lighter shade.

BTW, the Sulky thread is 30 wt. cotton.

Now this morning I’m ready to assemble the rest of the blocks.

I can’t wait to see them all come together.

Must get off computer & go sew lol!!!

I hope you’re doing some stitching today too.

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

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Last we were together I was up to my eyeballs in these.

Aren’t the little piles of alligator teeth too cute?

(easily amused, yes I know…)

With a little help from my favorite vices…

I was able to complete all of the half Tiny Dresden plates from the 1,600+ petals!

This is all of them sewn;

the extra petals set aside for another project down the road.

The little rows just make me smile!

(again, easily amused, yes I know…)

I was able to make 6 half Tiny Dresden plates from each of the 40 jelly roll strips

of Jo Morton’s New Hope by Moda Fabrics.

During our annual retreat to local quilt shop, Rosemary’s,

I got to work making blocks from the half Tiny Dresden plates for my next quilt.

This is my work space all set up & ready to sew.

My cute little Dritz Mighty Steam Iron showed up just in time to travel with me.

What a great find!

It’s the perfect little Dresden plate iron!!!

It’s extremely light-weight & just the right size for pressing my little plates.

I wish I’d known about them sooner!

I was so impressed that I’m now carrying them on my website for you to purchase here.

Don’t let the small size fool you.

It gets super hot!

It’s great for pressing small half-square triangles too.

I also like it for pressing block parts.

Choosing the center circle fabrics is a bit like choosing which Barbie shoes should complete her ensemble, lol…

Love, love, love each step!

Can’t wait to show you the finished quilt,

but that will have to wait for another day.

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

 

 

 

As of this morning, this is the progress that I’ve made

since showing you the 1,600+ cut petals

made with the New Hope Fabric by Jo Morton for Moda Fabrics.

 

There are 6 half Tiny Dresden plates in each stack,

48, half Tiny Dresden plates in all.

To keep the strings of petals tangle-free & wrinkle-free,

I’ve had Betsy holding them.

She’s very good at her job!

Each string started out as 4 jelly roll strips that I cut into the 41 petals each (160+/-).

This is a VERY busy corner of my room, eh???

This morning, I pulled another string from its resting spot.

See  how wrinkle-free they still are?

It makes them much nicer to work with when they’re not wrinkled or tangled.

Anything to make the task less annoying is what I’m all about!

A while back I started wondering why I still cut the strings apart with scissors… no more!

It’s much quicker to cut them apart with my rotary cutter (of course!).

I cut off about a dozen at a time

and trim the seam allowance with my rotary cutter, duh!

Why didn’t I do this earlier?

I don’t think I’m lazy,

I just like to do things the quickest

& least annoying way possible!

Once trimmed, the petals are tossed into one of many cutlery trays.

This keeps the petals from escaping to oblivion when I need to move them to the ironing board in the next step.

Next, I cut off another dozen or so petals from the string

and so on, and so on… until the sting of petals is gone.

All ready for the next step!

Now I must go press, turn, press again, then sew.

A great job for a cold, dreary day.

I think I’ll go pick out a movie to keep me company.

It will make this task more enjoyable.

What are you doing on this chilly day?

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

I did it!

I cut my entire New Hope jelly roll by Jo Morton into Tiny Dresden petals.

But, before I started cutting I was wondering…

since I only need a 2″ strip for the Tiny Dresden petals & a jelly roll strip is 2 1/2″,

could I get more petals from each strip by not first trimming it to 2″???

So, I laid out a bunch of my Tiny Dresden Templates on a strip side by side as if I had trimmed the strip to 2″.

Then I laid out a bunch more of my Tiny Dresden Templates on another strip, staggering them to the edges of the strip.

Guess what?

I can get 5 more petals from each strip if I slide the template to the opposite edge of the strip as I cut!

Multiply that by 40 strips… 36 petals x 40 strips = 1,440 or

compared to 41 petals x 40 strips = 1,640.

That’s 200 more petals from the same amount of jelly roll strips!

That’s 16.6 more Tiny Dresden plates,

or 33.3 more half Tiny Dresden plates!

So, I stacked up 4 different color fabric jelly roll strips and started cutting.

After I cut a few I decided my 60 mm cutter might work even better than my 45 mm & I was right.

Here’s how I did it:

I lined up the template at the edge of the selvage and sliced it off the strip.

Then I cut along the top of the template.

Then I cut along the other side of the template.

I then rotated the template to the opposite edge of the jelly roll strip.

Then sliced it off the strip.

Then I cut along the top of the template.

Then I continued to rotate the template down the strip.

When I got to the end of the strips I opened the folds and stacked what was left of each strip and usually cut one more of each fabric. A few of the fabric strips were not long enough to cut one more petal, but the majority of them were long enough.

Voila!

A jelly roll worth of Tiny Dresden petals.

Now I’ve really got my work cut out for me, lol!!!

A great way to spend a super cold January day.

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

 

We’re back from Fall Quilt Market and Quilt Festival

and most of my catch-up work is complete, whew!!!

What a busy, tiring and fun trip.

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It took most of our kitchen to hold all the “stuff” that I packed into the van…

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Everything was labeled & packed tight for the 15 hour drive.

Nothing worse than listening to things rattle for hours on end.

Ask me how I know!

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My super booth helpers (market slaves), Robin (Nestlings by Robin)

& Chloe & I had the booth set up in no time!

That’s a bit of an exaggeration.

It did finally get set up Friday evening after

a schoolhouse session with Pepper Cory &   Studio e Fabrics & her Designer RSVP Blocks that

Robin & I participated in, making blocks with her Peppered Cottons:

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Yes, Robin the overachiever made 2!

Then, 2 Schoolhouse sessions showing my new Tiny & Mini Dresden plate book & patterns,

and then the C&T Schoolhouse session introducing the

13 new quilts from Dresden Quilt Workshop:

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Then there were book signings introducing Dresden Quilt Workshop.

A couple of mornings before market opened,

we walked part of the show to see what else came to Houston besides Suzn Quilts.

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Here’s a look at my fav… Jo Morton’s newest line, New Hope, yum!

I’m pretty sure Jo designed this collection just for me 😉

(Spoiler alert—-You’ll be seeing a lot more of this collection!)

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Betsy Chutchian’s new collection was very pretty.

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French General’s new collection was lovely too.

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Lella Boutique also very pretty.

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Tim Holtz, always super cool!

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Jen Kingwell, WOW!

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Her newest collection, more yum!!!

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Oh, & a new book…

a little close-up in case you’re not sure what I’m pointing at, lol!

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Then there was Festival!

That will have to wait for another day.

Until then,

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

 

I know I’ve been neglectful of this blog the last few months.

Besides having 12 new patterns for spring market,

helping with my son’s wedding this past July,

going on our family’s summer vacation

and then the release of my new book,

I’ve been busy & you must have thought that I had dropped from the face of the earth.

I had not.

In fact I’ve been working A LOT!

I don’t know about you,

but this time of year I pop my head up and wonder where summer went!

I’ve been stitching.

Besides the new sampler that I’m working on with Circulus & Lollies Sweet that I showed you earlier this week,

I recently finished a new Tiny Dresden little quilt.

I used an American Jane charm pack plus a cute black dot print.

I’ve also been writing instructions for these feathered star blocks.

I designed them just the right size to have a Tiny Dresden plate appliqued in the center!

So, are you intrigued?

Have you made a feathered star quilt before?

Do you think they’re hard or do-able?

I once thought they were extremely difficult, but no more!

You’ll think so too when you get one of my patterns, not any day soon though.

You’ll have to wait a while longer until I can get my quilt finished (designing & sewing…)

and the rest of the pattern written.

So far I’ve made 4 blocks

and I think that I have all of the step-by-step illustrations just about perfect!

Just as I was finishing those step-by-step illustrations, wondering if I was going a bit overboard, I got the nicest email out of the blue from Dana who had just finished making a quilt from one of my patterns:

Your pattern was very easy to follow . . . it was like you were sitting here telling me what to do next!! I like that!
Have a blessed day . . .
Dana

Needless to say, in my opinion, that’s the nicest compliment a designer/author can get.

It’s also the affirmation that I needed just then.

Knowing that I hadn’t wasted the weeks

I had just spent on those illustrations for just part of that pattern was nice.

Unfortunately, I don’t know what direction the quilt is going just yet,

hence the reason I put it on the back burner to work on my sampler quilt.

Stay tuned.

We’ll all be surprised together, Lol!!!

What have you been stitching?

I hope something fun!

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

Let me just show you how my Dresden garden is growing.

I worked on Tiny Dresden plates all day yesterday.

First, I selected fabrics with Clare’s help.

I then cut a bunch of petals and chain sewed them into strings.

Thanks to Betsy I was able to keep them wrinkle & tangle free until they were all sewn.

Then in front of the TV last night,

after pressing them all to set the seams,

I turned them all right side out.

This morning I awoke with a mission to start making plates!

First I sewed 2 of each matching petal together.

Then gave them a good press to set that seam.

In case you skip this step,

you should know that pressing any seam at this stage

helps to keep it nice & straight.

Also to help me stay organized, I use a wooden cutlery tray keep all of my petals together so I don’t have to go looking for any strays as I move from my machine to the ironing board & back again!

Nothing is worse than losing a petal then having to re-cut and re-sew it to move to the next step…

Here they are all nicely pressed & awaiting the next step.

Next, I sewed two of each pair together.

I love to see the progression, you?

And here is my pretty garden as I get ready to stitch the black centers to each plate.

What are you doing today?

I hope it’s something in your sewing room!

Just Keep Sewing…

Susan

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