I enthusiastically signed up to participate in this Hop. But then I had Signer-Uppers Remorse. What in the world was I thinking? I'd never made a Dresden blade. But it sure would be fun to give it a try.
My actions reminded me of something my husband always says when I prepare meals when we have friends over for dinner. He rolls his eyes and says, "What are you thinking? You've never made this dish before? What if it's awful?" But you know what? If you don't try, you'll never know. And my friends are always nice enough to be discreetly honest with me. So I jumped right in without looking back.
Dresdens have such a solid history in quilting that I hoped to find a way to give it a bit of modern flair. After searching for a design (I'm not very creative and lack time to come up with an entirely self-made design), I found this great pattern called Serenity by Cat's Creations. It came as an instant download from QuiltWoman.com. Then I searched through my stash and discovered some amazing fabrics I bought last fall. I had no project in mind when I bought them - I just loved how they blended together and figured I'd come up with the project later.
So I made this table runner with fabrics from Northcott's Cosmopolitan Collection. It features half Dresden fans which formulate the background leaves of a beautiful lily.
The process was not without it's challenges. I cut a template from the pattern, but after putting all the blades together, found that I hadn't cut the template 'exactly' right. I had used that plastic template material, which wasn't as thick as an acrylic template. When I sewed the blades together, they didn't come out to a point, which was necessary for the placement in this runner.
So, after tearing my hair out, setting the project aside, and then sleeping on it to figure out a solution, I came up with an idea. The template was the exact size of the inside (without seam allowance) of my EZ Dresden ruler. So I remade my template, re-cut the blades (fortunately I had enough fabric), pieced them, and eureka! They came out perfectly!!!
The black background fabric I used is a bit dark and makes some of the blades fade away. But after adding the thin gold inner border and the snappy outer border, I think it works. And if I can borrow a different sewing machine from a friend, I'd like to add a satin stitch around the lime green stem and leaves - my machine just doesn't do that stitch justice. This was supposed to be a table runner, but I believe I'm going to use it as a wall hanging so I can see it better!
If you have a minute longer, I must share with you what I found when I was cleaning out a store room last week. These are Dresdens that have been hand pieced by my grandmother. I'm not sure how old they are, but they probably date from the 1950's or earlier? That would make them about as old as I am, so I treasure them. And there are so many!
These are definitely on my UFO List, but I need to take time to think about how to arrange them. It would be an honor to my grandmother's memory to finish this quilt. After all, watching her lovingly and tirelessly hand quilt many bed-sized quilts for each of her grandchildren is what inspired me to learn to quilt.
The photo below is the back side of the block. I hope you can see from this photo, but the Dresdens have been appliqued onto the white block that has been cut out. Do you suppose this was to save on fabric?
As a thank you to all of you who have stuck with the Hop through this final day, I have a Give-Away! Hot off the press is an awesome 'Get A Clue with Nancy Drew' charm pack by Moda. If you're not the lucky winner, just stop by The Quilt Barn to pick up your own!
To enter, just leave a quilty comment below. For a second chance, I'd love if you'd become a follower. I'm not a prolific blogger; I just like to share with my fellow quilters who give me great inspiration and virtual friendship! Leave a second comment to let me know you're here. The drawing will be open until Sunday, Feb. 3 at midnight.
And certainly don't forget to visit the other blogs on the hop today. You can find them at
January 31th, 2013
Thanks for Daring to Dresden with us!