Saturday, November 22, 2014

Piecing Dresden plate blocks

I had a great group of quilters at the "So Easy Dresden" class last weekend. And, let me tell you, these women were nailing that quarter-inch seam! Whoa.
So Easy Dresden class
With sixteen 22.5-degree wedges that have to fit together exactly to form a circle, you have to get that 1/4-inch seam allowance pretty much on-the-money or your plate will not lie flat. They did it… waaaay better than I do when making these blocks.

The class fabric and color combinations were charming, colorful and festive. Students auditioned background and border possibilities. Some of these Dresdens will likely find their way to holiday tables and be used as decorations for the season.
Mary's Dresden
Martha's Dresden
Frances' Dresden
Lisa's Dresden
Judy's Dresden
Brenda's Dresden
My students made excellent progress on their Dresden plates. We discussed options for hand and machine appliqué and tips for quilting this dimension quilt block. This is a perfect small project for practicing free-motion quilting.
"So Easy Dresden" quilting class at Chattanooga Sewing Center
Chattanooga, TN
Very well done, ladies! I can't wait to see your finished projects. Thanks for an enjoyable class.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Easy Dresden class this Saturday

The Dresden Plate quilt block is a classic. Whether you make it with traditional style fabrics, '30s reproduction prints, popular blenders, batiks or even hand-dyed fabrics, the geometric nature of this block lends itself to just about any taste and style.
I'm teaching a "So Easy Dresden" class this Saturday at Chattanooga Sewing Center.
My personal quilting aesthetic tends to employ a bold, bright color palette as you can see by these Dresden examples.
"Sidewalk Surprises" (detail)
My first quilt soiree with this 3D Dresden block, however, was with Blank Quilting Corp's black and white pre-cut strip set paired with Blank's popular Splash blender (I had a Splash fat quarter bundle to pull colors for the Dresden centers).
"Moon Garden" (detail)
This quilt is called "Moon Garden" and you can read about it in this post.
Dresden Star 3-D quilt block.
Isn't this a cool block? Those sharp star points are actually 3-dimensional. It looks complex, but it's really easy. All done by machine—piecing and appliqué. And the petals and points are accurately cut with reusable acrylic templates. I'm telling you… it's "sew" easy.

Wanna try it? I'm teaching a Sew Easy Dresden class this Saturday, November 15, at Chattanooga Sewing Center. Call (423) 899-3664 to see if there are any spaces available. (It was almost full 2 weeks ago.)

How about using a collection of festive prints and whipping up a little tree skirt in time for the holidays? One of my students made this one last year (so, so, sooo cute!). Once you make one Dresden block… you'll want to make 5 more!
Dresden Star tree skirt.
Join me for a fun project this Saturday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ATCs: Pumpkins

The Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays were on the minds of ATC (Artist Trading Card) artists this month with the October ATC theme of "Pumpkins." Here are their creations.
"Pumpkins" by Carlene Jacobsen
"Three Counted Cross-Stitch Pumpkins"
by Bonnie Stevens
"Pumpkins" by Marilyn League
"Pumpkin" by Debbie Joyner
Did you know that Henri Matisse painted a green pumpkin?
"Henri's Green Pumpkin"
by Veronica Hofman-Ortega
"Pumpkins" by Lisa Howard
How about this pumpkin-carving artistry?
"Pumpkins. Thanks,  Dad" by Cathy Dillon
"Different kinds of Pumpkins"
by Liz Armstrong
Pumpkin seeds were a celebrated food among many Native American tribes. The pumpkin seed has been traced back to Aztec cultures of 1300 - 1500 AD.
"Pumpkin Seeds" by Sharon Joyner Griffith
This "pumpkin patch" can be put on your britches.
"Pumpkin Patch" by Karen Downer
One of the ATC artists also sent me Halloween candy… a treat I will savor for myself. 
Thanks for the Ghirardelli.
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