Friday, August 15, 2014

Flirting with Dresdens

I hadn't ever made a Dresden Plate, and since none are finished, I guess technically I still haven't. That said, I just think Dresden Plates in 30's prints are adorable, and I knew I wanted to use Dresden Plates in more than one project. My idea of making my fabric go further, make the Dresden Plates small.

Aren't they cute? I looked at several Dresden Plate tutorials, and the pointed ones look much easier, but I wanted some rounded ones too. I am going to sew these to interfacing and turn them, so I get nice rounded edges (hopefully). I'll cut most of the interfacing away to reduce bulk, but I'm going to leave the fusible interfacing along the edges, and press them to the background fabric so hopefully I'll be able to applique without pinning.
I cut more pieces for Dresden Plates, both the rounded and pointed. How many can I make? I have no idea, I didn't count. The template I used for the rounded ones uses 16 petals per plate, the pointed template uses 20, so these stacks will go down quickly once I'm assembling. I didn't count the squares I cut either. I cut up all my fat eighths and fat quarters of 30's fabric, as well as most of the two charm packs. I left the layer cakes (10 inch squares) alone though, so I could use that fabric for wherever I fall short. I kept some of my 30's fabrics as strips, which can easily be sub-cut into squares if needed. If I were planning one project, I would have been more careful about how many pieces to cut, but since I'm planning more than one project, I was fine with faking it. I often overcut, and I always end up finding ways to use the extra pieces. If I'm short, the layer cake is there, or if that's not enough, I happen to be able to find my way to a quilt store ;-)
I don't think I'm the only quilter as laid back as this when cutting. It certainly worked well for me when I was trying to bust some florals from my stash. I think I ended up with five quilts from that cutting spree. Well, so far two of those are completed quilts, and the others are quilt centers hanging in my closet. I just finished making a piano key border that will finish at least one of those quilt tops, if not more than one. It's fun for me to occasionally just cut some fabrics and see where I go from there. When I get all the components made and THEN figure out how big the quilt will be. Or which quilt pattern it will be. With my floral busting spree, I cut all things either 2" or 3.5" so I could make 3" finished units. I ended up with Jacob's Ladder blocks, Friendship Stars, and Windmill blocks. Some of my blocks ended up 9" blocks, some 6" blocks. I had a blast working on those, and just seeing where the playing with fabric led me. I hope to do the same with the 30's prints, one baby quilt is planned, one quilt I have a rough idea of, but playing with whatever is left over, THAT's the really fun part!
It always cracks me up when I hear someone who has a lot of fabric say they can't cut it because what if they need it later. I especially hear people say that about scraps. It's probably just because scrap quilts are my favorite, but honestly, I've never made a quilt where I couldn't make a fabric substitution. If I am afraid I will run out of something major like a background, I just start with several background fabrics in the same color family, then I needn't worry about running out. Once there are several in there, you can add whatever you like in the same color family and it will work fine.
I finished quilting the quilt I was working on, binding went on this morning. Now my Bernina 440 needs to go get a spa treatment. The maintenance light went on a couple quilts ago, but I had such tight deadlines, I couldn't let it go yet. It's sewing great, it's just normal scheduled maintenance. I'm going to bring my new-to-me Singer 15 in as well, just to make sure all the wiring is safe. I really want to try FMQ on the Singer 15. I have a couple of vintage additions that haven't gotten the all clear from a technician yet, but I can't afford to bring them in all at once. Once my vintage machines have been given a clean bill of health by my sew and vac guy, I do most of the general maintenance on those myself. Cleaning, oiling and lube is about all those need. Wiring is above my knowledge though, so I try to have them all cleared for safety issues before I sew on them. The sew and vac guy I use is faster than the Bernina dealer, so I'm sure I'll have the Singer back first. He's also much cheaper, and I can get three vintage machines serviced for one Bernina servicing. I love having my Bernina, and all it's bells and whistles, but for piecing, the vintage machines are just plain fun!

1 comment:

Katie M. said...

just a tip that I use for my Dresdens - Use a pressing template either made of heat resistant template material or if you have a metal round washer big enough. (I'm lucky, my DH retired from the copper mining industry and I have round metal washers up to about 3")