Monday, June 11, 2012

Dresden Progress

My mom finished her 37 year career last month, and is now happily retired. :) Over the weekend my fiance and I drove to the other side of Michigan - where my sister, brother and all of our extended family threw her a big surprise celebration party Friday night - it was a blast! I danced my pants off and ate tons of cake. When we got home, my Dresden template and "Quilting Modern" book were waiting for me in the mail! So I was able to make some progress on the Dresden Challenge quilt I've been planning.

I thought I'd show you guys how I'm going about making this one, because it's a little more complicated than the patchwork stuff I've been doing.

The first thing I did was make a giant log cabin block - 54" square. Another option would be to sew 54" strips together until you get a 54" square block. You could use any size, it really doesn't matter - but probably 36" at a minimum.
 Using the Dresden template, this is what the cutting lines look like laid out on the block.
I started drawing the cutting lines (with a washable pencil) by locating the exact center of the block. I drew a little dot, and then I put the Dresden template down on the block, along with a straight edge. The first time you lay the Dresden template down, you want the bottom of the template to be parallel to the sewing lines. The template doesn't have a pointy end, which I didn't know when I planned out this quilt. It will still work, but you have to fuss around a little to get the template and straight edge in the correct location.

I worked my way around the block, until I had all 20 wedges drawn in. I needed to use the straight edge to continue the lines down from the template, since it isn't long enough to trace all the way to the edge of the block.

The next step is the fun part - cutting out all the wedges. My cutting mat isn't nearly big enough to use a straight edge and rotary cutter, so I used my shears to carefully cut along the lines I drew.

Eventually I had 20 wedges.

After they were all cut, I had to make them all the same size. I found the first wedge I drew (the one parallel to the sewing lines) and laid that down with 4 other wedges under it. First I cut the scrap off of the other wedges, so all 5 wedges were the same size. Then, I divided the length of the wedge by three. This ended up being 9".

I repeated this step until all of the wedges were trimmed and cut into thirds. And that is where I ended up, with three stacks of pieces like this:

I think it's going to be tricky to sew the pointy pieces and keep the sharp point, hopefully that will work out okay. I feel like the pointy triangles might be a little too skinny, but we'll see.

I don't think these wedges are all that impressive until you lay them out on the Kona Coal. I love how the gray makes everything pop! The next step will be sewing the grey fabric onto the pieces to create rows. First I might want to tidy up my sewing room... LOL. It's pretty yikes.

I hope you all had an awesome weekend. Thanks for stopping by! :)


  1. I can't wait to see this finished! You are right, those colors really pop against the Kona Coal. Great diagrams too, they make it really easy to understand the process!

    Good luck on tidying your sewing room! Mine is a disaster too. I almost posted a picture the other day, but I saw a few "messy" sewing room pictures before I did it and I realized mine was actually *embarrassingly* messy! :D

  2. my goodness, you are one creative girl! I so look forward to seeing this come together.

  3. Wow! that is very pretty. Those points do look tricky; I can't wait to see how it turns out. I think I'm going to do the Dresden Challenge too. I think it's a great idea to blog about the process. April

  4. Ooh. I can't wait to see how it turns out. Thanks for showing how to do this. I find the process of cutting, rearranging and sewing back together fascinating!!

  5. WOW, this looks amazing. You are so talented. Great work!


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