February favorites? Yes! I’m starting a new monthly series of some of my favorite things. This could be anything such as a new fabric collection, a recipe, book, tip, etc. (Don’t worry, this is not going to replace Sew Thankful Sundays.)
I’ve recently added an Instant Pot to my temporary kitchen arrangement. As you may know, we’re remodeling our kitchen and I’ve still been trying to cook dinner three or four times a week. I’ve relied heavily on my mom’s old crockpot, but Mr. Crafty Quilter accidentally dropped (and shattered) it in the bathtub after he finished cleaning it. (He’s a good man for cleaning up after dinner, but he hasn’t told my mom yet that he broke her crockpot.)
Enter the Instant Pot, a modern replacement for the crockpot, rice cooker, pressure cooker, vegetable steamer and more. Yes, it does all of those things and the clean up is easy! I made split pea soup last week and it was ready in 45 minutes. I made steel cut oatmeal yesterday and it was wonderful! I’m excited to try more recipes, which there are plenty of on Pinterest.
I was thrilled to see the release of this book, Charm School, 18 Quilts from 5″ Squares by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique. One of my favorite types of precuts is the 5″ charm square and you can be sure I have a few in my stash. I “pet” them every once in a while, but I think it’s time I started creating something with them. There are so many cute patterns in this book, and I love Vanessa’s sense of style and color!
I’ve made this Roasted Beet and Kale salad twice in the past week and it is SO good! It’s an easy recipe especially when you buy pre-cut and washed kale and pre-cooked beets. This great recipe comes from Kristen at The Endless Meal and there are so many delicious recipes there waiting to be made! This is another good find from Pinterest – it’s my number one place to search for recipes.
I had a wonderful experience recently shopping on Etsy at The Red Hen Shop. Melody has a great selection of fabrics, and I received my package in two days. She included a nice note and a little extra piece of fabric with my order. It all started with a sweet comment from Melody on one of my blog posts which brought me over to her Etsy shop. I ended up with some sweet fabric in return!
Fabric pictured (1 and 2) is Quilting B’s by J. Wecker Frisch for Quilting Treasures, and (3) Farm to Table by Tina Higgins for Quilting Treasures
I hope you enjoyed a few of my random favorites this month! Let me know in the comments if you’ve found anything worth shouting about recently. We’d all love to hear!
Happy Wednesday friends! After finishing up a few big projects, it’s always nice to have something small (and ongoing) to work on such as the Splendid Sampler blocks. The last block, #100, was published last week and it’s one of my favorites. It was designed by Kate Spain and it’s called “Centered”. I love the detailed piecing and how it draws your eye to the center of the block. I took a picture of the first Splendid Sampler block and the last one together; it makes me happy.
I still have more Splendid blocks to make, but I like having a small ongoing project that I can pick up from time to time to fill in the gaps. The majority of my finished blocks are shown below. I’ve made a few more since then. It’s time to take another group photo!
I also finished a block from last year’s Sugar Block Club and have put all of the blocks together. I thought I would share some of my favorite rulers for piecing those tricky units that we run into from time to time.
The pattern for this block included paper piecing which I try to avoid when possible. So, I used one of my favorite rulers by Quilt in a Day, the Triangle in a Square Ruler. I love to oversize units like this and then trim them down to perfection.
The other unit in this block are flying geese units. Those were made using two corner squares on a base rectangle. I have a Bloc Loc ruler for flying geese that I use just to check for size and trim if necessary. The ruler comes with instructions for oversizing this unit as well, but I didn’t think to do that ahead of time.
Instead of making all of the blocks in the Sugar Block sampler, I chose to omit the paper pieced ones. Instead, I made four of the Dresden blocks and put them in all four corners of the quilt. I’m staying with the Dresden trend, guys! The photo below was taken before the two side borders were added, but I had to dodge the rain for the picture.
I put the blocks together with simple sashing and cornerstones that are made up of square-in-a-square units. I love this Tucker Square2 ruler from Studio 180 Designs. It makes sewing and trimming these units easy and perfect. This one ruler allows you to do multiple sizes.
There are many more rulers in my toolbox that I love, but that’s enough for one day. You know there’s at least two rulers for everything and I probably have most of them!
If I’m not mistaken, Dresden Plate quilt blocks are making a comeback. Maybe they never left! They were really popular back in the 20’s and 30’s, and I’m glad to see them being made with more variations
Today, I’ll share a tutorial to make a Chunky Dresden Plate that was used in my Enchanted Baby Quilt. It’s really easy and fun to make!
Most Dresden plates are made with an 18 degree wedge ruler that requires 20 blades to form a full circle. The math goes like this: 18 x 20 = 360 degrees.
My Dresden plate is made with a 30 degree template and it requires 12 blades. I like the chunkier look and less blades to sew! The math for mine is: 30 x 12 = 360 degrees.
I made my own template for this block and you can, too, by printing it out here: Dresden Blade Template OR if you have a 30 degree triangle ruler, you can use that instead (had I known that a month ago, I would have gone that route.)
Note: You can make Dresden plates any size you want by varying the height of the template and the width of the fabric strip. This tutorial is using a 6″ wide strip to make a Dresden Plate that is 13 3/4″ wide from point to point. I set mine on a 16 1/2″ square of background fabric.
I also find these to be precut friendly. If you have a layer cake, charm pack (for the smaller version) or fat quarter bundle, you’ll get a really scrappy (yet coordinating) block!
1 fat quarter for background fabric, cut into a 17″ square.
Tape (double sided or masking)
Print out the Dresden Blade Template at actual size. Cut out the template on the drawn lines. There are 3″, 4″ and 5″ markings in case you want to make a smaller Dresden plate. See end of post for more information.
Place tape (double sided or rolled) on one side of the template.
Stack 2-4 strips of fabric. Place the template on the fabric strip so that the top and bottom edges of the template are even with the raw edges of the fabric strip.
Position the ruler so that it is even with the right side of the template. Make your first cut.
Position the ruler on the left side of the template and cut. You might need to reposition the fabric first to safely cut the second side.
Place the template on the fabric strip so that it’s upside down and one side is lined up with the previous cut edge. Position the ruler on the opposite side and cut the second blade.
Continue cutting until you have 12 blades (for 1 Dresden plate)
30 degree ruler instructions:
The same as above, BUT you will be using a ruler instead of a template. Make sure to line up the ruler so that you have part of the small wedge hanging over the edge of the fabric. This will just give you a bigger hole (but not too big) in the center (and less stitching to do). The sample below is using a 3″ wide strip and makes a cute little Dresden.
Dresden blade assembly:
Fold each Dresden blade in half, right sides together. Stitch the wide end with a 1/4″ seam. TIP: set your stitch length to 1.5 – 2.0 to keep your seam secure.
Chain piece the blades through your sewing machine.
Trim the point of the blade at an angle near the fold to reduce bulk at the point. Make sure not to get too close to the stitching – keep it 1/8″ away.
Press the blade lightly in half to form a centering crease.
Turn right side out and push out the point with a semi sharp object.
Press seam open and align the seam with the center crease and press.
Arrange your blades into a circle so that you’re happy with the color arrangements.
Sew the blades into pairs, starting at the wide end. Make sure they match up well at the top and backstitch at the beginning to secure.
Sew the pairs together to form a Dresden Plate.
Don’t worry too much about the bottom (narrow) edges lining up. This will be covered up by the center circle.
Press the seams to the side (or open if your prefer).
Center circle instructions:
There are several ways to make the center circle. Basically, you’re appliqueing the circle onto the center of the Dresden plate. You can choose your favorite applique technique for this. I like the edge of the circle to be turned under rather than a raw edge that is fused. So, I’ll show you a “freezer paper and starch method” and a hand gathered method.
The Dresden blade pattern page has two circles that you can use as the circle template. You’ll need the larger circle for the large Dresden.
Freezer paper & starch method:
Trace the large circle from the pattern page onto the dull side of the freezer paper. Place another piece of freezer paper (both shiny sides down, not facing each other) over this and press them together. Cut out the circle.
Press the freezer paper circle onto the fabric and cut out the circle, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Using a cotton swab or a paint brush, “paint” the edge of the fabric with starch. Press the fabric over the edge of the circle with an iron. I use a stiletto to guide the fabric over the circle. Ease in the fullness, so that you have a smooth circle.
Remove the freezer paper; it can be used again.
Use a water soluble glue like Roxanne’s Glue Baste It and glue the circle in place. Press.
Stitch the circle by hand or by machine.
Hand gathered method:
Make a circle template out of cardstock or a file folder. I traced a circle using a spool that was just the right size, or you could use the pattern template.
Trace around the circle onto the fabric. Leave a generous 1/4″ seam allowance when you cut out the circle.
Thread a needle and take small basting stitches in the seam allowance. Leave a tail on both ends.
Place the template on the fabric circle and pull up on the thread tails to gather the seam allowance.
Press the seam allowance in place. Pull out the circle template and knot the thread tails.
Glue the circle into place as in the previous method.
Fold the background fabric in half and lightly press to form a crease. Repeat in the other direction.
Center the Dresden plate so that the point OR the valley lines up with the crease.
Glue baste or pin paste the Dresden in position.
Stitch down the edges by machine or by hand. I stitched mine by machine using monofilament thread and a narrow zig zag stitch. You could also topstitch close to the edge with matching thread and a straight stitch.
Trim the block to 16 1/2″ square.
You can make any size Dresden plates by varying the width of the fabric strip used to make the blades. I used a 4″ wide strip which produced a 8 3/4″ Dresden plate, and a 3″ wide strip which produced a 6 3/4″ Dresden plate. Using just two fabrics for the blades gives you a very different look as in the small Dresden plate below.
There are lots of online resources for Dresden Plate quilt blocks and some great books, too. Here are a few:
This fabric line is so stinkin’ cute and I was happy to use one of my coveted charm packs. This collection is almost two years old and all I had was the one charm pack. Fortunately, it pairs easily with other Moda fabrics. I was able to eek out nine woven hearts with the help of some other background fabric.
I’m having it longarm quilted, so it’s going to be away for a few weeks getting beautified. I took some pictures today while the weather permitted.
The blocks are set on point and I added a 1″ (unfinished) inner border and a 2 3/4″ (unfinished) outer border.
To make this quilt, you need nine woven heart blocks, four plain squares (7″ unfinished), eight setting triangles (use (2) 10 1/2″ squares cut in half diagonally twice), and four corner triangles (use (2) 5 1/2″ squares cut in half diagonally once.)
It finishes at 34″ square.
The other heart I’ve been working on is this Color My Heart Quilt which was a free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop in 2014. I was a participating blogger back then and we were given a challenge to try a new sewing or quilting project that we’ve never done before (you can read more about my experience here.) I added a challenge for my readers to “share the love” by making a mini quilt and giving it to someone in need. No swap, no strings attached, just “I’m thinking of you” kind of thing.
I made three “Color My Heart Quilts” in 2014 and have just added a fourth. This last quilt was made for a friend who has been diagnosed with cancer and is going through chemotherapy treatments. I made this quilt with positive thoughts and healing energy, so I named it “A Healing Heart” in the hopes that it will brighten her day and lighten her heart.
A special label completes the gift. I love the back of this mini quilt just as much as the front! I don’t label my quilts often enough, and I’m always glad when I do. Pat is an accomplished quilter, so I know she’ll appreciate the added touch.
This is one of my favorite ways of adding a label. I made a video tutorial of this method (and others) for The Quilt Show which you can see below.
I’m still working on the Dresden Plate tutorial. I hope to have it ready by Wednesday. I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day, or maybe you’re celebrating “Galentine’s Day”. This is a new term that I’m hearing about from my daughter – I think it’s awesome! Enjoy!
There are so many fun and whimsical prints in this fabric collection, I had a hard time choosing just a few. So, I decided to play with ALL of them in this adorable Enchanted Dresden Baby Quilt. There is enough variety in this fabric collection that you can get a real scrappy feel. I designed this quilt using EQ7 and it turned out just the way I had hoped!
I love Dresden Plate blocks and I’ve been wanting to make a quilt using them for a long time. This was a great opportunity to create something sweet and cuddly for a baby. It’s always nice to have a baby quilt on hand for the next arrival!
My favorite print in the Enchanted line would have to be the plaid. It comes in three color ways and I love the geometric punch it gives. I also love that little squirrel print – it’s so darn cute! If you’re looking for the perfect solid to go with this collection, you have to try Riley Blake’s Confetti Cotton in Bleached Denim. It’s a perfect neutral!
It’s been a busy month at my house, and I barely finished this quilt in time. Finished is a loose term in this case. If you look closely, you’ll notice there’s no binding yet! Plus, I’m going to add more quilting inside of the Dresden fans so they’re not so “poofy”.
I used stencils to draw the quilting lines for the border and for the center of each Dresden. For more information about using stencils with your quilts, go here.
I used pink flannel for the back of this quilt; one of my favorite ways to finish a baby quilt is with flannel. Minky would be a great option, too. You can see the pink shadowing through in the photo below. It doesn’t really look that pink under normal lighting.
Are you curious about the Dresden plate block? I’ll be back later this week with more information about it and maybe a tutorial of how I made mine!
Make sure to check out all of the other stops on this Enchanted blog tour!
Wednesday, Feb 8th – Two Sisters at Squirrel Hallow
Thursday, Feb 9th – Jina Barney Designz
Friday, Feb 10th – Riley Blake
You could win a bundle of Enchanted fabric by visiting Dodi’s blog, Loose Threads and leaving a comment. One entry per blog post, per day of the Blog Tour, there on Loose Threads. Enter every day to increase your chance of winning!!!
Thank you for visiting The Crafty Quilter today and learning all about Enchanted! I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to work with Dodi Poulsen and Riley Blake Designs. I love their style! Have a great week!