Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dresden Strip Quilt Tutorial

As promised, the tutorial for the Dresden Strip Quilt- as seen in the Blogger's Quilt Festival (#569). This is the *method* for how I did it. It can be any size and use any amount of scrap fabrics.

I received these pieces/scraps of batik fabric from Quilt Market last year. They were not fat eighths and they were not fat quarters of fabric, they were just large usable squares/rectangles bundled together to look beautiful- so I bought them from Karen Combs and Avlyn Fabrics. But of course, I hadn't cut into them "because they were just too nice." As it turns out, my stash is quite full of "just too nice" and I need to get on with the sewing.

Since they were large scrap size, I decided to make a strip pieced quilt using a Dresden plate ruler/template.

First step- Cut random widths of fabric from your scrap stash and sew them into strip sets. Each set must be at least 8" wide (based on the ruler size)

Next I cut all the strips into Dresden plate sizes. After I cut them all, I thought I should fill in a bit with a couple solid Dresden plate shapes as well.

Then I sewed the templates together as shown below. Just like sewing any triangle shape, you'll have to off-set the ends just a small bit, so that when the unit is pressed open, the right and left sides make a reasonably straight line.

I counted up all my templates and divided that number by 3. It worked out, since I happened to have 30 cut templates. If you are making this from scraps, make as many templates as you can and plan the math accordingly. This quilt can be any size. For mine, though, I stitched my 10 templates together to form a row like this:

This row is then squared up. You'll need to cut the angle off the right and left side to give a nice even rectangle shape. I also had to square up the top and bottom edges. The whole row measures 19" x 7 3/4" once I cut it down.

Make the next rows. I decided to add in strips of orange to the quilt top to 1. work the color compliments and 2. design the quilt so no pieced fabrics had to meet each other at some fancy point/intersection.

Once I found a backing fabric large enough for the quilt top (pictured above) I then made the quilt sandwich, layering the backing, batting and top.

I then decided to use my brand new Kreinik sparkly quilting thread to quilt this little quilt. I've always been nervous to use any other color thread, other than white. I generally don't want the quilting to be seen as much (especially not if I'm doing it myself!) But after the Machine Quilters Showcase in Overland Park KS and after learning so much at Quilt Market- I decided the quilting SHOULD be an element in the design and I should no longer fear it. Jump in with both feet! Of course I still picked white... but its shimmery white... baby steps. You will have to click on the photo below to see the quilting larger on your screen.

I LOVE the depth that the Kreinik thread gives to the design. I'm not kicking myself in a "why haven't I done this before???" kinda way. Its subtle and beautiful. If you haven't tried it yet, get out of the box and go give decorative thread a try!

And lastly, I bound the quilt. I didn't use shimmery thread to bind the quilt, just regular aqua thread for hand binding.

There you have it. The quilt went together so quickly. And I'm very pleased with the results.

If you make it, feel free to share it in the ReannaLily Designs Flickr pool.


Evelyn said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I'm always happy to have a new idea for a scrappy quilt, and this one is super. Love how your little quilt turned out!

wordmama said...

Thanks for a great tutorial. I too have trouble cutting into some of those lovely fabrics in my stash. But they don't do too much sitting on the shelf, do they?