Getting back in the groove
It’s been a rough few weeks for our family, and sewing has fallen by the wayside. Our dog Max, who has been dealing with valley fever that settled into one of his leg bones, had surgery to amputate the leg, and never managed to recover; he went to Doggy Heaven about a week and a half ago. I did some sewing before the surgery to make him a shirt so he wouldn’t chew on the stitches, but I’ve been so worried about the surgery and saddened by his passing that I haven’t done any quilting in weeks.
I’m feeling a bit better, though, now that some time has passed and life is getting back to normal. Part of that healing process is getting back into quilting, which helps make life feel a bit more normal, so I headed off to the quilt shop for some inspiration and shopping time this morning and came home with a fun project in mind.
On a whim, I picked up a Dresden Plate ruler a few weeks back and tried a sample block using some Amy Butler scraps I had sitting around. The pattern was much easier to execute than i thought it would be. While it didn’t lay 100% flat, it was certainly close enough that there were only a few puckers when it came time to stitch the spokes down to the background. I even had a decent enough time figuring out what quilting design to use, which is normally one of my biggest challenges when working on a quilt!
So for lack of any better inspiration (and since there were no quilt kits at the LQS that really piqued my interest), I picked up 10 different reproduction prints in a variety of colors and textures, so I can use each print twice in this 20-blade Dresden block. I also snagged a few yards of Kona solid in “snow,” which is a soft enough white to go with the old-timey prints. I forgot to get any yellow for the plate centers, but there’s a Kona solid that’s just the right color of yellow that I can pick up once the plates are assembled– which could take a while since there are so many pieces. (Then again, the sample block I did took maybe 2 or 3 hours, and if I’m able to assembly-line-sew the blades in sets of 20, it’ll probably take less time overall.)
Once the blocks are assembled– and I have no clue how many blocks there will be, I figure I’ll just make as many as I can with 1/4 yard of each print and go from there– I’d like to do a traditional “ice cream cone” border, like in this antique example:
I’ll probably do that in another Kona solid, since I don’t want the print to distract from the Dresden blocks, but I think I’ll probably wait until the whole thing is put together to start worrying about that.
Overall, I’m super excited to get started on this pattern. My super-quilter Great Grandma MUST have done at least one Dresden Plate in her quilting career of over 500 projects, and probably around the 30s for sure, so she would have used these sorts of fabrics too. Granted, I don’t think she did much (if any) machine quilting, so this will probably take much less time, so I’ll have one on her for that! I think it will be tons of fun to recreate something that she did, even though I’m sure she would have done a much better job, but it gives me something to strive for