I’ve been working on a Dresden plate quilt since forever, it seems. I finally finished it. Yay! This quilt was a bit different from the ones I’ve made in the past because I decided to try that “quilt as you go” technique on this one. I really thought it would be so much easier not having to drag around an entire heavy quilt when it came time to do the hand quilting. I watched a gazillion Youtube clips and read endless website instructions for several weeks prior to actually starting it. I felt I was ready to tackle it. Unfortunately things did not go as planned.
I wanted a brightly colored quilt, sort of Bohemian/Hippie/Batik so I ordered some colorful Batik charm packs from Ebay and began cutting my Dresden plate wedges. This is where I made my first mistake. I had wanted the tip of each wedge to be pointed so that my plates would almost look like stars. This is because Dresden plates with even edges really remind me of CDs. Of course, I had cut about thirty wedges before I realized that I had not cut the point on the tips.
After my initial panic subsided, I tried to figure out how I could fix it. I wasn’t about to throw out the cut pieces so I decided to make the plates with alternating wedges, one pointed and one straight etc.
My next mistake was to only cut fourteen wedges per plate, when I was supposed to cut sixteen. The website where I downloaded the templates didn’t state that clearly and I ended up guessing. After I had cut all the pieces I went back and saw that it said “cut 16 per plate” in tiny print that I had not noticed before. Doh. Once I had put each plate together, it was time to mount them on the background fabric squares. The instructions on the quilt website said that they should be 12 inches each. So I cut several 12 inch squares but when I went to mount the plates on them, the squares were too small. Panic time. Again. I had to scrap those and cut new, larger 15 inch squares.
Once the plates were mounted and appliqued on, I embellished them a bit. (because I was a magpie in a past life) I tried several seed bead embroidery patterns until I settled on one that had a combination of sequins and seed beads and then I went ahead and quilted each square individually. It really was alot easier to quilt each square rather than lugging around a whole quilt. Little did I know how difficult it would be to stitch the quilt backing together later. I added sashing to each square and then put the squares together. This was kind of tricky because I had to machine stitch together only the quilt top but not the batting or the backing (yet).
Once that was done, it was time to close the backing of the quilt and this had to be done by hand. I thought it would be a piece of cake but I was wrong. It in fact took longer than the actual quilting, only it wasn’t fun like the quilting had been because now I DID have to lug around the whole heavy quilt which was at this point all sewn together. As if that wasn’t enough, I had purchased the only batting and backing that was available in local fabric stores. Both batting and backing had a bit of stretch to them which made stitching them extremely difficult. I ended up with really uneven squares and bulky batting in spots. Then I had to turn the quilt over again and hand quilt the sashing. I think I ended up doing more sewing on this quilt than on any other one I’ve made, and the backside really reminds me of Frankenstein with all those uneven pieces sewn together. Of course I’m not going to show you pictures of the back side. Hehe. The top looks nice though…and as long as nobody turns it over they won’t be able to see all the mistakes. I think I can safely say that I probably won’t be using the quilt-as-you-go method again in the future.
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home