Not so traditional dresdens!

The Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild is hosting a challenge using a dresden ruler. Over the summer when the challenge was first announced, I had a few ideas pop into my head. As I played with the ruler and the shapes that it creates, my ideas evolved a bit until I came up with these two quilts.
The first quilt is a mini, measuring 23″ square. I love using one large block to create a mini quilt – it’s the perfect size to display on the wall!
Dresden Challenge - Mini
I reverse appliqued the center circle and pieced the outer seam on the “dresden plate”. I can’t lie, I held my breathe the whole time I was sewing the outer circle seam! The quilting is simple straight lines that increase in density from the center of the quilt outward.
Dresden Challenge - Mini
I used a charm pack of Kate Spain’s Terrain for the quilt top. The backing is a great polka dot: Dumb Dot by Michael Miller in Tangerine. The binding is Quilter’s Linen by Robert Kaufman in Orange.
Dresden Challenge - Mini
My second entry is for the Innovative category. The idea for this quilt came along because I love the look of wonky piecing, but I don’t enjoy the process because I always seem to generate a lot of fabric waste! I’m often thinking up different techniques to accomplish the look I like, but which also satisfy my Type A personality!
I initially fell in love with this print by Erin McMorris for her La Dee Da line:

(Photo from Hawthorne Threads)

And so I used that as inspiration for this quilt!
Dresden Challenge - Innovative
To achieve this design, I cut strips of my prints at random angles using a rotary cutter and ruler to keep my cuts sharp rather than curved. Next I pieced a strip of grey to either side of the print, and then cut my dresden pieces from the pieced fabric. The entire quilt top is made up of dresden plate pieces!
DSC_0177
I quilted the rows of wonky wedges in a linear zig zag style and then quilted around each row of wedges to further accent them. The traditional quilter inside of me can’t believe that I left the negative space unquilted (I was taught to quilt a piece with uniform density throughout!), but it gives the quilt a softness while not distracting from the wonky wedges.
Dresden Challenge - Innovative
For the back I used a large piece of my inspiration fabric plus a chunk of coordinating print.
Dresden Challenge - Innovative back
I love that the quilting is obvious in the light print of the quilt back, yet it blends right into the dark print!
Dresden Challenge - Innovative Back
This quilt finished at 36″ x 52″. I love this mix of prints, so I may make a me-size quilt soon!
DSC_0189
Are you participating in the Dresden Challenge? I’d love to hear what you came up with! Here are the links to the 3 categories of entries:
Link ups are open from Sept. 1-6. I can’t wait to see all of the beautiful creates! It’s only day 1 and there are already lots of inspiring projects out there!
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18 responses to “Not so traditional dresdens!

  1. These are fabulous! I especially love the quilting in your mini, it looks like it took a lot of careful planning! Your reverse applique obviously worked, it's beautiful and very clean-looking. I like the method you used for piecing the larger one, it looks so complicated, but, sounds like it was much easier. Very creative!

  2. Holy crap these are both awesome but I have to say I am partial to the mini. I think it's the Terrain. But your design is SO original and modern. I love it.

  3. omg…i love love love love the dresden plate mini quilt!! i don't see anything about pinterest on your blog…do you mind if i pin it? it is stunning.

  4. I love them both, esp. the mini!! It's so bright and cheerful, and just the right size. Well done! Those judges are going to have a really hard time! ~karen

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