Friday, January 25, 2019

~ Making a Dresden from a Charm Pack ~

As you all know I'm a sucker for Dresdens.  So when my friend Judy asked if I would teach her to make a Dresden bed runner I couldn't resist.  Judy is fairly new to quilting...or so she says....just look at her perfect Dresden!  Doesn't look like a newbie block to me!   No waves, no puckers, no issues what so ever in her first Dredsen.

She used a charm pack by Moda called Love You.   Her background fabric will be the gray speckled.  I'll keep you updated on the runner as it progresses.  If all goes as planned it will be made into a pattern.

Miss Judy has a real eye for detail.  I see a new quilt designer in the making.  She didn't think the traditional center circle had enough pizzazz.  So we added another circle.  Nope, still not good enough for Goldilocks.  Then she had a needed a WOW factor....something to make it sing.  "Can I add a YO YO to the center?".  Well yes you can Miss Judy!  Perfect idea!

Judy, unlike me, is a gadget person and had exactly what we needed hanging right there in her Studio.  The Clover Yo Yo Maker was the perfect size.  What size is it?  I have no idea, there was no size information on the package but I can tell you the finished YO YO is about two inches.  I'm old school when it comes to making YO YO's. I cut a circle double the size I want the YO YO to finish.  So if I want a 1.5" YO YO, I cut out a 3" circle, turn the edge under about a quarter inch and make a running stitch 1/8" around the circle, leaving long tales of thread.  Once I've made it all the way around the circle I pull the tales and I have YO YO.   

Her little Dresden was so cute I had to make one this morning.  While I'm at it I might as well share this technique with my online quilting friends!  So here's what you'll need.  
A charm pack with 42 charms.  An Easy Dresden ruler.  The glow line tap is optional, it is just used for marking the line we'll be using on the Dresden Template.  You'll also need a fat quarter for the center of the Dresden.

 TIP: Dresden wedges are stretchy.  Avoid pulling and stretching on the wedges.  Do not iron wedges, PRESS UP AND DOWN.  

Before you start cutting make sure your charms measure 5".   They can be a little smaller but not by much.  Both the charm packs we used were a little short by about 1/8". You can layer 4 or 5 charms to make the cutting go much faster.  A rotating cutting mat would also be great for this project. 
 Line up the 4" line on the ruler with the top of the charm and at the far left corner.  Carefully cut one dresden blade.  Turn the ruler upside down and line it up with the bottom of the remaining charm and the previous cut edge(bottom left photo).  Cut.  Rotate your ruler again to right side up and make the final dresden cut on the far right edge of the charm.  Repeat this on all charms in one pack.  It will make 6 dresden blocks that have 20 blades.

Fold each wedge in half longways with right sides together.  Lightly crease the center with your fingers.  Stitch the top of each blade(top right photo).  Trim away the excess fabric at the top of the folded edge, careful not to cut your stitches(bottom left photo).  Press open the seam at the top of the wedge. 

Carefully turn the wedge right side out.  Line up the crease and the seam on the back of the wedge, press the wedge tip.  Repeat on all wedges.

 When stitching together your wedges it is important to line up the two wedges at the top.   Don't worry about the bottom of the wedge, don't stretch the bottom of the wedges to make them line up.  The center will be covered by a circle template.  Stitch them together along the long side of the wedge.

When all your wedges are stitched together press all the seams in one direction. If you have some fullness in your Dresden try a little steam, but don't iron or stretch.  

  I've pulled a charm from another charm pack of the same fabric line to make a traditional circle center.  But you will need to use a fat quarter for the center circle.

Each Dredsen will finish at about 10" across.  We haven't decided on the size of the background fabric.  This week we are just focused on getting the dresdens together.  As soon as we move to the next step I'll let you know.

#quiltingtutorial #dresdentutorial #charmpacktutorial

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  1. I just bought my first Dresden template - that colorway is just adorable!

  2. Beautiful and essy...I love dresden too...I need to give this a go...I'll be waiting for yr next blog on this!! Thanks!!

  3. Miss Judy here. I am so blessed to have Lea Anne in my life. Not only is she a great teacher and quilting mentor. SHE IS A GREAT FRIEND THAT I TREASURE BEYOND WORDS! She’s teaching me so much. Thank you!

    1. Awe...Judy you are so kind. I'm so glad we bumped into each other, you've been a great friend! Now put on your big girl panties cause next weeks class is gonna be a little harder!...LOL!

  4. By George, I think she's got it!!! 🤓

  5. Thanks for the tips. I bought my Dresden ruler a few years ago, and used the bottom... narrow end... to cut tumblers from 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" strips. Then the other end from 4 1/2 strips. Saved having to buy another template! Fun! I finished one of the tiny ones, I call it a Thimble quilt! Haha! A little bigger than a placemat. Have more of them to sew together.


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