It's been unusually HOT here in the Pacific Northwest, so I've been spending the weekend in my air conditioned sewing room. As a result I've made some good progress on my Modern Quilt Guild Riley Black Designs Cottage Garden by the Quilted Fish Fabric Challenge. That is a mouthful!
Part of the challenge is to try something you've never done before. I've been wanting to do a modern dresden plate since I saw fellow South Sound Modern Quilt Guild member, Kathy Buchli's, quilt. (Clicky) That was over a year ago. The techniques and tools used are new to me, but I find them fun, and perhaps a little addictive. The center circles are machine sewn with a blanket stitch while the out edges of the plate are sewn by hand. It's such a relaxing way to spend the evenings. While doing some "research" online, aka watching youtube videos & looking at sewing blogs, I came across a great tip for getting your project to lay flat.
It's all in the pressing. While my piece is still warm from the iron I lay a " flat weight" on top of it so that it stays flat as it cools. You could use a book or a magazine, but I grabbed my 12.5" template. So far this has been working VERY well for me. I might try it for all my future piecing. Sorry that I can't remember the original source of this tip, but it wasn't from a quilter. It was actually a tip for garment sewing I believe.
As I mentioned, this was my first time sewing Dresdens. I had no idea how large they would be. This created a bit of a problem. I knew going into this that I didn't want all my Dresdens to line up in a row. My thought was to sew each of the dresdens to a center of 16" block and then add 4.5" strips to 2 sides of the blocks in the four corners. The middle block would be completely centered inside a 20" block. I got to work on sewing all 4 corner blocks. Then I went to cut my fabric for the remaining blocks, including the center block and realized I only had a yard of fabric left. NOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo!!!!
This is what happens when I create patterns on my own and don't pay attention to math. It's also what happens when you buy fabric from 3 or more shops and can't remember which one you got this particular shade of grey. It all worked out in the end, but I spent a few hours yesterday hitting the "local" fabric stores trying to figure out who made this perfect light shade of grey. I was sure it was from Sisters in Chehalis, WA, but I was wrong.
Next I went to Quilter's Junction in Centralia, WA to see if they carried it. I have an embarrassing story to share about that, but it will have to wait until Tuesday's post. For now I will give a shout out to Rita Whalen and tell her thank you for your help.
Finally I went up to Ruby Street Quiltworks in Tumwater, WA. I really should have gone there first because they do have the biggest selection of solids, but I honestly thought I had bought it at Sisters when I went in for their row-by-row license plate. btw- the color is Vapor, but I still can' remember the name of the manufacturer. It's on my receipt though, so I can easily find it. I love that Ruby Street prints out the names of the fabric and keeps a record in their store so you can easily find additional fabric. As long as it hasn't sold out.
How are you doing on your A Lovely Year of Finishes Goal? I'm hopeful mine will be completed on time. As long as the AC holds out.