Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fabulous Finish

I'm thrilled to share my most recent finish, "Dresden Plates of Fruits & Veggies." You'll remember I pieced these Dresden plates just before Dennis and I left town for a month of travel for his work. I signed up for Joanna Figueroa's "Simple Fresh Quilts" Craftsy class months ago. Then when Missouri Star Quilt Co. had Pat Sloan's Eat Your Fruit and Veggies jelly roll as the daily deal, I bought a jelly roll, plus a charm pack, and yardage for borders and backing. I wasn't sure I loved the fabrics at first glance, but I decided to give it a chance to grow on me.

So, I spent the time on the road hand-appliquéing these prepped plates to 15" Kona squares. It made for a perfect travel project. Then when I got home, I cut and pieced the lattice and cornerstones, and got my top finished.

I pieced the back with leftovers from my charm pack, as well as some yellow nine patches I had pieced for a mystery quilt in 1995...seriously. I had bought 3 yds of the Blueberry dot for border and binding, but it turned out the 5 yds of picnic fabric was not quite enough, so the pieced back was my creative solution. The blueberry was just not quite right for the busy-ness of the plates as a border, but it looked great on the back, especially with a pop from Kona red!

It's a pretty big deal to try to center a motif on the back of a quilt, let alone get it centered top to bottom and side-to-side. I loaded my frame carefully, took lots of measurements, and did my best. To tell the truth, it was nerve-wracking.

I chose "Fantasy Feathers" for the wide borders. You'll recognize it as the edge to edge design I've used on my mom's log cabin and my "Perfectly Feathered" version of the Perfect 10 pattern. I love it, it stitches like a dream, and the curls give it a modern vibe I thought this contemporary quilt would benefit from.

I used a new (to me) panto called "Pebble Fill" around the nine patches and along the outline of the quilt, and "Open Curls" on the lattices. Each rectangle on the quilt has to be remeasured, and shapes recalculated to fit. So, those 1.5" squares were a bit tedious, but worth it. I'm so grateful for my computer! There are many super-talented quilters out there who do everything completely by hand-guided motion. I am not sure my arthritis would stand up to that. 

It was about this point in the quilt that I remembered I had not trimmed away the bulk of excess fabric under each appliqué block! Seriously, what is wrong with me!?! So, I ended up trimming three blocks at a time, row by row, just before I quilted the plates down.

I chose a simple eight pointed spiral for the centers, then a "feathered fern" that was roughly the right shape if I rotated it a bit. It's times like this I am grateful for my mathematical mind.

I decided to meander quilt the backgrounds behind the plates myself. I used to be pretty good at it, and I was hoping my nice computer hadn't stolen my skills. I am very pleased at how even it was, and it was so satisfying to run the machine "all by myself" for a change.

After all the top to bottom bits were quilted, then I had to pull the quilt out of the frame and turn it to quilt the vertical lattices, and side borders.

I squared it up, then attached the binding today (see previous post).

I've already written a book, so just feast your eyes on these finished photos! Thanks for reading!


  1. I am utterly amazed!!! I absolutely ADORE this quilt and admire and respect all the time and talent you put into finishing it!!!

  2. Whew, all that quilting! It looks stunning, well done!

  3. Absolutely Love your beautiful plates, and all the quilting is stunning.


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