Many years ago I made a quilt for the New Quilts From an Old Favorite contest at the National Quilt Museum that was based on the traditional Dresden Plate pattern.
I decided it would be fun to fussy cut the petals in each plate from a single beautiful batik fabric and fuse them to a hand-dyed black background. The spaces between the petals made the plates look like stained glass windows and thus the name ~ Dresden Plate Glass Window!
Whenever I make a quilt like this I try to challenge myself to try new things. So… this quilt was made from just 2 different fabrics: the black hand-dyed background and a very colorful batik that I fussy cut to get the colorways in each plate. The background was heavily free-motion quilted with neon threads to achieve the variety of color in the background squares. It was a lot of fun to make!
I’ve made a few other Dresden quilts since then, and when I stopped at the Annie McHugs booth in Paducah last year (this has been a work in progress for quite a while) I realized it was time to make another. Her “Picture Windows Reverse Applique Tool” stopped me in my tracks.
Her samples were delightful, and I just knew I needed to try this tool out for myself. Click here to visit Jerriann’s site and see her quilts, tools, videos, and patterns.
I purchased her templates, after having a delightful conversation with her husband who let me pick a “Bible verse of the day” from the a basket he had sitting next to him. I took the templates with me to our June retreat, along with a lovely gradation fabric and a pretty floral that seemed to go well with it. While there I made a bunch of plates, with the windows cut out and the edges pressed under. I loved the process. The templates are clear and make it easy to fussy cut whatever you want to place in the windows of the plate’s “petals”. They are then glued in place with Elmer’s school glue. It’s a great technique.
Once the plates were made I laid them out on the same gradation fabric. And all too soon the retreat was over.
I really loved the project, but when I got home it all ended up buried in a pile. I unearthed it when I unpacked my studio this past January. It was the perfect time because I was able to take them to our most recent retreat, choose a lovely placement, and stitch them to the background.
Then I was stumped. The Dresden plates were stitched in place, but what should go in the center of the plates? In the photo there are holes in each plates center. I didn’t have any more of the white floral fabric. I thought I might try machine embroidering circles with designs similar to the floral, but nothing I placed in the centers looked right. So I took it to a ThreadBenders meeting and got some great input. The centers showing in the photo was the background peeking through each plate. So my friends suggested I cut the fabric away from behind the plates and make the centers from those fabrics. It worked!
Then it was time to layer my quilt sandwich. It was here I realized that all the windows were still only held in place by glue ~ YIKES! So I pin basted the sandwich well:
And started quilting down the blue fabric around each window.
I really want to quilt the background in an exciting way, but I havn’t figured that out yet. Any suggestions?
Also, we were blessed to be together with my Dad’s side of the family for Easter and we got to meet Kevin and Alex’s new daughter Breen. Here’s a photo of the family with Breen’s quilt. Her sister Roan is wearing the bucket hat I made to match the quilt 😊.
Children are such a blessing! As is all family!
And one more quick note for those in southeastern Wisconsin. The Rock Valley Quilt Guild in Janesville is bringing Sally Manke here for a lecture and workshop. This is one of my favorites of her quilts ~ and it has dresden plates!
I took her Confetti Landscape workshop last year in Paducah and it was great! (click here for that post). Sally will present a trunk show on Tuesday evening, May 16th; and the workshop will be on Wednesday. Guests are welcome. Please contact Sandy Kohls for more information:
Cheryl Parker says
What a lovely Dresden plate stained glass quilt. I love the Dresdens that you are working on. I’ll have to check out the technique when I get home.