Flashback Friday

Flashback to an extremely popular Saturday class  – Dresden Delight.  Dresden Plate has so many possibilities (and Chris produced a book on some of them) it’s always a delight to teach the basics and beyond.



Rescued from oblivion ..

…   one fancy Nine Patch Dresden Plate, fabric choices and cutting by Chris, first part of sewing sabotaged by Barbara as part of THAT disastrous class demo, second part remedied by Chris and shown here earlier as a completed plate.  Determined to salvage a modicum of professional pride, Barbara decided she’d better get on with finding a background and doing the last bit of stitching down.

Various fabrics were auditioned for the background but nothing really seemed to hit the spot until black appeared, which made the colours and prints richer and bolder.  So black it was – the perfect target for cat hair and stray threads too!

First step was to starch and press and then mark 1/4″ turn-under allowance with pencil dots on the right side (RS) of the fabric – you can probably see the dots in this pic

Then it was time to turn back the seam allowance using the dots as a guide, folding carefully and using smallish tacking stitches to secure.

From this point it would have been pretty straightforward just to position the plate on the background, pin in several places and get right to the stitching down.  But Barbara was determined not to mess this up    leave room for error so she tacked the plate into position next, again with fairly small stitches and quite close to the edge.  And at last to the stitching itself  (the above preparation took very little time if you discount the part where you linger over the starching and pressing to savour the aromatic steam!).   Barbara used her favourite everyday fine cotton sewing thread (Aurifil 50)  in a dark cream shade instead of worrying about matching thread colour to fabric.  You can see the scale of the stitch and how it is formed from these pics

The needle comes through the background and just into the folded edge and then makes a very short straight stitch down and into the background, diagonal slide across the back and start all over again.  Above, the needle is a little bit too far into the plate, this is better –

This makes a slanting stitch on the back

and you can see from this pic a knot and backstitch finish of thread inside the stitched plate edge.

Some close-ups of ok and less ok stitching, starting with less –

– on the right hand side there are some tiny pokes and creases that could have been avoided so that the curve was smoother

– this is slightly better for smoothness, notice that the stitches are less visible than you might expect.

Plate stitched into position, tackings removed and put out of reach of nosey cat, back to starch and steam, RS down onto a clean towel and it’s done.  Interesting how different the colours look under electric light and daylight – stitching pics are electrically lit, following pics are daylight.

Now there needs to be a further delicate negotation regarding border/small corner fans/fabric etc, but for the moment at least we remain undefeated by a Dresden Plate!

PS from Barbara – Chris is too shy to say that she produced a Dresden Plate booklet which has lots of ideas and templates…. you should find this on our website www.chrisandbarbara.com

PPS from Chris – and of course Barbara is too polite to say that if Chris hadn’t machine stitched right to the edges of the plate petals it would have made the turning under and tacking so-o-o-o much easier!

After class

Sometimes our plans seem to veer a little off course.   Last week Barbara managed to totally forget to show how to stitch Dresden Plates to a background,  because (she says) everyone got so excited over Chris’s demo of Dresden Plate and fussy-cutting Kaleidoplates.  So this week she backtracked and covered the basic applique stitch but that left less time for us to demo machine quilting, walking foot and free motion, and a little bit of hand quilting.  And all this meant that we didn’t get time to take another look at everyone’s blocks and play around with settings.  S0 – next week, our final week for this course, is going to be action packed with sashings, settings, borders and bindings!!

Margery has been working REALLY hard behind the scenes and we were all humbled    jealous   delighted to see her terrific quilt top –

We’re off to Quilter’s Trading Post in Whitchurch today to collect Chris’s quilt for Trentham/Uttoxeter/Quilts in the Garden, which means we will have a coffee and cake opportunity as well as retail therapy – what could be better?

Sampler quilt class

A wonderfully warm Sampler Class – our favourite caretaker had made sure the heating was blazing away so we all finished the evening in a very warm glow!  Lots of lovely homework  from the curved seam demonstration last week and now everyone has a satisfying pile of blocks to begin thinking about putting together.  We spent some time laying out blocks on the floor and standing back and making admiring noises, experimenting with setting straight and/or on point and into strips.  Next week we’re going to be looking at the basics of machine and hand quilting, with some quilt-as-you-go pointers and demonstration thrown in for good measure.



The block for this week is Dresden Plate so Chris (back on her feet after the Dreaded Flu) demonstrated a whole world of Dresden Plate – curved tips, pointy tips, straight tips, fussy cutting for motifs,  fussy cutting for stripes – so we are keen to see what homework comes into class next week!    

And here’s a little something that one of our ladies has been quietly stitching –

If Barbara gets down to work and concentrates, we’ll have more pics on our Flickr site very soon – and the EQdoodle is due to be updated also ….. back to coffee and chocolate!