TGIFF: My First Dresden!

Having my mom as my partner in crime is definitely a blessing in disguise because she’s constantly trying new things and it encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and do the same.

Now my husband may disagree only because when I get motivated to try something new that means trouble for our bank account. NEW FABRIC!!!! Must have rulers!!!! Oh he must cringe when I tell him I’m trying something new and I must go shopping! Ha!

In all honesty, he’s just as encouraging and supportive even if he’s cringing a bit inside. Thanks, love!!!

Before the holidays hit, my mom attempted her first Dresden in the form of a baby quilt/wall hanging. I was so taken with how quickly she put it together and how beautifully it looked that I had to try my hand at my own Dresden plate project. So, I started to cut into my Joyeux Noel set to make my own holiday wall hanging.

I pushed to have it finished before Christmas so I could use it and I literally finished it Christmas Eve!! And I took that thing with me to each of our holiday parties so I could display it.

Christmas Eve binding!

When it was all said and done, I was in love!!!

This project took on a whole different look once it was completed and I was so surprised. It has a rustic charm to it and it looks really well done even though I can see a few areas of improvement. But the overall effect is a well put together piece.

I used a different binding technique which was new for me. I did the double fold bias tape method. I have mixed feelings with this. I think it works BUT it could use some work. I think what saved my crooked lines is that I used a thread color that closely matched the binding color. Had I gone with a contrasting color, my mistakes would have stood out boldly and made the overall look messy and amateurish.

I have to say my favorite part to all of this is my quilting. Yes, I’ll toot my own horn. I LOVE MY QUILTING!!!! The echoing pattern radiating out from the Dresden really seals the deal. Again, my lines aren’t perfect and my start and stop points are messy but the choice to echo outward to the border and then leave the border plain with only a single framing stitch around the edge brought the whole thing together.

I love it! It’s tight, neat, and clean without being too busy and burdening the fabric with too much of a quilted pattern.

Now as I said, there are areas where I could use some work. First, my start and stop points. There was A LOT of nesting issues and I know that’s more an issue with me than with my machine. My machine works perfectly still and I make sure to clean it out, dust it off, and I switch out  my needles regularly so that it stays in tip top shape.

This is an area that I do need some help. I want the BACK of my quilted pieces to look as good as the front. Luckily this is a wall hanging so it will most likely be seen from the front only. If you look closely in the picture below, you’ll see how on the back my starting/stopping points are messy, bunched up, and there are some stitches that have even come undone due to not being totally tacted down.

While I wish the stop/start points were neater, the back is probably my favorite part. It looks to me like an art deco piece. And even though I LOVE the back and how it came together, I forget that I have the option to use two different colors, one in the bobbin and another up top. While this looks good to me, I’m still curious how it would have looked if I had used the deep rusty red thread in the bobbin that I used along the binding.


So many things to think of and so many options for next time. And there will be a next time. I’ve fallen in love with Dresdens and I can’t wait to make my next one!

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23 thoughts on “TGIFF: My First Dresden!

    • Thanks Helen!! I’m so glad this fat quarter set has so many fabrics still whole so I can keep using it. It’s seriously one of my favorite Moda sets!!! Thanks for coming by!!!!

  1. I enjoyed reading about this project and I love how you shared the things you liked and the things that you feel need work. We are all learning and the reason I love blogging is to share, make friends and learn. 🙂 I think you did a great job with this piece and love all the new things you tried. I have done two large dresden blocks a few years ago but they are languishing in the WIP pile.
    Have you tried Little Magic Bobbin Genies? They are plastic bobbin washers and are supposed to help stop that thread nesting stuff on the back. I have been using them and I do think they help. You can Google it. Mine came from Amazon. Have a good week!

    • Thank you Laney for popping by and leaving your comment. So these bobbin genies, are they good for any machine? I’m totally curious now and I’ll have to check them out. I really really appreciate your suggestion and I agree, blogging really has brought a ton of great people into our lives and I’ve learned so much from everyone!! Hope to hear that those Dresdens in your WIP pile make it out soon!!!

    • Thank you Mary!! I love it too and have decided not to pack it away with all my holiday things. Christmas may be over but I’m not ready to put this project away!

    • Thank you thank you! And I agree. There is also that moment when you wonder if you dislike the process or the technique and then lose interest. I’m so glad this wasn’t one of those times!

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    • Yes, I agree. I would struggle to give this away. I know for me the process so so simple but comes out looking so complex and amazing that I have fallen head over heels in love with Dresdens. And the fact that I can make one quickly helps too!

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