Monday, October 18, 2010

Glam Garden Gala - Dresden Plates

I'm pretty sure I'm coming in to this at the tail end of things, but I'm finally entering a quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Fall Festival.

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

In my opinion, this event, organized by Amy, is truly one of the coolest things out there in quilt Blogland and by far the best type of quilt festival because 1) no admission fees 2) it doesn't end after this week - you can go back and view all the entries 4 months from now if you want. So if you have other things on your calendar this week, no biggie. 3) you can go to this quilt festival in your jammies.

And without further adieu, I bring you my finished Glam Garden Gala quilt!!

glam garden gala side view

If you've been hanging around here for the past couple of months, you probably noticed that it's been on my mind (therefore on my blog) for awhile now. Here's a brief re-cap:

quilting along the side
  • QuiltDad, who serves as the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild's swap-sami, hooked up the guild with 25 FREE Ten Squares (Kaufman equivalent of layer cakes) of Glam Garden by Josephine Kimberling.
  • My stack of fabric sat on the back of my sewing table for about a month, untouched, while I dreamed of making a dresden plate quilt and merrily worked on KarrieLynne's charm pack quilt along.
  • Then about 2 months ago, I had a bit of a reality check and realized that I better GET ON IT if my dream of a dresden plate quilt was going to come to fruition with this fabric.
  • That's about the time this quilt started to take over my crafty life.
Here's a brief re-cap of how I made this quilt using 10" squares. Please note that this quilt relied heavily on tutorials posted by fellow bloggers who are much wiser and more articulate than I. In short, this project is definitely a testament to the coolness of the Internet.

First, a few comments about this stack of fabric - there were 40 total squares, with 20 different prints, so there were 2 squares of each print. BUT even though there were half as many prints as what you'd find in a Moda layer cake, I thought the designer did a great job designing a wide variety of prints in this collection. The prints were definitely a bit less matchy-matchy than what I usually envision for a collection, and maybe for some patterns/quilters that wouldn't work very well. For the scrappy dresden plate, however, I thought the variety of prints worked out well.
So, my first step was to cut (4) 5" charm squares from each of the 10" squares. For some of the large-scale prints, this kind of broke my heart. But I managed to keep a stiff upper lip and soldier on.

From there, I used this tutorial and this ruler to cut 3 spokes from each charm square, yielding 12 spokes from each 10" square, or 24 spokes for each print. This took much longer than I anticipated.

Then I used this tutorial to start making the pointy spokes. Again, this took much longer than I could have imagined.

After all my spokes were made, I started playing with the look of the plates. Options: Did I want to only use one color or print per plate? What about 1 of each print in each plate (there are 20 spokes to a plate with this ruler and 20 total prints in the layer cake)? I finally settled on using 2 prints per plate. That way, there was a little bit of scrappiness without looking too frenetic, which was what happened when I tried one of each of these prints in one plate. System overload.

Glam Garden dresden plates

After matching up the prints, I kept using the same tutorial to construct the outer ring of the plates.

Glam Garden dresden plates

By this point, it was time for me to start seriously considering machine applique. Time was closing in rapidly, and this would be my first adventure in machine applique. Efficiency was of utmost importance. After perusing blog-land and considering other folks' kind suggestions, I settled on this method for the circles, and this method to applique the plates to the background fabric. Surprisingly, this didn't take nearly as long as I anticipated. Y'all - I don't think I've ever said that about any part of any of my projects.

Now it's time to talk about layouts. My initial idea for this quilt was to have a huge piece of white background and randomly applique the plates all over it. After looking at applique tutorials, I realized it might be a tad bit easier to work with smaller background pieces for my first machine applique adventure. So, I was on the lookout for settings that would make my quilt look a little more random. I soon stumbled across this quilt from Lisa. I loved how she left some white space interspersed between the blocks to make things look random.

For the machine quilting, I used Elizabeth's loopy flowers tutorial at Oh Fransson. I already want to use it on 3 other quilts.

glam garden quilting close-up

And lest I forget, the backing fabric is from Pretty Please by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit Fabric. I got it for a great deal from Wish Upon a Quilt's sale room.

glam garden gala backing fabric

A BIG thanks to Robert Kaufman for sponsoring the guild's challenge!!

glam garden gala


  1. Gorgeous quilt! One of these days I'm going to tackle Dresdens :-)

  2. Oh wow- I love it! I love how you scattered them on the top - very beautiful!

  3. Your quilt has come up so well. There is so much work involved.
    Great colours, design and use of fabric. Love your quilting too.

  4. this is so pretty!! i love the bright colors and how it is not symmetrical

  5. it's LOVELY ... I think the bright colors against the white really sets it off ... and imagine my pleasure at being part of the inspiration ;-)