Let’s Play Drezzup: Trunk Show and Workshop
I fell hard for Dresden Plate about 10 years ago and there’s no hint that this love affair will end any time soon. I offer a lecture and a workshop and they’re very different but both are a lot of fun. I wanted to share a few of the quilts with you.
All Drezzed Up is the quilt that started it all. I bought 20 vintage Dresden Plate blocks for 20 dollars at an antique mall in Ogallala, Nebraska. Their points were raw-edged, and if I had known more about Dresdens at the time I might have left them behind.
I wasn’t interested in turning all those edges under, so I left them raw and made a tiny zigzag to applique them with cream-colored thread by machine. They look just fine.
I made 20 small plates to layer on top of the big plates but it needed something else, so I made 12 more for the intersections. Those little plates are like M&Ms. Once you start, it’s hard to quit. Which is how the next quilt came to be.
This is Diane’s Dresdens, which appeared in McCall’s Quilting. My working title for it was 28 Dresden Drive. The plates are about 5″ across and I used every conceivable fabric. When the patches are very small, you can get away with that.
You Are My Sunshine came from an idea I scribbled on the back of an envelope about five years before I made it. I was pretty sure I could make half-plates look like sunrises. The back story to this quilt is that it can be hard to get yellow to show up on a light background. And yellow can also look too orange on one hand and too green on the other. I have about 30 reject sunrise blocks because I had a devil of a time getting the yellows to work.
I have two grandsons, for whom this quilt has always seemed too girly. So I always thought that if I ever had a granddaughter, I would give this quilt to her. Now my daughter is expecting, and it’s a girl all right, but guess what? It’s not just one girl, it’s TWO girls. So…this quilt still doesn’t have a home because obviously I can’t give it to just one of them, right?!
Somewhere along the Dresden way I thought of making little baskets. I’m sure I wasn’t the first but I had so much fun making these with their little rickrack handles. This quilt is small, maybe 18″ x 18″ or so. In my Dresden guild program, I use it to talk about scrappy backgrounds.
Do you see how the greens on the corners are all different but they all play nicely together? They are similar in value and intensity so it works. “Similar but different” is an important concept for my scrap quilts. Similar but different means that fabrics have enough in common to be perceived as a set, and yet they are different enough to create interest. Imagine how lifeless this quilt would be if only one green had been used on all four corners?
I always figure that four corners mean four opportunities. I can’t imagine using just one fabric when I could use four.
This is a Dresden Plate block with one of the fancy variations I show during the lecture. This is as easy as pie to do and the effect is dynamite. I am dying to make a whole quilt from these blocks! I’ve made a host of samples to show a few of the variations that are possible and when you see them one after another, it kind of knocks your socks off. Sometimes people leave the meeting and get straight to work because they email and tell me so. Those are the best kinds of messages a teacher ever gets!
Last year I designed this little sampler for a retreat in Arapahoe, Nebraska hosted by a quilt shop called Wagner’s Quilts & Conversation. I couldn’t resist including two scrappy Dresden Plates. Their lines complement the pieced patchwork quite nicely.
I made this little quilt with improv techniques after a retreat with Gwen Marston. I can’t get the colors to show up properly but you can still appreciate the Dresdens, I hope.
This gives you a taste of what my Let’s Play Drezzup trunk show is about. There are quilts both new and old, intriguing variations on the traditional look of Dresden Plate and plenty of inspiration. I’d love to bring it to your group. Drop me an email and Let’s Talk Quilts!