Playing Drezzup in Hastings, Nebraska
I had a delightful time with Hastings (Nebraska) Quilter’s Guild last night, presenting Let’s Play Drezzup to about 50 people. This program is in three parts:
- A hands-on experience to make, trim and join the Dresden blades. Everyone takes home her samples.
- A trunk show of blocks showing the endless variations possible with Dresden Plate.
- A sampling of new and old Dresden quilts with quirks, oddities and interesting details.
I have to rush to fit it all in one hour but it’s getting good feedback. Whenever I pull this trunk show out in preparation for a program, I get all excited about Dresden Plate again! I could spend the next five years on these quilts alone.
I always try and have a couple of new things for each program. This week I made a super cool block designed by Sherri Noel of Rebecca Mae Designs. It was part of her Sew Scrappy BOM Sampler and it’s called Tequila Sunrise.
This technique yields a squarish Dresden. I thought it might be difficult but once I got the hang of it, things went off without a hitch. I love the colors and can’t wait to try some other combinations.
I’m not sure yet what the best background will be, or what I’ll put over the center. Wouldn’t a whole quilt from these blocks be stunning?! I can hardly contain my excitement.
This is another new sample I sewed this week. I used a Double Dresden Four Patch ruler and technique from Me and My Sister Designs. I would tweak the values but I think it could be amazing. It was fun to have a couple of new things to share.
My sweet friend Meredy Theesen-Mullen brought her beautiful Dresden (above) made in African-themed prints. She started it in my Let’s Play Drezzup class several years ago, and now it is basted and ready for quilting. It’s about 95″ x 95″. I love it and I was so glad she brought it for Show and Tell!
With Dresdens on my mind, I scoured eBay today and spotted this one with its fabulous border! I am going to have to borrow that idea for a future project. There are scores of awful Dresden quilts on eBay but occasionally you see something wonderful like this.
This is the quilt that started my love affair with Dresden Plate. I bought 20 vintage Dresden Plates for $20 at an antique mall in Ogallala, Nebraska. The blades were not prepared in the traditional way. Instead the points were actually cut! I wasn’t going to turn those raw edges under so I appliqued them with a tiny zigzag stitch in neutral thread. So far, very little fraying on All Drezzed Up.
I had so much fun with those first scrappy Dresdens that I made another quilt with 28 small plates. I named it 28 Dresden Drive, and it was published by McCall’s Quilting under the name Diane’s Dresdens. The little plates are about 5″ across. But I digress…back to the program in Hastings.
The system I’d been using to display the blocks wasn’t working, so I built myself a big design board I can take with me if I drive to a guild meeting. I bought 1-1/2″ styrofoam insulation from the local lumber yard and had them cut it just small enough to fit in the back of my SUV. I covered it with batting and secured the batting with a staple gun and Gorilla tape. It worked really well at the meeting.
It weighs practically nothing so I can handle it myself and things stick to the batting pretty well, although I did use pins for the heavier things. From now on I will take the board with me on driving gigs if I need to show blocks or units, or maybe even just as an extra design board for students in my classes.
I fielded one really interesting question just as the program ended, but that’s a story for another day. For a quick video tutorial on how to make a Dresden Plate, see my YouTube video.