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The March guild meeting was all a Buzz with excitement! Our first UFO prize was this awesome fat quarter stack of chevrons sponsored by Riley Blake. I would’ve died to win this and it looked so cute on my fabric shelf but sadly I had to part with it. It went to a good home and not to worry…there’s plenty more goodies to be had at our next UFO drawing this June. If you’re putting off finishing up one of those forgotten projects, you have three months to get your rear in gear…get it done!

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Are you ready to Bee wowed by the cuteness factor of our March door prize? I used an orphaned dresden block, Ring a Ring a Roses Candlemat dresden, from one of my demos and whipped up this little bit-o-honey.

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I’m kinda obsessed with small projects lately.

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Just a few matching fabric scraps, trim and some embroidery.

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TBT..I didn’t wanna part with this either:) But that’s what it’s all about right? Whether I’m making projects, participating in swaps or giveaways, I always strive for my best work. After all, it’s a reflection of myself in each project. My goal is to make something I don’t want to give away. Because if I love it, so will someone else!

Bee your best. Bee-lieve in yourself. Bee Creative!

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We’re excited to release a PDF version of our Cannon Beach pattern released this past March. The PDF version has lots of pictures to support each step with more detail to give even a beginner quilter, looking for a challenge, the help to complete this quilt with ease.

The original quilt design was inspired by my trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon in 2010 with my mom, sister and one of my longest and dearest friends, Karen –it was such a memorable trip for me, and everything was so beautiful.

When I stumbled upon a bundle of Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley fabrics the images above, forever embedded in my mind seem to flow right thru the fabric into this giant Dresden design.

The machine quilting design seemed to flow just as easy once the quilt was loaded onto the Gammill. I started from the center and continued outward with concentric circular patterns, changing the design with each circle. This photo was taken when the sun was perfectly diffused thru the window over my front door – the quilting popped and the quilt came alive! This is definitely my favorite picture.

The small half Dresdens in the corners were quilted similarly.

When we received the Midnight Garden fabric line by Sandy Henderson for Michael Miller, Lorrie was inspired to make her version of the pattern. She added some Art Gallery Bespoken and Oval Elements, and one of Joel Dewberry Heirloom fabrics –they all went together so very nicely.  I love how fabric can reflect a quilter’s vision, personality and inspiration so differently.

Isn’t the Midnight Garden Gate the perfect center! Lorrie requested a swirl pattern so I quilted each blade from the center outward to the tip.

The large center Dresden was made using Marilyn Doheny’s  25” 9-degree Wedge Ruler and the smaller outer half Dresdens were made using the Easy Dresden tool by Darlene Zimmerman. See Lorrie’s Easy Dresden Demo on how to use.  These tools are so versatile and I highly recommend getting them so you can create any size Dresden and acrylic rulers do make it easier to cut multiple wedges. As a bonus though, we included paper templates for the specific size wedges in the Cannon Beach pattern.

We had such great feedback on this fabric line, Lorrie made up kitsfor this version which include a free pattern. Kits, PDF patterns and the original hardcopy version are all available in our Etsy shop!

Paige and I spent last Thursday evening vending at a local guild in Algonquin, IL. We did a little intro about what our shop was about, demonstrated how to use the Easy Dresden tool by Darlene Zimmerman, and gave a trunk show with all of the quilts we have made in the past year. We had a great time and we’d like to thank all of the ladies who welcomed us into their guild!

Since we are so Dresden happy, a demo on the Easy Dresden tool was just that, easy! I’d like to also share with you the steps to make one and also provide a refresher just in case some of the ladies from the meeting visit the blog.

This is the Easy Dresden, which can be found at your local quilt shop.

First, you’re going to want to determine what size you want your Dresden to be and cut a strip of fabric to that width. For example, if you’d like a 5″ Dresden, cut a 5″ wide strip of fabric. The Dresden I’m working with today is 8″, so I cut an 8 inch strip of fabric.

Start cutting your wedges from the strip by alternating the tool. This will cut down on any waste from your fabric.

Take your cut wedge and fold it lengthwise, right sides together and sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance, begin sewing at the widest end.

Chain piece all your wedges.

Clip your corner, being careful not to cut too close to your seam.

Turn the wedge right side out. Use the turning tool provided to turn out your point. Don’t push too hard. You don’t want to push your stitches through.

Press the wedge flat, making sure the seam is pressed open. This helps remove some of the bulk.

Sew the wedges, right sides together to begin making your plate. Always start from the widest part and work your way down. A tip to hide all of the loose threads, is to start 1/4″ down, reverse your way back up to the beginning, and continue to sew down the side of the wedge.

Press in one direction, careful not to stretch your plate.

I find it best to sew the Dresden together in sections. For example, our Dresden has 20 wedges. I sew 10 each together to make 2 halves and then sew the 2 halves together to make a Dresden.

Here are some examples of Dresdens that we have made using this Easy Dresden tool and this technique. This is our new Christmas Dresden Table Runner made from our SewMod pattern called North Garden. It’s made with 8″ wedges. This kit is now available in the Etsy shop. Just in time to get started on some of those Christmas Projects. We used the new Tinsel line by Maude Asbury for Blend fabrics and the kit comes with the free pattern!

The corner Dresdens on the Cannon Beach pattern…

I used a 2-1/2″ wide blade for the “grass” wedges on my Wonky Wildflowers wall hanging.

And instead of using the template provided for the this quilt, I made it easier by using the Easy Dresden tool. Neither the Wonky Wildflowers or this quilt required a pointed blade. The “grass” was sewn into the seam and the “tree” blades edges were turned under using hand applique.

And last, Paige’s sewing machine cover…

I hope our Demo has inspired you to make a Dresden. It really is that easy!

I recently spent the day sewing at Paige’s house. She worked on a new quilt design, while I worked on a Christmas Dresden Table Runner, which I can’t wait to show you how cute that is. We are doing our first demo and vending at a local guild. We are going to be doing a show ‘n’ tell of our quilts and designs and doing the demo with the Easy Dresden tool. We’re very excited!!

As you know, Paige is an excellent longarm quilter. She gave me my first lesson on loading a quilt. I learned a lot.

One of the things I took away from the lesson, besides how important it is to have a square quilt for the quilter’s sanity, is to make sure that all my pieces, backing and batting are cut to size, only 4-6″ more on each side. Otherwise it creates more work for the quilter. I know in the past I’ve been guilty that. Another good tip is to remove all of your extra threads on the back that may show through on the front.

This beautiful Lone Star quilt hangs in her longarm room. Talk about inspiration. I’m always in awe of this quilt. What a find!

And check out this super cute sewing machine cover she whipped up. Of course there is a dresden on it!

I can’t wait to show y’all the fabrics tomorrow for the Fabric Friday post. New patterns & fabrics. You won’t wanna miss!

During Christmas break Paige and I decided to do something totally un-work related and for ourselves. So we picked a day and a project...The Seasons, from the book Material Obsession 2. I love both book 1 & 2. Lot’s of inspiring works of art. We love how she takes traditional ideas and uses modern fabrics to bring new life to quilts and projects.

We chose to do a season each instead of the whole quilt so that both of us would have a little wall hanging of our work. I made summer. But we decided that we liked Night & Day for our quilts instead of Summer & Winter.

I found the perfect background in my stash, cute little birdies! And I’d have to say some pretty perfect grass! I added some little crochet flowers and green embroidery to spruce it up. I even added french knots in the border along some of the orange flowers.

Most of my fabrics were Central Park & Fandango by Kate Spain. I made the tree leaves from just a charm pack. And trees can’t grow without sunshine, right?

Paige chose winter for her project. Deep, rich colors with a winters night background. p.s., don’t mind the wobbly binding. It’s pinned on. Ran outta time:(

She added a wool black kitty. He’s out for his evening stroll.

I wish the camera picked up all the beading she added to her quilt. It’s along the grass line, the kitty’s eyes, and in the leaves.

This project was a lot of fun & would make a really fun class for a quilt shop. We used the Easy Dresden tool instead of the paper template. We had it completed and the leaves appliqued in just one sewing day!

Paige was on vacation the week of the 4th so we sewed, and sewed. We’re trying to get some of the samples and kits ready for the NSQG quilt show that’s coming up in September. It will be our first time vending…exciting! I loved every minute of playing in the new studio. We were super productive and I had no problem getting motivated. Projects finish fast when one person sits and sews and the other pins and irons!

We finished the Pick A Bunch and the Fluttering Butterflies quilts. We made 2 table runners. All will be kitted for the show.

North Garden Dresden Table Runner

And Which Witch Table Runner. The purple comes off really blue in the pics but it’s really a perfectly matched purple to this line. This turned out sooo cute!

A couple of Gumdrops …A couple of friends joined in on the Gumdrop fun. Kathy made hers from the Artful Home fabrics. We love how she fussy cut the green daisy for the top.

And Janet and Paige both picked the Groovy Bugs fabric with aqua Ta-Dot tops…fun, fun fabric!


Several last touches on patterns…all available soon in Etsy.

Summer tweets, which we showed you a few weeks ago.

Fruitcakes

And North Garden Dresden Table Runner

And we had countless ideas and brainstorming sessions and planned out this weeks projects. I’ll be working on the Hoo’s In The Forest quilt. I see a cute appliqued deer and big appliqued strawberries for this project so I’m looking forward to starting this one. Of course that all depends if we can keep the power on in the neighborhood. Lots of outages here..:(

We also had our 1st SewMod meeting in the new studio. It was nice and relaxing. We celebrated a couple of the girls’ birthdays with some wine and I made a cheesecake….I forgot to take a pic…I wish I had though because it was beautiful & yummy! They’re always yummy, but not always beautiful:)

Paige will probably be mad at me but….. everyone wish Paige a Happy Birthday today!!

I’m pretty sure that both Paige and I are a bit obsessed with dresdens. Paige is working on a quilt that has a giant dredsen in the center and I’m still pluggin away at my embroidered ones. We are planning on having both of those ready by summer. We have high hopes for a quilt show we’d like to enter.

Our latest is the sample we made with the Artful Home Table Runner…I’m in love!

I also made a set of 6 matching napkins to go with it. Both the table runner and napkins have a little extra touch with the teal flange. I think it really sets it off. And Paige’s quilting is awesome as usual!

Of course, I had to make a Christmas one! I used Heather Mulder Peterson’s Christmas line from last year, At Home for the Holidays. I embroidered 6 strand french knots in the middle like a dresden flower. This one isn’t quilted yet but soon will be. It will be available in the Etsy Shop also…that is, if I can part with it:)

We’re also kitting the Artful Home one and it comes with the free pattern! Hopefully I will have these posted on Etsy soon. We’ve been having nothing but rain here and my pics look so harsh with the flash. We need sunshine!

I’ve been busy making a couple more of the sewing boxes. I wanted to modern these two up, so I recreated the dresdens that I originally did for Shelley’s row quilt.

I’m totally in love with these. I’m positive that this would make a spectacular dresden quilt. If only I had more time. I’ve been saying that a lot lately!

I did a purple dresden…my fave. I really like the flower background fabric on this one.

Sorry y’all, this one’s already spoken for. The only one hitting Etsy is this super cute hot pink one.

I’ve got a couple more boxes. I’m working on another one with the hand quilted Grandmother’s Flower Garden & a GFG block that’s appliqued on yellow plaid. That one is turning out cute, cute!

Better get back to work. Talk tomorrow y’all!

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