I got to the end of my last Dresden Plate (I made 5 all up) and had no other half of the pairs of wedges I was stitching together. Anyway, I grabbed another piece of fabric cut out a new one. Dresdens done (well sans centres at that point) but check…
Then I started stitching together the half square triangles for the hour glass sashing strips and look what I found *frown*, the little orphaned dresden blade. Just lying there laughing at me… Well now, you don’t get to be in my table runner you silly little blade, 20 blades are better than one, so there!
Then I had to turn my Half Square Triangle Pile into an Hourglass Block Pile carefully divided into Left and Right Halves for special pressing.
It took me a while, to figure out what Kim meant (this project I am working on is from Kim’s Tutorial Plates for your Table at Moda Bakeshop) when she said open up and press your seams on the rear of these blocks, but I saw this post by Amy Smart at Diary of a Quilter where Amy explains the opening of the seams in a slightly different way, then I fuffed about a bit but eventually figured out how it was meant to be done and ended up with some hourglass blocks.
Kim and Amy would probably be ashamed of them, but I was so excited that some of the points met in the middle! tee hee!
I chose a white fabric with yellow spots as my background fabric after wandering around in my local fabric store surreptitiously draping dresdens over bolts of fabric to audition them. It was a toss up between this one and the fabric I ended up using in the centre of the dresdens and also for the top and base of the pillar sashing.
Ok so that was my pile of 5 Dresden Blocks… I think this is supposed to be where I tell you about how stitching with invisible thread is awful. I don’t like it. The first time I tried to stitch with it (supposedly the easy option when trying to learn how to free motion quilt – don’t believe the hype!) I ended up calling my dad (he is a motor trimmer by trade so knows sewing machines like the back of his hands) because I could not for the life of me, get the tension right, not to mention the crazy curling up and jamming of the machine with this strong thread bunching up behind my fabric. Anyway, I chucked it away (in my beading supplies where I thought it belonged). Eventually read about how your bobbin should be normal thread – yes, I had both nylon… – and also saw in one of mum’s quilting books someone had placed their thread in a tall glass jar instead of on the dooflicky that holds the thread.
So when advised to machine applique the circle onto the Dresden I thought, I would try it again.
Before I tell you about how bad an idea that was, I have to mention that after cutting out all my circles, stitching around them with running stitch and pressing them into pretty circle-y shapes, I placed the first one ont othe dresden only to realise that it would not cover the centre of the dresden – boo hiss!. So I made bigger ones, and attempted the invisible thread thing.
I had the stitch too small and the tension too something and it just looked horrible. So I decided to hand stitch them with the thread. That got better as I went along and I eventually got all the circles attached. Then naturally, I would hand applique the dresden to the background block right?! Wrong… when I did that, even though my circles came out fine, the first dresden was all puckered and silly looking. So I unpicked and tried the machine applique idea again, slightly optimistic that my straight stitching would be ok where stitching the circle was not.
And it actually went ok (with cotton in the bobbin and my thread in a tall glass jar prior to threading through the guides to the needle). I also played around a little with the tension. Another note to self… Pay close attention to the stitching, because the thread is invisible you can go on stitching for a while before you realise you ran out of bobbin thread ages ago.
My sashing strips were way less eventful. I used all the hourglass blocks – not all are required and then ordered them so that the ones with most of the pointy bits meeting were on top and the one with the least at the bottom, I am working my way down the pile. I got all the way up one side of the table runner when my back starting screaming about me being crazy and if I didn’t give it pain killers or chocolate I would be in big trouble so I stopped.
I only have one side of the runner left to sash and I will be done. I also realised I don’t have a table long enough for the runner, but now know that it will be perfect length to hang on the side of my bookshelf in my study/sewing room.
Here is what it looks like (kind of) length ways.