Today I am excited to share with you my first project for Island Batik – the Step by Step Challenge! Each ambassador received a bundle of fabrics from Island Batik called Basics Gradations, which are new this year, to use in this challenge. I received Precious Pinks! The Basics Gradations yardage is available at your local quilt shops in many colors! I can tell you, these pinks are absolutely gorgeous! I had so much fun working with them to create my quilt.
I’ve never made Dresden blocks but have always wanted to use them in a quilt. I thought this would be a great method to show off these beautiful fabrics. The Dresden Plate quilt pattern was one of the most popular quilts made in the 1920s and 30s, though they were sometimes called by other names – Grandmother’s Sunburst, Friendship Ring, Aster, Dahlia and Sunflower, to name a few! If you’d like some history on this block, you can read more here.
Last year, while our guild was meeting remotely via Zoom, we had national teacher Susan K. Cleveland for two days of classes. Should you ever have the opportunity to attend one of her classes, you won’t be disappointed. I attended the Dynamic Dresden class, and had pre-purchased her book, Dynamic Dresdens and two rulers. For my project I used the 30 degree ruler.
I used EQ8 to create my pattern and plug in the fabrics until I found a combination I was pleased with. Next I got busy cutting and stitching Dresden blades. All 20 Gradations fabrics were used in this quilt! I followed Susan’s method of making points on both ends, then placed them in groups of threes. As some of the fabrics had close hues, at this point I decided to place the lighter of the three in the center. I was pleased with how this looked and continued stitching them together. I chose the black solid Island Batik fabric for the background and binding, and cut the 8-inch blocks using my AccuQuilt GOBig and the 8-inch finished die I purchased. The pinks really popped on the black, and had a retro vibe for me. Growing up, I had a pair of hot pink and black shorts that I loved dearly! It was an unusual color combination back in the day! LOL
I thought I had taken more process pictures but here are a couple of blocks. I top-stitched the blades in place using black Aurifil 50 wt thread and a hand quilt stitch on my Solaris. I also pieced them with black Aurifil and a Schmetz needle. I use Schmetz needles exclusively for quilting and embroidery!
Next I headed back to the cutting table and used my 8-inch Qube to cut 2-1/2 x 4-1/2 rectangles from the fabrics remaining and chain pieced my borders in a random light/dark order. I love chain piecing and one of our ambassadors, Elizabeth of Epida Studio, recently posted a great quick tip for cutting those pieces apart using a seam ripper. You can check it out here. Thanks, Elizabeth!!
After stitching the blocks and borders, it was time for quilting! I used Hobbs 80/20 batting for this quilt. The blades and borders were quilted in pink thread from my stash, using rulers. The quilting between the Dresdens was done in black thread, using the Pro-Stitcher on my Avante (Ms. Mattie – named for my grandmother who taught me to sew and love quilting). The motif, Victorian Feather Triangle is from Wasatch Quilting. It was easy to flip and rotate as needed! For the center “square” I used a corner motif that came with Pro-Stitcher.
The first pic is in our yard and it was a dreary day, but then the sun came out a couple of days later so I could get some more pics. A neighbor “down the road” has this lovely barn with wagons, old trucks, etc., and allows people in the area to use it for pictures. Thank you, Jane! Here is a slideshow of my finished quilt. I had so much fun designing, piecing, and quilting this! I love how the placement gives a secondary design, as well as a “center medallion!”
Just prior to posting this, I received another package in the mail from industry partners, Schmetz Needles and Aurifil thread. Thank you so much, Aurifil and Schmetz!
My fellow Island Batik Ambassadors have been busy posting the Step by Step Challenge also. I’m sure they would love for you to visit them and check out their beautiful creations!
- Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs You are here!!
- Megan Best ~ Bestquilter
- Pamela Boatright ~ Pamelaquilts
- Elizabeth DeCroos ~ Epida Studio
- Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter
- Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts
- Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts
- Jane Hauprich ~ Stitch By Stitch Custom Quilting
- Reed Johnson ~ Blue Bear Quilts
- Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
- Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
- Denise Looney ~ For The Love Of Geese
- Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
- Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine
- Anorina Morris – sameliasmum.com
- Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion
- Claudia Porter ~ Create with Claudia
- Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads
- Brianna Roberts ~ Sew Cute And Quirky
- Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde
- Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
- Andi Stanfield ~ True Blue Quilts
- Sandra Starley ~ Textile Time Travels
- Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
- Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt
I would like to thank Island Batik, Hobbs Bonded Fibers, Aurifil, and Schmetz needles for generously supply the fabric, batting, thread, and needles to make this project.
I’ll see you next Thursday for the first Island Batik Blog Hop for 2022!
See you soon!
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