As you know, I’ve been working recently on some vintage quilt pieces sent to me by friend and customer, John.
The third vintage project in the box John sent me was a stack of Dresden Plate rings. There were nineteen. Nineteen? Everyone knows you need twenty blocks to make a quilt in a 4 x 5 grid! Furthermore, the rings did not lie flat due to narrow seam allowances.
I decided to remove one wedge from each ring to make the 20th block.
I purchased yards and yards of Kona cotton “Snow” for background fabric. After cutting 20″ background squares, I centered the rings, pinning well.
Fortunately, Grandma Davidson had turned under and basted the raw edges of the Dresden Plates. Loading my sewing machine with thin ecru thread, I hem-stitched around the center circle and scalloped outer edge of each plate. Perhaps you can see the stitch on the dark blue wedge in the photo below.
I was planning to sash the blocks in sold medium blue until John saw a photo online of a “Dresden Plate” quilt sashed with various prints. Interesting idea! At Loving Stitches quilt shop I found the perfect mix of 1930s reproduction prints for the sashing.
And then we “did the math.” Using all 20 blocks would make a gargantuine king sized quilt. I asked John if he would like two queen size quilts rather than one king sized quilt. I was relieved that he said “yes.” The king would have been rather unwieldy to work on.
I cut the sashing 3″ wide, the “Snow” inner border 4″ wide, and the blue outer border 5 1/2″ wide. The quilt is about 90″ square.
Now to decide on quilting designs. Keeping in mind the vintage nature of the quilt, and my customer’s budget, and my desire to finish the project, I thought an all over design would be quick and simple. But the quilt screamed at me. It said, “Feathers with white thread in the outer blue border, curls in the inner border, feathered circles in the interior of the rings, and I don’t care what you do on the background and on the plates themselves.” Such a demanding quilt! What do you do when a quilt screams at you? You listen!
By working on John’s grandmother’s unfinished projects, I’ve developed a theory. If Grandma had finished all her projects, the quilts would be worn out by now. Since she left some UFOs, they have now been transformed into fresh, new quilts for her grandchildren to enjoy. Maybe it’s a good idea to leave some UFOs behind for the next generation to complete!
What UFO would you leave behind? Me? There’s that Baltimore Album quilt I started 15 years ago . . .