friday finish - christmas dresden plate quilt!

Ok folks, crank up the Christmas music and pour yourself a glass of eggnog, because we have a Christmas in July quilt finish!

It all started with a Dresden plate quilt tutorial by Bunny Hill. Dresdens have always been one of my favorite designs, but I thought that they were too difficult for me. Anne Sutton's pattern sure looked easy. Just use this ruler to cut wedge shapes, sew them inside out and then flip them to the right side, stitch them all together and applique them down to a foundation. But I had a few problems. I didn't have that much experience with sewing odd shapes, and I can't do needleturn applique. I wanted it to be nearly king sized. And I had no idea what colors to use! I just looked at this as a fun challenge and a way to expand my skills. So first I printed 2 copies of the black and white pattern and taped them together to make a larger quilt pattern. Then I grabbed my colored pencils and started playing. Here's my final draft.

See how my sketch had alternating red and white centers? I went with all red centers in my final design. And I had absolutely no idea how much fabric I would need. I pulled all of my Fig Tree Quilts reds, greens and creams. I love how most of Joanna Figueroa's collections really do work together - the challenge is to break up those fat quarter stacks and play with color! This quilt has fabric from many of her collections including Patisserie, Gypsy Rose, Butterscotch & Rose, Strawberry Fields, California Girl, Tapestry and Avalon. Each plate contains 20 sections, and I used at least 40 prints in this quilt so no two plates are identical. They were hand-appliqued using Kimono silk thread. Eek, that silk thread is fine. It's like sewing with hair! The background is a printed cream, which has a slightly glazed appearance. It's sashed in a cream Tapestry print and bordered in a candy-apple red Avalon floral, and it measures approximately 95" x 105".

This was started in December 2012 during the Christmas holiday break from work. I sewed, sewed, sewed like a maniac for a few weeks and then spent months doing the applique. I shipped it across the country to my longarm quilter, Melissa, with compete trust that she'd find the perfect custom design for it. (I neglected to tell her just how large it is!) And I really love the design that she came up with. I always do, and it's a nice surprise to open the box when the UPS man delivers it.

I can't wait for November to arrive so that I can start working on more Christmas quilts! But now I need to pack up the reds and greens for a few months. And stop playing Christmas music, and stop drinking eggnog. 

Thanks for visiting with me today! I'm linking with Finish It Up Fridays at Crazy Mom Quilts. Be sure to stop by to see what other quilters have finished this week.