Friday, January 21, 2011

A Newbie's first steps and moving on...

Original 4-sq blocks connected
I am so excited and pleased with my accomplishment. Although it may seem small to some, I cannot believe I was able to create these beautiful blocks! Last time I showed off my work, I placed the blades down and laid the center circle on top to show what I hoped would be my final design for my Dresden blades.
Happily now, I announce...I completed all 36 blocks! With the fabrics and the design that started me down the path of quilting with high hopes, determination, but also trepidation, I have nine 18" Dresden designed blocks in my favorite color combination. 
I began with the 'stack-n-whack' process of cutting with a Dresden ruler. One by one, I stitched all the blades by hand, making center points and then connecting them together in blocks of five on a 9.5 block of white. I made 36 of these blocks. I found I needed to square them before connecting 4 blocks together, making a complete bloom of blades in a circle. I breathed a sigh of relief when the blades made a smooth circle of points, evenly spaced, especially where I had to connect them.
border planned to outline blocks
I finished that task by basting a 1/4" seam around each center circle and hand-stitched them to the Dresden bloom. While watching the snow fall outside, I knotted the last stitch tightly in place!  

Then, I decided to border the squares in the garnet red fabric in order to connect all 9 into one large front.  I cut strips of 1 1/2 inches for this border, and last night, connected the blocks with my new Janome.

my seams match!
the borders crossed exactly square!
Probably it only matters to me, but real delight came as I examined every seam and crossing of border. Everything lined up perfectly and the entire front is square. Here's a couple of photos showing the white block seams matching and the matched crossing borders!

connecting all nine with border
Moving on to the sashing, I'm planning to be very creative and use all the remaining blade fabrics. I've been browsing magazine ideas and patterns, and been having fun imagining some different designs. That will just have to be another post. At least for a couple of days, I want to just enjoy these beautiful blossoms vividly popping off those white blocks outlined in such a dark border. I love the contrast!

So there's future baby steps involved to challenge this newbie to keep piecing and stitching , but the process is just that..."step by step"!
I do admit that I am finding this new path in textiles to be quite fun.