January 23, 2011

The Magic Bag

This morning when I woke up I knew it would be the day I would start sewing my Dresden Plate Blades together and I was nervous.  Cutting each of those blades, sewing them, flipping them and ironing them while fun was a lot of work. Sewing them together meant a big giant step towards my Dresden Dream.
The Real Magic Bag
First things first I sat down with my blades and my five year old.  All projects should be approached with a young person nearby.  They make everything fun.  So I sorted my fabrics.  Some I had enough that each plate would have a blade of that color and others I had one or two extra and so on.  I put all the ones that I didn't have enough to be in each block in front of my daughter.  All the others went in front of me.  I counted one of each print into a pile and she added to it from her piles to make the required 16.  It was great having the company and it made an otherwise tedious job a joy.  After this I was abandoned to my sewing for a movie involving some princess or another.

Glup!  It was really time to sew.  I have a driving need to have patterns and find it very hard to add randomness to my quilts.  So I grabbed a paper bag in went the blades for one plate.  Add a good shake and sew together whatever comes out.
That had my helper back by my side quicker than I could say Magic Bag!  With dd by my side I opened the first plate the results left me amazed.  I don't know if it's good manners for a quilting blogger to toot their own horn but I think this quilt could very well turn out to be the best quilt I've made to date.  The fabrics go together beautifully and I'm so glad I went back through yesterday and added some of the blue shades I'd past over earlier for the really complete the blue spectrum.  I sat and sewed all 15 plates that I need for the project and then when I was done I had enough blades leftover to make one last plate and I sat there for the entire afternoon and sewed them all.
16 Blue Dresden Plates
Now you'd think I'd have gotten over my fear of this project by now, but nope guess not.  Because then it was time to iron them.  Bleck.  My neighbor told me a handful of days ago that she loves ironing.  She even told me I could bring her my fabric when it needed ironing and she would iron it for me.  There's nothing like looking at an non-ironed Dresden Plate to make you want to give it to someone else - anyone else.  Why?  Well because once you set the seams that's it.  If something is out of whack the entire plate will be Katty Whompus.  

At that point I was glad to have the "spare plate" to iron, after all if I mess that up I can still bed someone else to iron the "real ones" for me.  Well let me tell you ironing a plate isn't worth the fear.  I knew the key from watching it on a sewing show 6 or 10 months ago.  Press all seams the same way.  Just glide the iron in a round about way. Then I flipped it over checked my measurements two ways (yes I could have checked it 8 ways but why?) pressed a bit more and then the first one was done.  It looked even better than before I'd ironed it.  Oh the joy of knowing I didn't ruin it!  
My Blue 16" Dresdens Destined for 18" blocks 
So now my fear is gone and I'm left with a question.  I'd intended on using a traditional plain neutral fabric for the background, but the blues are so pretty and the plates are so contemporary that I have started to wonder:  Should the background be a different color?  A hand dyed?  A print?  Surely not blue or green, but then what?  A white on white?  A black on black perhaps?  For that matter what about dark chocolate brown?  

When my husband saw them he said something nice and then said "what about the centers?"  So I ask you, what about the centers?  No one said I had to applique circles, I could applique hearts instead, nearly anything would fit over that small hole.  And what color should it be?  Some of the blades are detailed with gold so I was thinking a nice gold might look very rich and lavish...  I guess that's more than one question.  Do you hold any answers?


Vicki said...

WOW those dresen plates look amazing. You definitely deserve a big pat on the back and two thumbs up or perhaps as our kitties would say, two paws up :-).

As for your centers what came to mind is if you could find fabric that has some kind of medallion designs printed on it, and fussy cut them out to form the circles that would give it a very unique look. Or you could even design your own centers, find a nice royal blue fabric, back it with stabalizer and using your free motion foot, stitch out a pattern that you have designed.

AS for the background, I think a trip to the LQS is in order and take several of your plates to audition fabric. Nothing says you have to buy right away, but start looking because with these beauties you need to audition many fabrics to find the right one. My leaning would be something non-traditional like a hand dyed.

Good Luck.

Heather Landry said...

I think the blue would absolutely pop on a white background. You are doing an amazing job with this quilt. The blues are all so gorgeous together! Wow Liz!

stitchinpenny said...

You have certainly been busy while I was away visiting family/ I love the lollipop quilt even more than before and I also love your Dreasden plate beginnings. I can;t wait to see the final product.

Aunt Spicy said...

They look fabulous! No need to fear!