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Dresden Decisions

Have you ever started with a plan all worked out in your mind, only to have it change before you finished? That was the story of this week's blog, and I'm so glad it worked out the way it did!

I started to make a bunch of Dresden Plate blocks to work into a table runner (that part was in the original plan). This is the perfect way to use up odds and ends leftover from other projects. I cut a heap of 2½” x 5” rectangles in various reds and blues. I used an 18-degree wedge ruler, so each Dresden blocks uses 20 rectangles.

Lay the wedge ruler over the rectangle, as shown, and trim the two outside edges off to create the wedge.

I love to use all kinds of prints, dots, plaids, and stripes for these projects. I think it makes them interesting and fun to look at. Here I have 20 wedges laid out and ready to sew.

Sew pairs of two wedges together and press each seam open. Next, sew five pairs together to make a half circle, then repeat the same process to make a second half. Sew the two together.

Press all the seams open. Use a little spray starch to really make the block flat and stable.

I made four blocks like this.

Here is where the big change happened. I planned to cut all four sides off to make each block a square. At first, I thought I’d make 6-8 Dresden squares, then turn them into a rectangular shaped table runner. But I couldn't just cut all the curves off, because that’s what made them fun.

So, I compromised and cut just two of the sides off flat. I did this to two of the blocks to make the middle section.

I cut one side off the remaining two blocks. Each one was added to either end, leaving a nice curve at both ends.

I sewed the blocks together down their flat sides and pressed those seams open. I laid this runner out on a piece of batting and decided to cover the center hole with a fusible applique star (downloadable PDF template available here).

Using up more scraps, I cut out four red stars just big enough to cover the 2 ½” center hole in the middle of each Dresden.

I pressed these into place effectively fusing the Dresdens to the batting.

Now to quilt! Here you see, I followed the edges of the wedge pieces to give it a “blade” look. I also stitched around each star to hold it in place.

I trimmed the batting and backing down to the curved edge of the runner and bound it off with a red and white striped fabric that I had cut on the bias. You’ll need to cut your binding on the bias to bind a curved edge easily. I have two YouTube videos that will help with this finishing part. How to cut Bias Binding is here, and Binding Inside angles is here. You will not have any trouble binding those inside points after you watch my technique for this!

Just look at how cute it is! I am so happy with how this turned out, and I’m glad I couldn't bring myself to cut them into squares! Haha!

Happy Sunday everyone, and Happy Memorial Day too!


Follow all my quilty adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Visit my Youtube channel for free tutorials and tips. If you like my patterns, you can buy them on Etsy, and here on the website.


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