Thursday, December 29, 2011

Leasons learned.

My mother doesn't sew. At all. I mean, she won't even try to thread a needle. That's fine . . . sort of. On one hand she thinks everything I do is beautiful. On the other, she doesn't see projects in terms of "easy" or "difficult". So one of her favorite lines is, "Oh, I bet Vicki can do/make/fix that."

We were recently in Las Vegas (my parents and 3 of our daughters live there) to celebrate our only grandchild's first birthday.

 **What's that? Oh - yes, of course I have a picture of her!**

Anyway, I was at my parent's house and my mom pulled out this large bag and said something like, "My friend has all these quilt blocks that her mother made years ago. Can you put them together into a quilt for her?"

There was a big stack of dresdan plates on muslin. They were made of scraps of old calico-type cottons. Some of the muslin was white and some was off-white. All of it was much thinner than the muslin I'm used to. There were 27 altogether. Twenty-five made from prints and 2 made from solids. One had not been finished - it was just a dresdan plate ring that hadn't yet been sewn to a piece of muslin.  I so wish I had taken a picture of the pile. It looked pretty dreary and I felt rather hopeless.

But, of course, I said I'd be happy to try and I brought them home. I set aside the 2 solids blocks (I'm going to make throw pillows from them).

Then I found some white batiste, which is thinner than muslin, and stitched the one lone ring to it. I trimmed all the blocks to the same size and began to audition sashing fabrics. I started with some reproduction prints - they looked awful. Way too many prints.

So I tried solids. Much better. A nice buttery yellow seemed to brighten up the blocks. And a little pop of purple cornerstones brought a cohesiveness to the vast assortment of fabrics! Bonus: the yellow seemed to make all the shades of muslin look white. (These pictures don't come close to showing how different the shades of off-white were!)

I added a yellow border and purple binding. It ended up about 90" X 90", which meant should could lay it out on her king size bed. And it actually turned out kind of pretty!

I sent it back to my mom before Christmas. My parents were having Christmas dinner with these friends, so she wrapped it and put a tag on it that said "from your mother and our daughter"!

Of course the friend was thrilled! And I learned a couple of things. First, don't jump to conclusions. I really didn't think these blocks could make a quilt as pretty as it actually turned out. The second lesson was all about color and what the yellow did against the different shades of white and off-white. It really surprised me how they all looked white when it was finished!

All in all, a fun project!


  1. That's a great hint about the yellow. I have some old bits and pieces of partially made quilts, some on older muslin, that I've been procrastinating about making into a quilt for years. I hope mine turns out as nicely as yours did!

  2. Vicki that is absolutely STUNNING! I can only imagine just how much that must have meant to your mother's friend. What a wonderful gift!

  3. I think it came out great! I wasn't expecting the gorgeous and cheerful quilt you ended up with. The colors you chose were perfect! I'm sure the daughter just loved it!

  4. I just love Dresden Plates. The finished quilt is absolutely lovely. I'm not even a yellow person, and I think it's perfect!

  5. Just beautiful! I think your mom is absolutely right when she says "Vicki can do/fix/make that!"

  6. Can't wait to see what "little task" your mom will come up next. haha. Anyway, good for you and lovely job. I love dresden.

  7. I absolutely LOVE it!!!
    This will be gorgeous over a large bed. So fresh and bright!