Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let's get Acquainted! blog hop

Wonderful Beth at Plum and June organized the Let's Get Acquainted! blog hop for bloggers like me to get some more new readers, hats off to you, Beth! I'm not sure if I would be capable of organizing an event like this one :)

Plum and June

Today it's my turn to  introduce myself and post a project tutorial.
Hi, I'm Kati :) Nice to meet  you all! :) I just turned 40 in January and live 45 minutes north of New York City with my Fiance and 2 kitties. I only started blogging in the end of January after listening to someone's podcast (I can't remember who it was) on insisting to catalog your work. I have a little quilting journal, but it's missing some photos so I figured it would be better to store my quilts digitally anyways :) After Rhonda from  the Quilter in the Gap podcast kept talking about the blogs She was reading I started to read blogs and decided that I wanted to start my own. 
So first I'll answer some questions Beth suggested so you get to know me a little better :)

How long have you been quilting? 
I started quilting in 2002 after watching Simply Quilts on TV for about 6 months.

Favorite blogging tip?
Don't just sit down and try to  write a  blogpost without thinking about it before  because it doesn't work. Ask me  how I know :)

Favorite  style of fabric?
I prefer the look of modern fabrics  a lot, but also crazy about batiks  and I love the look of the 30-s repro fabrics.

Technique you'd like to learn?
Needle turn applique

Favorite craft book?
I just recommended it on my blog, my new very favorite is Angela Walters: Free  Motion Quilting with Angela Walters

Favorite book?
Lord of The Rings and Cobbled Court Novels

Favorite children't book?
Grimm Fairy Tales, Winnie the Pooh

Favorite quilting tool?
My Olfa frosted rulers. They don't move.

Favorite music to listen to while quilting?
It varies what I'm in the mood for... Lifescapes (from Target) are my favorites, but like to listen to country music too.

Favorite TV show while hand stitching?
Downton Abbey

Binding - by hand or machine?
When I have enough time, definitely by hand. When it's crunch time  I do it by  machine.

I was inspired to make some Dresden plates by my fellow blogger,  Marion @My Quilt Diet blog. She made a very cute table runner that I loved and I was in a need of making a baby quilt and thought it would be a cute pattern.
I have the Marti Mitchell Dresden ruler and I was using that for this tutorial.  I needed 16 petals as oppose to the EZ Dresden Ruler's 20. You'll need to use your ruler accordingly. My block is 12" finished. I made my block scrappy looking so I used 12 different fabrics. The tutorial is for making 1 block. Please read the instructions before you  start your project!

To start the petals I cut scan 4 3/8 strips  of the pink fabrics.
I'd put the ruler with the 10.5" strip width top and 10.5" strip width bottom lines on the edge of the strip.
How to make a perfect circle

After cutting the first shape you'll need to turn the ruler upside down to make the next cut and keep alternating. You'll have a stack of petal shapes like this:

Yes, He was helping again... Box cat :)

I arranged the different fabrics:

To make the petals you'll need to fold each "tumbler" in half right sides together, crease with your nails carefully and sew across the wider end with a 1/4 seam allowance.

I chain pieced mines:

When all is sewn I'd cut the thread with scissors:

Cut a small slit up to the sewing line, but not through the stitches:

I put my left  index finger inside and finger pressed with my right thumb (I'm right handed) holding the end with my left.

All the petals stacked by fabrics:

Turn them inside out, pushing the corners with a blunt end tool (it could be knitting needle, or in this case that purple thang).

When this step is done, you'll need to press each of them making sure you line up the stitching line with the crease in the middle to make sure the seam is in the middle and the petal is not wonky.

Next step is sewing the petals right sides together. Make sure you start from the top finished edge and go toward the bottom. If the bottom doesn't line up, no worries, it will be covered by the center circle.

Press and starch, then pin the petal circle on the background fabric trying to keep it in the middle. To achieve that fold the background square in 4 and press with your fingers. When you unfold it you can line up the lines with the seam lines of the petals. Sew  them on the background fabric with the stitch of your choice. I'd cut the background 1/2" larger than necessary to 13". I did the applique by hand with a matching pink thread using blind stitches and trimmed the block to 12.5" at the end.

For  the middle circle I made a 4" circle template out of a cereal box. No, I don't have any template plastic in stock since I hardly do applique. That will change in the  near future:) I cut the circle fabric about 3/8 inches bigger than the template.

Run some gathering stitches around about 1/8 inch from the edge . Leave about a 4-5 inch tail of the thread.

Carefully holding the end of the thread, gather the stitches around the cardboard template, trying to position it in the middle.

Spray with starch.That's right, mine is swimming :)

To not scorch your pressing surface and avoid flaking, put the circle in the middle of a scrap fabric (I prefer white for no color transfer, thank you!) Press. I used no steam. Make sure to press until the starch is all dry.

Carefully peel the fabric off the template.

Gather the stitches back to a circle by pulling the thread very gently. Press from both sides.

And voila! You have the perfect circle! Applique it on the middle of the block with the method of your choice. I again used hand applique with blind stitches.

Your block should look like this:

Okay... minus the kitty paws! Aren't they adorable? I call them bunny paws :)

Yes, I had a helper with pressing. One of them always volunteers when I stand up from my chair to do some cutting or pressing.

In case you missed the  last posts, on July 12 they were:
Rebecca from Sew Festive Handmade  made an awesome tutorial for travel Bingo!
Marti from 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks wrote a tutorial for "Take four" place mat. I really love her color choices :)

Today's fellow bloggers with me are:
Claire from Sewing Over Pins and
Caroline from Quilting in the Cold.
Please don't forget to hop on over and check out their blog posts and what they have to say and show. Also we all love to get comments! :)

Next bloggers on July 19 are the following:
Jamie from Sweet Baby Jamie
Janine from Rainbow Hare Quilts

Thank you for bearing with me all the way to the end! I know it's a marathon blogpost, but by the time I realized that I should've made something easier, like the 3-D pinwheels I invested too much work in the Dresdens. Oh well, I can write that one later. Let me know if you're interested!

'Til we blog again! :)


  1. I remember watching Simply Quilts on TV. It seems like I made most all of the quilts featured. It was a productive quilt time in my life :)

  2. Nice to meet you Kati - and I love your Dresdens!

  3. Great tutorial Kati! I enjoyed reading your post - it was fun getting to know you.

  4. This is a really great post! I also love the look of 30-s repro fabrics. :) And our cats are twins! It is really great to meet you.

  5. Nice to meet you Kati, great tutorial - sweet baby quilt. Cute kitty's!

  6. I love the pink you used! Thanks for sharing your tutorial

  7. LOVE it!! you really explained everything REALLy well :) Those Dresden plates are BEAUTIFUL!!! :)

  8. Hi Kati, great tutorial! Thanks for sharing. =)

  9. Nice Tutorial! Pretty kitties!

  10. Lovely dresdens and very clear tute :)

  11. Your dresden plates are beautiful! Thanks for the great tutorial. I have used the EZ Dresden tool, but not Marti Mitchell's version. Isn't great how cats love to quilt?

  12. Great tutorial - I love your Dresden plate block! I have used the EZ Dresden tool, but not Marti Mitchell's. Isn't funny how cats love quilting too?

  13. I came here via the blog hop and just wanted to say hello :)

  14. Pleased to meet you! I love your dresdend! I'll definitely be trying this. Your cat is very sweet too :)

  15. Pleased to meet you! I love your dresdens. I'll definitely be trying this. Your cat is very sweet too :)

  16. Hi Kati, you know how much I love your Dresden quilt and now I can have a go myself - great tutorial, catch up when I'm back in the States :)

  17. Great tutorial - love the visuals of how to make a perfect circle - thanks!

  18. Stopping by for "Let's Get Acquainted." Thank you for the tutorial, and, by the way, love the cat photos.

  19. Cute! I love that way of making circles! I've tried it before and never want to go back. Thanks for the tutorial!

  20. Great tutorial, Kati! I love your little helpers!! :)

  21. Your blocks look very sweet. Great fabrics for the Dresden too. It was nice to "meet" you and the kitties! :)

  22. I love dresden's too! Thanks for the tutorial. I was poking around a bit and saw your post on your trip to Vermont. We are driving up there on Saturday (from Ohio) to spend a week. I just love it up there! My son is going to start at University of New Hampshire in the Fall, so I will have lots of reasons to get to that part of the world!
    Nice to meet you! :)

  23. Nice to get to know you more Kati! I love the blocks, they're very sweet in the fabrics that you chose! Are they for a baby sized quilt or for a quilt for an actual baby? Either way, it's lovely! x

  24. Hi Kati lovely to meet you! I love making Dresdens and you have done a fab job with yours. I need to get my hands on a dresden template, that makes life so much easier! Great tutorial too :-)

  25. Thank you so much. I have to make 2 dresden plates and have been looking at ways to make a 20 blade plate from my 9degree ruler (it makes 40). Also I LOVE YOUR HELPERS! I have a collage of my 3 helpers on my blog at ann-michelle.blogspot.com if your curious to check them out! Anyways... thanks again.

  26. Just stopping by on the blog hop. What a great tutorial! My next quilt may have to be a dresden. Great work!

  27. I love your dresden plates!!! Great pictures too..and I LOVE the kitty!

  28. Nice bloghop post, and finally someone that likes LotR and Winnie the Pooh. I love them too. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Love your Dresdens, they are my favourite block!

  30. I'm a little late on catching up on my Let's Get Acquainted blogs this week, but I very much enjoyed your lovely pink Dresdens! And aren't kitties just the most eager quilting helpers? Haha... I can't keep mine away.

  31. Such cute dresdens! I *love* the the little cat paws resting on them. That picture made my day :D

  32. Your dresdens are lovely! It is definitely a block I'd like to try. I think the Let's get acquainted posts are long by their nature!

  33. I think it's a great post and really inspired me to have a go at the dresdens! Nice to meet you:-)


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