Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blue Diamonds Quilt

Earlier this week I finished quilting this blue and white Dresden plate quilt, laid out in a diamond format. Living in Washington DC near the Hope Diamond, that jewel came to mind when I was searching for a title. These Dresden plate blocks were originally based on my great grandmother's quilt of the late1800's. It was around the house since I was a kid and gets special treatment because it is a unique family heirloom. Stuffed with loose lambs wool it has lots of hand quilting to hold it all in place and fascinating patches of old dress fabrics making up each plate.
Great Grandmother's Dresden Plate quilt 
 I found some tips on YouTube about how to make the Dresden plate blocks and then I went full steam ahead producing them last year in blues and whites. When a few dozen of them were finished I realized I wasn't ready to quilt them, and set them aside until I felt more confidant about quilting. This past two months I began the process of hand quilting this the smaller of two tops with contrasting and matched Perle threads. This fits a double bed and the next one is even bigger which is laid out like great grandmother's version in square format.

Folded back you can see some of the quilting and the navy blue calico binding

Title block embroidered on blue oxford shirt cloth
The one challenge this quilt gave me were the bias cut sides. They stretched and made it difficult to keep it flat and even especially on the long sides. The blue and white polka dot framing helped some but it wasn't a completely flat finish. I wonder if anyone has tips for keeping this large diamond layout squared up?  I would love to hear them in comments below so I can use the diamond layout again with less struggle. 

1 comment:

Linda F. said...

These are really exquisite quilts. How nice to see your great grandmother's original quilt (and your inspiration) with them. I would love to see a photo of each the quilts whole. You only gave us snippets - lovely as they are. I have not done a quilt with a setting like this to really know how to fix the stretching bias problem. I would say that some people spray starch like crazy. This seems like a good idea if you plan on washing the quilt when done. Can't you cut the squares normally (not on the bias) and then turn them to be diagonal in the setting? Is this what you did, and still had problem? I'm anxious to see what other people respond.