Thursday, September 17, 2020

Dresden Stars quilt finished!

For a couple of weeks now, I've been promising to share my finished Dresden Stars quilt, and today is finally the day! Warning, there are lots of photos in this post.

My Dresden Stars quilt was started in a class with Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts in June, 2013. It was a great class, and she was an absolutely delightful teacher with many wonderful quilts to show us. This is the picture of her pattern with a link to the website.

I made eight blocks as shown in the pattern, but decided to use only five to make a wallhanging for a specific spot in our living room. My quilt finished at about 50" square.

In finishing this quilt, I used techniques similar to those in Marti Michell's book Machine Quilting in Sections. The book is available from her website or at many online sources. She also had (has?) a Craftsy class on this topic.

The idea is that it is easier to machine quilt on a domestic machine if you aren't wrestling the entire quilt through the machine at once. The book presents different methods for quilting in sections and then joining those sections together. I adapted/combined a couple of her techniques in the finishing of my quilt. I always struggle with machine quilting, and doing it in smaller portions did make things easier for me. 

The center of my quilt was divided diagonally into three sections of blocks, sashing and setting triangles. I laid them out with the batting and backing fabric, including extra on the sides where the borders would be added later. Here are two of the sections laying on the backing fabric with the extra batting showing at the top and right edges.

The separate sections got quilted in the blocks and the setting triangles before they were joined together. I stitched in the ditch around the Dresdens, then echo quilted around them. There's also a couple lines of stitching around the center circles.

After that quilting was done, it was time to join the sections together. The next photos show two sections joined with a contrast strip on the backing side to cover the seams.

After all three sections were joined together, it was time to add the borders. There is a narrow dark gold inner border, and the outer border is a floral print on a deep blue background. The fabrics for the sashing, setting triangles, and borders all came out of my stash.

It was very difficult to get any good photos of the quilting in the borders. I used the floral print as my guide, free motion quilting around the outlines of all of the flowers. You can't tell from this photo, but my stitching was done in red thread.

The crazy backing fabric just makes me smile! I have no idea when or where I got this, but I'm so glad it was waiting in my stash. 

It feels great to have a finish, especially to get an old UFO completed. It is such an unusual combination of fabrics, with many batiks in the Dresdens, an Asian style print in the setting triangles, and a folk art floral for the outer border. Somehow, they all work well together. I'm happy with the results, and best of all, Ed likes it too! This quilt looks great hanging opposite the front door in our living room, greeting us each time we enter!

FYI--it's time for the Fall 2020 Quilty Orphan Adoption Event  hosted by Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework. You can join in and get rid of some UFO's that no longer excite you, or you can enter the giveaways to win other people's UFO's. I have three "orphans" up for adoption there--go ahead and check them out!

Linking up with:
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts
Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Happy quilting everyone!

Julie in GA


  1. IT is a beautiful quilt--lovely workmanship on this one. So pretty hugs, Julierose

  2. WOW!!! This is so beautiful!! I love picture heavy posts - so the more the merrier! Plus it is really cool to see how you put this one together and the quilting!! Oh! it is just perfect for this one!!

  3. your Dresdens sure are pretty! congrats on the finish!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing how you did the quilting. I bet the quilting around the flowers in the border was fun to do, too. The quilt makes a great welcome home banner. Congrats on getting it up on the wall!

  5. Love it! The colors are just so perfect together.

  6. YAY!! Congratulations on your fab finish, Julie! I love everything about this one. Your echo quilting looks great around the plates and I really love how your quilting lines follow the floral print on the border. I love how traditional and timeless the finished piece looks, even though you've mixed in fabric "surprises" for the viewer to discover upon closer inspection. You go, girl! :-)

  7. Wow, this is beautiful. Some great information. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Great finish Julie and enjoy hearing about how you quilted it in sections - definitely more manageable under the needle. It’s a great finish and glad you are enjoying it!

  9. Gorgeous quilt! I have that border fabric and was using it this week also!

  10. Congratulations on a gorgeous finish! I really want to try the quilting in sections at some point, that may be the only way I'll ever quilt any of my own projects.


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