Hot Tips, New ideas

Perfect Petals Every Time

Since I’ve never had a problem making precise little Dresden plates

and by now I’ve made thousands of of them,

I forget that some folks may not share my painless path.

I was reminded of that this week by Cheryl via email.

She & some friends are working on my Dresden Heaven pattern that I was just discussing with you a few days ago.


They were curious why their plates were not lying flat.

I told her that their seam allowances were not a true scant 1/4”.

If your seams are not exact & you sew 12 of them around the entire plate it adds up!

I noticed this phenomenon while teaching a workshop a while back.

Luckily I had with me a story board that I use to show how a plate goes together so my students were able to lay their sewn petals on my board to see if they were sewing accurately.


As I’ve mentioned before, the mindless chain piecing of Dresden petals

allows my mind to wander…


(OK, I admit it, my mind wanders during a lot of things that I do!)

Anyway, that gave me the idea to make a diagram so my Dresden-sewing-friends could easily measure their sewn petals.

Several hours & a ream of paper later…




 Not so easy going from the shape of the template to the shape the petal takes on after the first seam, then trying to put a seam allowance on just one side of each petal all with bias sides, ugh!

But I did it and each pair I made today (92 so far) all fit perfectly.


It’s not magic and I’m NOT Wiley Coyote Super Sewing Genius either!

It’s this:

1. Start with starched fabric (before you cut any strips).

2. Cut accurately.

3. Sew with a scant 1/4” seam allowance.

4. Trim each petal as indicated in my patterns.

5. Starch again when the plate is complete.

I plan to make these diagrams a part of each of my Dresden patterns from today forward.

I want everyone to enjoy making little Dresden plates as much as I do!

I will put this page on my website if I can but for now if you’re working on one of my patterns just send me an email and I will email you a copy of this sheet to print out.

A note about printing too:

When you go to print you need to be sure your printer is set to print “as in document” not “fit to page” or it will make everything a bit smaller. (this note is on the sheet as well.)

These diagrams will only work for you if you’re sewing one of my patterns because I made them based on the exact sizes of the templates that I designed which just so happen to be for sale on my website:

Suzn+Quilts+Tiny+Dresden+Template Suzn+Quilts+MiniDresdenTemplate

Now back to sewing for me.


I’m making wings (pairs of petals).

It’s the perfect exercise for today’s lesson on accurately sewing 2 petals together!


I’ve started with my new Pumpkin Pie fabric.

Recognize it?

Just keep sewing…


New Moda Fabric Collection

New Fabric- Preservation

The 4th and final collection that I have to show you is Moda’s new “Quilt for a Cause” collection,

Preservation.Suzn+Quilts+PerservationPreservation is 19th in their “Quilt for a Cause” series.

The collection was inspired by a quilt from England dating to 1830.


It will benefit the

International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska

which is a learning center.

They have a collection of quilts,

related textiles and documents

for the purpose of study, insight and inspiration.

Perhaps you’ve been there?


Glad to know such a good cause will benefit from the sale of these lovely fabrics!


The colors are lovely!


I love it when collections mix the all the colors of the collection in all or most all the fabrics.

It makes for a low contrast quilt which I find very appealing.

The colors blend from one fabric to the next.

I used a similar collection for Dresden Heaven.


This pattern is available here on my website.

Low contrast, making it very calming to look at.

Suzn+Quilts+Perservation+fat+quarters+3Notice the aqua fabrics have red and cream,

the red fabrics have the cream, aqua and brown,

the cream fabrics have the aqua, red, brown…


You can see the complete collection at Moda by going here.


Preservation is due in quilt shops in September.

You have plenty of time to sew up some of your stash to make room for it.



I will too!

Just keep sewing…


New Moda Fabric Collection

New Fabric-Gratitude

I’ve loved Jo Morton’s fabric for years, how about you?

I was so excited to hear she was designing for Moda because her fabrics with Anodover are hard to find around here.

Now that she’s with Moda I’ll have a better chance of finding them and hopefully you will too.

Meet Gratitude, due in quilt shops in August.


A bit reminiscent of Civil War prints and colors.


Jo’s newest muted, small prints for Moda.


Lots of yummy pinks and browns.


There are other colors in the collection, but I didn’t order them!


I have to say I sure wish she had put some black in the collection.

Her blacks have been my favorites for years!

This is “Simplify”, of my quilt-as-you-go lap quilt patterns using  Jo’s black fabrics.


I still love those big gold stars.

And these are some of her blacks from my stash.


Yes, some are quite old, but I still love them.

They still reside in my stash, even passing the test of last week’s guild yard sale.

You’ll know I’ve lost my will to live when you see me put these in the “get rid of” pile!

I also used one of her blacks in every pattern in my “In Season” series.


I’m sure she’ll have a black in her next collection though, just for me!

How can I be sad about these, right?


And yes, I have a design all picked out for them with, you guessed it



And now I MUST-GO-SEW!


Just keep sewing…



New Moda Fabric Collection

New Fabric-Fern Hill

Today’s post comes to you from Fern Hill.


It’s Jan Patek’s new collection by Moda.

This collection is due in quilt shop in September.

Big surprise right; red, green, cream?

Am I redundant or what?


These two remind me of the 1930’s, 1940’s kitchen accessories that I see from time to time.

They’d make cute cobbler aprons like my grandma used to make for my mom and aunts when I was little. When I look back at those aprons I’m amazed at how well she put the binding on them. I don’t know if she used a special foot or if that was just “her thing”, but she did a wonderful job.


The only thing I wish about this collection is that the navy prints were black instead, but I’ll forgive her this time since her last collection had black.

If you remove the greens from the collection it would make nice patriotic quilts too. I plan to do something with that thought in mind.

See, there are even some of her signature star prints.


The navy prints are nice, just not my thing!

fern hill

But those reds, greens & creams… and the big green floral print…


Like Pumpkin Pie that I showed you yesterday, I already have a quilt in mind for these fabrics too.

Can’t wait to cut into these for sure.

Must get back to work!

Just keep sewing…


Flea markets & antiquing, New Moda Fabric Collection, New tiny Dresden plate quilts, restocking stash

Fabric, Fabric & More Fabric

It’s ALWAYS fun to get new fabric, right?

It’s especially fun when I already have designs in mind to make with it.

Rest assured there will be Dresden petals involved; Tiny & Mini!

Last week I received two boxes from Moda because I have a lot of sewing to do!

Fall market will be here before I know it.

I’m in the middle of writing pattern instructions so I would not allow myself to do anything but put the boxes in my sewing room and walk around them…

…my little plan devised to keep me on task.


I may have mentioned before that I love fabric???

Once? Twice? Maybe 3 million times?

You thought I loved to quilt, but really I only quilt so that my family does not die in a fabric avalanche around here.

Today I finally opened the boxes and took a peek

because I have nothing better to do I’m taking a break and I don’t want to start back to writing instructions…

 This it LOTS MORE FUN!Suzn+Quilts+Pumpkin+PieThis is Pumpkin Pie

by Laundry Basket quilts for Moda.


They’ll be available in quilts shops this fall.


Look, there’s black & pink & aqua


& pretty floral prints…


I’m looking forward to sewing with these.

The small prints will make great Tiny & Mini Dresden petals.


Notice my “new” letter squares?

I may have mentioned in a post not too long ago that I also have a thing for estate sales…

I found them recently.

They came in this cool old vintage Famous Barr box.

Suzn+Quilts+Letters+Fabous+Barr++boxe The box is extremely sturdy, but…

I was at Goodwill last week and found this treasure.


It’s the perfect size to hold them all.

And it was just a dollar!

It’s the little things…

I know, crazy aren’t I?

Aren’t you glad you don’t have MY brain???

Now that I’ve shown you part of my new fabric I must get back to work.

More to come later, after I’ve done some more real work.

I hope you’re enjoying this hot summer weather like I am.

I’ll take 100 degrees over 0 any day!

Just keep sewing…