Lectures and Workshops

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Funky Dresden Tutorial part one... cutting

Thank you all for your interest in my Funky Dresden quilt! I had so much fun creating it, and it seems some of you would like to make one too. Since I didn't take any pictures of my process the first time around, I decided to make another, in completely different colors, and document as I go. Today I'll step you through the cutting process.
As I mentioned in my last post, you will need one yard each of two background fabrics, a light and a dark (here the dark pink and the white) and 1/2 yard of your contrast (orange print)
Let's cut the background fabrics first. I stacked mine on top of each other. First cut two strips from both fabrics, 2 1/2 inches wide x the width of your fabric. Set these aside for your binding....
Now even the rest of your fabric out to 30 inches. From your 30 inch pieces, cut one 16 1/2 x 30 inch piece (set aside for your background square), one nine inch strip (for solid dresden pieces) and one 7 inch strip (for your pieced dresdens). Cut these from both background pieces (you can only see my white here, but the pink is underneath).
from your contrast piece, cut two pieces, each one 6 1/2 inches by 30 inches
Now take the two pieces you just cut and the two 7 x 30 inch background pieces, join them with a 1/4 inch seam along the long edge, and press well, pressing the seam allowance toward the contrast piece.
ok, back to the cutting table. It's time to cut our dresden pieces. I used a creative grids 18 degree dresden ruler. If you have a different ruler, you  may need to adjust some measurements of the number of wedges you need. With the 18 degree ruler, you need a total of 20 wedges for a circle. 
Place one of your pieced strips right side up on your cutting mat, with the contrast piece toward the bottom. You will need 5 pieced wedges from this strip, all of them with the narrow end on the contrast. This is important! Cut your first side, as shown below
Please note... I'm a lefty! if you're right handed you'll want to start at the other end of your fabric. Cut up the side and across the top, just to the end of the ruler....
Now flip your fabric around so the cut edge is on the other end.

and cut down the other side...

as you can see, now your angle is going the wrong way to cut another wedge for your circle. No need to waste fabric straightening it out. Just go ahead and cut a wedge the other direction and set it aside for another project.

Now take your remaining fabric, and trim 3/4 to 1 inch off of the contrast edge, making it smaller.

We will be trimming 4 times to get different variations in our wedges. Since you have about 4 inches extra width to work with, be careful not to cut off too much or your last wedge will be too short.  moving on....

Take your trimmed fabric and cut your next wedge. See how it extends farther into the background fabric since you trimmed the contrast? You'll need to cut that little extra bit of the side edge too.
Then cut another upside down wedge to set aside.
Now trim a little more off your contrast side again and continue in this manner until you have five dresden wedges with the narrow edge in the contrast fabric (and five backwards wedges for another day).

Repeat this process with your other pieced strip. Here are your 10 pieced wedges...
You also need five solid wedges from each of your background colors. You can stack them up and cut them together...
Also, since these are not pieced, you can use the wedges that are cut upside down as well. No need to cut extras.

And your cutting is done. Now you can play with laying out your dresden circle. You will want all of the dark background wedges (solid and pieced) on one side of the circle and all of the light background on the other side. Alternate pieced wedges with the solid wedges. Play around with wedge placement until you have a design that makes you happy. 

I'll be back soon to start you sewing!


Debbie said...

This looks fun. I've yet had a chance to look and see what Dresden ruler I have and what fabrics that are large enough. But I plan to soon!

Maria said...

Great tutorial Ellyn but I've never seen a Dresden ruler ....😥

Anne said...

Thanks for the tutorial, it looks great. I can see this done as a mod "flower" cushion. I also don't have a Dresden ruler, but I'm thinking I could make a cardboard one or use freezer paper templates cut into 18 degree triangles.

Sally said...

Love your process! It turns out so cute.