this mini quilt measures 18.75" square and is my entry in the Modern Mini Challenge that Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts is organizing.
it's obviously a dresden plate quilt, and it includes a combination of hand embroidery and machine quilting. i used multiple threads for the embroidery, some of which were more fun than others (rayon is such a pain!). i used all of my favourite prints in this quilt, and it makes me happy to look at it. it's going up on my wall, so it can make me happy every day!
the dresden plate was made using the darlene zimmerman dresden ruler, which is easy-peasy. remember the skirt i made with it back in september?
while i was cutting the dresden blades, i cut a few extra little pieces of each print, and used them to create a border around the quilt. i sewed the pieces all in the same order in the border as they were in the dresden and then cut the long piece for the border pieces. at the last minute i decided to skew the border a bit, just for a bit of added interest.
it's bound with more kona, and i put 4 hanging sleeves on it - i couldn't decide which side was the top! i haven't hand stitched them all down yet, but they're there if i ever want them!
wanna see more pics? here you go!
i originally sewed the dresden down, did the rows of echo machine quilting, and then started on the hand embroidery. part way through the hand embroidery, i realized that folding it up and carting it around with me was not working well for keeping the dresden and the batting smooth! i ended up ripping out my initial stitches, pressing the dresden plate well, and resewing it down after i'd finished all of the hand embroidery. this time i stitched along the sides of each wedge as well, and i'm soooo glad that i did! i think it looks so much better, and it'll shrink up much more evenly when i wash it.
it was so nice to have an excuse to play with the embroidery. i've sorely neglected my handwork since quilting has taken over my life! i used a variety of threads, and mixed up the stitches as well. i repeated a few stitches, but with varying threads, so none of the rows look exactly the same. i wanted to stick with narrow stitches, to maintain the thin rows of embroidery, so i avoided fun but wide stitches like an open chain or chevron stitch.
the first row of embroidery is a very very tight chain stitch. it was kind of hellish! ha! i used a rayon/viscose thread much like this dmc thread, but made by a german company, i think. i picked it up when my local stitchery store closed. i used very short lengths of the floss, which required a lot of ends to be lost inside the quilt, but i LOVE the pop of the satin thread.
the second row of embroidery, lime, was backstitch, using a standard 6 strand cotton floss. i lost the wrapper of this colour, so i don't know if it was dmc or anchor.. and i want to buy more, i love this colour! i'm guessing dmc because it's a bit duller than other brands.
the third row, pink, used a standard 6 strand cotton floss, anchor #57. apparently i used two different stitches for this row, though i just learned that! i didn't know that stem stitch and outline stitch are actually two different stitches, with the thread kept below the needle for stem stitch and above the needle for outline stitch. i think i usually do stem stitch, but for this row, i had alternated at each corner, switching back and forth. you learn something new every day!
for the fourth row, dark teal, i got smarter! i used the german viscose satin thread again, but this time i chose a stitch that wouldn't require me to sew the rayon thread through the quilt. i did an interlaced running stitch, and used cotton floss (anchor #189) for the running stitch, and wove the rayon thread through it. much easier!
the fifth row, pale blue, used cotton floss (dmc #3846) and a neat stitch called a scroll stitch.
the sixth row, purple, used two threads again, the rayon thread and a cotton floss, and the couching stitch. couching is such an easy stitch, and such a great way to use difficult threads!
the seventh row, light pink, uses thread common to modern quilters, pearl cotton. this was actually the first time that i'd used it, and i just did the simple running stitch. i think i need to pick up a pack of chenille needles, as the largest embroidery needles were a bit of a tight fit!
the eighth row, light blue, was stitched using a "cotton lace yarn" sold for crochet. it says that it's an egyptian cotton, but it also says "made in turkey". ha! i did a stem stitch for this row - stem stitch only, not alternating with the outline stitch! these stitches are bigger than they were in row three, but it's also a thicker thread, and i quite like the details created in the corners by the stitch formation.
the nineth row, bright blue, is cotton floss (anchor #1089), and i did a split stitch. i rarely use this stitch, and i'm not sure why... it lends itself well to sewing-style embroidery, which i prefer, so you would think that i'd use it often! maybe because i really like stem stitch, and they're used for similar effects. hm.
the tenth row, lime green, uses pearl cotton again, but you don't really see much of it, because i did a whipped running stitch, combining it with the rayon satin thread.
because the dresden is offset, some corners of the mini-quilt have more rows than others. the eleventh and twelfth rows are only in two corners, and the thirteenth row is just in one.
the eleventh row is pink (dmc #3804) cotton embroidery floss, and i've done a chain stitch again, cause i like it.
the twelfth row, light teal, is cotton embroidery floss (dmc #3812) as well, and i was loosing my creativity by this point, i suppose, so it's just basic backstitch again.
and the thirteenth row, the final row! this row was stitched in cotton embroidery floss (dmc #3809), and is one of my favourite stitches - french knots! as much as i love the look of them, i knew that i'd get bored doing very many of them, so i saved this stitch for one of the outer rows, that only showed at one or two corners!
and that's my modern mini dresden! that was a lot more detail than you were expecting, wasn't it?
**random note - everytime i think "modern mini" it turns into "thoroughly modern millie", which is a terribly wonderful julie andrews musical. i wonder if i could find it online, i haven't seen it in years.....**
EDIT! since i finished this quilt in 2012 and it's made using SCRAPS of my favourite fabrics, i'm entering it in Stitched in Color's Festival of Scrappiness. there are currently 300 entries!