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Lifesavers Mini Quilt


The dresden plate is my kind of block. Uber-traditional and perfectly beautiful in all its vintage goodness. And yet, so open to interpretation. There are an endless number of ways to make a dresden unique. And it’s so darn easy to transform this block into something very modern. It never ceases to amaze me that something so traditional still looks fresh and of-the-moment, right here in the 21st century.

Enter the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild’s EZ Dresden Challenge. Have you heard about this yet? The Salt Lake MQG is helping Simplicity and a boatload of other sponsors celebrate Darlene Zimmerman’s twentieth year of designing rulers, by highlighting the versatility of the dresden. So you’ll be seeing a lot of dresden quilts this summer—and there are some insane prizes on the line for the best of the bunch. Including a new Singer sewing machine!"Lifesavers" mini quilt
So here’s my take on the dresden plate: my “Lifesavers” mini-quilt. No centers to applique, no points to make—just stripey rings.

"Lifesavers" mini quilt

I got hooked on the idea of fussy-cutting my dresden wedges, but I didn’t want to do something that required yards and yards of fabric just to make a few blocks. I thought about using chevron fabric, but the scale wasn’t quite right. Then it hit me: Stripes! So easy to fussy-cut—I just cut my wedges from vertical strips of fabric, lining the ruler up with the stripes.

EZ Dresden Challenge project

I ended up using one yard of Michael Miller’s Bungalow Stripe in Citron (that one yard made all of these blocks). Since it’s a variegated stripe, every set of wedges I cut looked a little different. I turned both the top and bottom raw edges under before I pieced the wedges together, which made it super easy to applique the finished plates onto the blocks—I just stitched them down with a straight stitch. I finished it by quilting with easy-peasey wavy line quilting. (I didn’t bother cutting out the background fabric from behind the dresdens after they were stitched down. I know that might be technically “wrong,” but it didn’t seem to effect my quilting.)

So, are you up for this challenge? Just make a quilt using the EZ Dresden ruler (or any 18-degree wedge ruler). It doesn’t even have to be a dresden—there are lots of other things you can do with wedges, too! There are three categories for entries: Mini-quilts, traditional designs, and innovative designs. You’ve got all summer to work on your entry—just link up your finished quilt on the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild website the week of September 1. The top three for each category will win some amazing prizes. Up for grabs are a Singer sewing machine, a photo of your project in Quilting Arts magazine, a quilt made by Darlene Zimmerman herself, and tons fabric, rulers, and thread! There will be three random-draw prizes as well. Click here for more contest details.And to get you started, I’ve got an EZ Dresden ruler to give away to one winner right now! Just leave any comment on this post, and I’ll draw a random winner on Tuesday.

Keep following the EZ Dresden Challenge Blog Hop over the next two weeks for lots more inspiration to get you started on your own entry! Good luck!

June 1 – The Sat Lake Modern Quilt Guild: www.slmqg.com/
June 2 – Lee: freshlypieced.blogspot.com/
June 3 – Katie www.fromthebluechair.com/
June 4 – Victoria: bumblebeansinc.blogspot.com/ and Tanya: www.squaresandtriangles.com
June 5 – Val: howaboutpinkplease.blogspot.com/ and Leigh: leedledeedlequilts.blogspot.com/
June 6 – Amy: amyscreativeside.com/ and Elisa www.stitchoutsidetheditch.com/
June 7 – Katie: www.swimbikequilt.com/ and Emily: emsscrapbag.blogspot.com/
June 8 – Melissa: happyquiltingmelissa.blogspot.com/ and Brooke: pitterputterstitch.blogspot.com/
June 9 – Nicole:  mamalovequilts.blogspot.com/ and Amy sukie.mt-wudan.com/
June 10 – Elizabeth: www.dontcallmebetsy.com/ and Colleen: www.thebusybean.com/
June 11 – Faith: www.freshlemonsquilts.com/ and Deonn: quiltscapesquilting.blogspot.com/
June 12 – Angela: angelaflicker.com/ and Barbie: thequiltingmill.blogspot.com
June 13 – Amy: www.diaryofaquilter.com/
June 14 – Jessica: sewcraftyjess.blogspot.com/
June 15 – Salt Lake MQG: Wrap-up www.slmqg.com/


And thank you to all the EZ Dresden Challenge sponsors!
195 replies
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  1. Melinda
    Melinda says:

    Okay, Dresden's scare the bejeebers out of me but if you say they're possible, I'll take your word for it. Thanks for the chance for the ruler!

  2. Laurel09
    Laurel09 says:

    I have never seen a dresden-inspired quilt quite like your lifesavers – it is really striking! I would love to play around with the Dresden ruler and see what I could come up with. Thank you for the chance to win!

  3. Becky G
    Becky G says:

    Love your lifesaver quilt & the tip @ turning under the edges before stitching. I love modern color treatments, but tend toward traditional… Hoping to move into more modern applications. This quilt really helps open my imagination…. Thanks. Thanks for the chance to win too!

  4. Jodi - usairdoll
    Jodi - usairdoll says:

    Oh WoW!! Love it! How fun and clever. I'm keeping my eyes open for a great stripe, this is going on the to-do list.

    Thank you for a super giveaway and a chance to win.


  5. beeps
    beeps says:

    Thanks for the give away. I ready about this last week and have been trying to think of something fun. Love the quilt you made -strips always rock!

  6. Patti
    Patti says:

    Love the lifesavers! I'm doing the blog hop to get an idea of what modern interpretations of the dresden plate would look like.

  7. Donna F
    Donna F says:

    I really would like to have that ruler. I've never tried one but I do love the dresden. There is so much you can do with it and with the challenging, wow. I really want to get in on it. So much fun.

  8. Linda
    Linda says:

    This design is so danged cool, Lee! You're just too smart to have thought of using stripes to make such an effective, eye-popping quilt. I like it a lot. But darn. I still don't have a sewing machine to use. I'm in withdrawal! We're moving into our new house June 23, and that new Bernina will be one of the first things out of the box. Then, watch this gal sew! Thanks for the chance to win the ruler. You're a peach.

  9. Karen O
    Karen O says:

    Wow, love that quilt. I am excited to meet Darlene Zimmerman next week. I am going to a lecture/trunk show called From Ho Hum to Wow! at the Minnesota Quilters Show.

  10. Goldogmom
    Goldogmom says:

    I have wanted to dry a dresden pattern since I made my first quilt 3 years ago.
    thanks for the opportunity to win one.

    and thank you for an insiring design idea. I love stripes and am always scared to use them as keeing the cut straight is hard!


  11. the girlfriend gap
    the girlfriend gap says:

    i love this!!!! in quilters terms that means i want to make this really badly. no wonder i have a zillion projects unfinished. i keep getting sidetracked by so many wonderful things to sew. thanks for sharing janita

  12. mgquilts
    mgquilts says:

    I'm late looking at this but luv it and you've inspired me to give it a try. Have a guild silent auction for minis and think I'll do this. Off to find some stripes! Thanks.

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