Thursday, May 14, 2015

introducing.... Ties That Bind, a unique Dresden plate quilt

You guys!
I am so pleased to introduce to you,
in its entirety,
my made with 150ish hours of love
(and a little blood, a lot of sweat, and even a few tears)
Ties That Bind

a black and white quilt for my awesome baby brother, Matt,
and his beautiful (inside and out!) bride, Marin.

After Marin showed off her gorgeous engagement ring at Thanksgiving festivities last year,
she said,
"So - I guess we need to order a quilt now :-) "

We talked a little bit about what she wanted 
- namely a bunch of black and white print fabrics.

No other colors.

(I am just a little bit of a rebel, 
so I defied her wishes and added a tiny bit of red stitching to the label ;-)
(She didn't mind)

We decided (I decided) that instead of them hiring me to make it,
the quilt would be their wedding gift.

She wanted to leave the design totally up to me,
and reminded me
that while she normally doesn't like quilts, she's loved every one of mine...

After several hours of searching pinterest and googling  'black and white quilt' for inspiration,
but not finding anything that seemed remotely right,
I remembered this dresden quilt,
a knew it would be perfect!

Using my handy dandy graph paper and a sharpened pencil,
I designed a quilt with 11 (mostly double pointed) dresden plates,
some whole, some partial,
ranging in size from to 15" - 33" in diameter.

My brother and his lovely wife are both so special and unique
 and I wanted the quilt to reflect that
so I planned for all of the dresdens to be different sizes,
both inner and outer circumferences.
(then I had to spend a good bit of time figuring out what size to cut my blades so I'd get those sizes!)
The insides of the dresdens were all quilted differently, as well.

I spent about a month buying fabrics,
some basic B&Ws that I thought played well together,
and some that were especially suited to Matt and Marin, 
based on their hobbies and professions.

I cut into my 38 fabrics on Jan 12th,
and started making Dresdens.

When I had those all sewn onto their background fabrics
I decide it wasn't really complete
and made more whole and partial plates
until I was happy with the overall composition.

Then I pieced a back with leftover fabrics
and made a label.
(stupidly forgetting to add both the name of the quilt, and my name. sheesh)
Their wedding date was pieced using kona white, a black dot fabric,
because I totally fell in love with the idea after seeing it.

At Mary (the big-stitch hand quilting master!)'s suggestion, I used wool batting
(which is just lovely and I will definitely be using it again)
and Tyler helped me baste it in late February
and I spent the next 7 weeks quilting,
both by machine and by hand,
going around and around and around.
(and through...)

I don't know if you know this,
but a dresden plate has 20 blades
(well, normally - some of mine don't (?)
which means, for each time around a plate,
the quilt must be turned forty times.

Forty dang times!

I used about 1 1/4 balls of size 8 perle cotton and 2 needles for the hand-quilting.
My favorite needle for hand quilting remains a size 8 straw needle from foxglove cottage.

I've tried various needles, recommended by various quilters far more experienced than myself,
but I always return (very quickly!) to my beloved milliners.
I can only conclude that those women have not yet tried my favorite ;-)
and have decided to not spend any more money trying other needles.

I finished sewing the binding (by hand) (with a size 10 milliner ;-) on April 19th,
13 weeks and 6 days after I cut into my stack of black and white fabrics.


Matt and Marin,
I hope you love your quilt and use it.
And I hope every time you use it, or even just see it, you feel treasured :-)
We love you both ever so much!!

If you are here from the quilt festival, 
Thanks for stopping by;
I hope you enjoyed your visit - feel free to poke around a bit :-)

If you're a regular visitor ~ thanks for cheering me on
on this quilt journey!
(and patiently indulging me as I carry on ;-)

Your kind words and 'atta girls' bring a smile to my face ~ thank-you!

(and of course, thanks to my guys for helping me photograph this beast :-)

I'm entering this queen sized quilt in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival in the large quilt category
and linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced, even though it is no longer a work in progress :-)
and fabric designer AmandaJean's Finish it Fridays


  1. what a beautiful quilt. Congratulations on a huge labour of love completed. I am not surprised that they love it. I made a black and white quilt with red in it last year. I keep looking for black and white fabric (and black white and red fabric)... can't seem to stop it

  2. When my husband and I had gotten engaged, I "ordered" a quilt too from one of my favorite aunts. It's on my couch, I see it everyday, and snuggle under it every night... and I LOVE it! Everytime I see it, I am reminded of the time, effort, and love put into it. Let's just say that if there were a fire and I could only take three things with me, it would be one of the three!

    This is truly a labor of love from the design process, turning the quilt 40 times around each dresden, all the way to the hand quilting. There are so many detailed accents, I'm sure your pair will have a great time finding them all. Beautiful!

  3. That is a beautiful quilt - and made with such love also makes a difference! They are very fortunate and you are amazing to have made it in such a short time. Thanks for showing us.

  4. Oh my goodness! I don't know where to start! All the love and thought that went into this quilt....incredible! It's absolutely perfect. From the design, use of black and white, the fabrics chosen, quilting and the backing. Perfect! Thank you for sharing! This has to be a winner!

  5. Simply incredible. What an amazing gift God has given you and how awesome that you can use it to bless others so richly!! :)

  6. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

  7. What a wonderful gift you have made! So much care and attention and hand quilting! Very impressive! I love your addition of the red ribbon :)

  8. Love this quilt, from the black and white fabric, to the dresden plates, to the AMAZING quilting! What a wonderful job!

  9. What a great quilt! I've always wanted to make a 2 color quilt.

  10. Beautiful quilt - I love ALL the quilting, both the hand quilting and the machine quilting!

  11. Woah my goodness! This is incredible! And I love the back too! The whole thing is both fun and classy. I know they'll feel your love every time they look at it.

  12. Lovely quilt and as always, the best quilts have a beautiful story to go along with their creation!

  13. This wedding quilt is stunning! I have a thing for dresdens and love your black and white version!

  14. I love your quilt. So original. So sophisticated. Your quilting is gorgeous.
    Pinned and shared on google+

  15. I think this is one of my favourites from the entire BQF. So yes! You get my vote! It is a great quilt. I love the reduced colours, the design and your quilting. Great job!!!

  16. I love the way you quilted this! It looks fantastic! I have heard so many great things about wool batting, I need to try it.

  17. I love the hand stitching in this quilt. Beautiful Pop!


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