Episode 165: Are You Ready to Dresden?

Welcome to Episode No. 165 of the Off-Kilter Quilt Podcast (Where a Straight Line’s a State of Mind). My name is Frances, and I’m your hostess.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Making some progress on those Dresden Plates …


Want to quilt along? Check out Sherri D’s blog for more info:


My 1930s fabrics:

30s fabric

The Modern Dresden Block:


Interesting article on the limits of local economies:

Fun video from Angela Walters:


24 Replies to “Episode 165: Are You Ready to Dresden?”

  1. I haven’t listened to your podcast yet, but I wanted to tell you we watched Broadchurch and loved it! Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. I am listening *right now* and just happened to pull up Facebook and see the preview image of The Man’s documentary “Anytown USA”, and yes, that plastic wrapped deer is disturbing.

    Your Dresdens, however, are adorable..

  3. So pretty! Your curves look lovely. I love 30s fabrics even though they are not really my personal style. I have an antique Double Wedding Ring quilt that is dated from the 30s-40s by a textile historian from SoCal. It has some really cute fabrics in it. The background may have been white at some point but now is a soft creamy off-white, which may be a good choice for your 30s Dresdens. I have used a polka dot fabric as a background and it’s a fun look if you find the right one. Small dots that may read as a solid from a slight distance.

  4. I haven’t listened yet, but had to comment on your adorable Dresdens! Love them! And I really like your fabric choices as well. Looking forward to listening. Is it wrong to knit while listening to a quilting podcast?

  5. Just letting you know I’m thinking of you! I’m behind on listening, accounting and listening is a harder combo than sewing and listening, but that doesn’t mean you don’t cross my mind. Loved the Angela video, she is a class act.

  6. Hey France! Sorry I didn’t comment last time. I did listen. ☺️ love your Dresden’s they look great! I hope the people at AQS answer you soon I….want…..to….read…..your…..books! Great podcast.

  7. Hi Frances! I remember the first and only Dresden plate I made was in my very first quilt class which was taught by making a sampler quilt. (Somewhat like you are doing with the beautiful Jaye.) This was some time ago and my teacher was so excited to demonstrate machine applique to her students. It wasn’t an entirely new concept but I think the invisible thread was fairly new that we used on the button thingy in the middle of the plate and to attach the pieced plate to the background. I would definitely do it differently today but it was fun. I like your plates BTW!

    On a birdy note, our local mockingbirds no longer sing. They only imitate the crows and ravens which have recovered from West Nile and the hawks that live in the sycamores. The hawks are scaring away other birds but that is ok as they are interesting to watch. I miss the bird song and enjoy your backyard sounds during the podcast.

    Have a good, good NC Memorial weekend.

  8. I love the Dresdens! They are so adorable.

    Thank you so much for your comments on my comments. It is so nice to hear your kind words. I do want to start podcasting again, but I have to find a mic that will actually work. I stopped podcasting because people were complaining about the quality of my recording, and just didn’t have time to go out and get a mic. Isn’t that silly?

    Once I stopped, I got out of the habit…and thus the pod-fade.

    Your ambition is awesome! I just wanted to say that I love that you say that you are going to make something and then you do it.

    I have the hardest time making what I say I am going to make. People keep hijacking my hobby of quilting to make things for them. It is very frustrating. 🙂

    Sending you happy thoughts! Keep quilting!

  9. Lazy quilter is here: lazyquilter.blogspot.com There is a link to the flickr group on the blog too. Everyone is encouraged to make just one block! If you’ve made a Dresden Plate, share your photos. Hope to see some of you join in the fun!

  10. Finally finished listening to the rest of your podcast. I kept the “Dresden Plate Project – quilt-along” Really simple. From now until December 10th, make a Dresden Plate block and share it on the flickr group page:


    That is it, just make ONE. Now of course if you do the pace of a few blocks a month, I would hope to see at least a quilt top done by December! I hope to do one blog posting a week that talks about DPP too. Thanks Frances, for ‘advertising’ this! Perhaps later in the year, I will get some prizes for folks who are playing along!!!

  11. 1930’s fabrics: was obsessed with them for awhile–i made a lemoyne star quilt with them and not quite “ants” all over–but all those pastel colors blended into one muddy mess; so had to throw in some darker (uglies) fabrics for contrast. what about a bright yellow background? or that teal/aqua blue that was very 30’s. i definitely think not gray. white is always good. for your “next” dresden plate, consider the sharp point version–that one can be cut from a wedge ruler. this is an old post i had done (not an active blogger anymore) about my dresden plate quilt http://dokiquilts.blogspot.com/2010/05/3-12-pounds.html

    thanks for your podcast! my favorite quilting podcast of them all 🙂

  12. Episode 164: Hallelujah!!! I am so glad you love the triangle technique!!! Yay!!

    Next is the partial seam technique. I haven’t done much on the tutorial, but will get on it. I have been scattered lately. After the partial seam technique, I don’t know what we will do. What do you think you still need to learn?

    Your Basket Block is fantastic! I love the fabrics you chose.

    Blocks are never the same size. Part of what I will teach you is how to deal with that.

    I clicked on the Quilted Cupcake link in your sidebar and there is a notice that her blog has moved to: http://www.quiltedcupcake.org/. Just thought you might want to know. 😉

    I haven’t finished the podcast (#164) yet, but will comment more later.

  13. Dresdens look great. Thanks for the podcast. When you were talking about 30’s fabric and shoes, it made me think of jewelry. I have a friend who wears the most amazing. Necklaces with earrings and bracelets to match. It all looks so perfect on her. Whenever I try, it just looks ridiculous. I just can’t pull it off. A simple small necklace and stud earrings is the best I can do. Anything more and it just doesn’t look right. I totally get how you can like the 30’s fabric, but know that it’s really not you.

  14. Love your dresdens, both the 30s and the modern. I agree with AJ Dub about the off white. I made a 30s print quilt for a friend’s baby and used muslin, which gave it a very antique look, especially after washing.

    I know what you mean about not feeling like yourself. That’s how I feel whenever I cut my hair short, even though I get lots of compliments.

  15. I was going to wish you a happy birthday on Twitter, but then I thought that leaving a comment would be almost like sending you a present. I know you love the comments as much as we all love your podcast. Happy Birthday!

  16. Hi Frances. Slowly catching up with past episodes… although I’ve listened for a long time … I thought it was time to listen to the early ones… I’m on episode 78 and I think I’m getting close to when I started listening. I’m not sure yet if I’ll re-listen to them or not but it’s nice to have your voice in the background while I’m sewing! 🙂

  17. I know that your birthday was yesterday and I thought, as I was ready to comment on the rest of the podcast, that I would wish you a happy day (belated, yes). I hope it was great.

    Of course, I haven’t listened to #165 and this may have been resolved, but I think you should send your quilt manuscript to your editor. I know she isn’t a craft book editor, but she may know someone. You are a known quantity and an award winner and you mustn’t settle even if we have to wait longer to read the book.

    I didn’t think of it, but I think you are right about the cottage industries. I think the cottage industries of the 1930s could have been a product of the Depression. However, people at that time made a lot more, in general, than we do.

  18. Episode 165 comments: I have a tutorial for making a Dresden Plate on my blog: http://artquiltmaker.com/blog/2011/08/sampler-class-making-a-dresden-plate/

    AQS – was the letter you got a form letter? I was thinking that they were extremely rude however I always try to think that something terrible happened and there is a good explanation. Please don’t contact them anymore. You have done enough and you don’t want to sound desperate. Call your editor or the company that you work with and give them the opportunity.

    You could collect the QNMs, then donate them to your local library or start a quilt library in your nonprofit and put them there. I think there is also a CD of QNMs, I think.

    I wasn’t clear that you wanted to make a 1930s repro quilt. I agree with the ants comments. I have used those fabrics, but wouldn’t again. I actually gave away all the leftovers from my Nosegay quilt to a friend. You might want to include some Michael Miller Ta Dots dots. There are colors that will go with the 1930s fabrics, but will freshen them up and add some interest to the quilt. You also might want to look at some vintage 1930s Dresden Plate quilts and see hose those makers combined the fabrics. Quilt Index has a lot and some are really bright. even have big dots and stripes. Take a look at the quilts so you can get an idea of sashing/no sashing and the different colors. I really like the yellow sashing and backgrounds.

    I am curious to what happened to your notes and templates from the block you made in our class? Or is the template you got a rotary cutting template? I guess I am confused by this quilt and your overall concept.

    Have a great day!

  19. I love your Dresdens, 30’s and modern. My problem with Dresden is getting the center in smoothly. The basket square is great also! I’ve been watching Grace and Frankie and thoroughly enjoying it. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Did you know Annie Smith is back to podcasting?
    She has three or four up on ITunes. It’s good to hear her voice again and all about what she is up to. Thanks again for your podcast and pictures, and happy belated birthday! Forever young….

  20. Hi Frances. Haven’t had the time to listen yet but will do so when I’m relaxing in France.
    I meant to say in my last email that there is a new programme on ITV(the company that produced Downton) called “Home Fires” which is really good. It’s set in southern England just before and at the very beginning of WW2 in Europe. The major characters are all women and in fact most of them are in their 40s and above. It’s great to see such a cast of actresses who are relying on their skills to forge a story. I think that you would enjoy it so look out for arriving on the other side of the Pond.

  21. I wanted you to know that your shout out was very encouraging. I feel a regular pod schedule coming back. Thanks!
    Oh, and darn you to heck, I’ve started thinking about a Dresden project. (As if I don’t have enough projects) ha!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.