Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Polishing a turd

When picking out block designs for my Aneela Sample quilt recently I knew it just had to have a dresden in it, I love dresdens!

Luckily for me the Shape Workshop for Quilters has a desden plate block, complete with template. I duly sent my book to work with my husband to photo copy/enlarge the template as required. The book calls for 100% enlargement of the template for the 12.5" unfinished block.

Whether due to my husbands photocopying error, he assured me that doing it at 100% just made it come out the same size as the original, or a printing error in the book (seems unlikely to me, sorry husband!) but my dresden plate was NOT the right size for a 12.5" block, more like a 6" block! So having used up most of my Walk in the Woods charms, and not having any of that line left, I made up a different block with the tiny scraps left and he copied me the template at 200%, thinking this would give me the size I needed.

I got going again, moving onto a new fabric line using up the very last of my large Little Apples scraps i'd been sent, piecing some together as they were too small. It wasn't until I had joined about half of the blades together I realised this dresden was going to be far too big.

Oh S**T!

With most of my large scraps gone I had to abandon the dresden and do a different more scrappy block for the quilt :-(

If anyone can advise me at what rate I should enlarge the template in the book to be able to make a 12.5" block i'd be very grateful. Our photocopier only gives options for 100%, 140% and 200%.
100% comes out exactly the same size as the original (i.e too small) and 200% is far too big, giving me more like a 18" block. Is it our photocopier or the book that is in error?

My two mis-sized dresdens reminded me of Aneela's bloom quilt, being a bit pee'd off with the whole dresden thing by now I decided to turn my 'crap' into something that perhaps would look like it was done on purpose and not just rejects! I couldn't waste my wonderful donated fabric after all!

So for the better part of this week whilst getting over my migraine (seriously, it has taken a week and I can still feel the lingering's of it!) I have been 'polishing my turds'!

 I decided I couldn't be arsed to make  it worked fine without the third dresden plate to make it like a mini bloom quilt and put it onto my brand spanky new Madrona Road Memoir fq and hand quilted the hell out of it.

I echo quilted around the large dresden with embroidery floss and large stitches. I quilted straight lines under every second line of text with some crochet cotton in black. I love this because it is a little more subtle than pearle cotton or embroidery floss but stands out more than hand quilting thread on the spool.

I then used my finer hand quilting thread to quilt between each dresden blade and around the smaller dresden, doing this in the ditch so it was invisible. I love how you can see the design on the back. This is the first thing I have hand quilted entirely, I am so glad it was a mini!

Now I just need to decide what to bind it with, any suggestions? I am thinking plain black or dark grey perhaps.


Isisjem said...

I'd bind it in a solid that picks out one of the colours from the dresden. I think this is a gorgeous save.

And yeah I *****ing hate books that tell me to enlarge patterns. They assume we all have access to photocopies easily. They also forget that it's really hard to hold a book flat under said photocopier and get a decent copy of what you're trying to enlarge and almost always put the templates too near the spine of the book.

Cindy said...

I think it's amazing. It's a long rough journey to get there, but this mini looks incredible! I'd go with a dark grey binding, but a turquoise or red to match might really spice it up a bit.

Laura Jane said...

Looks great! I'd go with red. But then, I love red :o)

Katy Cameron said...

It looks fab like this, love it! I'd go with the grey or aqua for a binding.

As for the enlargement, 100% is literally 1 x the size, which is, of course, the size it started with. 200% is 2 x the size. As I can't see the size of the template in the book, it's rather hard to tell, but I think there's a misprint there! Try the 140% and get a paper template for each blade, then piece it in paper and measure...

Archie the wonder dog said...

I think it's great and would go for either a red or aqua binding but I also wonder what yellow binding would look like...

Sarah said...

Them's some awffy pretty turds, wotcha been eatin???
I'd bind with black... :-)

Catherine said...

I would go with a red or aqua for the binding. What a faff with the enlarging, I hate it when a pattern says that, send shivers down me!

Sadie said...

It's lovely! You know, I was thinking about doing a dresden for your mini in the BQS swap :-)
I'd pick a red binding for an extra pop of colour :-)

Kelly said...

It looks great Emily - red or aqua would look fab!

Flying Blind... said...

It looks great for a turd! I would go Aqua.
Cannot cope with the maths right now, email Katy xxx

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

I can't bloody cope with that enlarging palava either, what the hell?!! If you find out please let us know!!
The dresdens look really awesome though, nicely polished!! The quilting looks fab! For the binding I would go with one of the colours in the dresden too, maybe the lighter grey? xx

Cherie said...

Those books are very odd when it says to copy in a certain size then it comes out wrong! Maybe you might have to go to a library or something and ask them for assistance?
The mini is soo cute! I think a nice aqua or red print would look great for the binding =D

Jenelle said...

Ha! I had to laugh when I read this post title! I think this is what we call improvisational inspiration. ;) It's lovely! Maybe a light gray matching the dresdan plate would be nice for the binding.

Sheila said...

Nicest turd I've seen in a while!
Red would be my choice for the binding.
I am so with Jan on the enlarging thing - it is so hard to get the book under the lid of the printer - I was off my head with the Zakka book recently trying to enlarge to 200%, so hard to position it right - grrr.