Saturday, 5 August 2017

Juggling Plates

When I was in multiple bees I was always very proud that I was nearly always on time. On occasion I was running a bit late, holidays, birth, death and taxes. You know the type of thing. This year I am in only one low key bee, #beeabee2017 on instagram. No blog posts to write up by a set date, fairly fluid dates, two months off in the summer. Call that a job? So, it is now, the beginning of August that I have finished my May blocks.

The lateness, this was due to holidays and the fear. Not fear of flying, but fear of juggling. Juggling plates. Gina, of  and @druidquilter on instagram, asked us to make her Dresden plates.


Hear my not so silent screams. Gina may have well asked me to make her a mariner's compass block. Scary. So, this got put on the back burner and I made my excuses. I went to London, I went to Budapest, Salzburg and Vienna. I went to London again. Eventually I had to face the fear and try to make the Dresden Plates.

And you know what I am going to tell you? They were ok..... in fact I could say I enjoyed them. I did enjoy it. I can see myself making these in the future.

Gina gave us some photos for inspiration. Gina really didn't want traditional Dresden Plates, which is good, they are very boring and traditional. I was never really fussed on them. Gina wanted bright vibrant, hot plates. Look at her inspiration.

I love these.  These will turn into appliqued flowers,

First of all you have to  make a template. Time on our family computer, with the printer, is hard pressed at the minute. My husband is writing the history of the BB company he went to as a boy. We are being very industrious at the minute. I could have gone to my old work, the library, to print it off. But, 5 minutes to print, 5 hours drinking tea and chatting if I did that. So, I made my own templates, having read a few different blog posts on making Dresden Plates.

My first block was hot orange petals. Long narrow petals, with a radius of ....?...  This is getting towards Gina's maximum size of 15". I can see with this a hot pink centre. Gina asked us to leave the centres blank as an option. I am glad of this, the thought of applique-ing the centres with a smooth circumference is quite stressful. I will however send her the hot pink fabric.

My second block, I thought would be smaller and stockier. I reread the tutorials, and saw that the template base is generally about 3 1/2". This I thought I would make into a sunflower. Yes, it is smaller than the orange, and with fewer petals, but not by much.

Of course I think the dark grey/black fabric here is perfect for the centre.

I was determined to make a small stubby plate. A side plate, or piece plate, as we say here. A wee plate for your wee piece (sandwich, as in piece of bread and jam ). I chopped the end off the stubby template, thinking this was it. Getting cocky you see. It did make it smaller, but not as I envisioned it.  No, it isn't a wee piece plate, more of a wee salad plate, though salad plates are a little posh. This plate is on a pink theme, maybe a zinnia?

Although Gina has seen these on instagram, I haven't posted them, physically, not virtually. I have "known" Gina for a while. Thanks to Gina I listen to radio 4 extra, the crime plays particularly. I know Gina loves gardening, so I have to hunt out some seeds or something to post. When I was in Kew last week, there was something niggling me in the shop, that's what or rather who it was. Gina.
Sorry Gina, Tesco seeds don't  have the same ring as Kew Garden seeds.

Although I don't like the Dresden Plate block in its traditional mode, I can see myself using Gina's version. I have always fancied a quilt make of a neutral background with appliqued flowers, and these would fit the bill. I even have cotton calico cut into blocks for appliqueing onto . The only problem with this is, I don't like the calico blocks anymore since discovering the joys of low volume fabric!

Helen x


  1. Oh you do go to extremes to avoid things don't you? Then you got on with it, made a great job and nailed it! You took the pics and chose great colours to match, I really like the first one and how inspired to make one into a sunflower. On top of everything else you even made your own templates. Very impressive, she will love them.

  2. This looks very daunting to me. Mariner's compass seems easier than that, so I'm impressed that you finished three completely different blocks! I do love the bright colors and I'm sure Gina will be so happy with them. You know, in 2018, when you finally post them...


  3. No curves for me yet. So fun to read this post, and I absolutely can relate to your trepidation! I love how your Dresden plates turned out. Take care, Mary.


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