Until a few years ago I used to run. I wasn’t fast. In fact, my nickname was Turtle. During the week I’d run alone or with my sister-in-law (she was Turtle II.)  On the weekends I would run with a group of people who were much better — and faster — than I was. I was always the last person in our group to finish the route we’d chosen. But, and this is a big but, I always finished. And I would be so proud of myself for sticking with the run and getting it done.

That’s the way I feel about this quilt, the one I call The Accidental Dresden. I feel like its been such a long time since I started and I’m a bit surprised (and pleased) that it’s finally done.

Dresden Quilt FMQ

There are a number of firsts for me with this project:

  • Designing a quilt because the original plan didn’t work – I didn’t listen to all the instructions, so I didn’t order enough fabric for the original pattern. More about that in this post.
  • Calculating materials needed and messing up the measurements, not once but twice!
  • FMQing all that negative space. This is the first quilt I’ve free motion quilted.  I had to learn a lot about stopping, starting, and hiding tails.
  • Applique – don’t know if I did it right, but it’s held up through the first machine wash so that’s a positive sign.
  • The backing – oh, what can I say about that backing??? 🙁  I didn’t even take pics of the back.  It’s absolutely NOT what I had planned (due to the measurement fiasco) and I’m too embarrassed to show it to you.  Trust me, it’s not good.
Dresden FMQ Loop pattern

The loopy FMQ pattern.

This quilt took a lot of time because there was so much detail work. I had to go back over it and hide a lot of tails from the quilting.  I’ve since enrolled in a Craftsy class on beginning FMQ and have already learned how to avoid that in my next quilt.  I suppose I should have taken the class first, but it seems I do things out of order a lot! 🙂  The quilting got easier as I went along, and by the time I was finished with it I was pretty comfortable with the loopy technique.  Can you believe there isn’t one missed stitch????  I still have a long way to go, but for a first effort I’m pretty pleased.

Dresden Quilt

I really love the colors.

I’m in love with the fabric I used for the background.  It’s one of the prints in the Unforgettable (Riley Blake) layer cake and I can see myself using it again.  It’s called Damask Cream and has a very subtle print which would work with bright colors as well as more earthy ones.

So many of the techniques were new to me so I really had to step back and think things through which was slow going. Figuring out how to quilt the Dresden plates took some trial and error.  The first one looks kinda screwy from the back, but the others look much better.  The quilting makes a really cool design on the back.

FMQ Backing Dresden

I also had to do some hand work with the applique. I watched a few videos online and then gave it a go on the centers of the Dresden’s.  I think they turned out okay.  I guess we’ll find out if they’ll stay attached as we use the quilt.

Dresden Half Plate

I love this little half Dresden peeking out of the border!


As I got closer to being ready to bind it I really started to question my choice of binding fabric.  Especially after posting a couple weeks ago about the importance of binding.  But I think this pink Hexi print was perfect.  It really brightens up the quilt.  Although I think most of the prints in this series would have looked just as nice.

Dresden Binding

I feel like it took me forever to get this quilt done.  I had to undo and redo a lot.  But, like the Turtle that I am, I finally crossed the finish line!

My hubby asked me what I was going to do with The Accidental Dresden. My answer? I’m going to enjoy it!  🙂  He’s already wrapped himself up in it.  I think he’s adopted it until I get one finished for him.  He put in a request last week so I guess I should be thinking about what to do.  Hmmm…..

I now have just three tops that need quilted! On to the next project!