Friday, May 9, 2014

:: How to make mini-dresden framed art

I have a particular fondness for mini-Dresdens.  They are vintage (which I adore!) - absolutely perfect in their cuteness - a great way to use up those small fabric scraps - adorable when made into potholders -
and even cuter when put in a frame with a special word or message embroidered onto the background.
I've made a handful of them at this point - and I plan on making many more.  My oldest daughter is already asking when I'll make one to hang in a frame in their bedroom.  I made this one for myself, as a reminder of the amazing redemption story that came out getting scammed when I tried to buy a new sewing machine.
They are fast, fun - and highly addictive.  So, consider yourself warned.  =)

That being said, here's a quick run-down of how I make them.

You will need:
- EZ Dresden Ruler (or other type) and rotary cutter/mat
- (20) small 2.5" scraps,
- center circle fabric
- background fabric 12" x 15"
- cotton batting 12" x 15"
- picture frame 11" x 14" (including mat for 8"x10" picture)

1. I used my  EZ Dresden Ruler (by Darlene Zimmerman) to cut out (20) 2.5" blades from my scrap bin.   
2.  Sew your 20 blades together and press seams in one direction.
(if you aren't familiar with how to do this, there are many on-line tutorials).

3.  Print out (on paper) whatever word/phrase you want to embroider, in desired size and font.

4.  Figure out placement of Dresden and words.
- Lay your picture mat on top of your background fabric (so you can see where to place Dresden and words).  Place Dresden on your background fabric wherever desired, and use 4 pins to tack in place.  (I do mine slightly off-center - towards the lower right edge). 
- Place your printed words underneath your background fabric where desired, and trace onto your fabric, using a fabric pen.

5.  Now lay your batting piece underneath your background fabric, and pin or spray baste layers.

6.  Pin Dresden more securely, and stitch in place.
(I like to do a double-stitch.  Sew around very edge, and then 1/4" inside first stitching line)
5.  Make your center circle, and stitch in place.  (I follow this tutorial - it's fast, easy and works perfectly.  Best way ever!)
I used a cup or other round object from my house to draw a circle in the size I wanted. 
Note: you could also do a raw-edge circle, since it won't have much wear in a picture frame.

6.  Quilt (or don't)

7. Embroider word/phrase. (I use a double-strand of DMC floss - but whatever is fine!)

--(Note, if you want to wash it and get a crinkled look, zig-zag around raw edges and wash/dry now.)

8. Trim to desired size (11x14"), zig-zag raw edges, and frame!

And there you go!!!

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