Monday, December 23, 2013

Dresden Picket Fence

As promised, here's a quick how-to for my Dresden project. I'm calling it Dresden Picket Fence.
Finished size will be about 52" x 72", after trimming the uneven sides. My top is still on my design wall today.

Tutorial copyright 2013 by The Colorful Fabriholic; please do not pin without attribution.

Dresden Picket Fence top
Skill level: Experienced.
Fabric requirements:
 - Background, 2 yards (plus 1/2 yard for binding if you want to bind in same color)
 - Colors: I used 34 different fabrics, one 3-1/2" WOF strip of each, or pieces cut from FQ. You can get 5 cut pieces from one WOF strip. So you'll need 1/8 yard of each fabric times 34 fabrics, or a total of 4-1/4 yards.
I used 11 teals, 10 greens, 10 oranges, and 3 yellows. (I used a few more but they didn't make the final layout, too dark or too pale.)
 - Colors: This is the tool I used, about $5 with coupon at JoAnn's.  From each 3-1/2" WOF Strip, cut 5 of these pieces.
Easy Dresden Tool
 - Background: Cut five (5) 9" WOF strips and cut three (3) 4-1/5" strips.
1. Fold each colored piece in half lengthwise right sides together and stitch across the wide end, 1/4" seam allowance. Trim seam allowance at point and turn right side out and press. Press 1/4" seam allowance at the tail end to the wrong side.
Dresden Pieces
2. Arrange colors on design wall in 5 rows of 34 pieces each row, alternating points up and down.
3. Join Dresden pieces with 1/4" seams, overlapping and pinning so that finished edges exactly match at the seam line. Photo shows overlap at point end of yellow piece at left and tail end of yellow piece at right. Press seams open.
Overlap 1/4" seam allowance at top and bottom
Here are some of the sewn rows on the design wall. The rows are numbered so I can keep the color placement as planned when I take the strips down to applique them to the background. 
Dresden rows
4. Prepare background: Trim selvages off all WOF strips of background fabric. Cut one of the 9" strips into quarters and join one quarter to the end of each remaining WOF strip. My strips ended up about 53" long. Do the same with the 4-1/2" WOF strips.
5. Prep for applique:
 a) Mark a line 1-1/2" from each long edge of the 9" background strips and one long edge of the 4-1/2" strips. For marking, I stitched a line of basting, using water soluble thread in the bobbin for easy removal later.
 b) Measure the distance between your Dresden points; it should be about 3-1/8".
 c) Starting with a center background strip, mark at the line for the Dresden points. Mark the other side with the points centered in the gaps (aligned halfway between the points on the other side).
Marking placement for points
 d) Pin the Dresden points as marked, then mark the next 9" background strips accordingly.
Pinned points
e) Continue marking and pinning, finishing with the 4-1/2" strips at the ends.
Pinned for applique
6. Applique the points in place.
7. Trim away the fabrics behind the points, leaving 1/4" seam allowance. This will allow the batting to nicely fill in the Dresden pieces, preventing flat-looking points. Remove basting or markings.
Trimmed seam allowances at points
8. Square up and trim sides of top.
9. Layer, baste, and quilt as desired.

If you like this concept and you make a Dresden Picket Fence quilt, I'd love to see pictures of yours!

Linking up today with Judy at Patchwork Times. Check out what everyone else has on their design walls for inspiration!

Merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. Very cool! Lots of work to great effect. Congrats!

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