How to Use Vintage Blocks // Vintage Quilt Sunday

amber's vintage dresden quilt
I have been waiting for a few months to share my sister-in-law Amber’s beautiful quilt as part of Vintage Quilt Sunday. I have seen process shots along the way, but haven’t seen the finished quilt yet! I love how she made this quilt out of vintage dresden plates she bought on eBay, and then made it her own. I wish we lived close enough to sew together more often, but I’m grateful she shared this post with all of us. Enjoy!
I have been working on this quilt for a few years now. I started collecting bits of feedsack fabric on ebay, and I also bought some reproductions when I saw ones I loved. I found a bunch of dresden plates on ebay made from feedsack cloth–off course I had to have them. I paid too much for them but they are so pretty.

The Dresden plates I bought on ebay were pieced so I just had to applique them onto a background fabric. Applique is not my favorite thing. My mom showed me a great technique for appliqueing curves which made it a little more bearable. I used spray baste to temporarily adhere the right side of each Dresden plate onto Pellon. A quarter inch from the edge, I sewed a straight stitch around the inner and outer edges. I clipped the curves and cut the back of the Pellon so I could turn the Dresden plate right side out.

I cut the background (that I appliqued the plates onto)  an inch or two bigger than the finished size will be. The squares are folded diagonally in half, ironed, and then folded in half again and ironed.This gives you creases so you can easily center the Dresden plate and pin it on in preparation for appliqueing it on.

The finished product.

I used a modified nine patch in every other position to give it an Irish chain effect.

I decided that since I spent a lot of time appliqueing the Dresden plates, I might as well make an intricate border.

Since I had already spent so much time making the top, I figured I might as well hand quilt it. The batting I used was Quilter’s Dream. It really is fantastic; my stitches have never been smaller.  

I quilted a simple quarter inch around the Dresden plates and a quirky flower pattern around the large squares.

When it came time to piece the  back, I wanted to keep it traditional so my mom taught me how to match up the pattern.

It looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.


Thank you, Amber, for sharing your beautiful quilt, and also how you used the pretty vintage dresden plates!

Vintage Quilt Sunday Posts#1: Tricia’s Joseph’s Coat Quilt shared by Tricia Martin
#2 Heirloom Quilt shared by Katie Bowlby from Katie’s Korner
#3 Great Grandmother Diantha’s Quilt (shared by me)
#4 Log Cabin Quilt from Rebecca Verna Birchell shared by Heather Ashby
#5 A Family Quilt Auction in Kentucky shared by Joni Morgan from Sunday Farming Quilter
#6 Irish Chain shared by Marti Dyer-Allison from 52 Quilts
#7 “Crazy Quilt” from Cathy Winer
#8 “Picnic Quilt” from Jennifer Barnes
#9 Cathedral Window Quilt from Robin Fonville
#10 Double Wedding Ring Quilt from Kacey Platky from Little House in Vine Crest Woods
#11 Today: Amber’s Vintage Dresden Quilt
Upcoming Features
March 1: Honeybee Quilt from Linda Fasules of I Finally Have Time
Follow on Bloglovin
Interested in Sharing a Vintage Quilt?

Vintage Quilt Pinterest Board

I am looking for quilts that are beautiful, quilts that have great stories, quilts that are funky or fun, quilts that are unique, quilts that were made by your great great grandmother–basically, great vintage quilts. I will be posting on Sundays, and once a month I plan to post a block tutorial based on one of the vintage quilts featured here.

Swim Bike Quilt


This entry was posted in Vintage Quilts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Martha
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Beautiful!!!!! Love this quilt:) the hand quilting is so pretty!

  2. Yvonne
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    A really beautiful quilt, well done on finishing it off as good as you have done. Love the border.

  3. Posted February 23, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I love everything about this quilt! The hand work, hand quilting and border is awesome. Thanks for sharing this amazing project.

  4. jenni
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Wow! That is amazing. I wish I lived closer to my sisters that quilt too!

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted March 1, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      I think I wish i lived closer to my sisters every day. I was lucky to live by one for a few years. I was so sad when she moved! It’s nice having cousins an hour away… just wish it was a minute away! But an hour is about 2000 miles closer than anyone else.

  5. Posted February 23, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful blocks and beautiful quilting!

  6. Amy Verne
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    This is a very special quilt.

  7. Posted February 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Love it! Thanks for posting this! Those Dresden plates are adorable, and I love the border! Amazing! (Amber is awesome!)

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted March 1, 2014 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      I feel so lucky to be related to the maker of this quilt! It makes me want to make an heirloom quilt… someday!

  8. Tricia
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Amber’s quilt is inspiring and shows an amazing amount of dedication and detail. The size is intimidating to me as a quilter as it shows me the hours upon hours she spent insuring it’s perfection. I truly can say this is one of my favorite quilts of all time.

    • Katie Blakesley
      Posted March 1, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it, though? It makes me want to make an heirloom quilt. She said thanks, by the way :)

Leave a Reply

  • visit my pattern shop2
  • new_sign up for my newsletter
  • katieblakesley300
  • VintageQuiltRevival
  • Summer Sampler Anthology snapshot
  • Follow
  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • More Swim, Bike, Quilt Posts

  • Swim, Bike, Quilt Archives