Welcome blog hoppers! I hope you're enjoying the blog hop as much as I am. There have been so many tutorials that have had me thinking, Why didn't I come up with that?! and I didn't know the ruler could do that!
For my tutorial, I'm going to show you how to put together a staggered, strip-pieced dresden like my Color Cog mini quilt.
Since the EZ Dresden ruler requires 20 blades to make a full circle, and since there are 12 colors in the traditional color wheel, you'll need to omit two colors (four blades) to achieve a full circle. (I left out blue-purple and I combined yellow with yellow-orange.)
Start by cutting at least six strips that measure 1.5" x 5" for each color. This will yield two blades. You can have anywhere from two to six different fabrics. (I varied between four and six.) You'll also need a background piece that measures 3.5" x 5" for each color, so a total of 10 rectangles. I used Kona white. The image below shows only four colored strips, so just pretend there are six strips shown.
Layout your strips in an order that is pleasing to you.
Piece the strips together and press the seams open or to the side. I found that pressing them open helped since there are so many pieces in this mini quilt.
Next, take your EZ Dresden ruler and line up the top of the ruler with one end of your pieced strips near the left edge if you're right-handed or near the right edge if you're left-handed.
With your rotary cutter, make a cut on the side with the greater amount of fabric outside the ruler. Then cut on the other side.
Turn your ruler around and line up the opposite end of your pieced strips with the 5" mark on your ruler. Cut the remaining side and the bottom (narrow) edge.
You should now have two sizes of blades. Repeat the previous steps for all your colors. You should now have 20 blades, 10 of each size.
Now, take your smaller blade and your 3.5" x 5" background piece and lay them right sides together as shown below, off-setting about a half inch of the background fabric.
Stitch along the longer edge and press your seams open. Repeat with your nine remaining smaller blades.
Lay your ruler on your smaller blade, aligning the narrow end of the ruler with the smaller end of your pieced strip. The pieced strip and the ruler should match up pretty well end-to-end.
Cut on either sides of the background piece to get your 8" blade.
Take the leftover background piece from the previous step and place the wider edge along the narrow edge of your longer blade, right sides together.
Stitch in place and then press your seam open.
Place your ruler on top of your fabric, making sure to align them correctly. Trim the excess. Repeat with your nine remaining longer blades.
Now place the longer blade and the shorter blade side by side, matching the second to bottom colored fabric on the long blade with the second to top fabric on the short blade.
Lay all your blades side by side to create your dresden circle.
At this point, you have a couple options for piecing your dresden. If you want to use set-in seams (requiring you to piece the curve), separate your dresden circle into quadrants and piece each quadrant.
If you don't want to piece the curve, but you want a finished outer edge before appliqueing your dresden to another piece of fabric, you can either make traditional dresden plate points, or you can use Lee's fantastic idea and press the outer edge under before piecing the blades. (I wish I had thought of this!) I pieced my entire dresden, then turned and pressed the outer edge under, and appliqued it to my background fabric (Kona white). I also added another appliqued circle to cover the raw-edged circle of the dresden.
Once you've attached your dresden to your larger background fabric, you can baste it and quilt it however you like. I hand quilted around the perimeter of the cog design as well as in the center circle. Then I used white thread to free-motion quilt by machine in the background.
I also quilted in the ditch of each blade for a little more security.
Once everything is quilted the way you'd like it to be, attach your binding. I used a rainbow stripe from the Remix line from Robert Kaufman to reinforce the color wheel theme.
And there you have it. A finished color cog mini quilt.
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and that it's given you some more ideas of ways to use the EZ Dresden ruler. If you'd like a chance to win one of your own, leave a comment. I'll draw a winner on Wednesday, June 13.
Also, make sure to visit the other bloggers. You can see a list of the schedule here.