Oh, Happy Day: A Tutorial

March 4, 2013

Several people have asked me if I had a pattern for this quilt I made for the Dare to Dresden Blog Hop.

Short answer? I don't...However, I can explain what I did and have it be a tutorial of sorts. How does that sound?

Keep in mind, this was a "trial and error quilt." I took it apart and resewed it many times as I figured things out and new ideas came to mind. I had no plans when I made the dresden plates. I made them simply for fun. After I did, they "told" me what they wanted to be and the process began. Please ask if you  need me to clarify anything that is unclear. By the way, it might be a good idea to read this through to the end rather than treating it like a step-by-step tutorial.  I learned things as I went along that might make the whole process easier for you.

Let's give this a try!! 

I made the Dresden Plates following Happy Quilting's instruction for her Double Dresden Delight. I made my Dresden Plates different sizes, just for fun. Three are 12", one is 15" and one is 16". I can't tell you what size to cut your fan blades because I have no idea what I did.  Just remember that the closer you get to the narrow end of the template when cutting your pieces, the smaller your center circle will be, and conversely, the closer you get to the wide end of the template, the wider your outside circle will be.

For the center of the flowers, I traced around a dinner plate and cut out a circle of fabric that would completely cover the open center of the flowers. I always use water soluble glue to hold my fabric together for projects like this. 

 Tip: After applying the glue, iron it. It will dry the glue faster. If you want to remove a piece of fabric that you have glued down, simply spray it with some water to soften the glue. It will come right off.  

The background of my quilt is basically a Jelly-Roll-Race quilt. I used all 2 1/2" strips of various blue fabrics for the sky and various green fabrics for the grass, all from my scraps and stash. Sorry.  I realize this does not help with exact measurements or amounts of fabric, but it does give you a platform for creativity, fun, and stash reduction. My finished quilt measures 57" x 64", just give you an idea of size. 

I chose to have my sky area roughly 3/4 of the quilt and the grass 1/4 of the quilt. These proportions looked pleasing to me. Of course, you can do whatever you want. =) 

I made prairie points for grass using scraps and made them in various sizes using this method. It may be hard to tell from the next two pictures, but I took one strip of blue and one strip of green and sandwiched the prairie points between them. This made them easier to handle. I pinned the prairie points to the blue strip of fabric then placed the green strip of fabric, right sides together, on top and sewed the seam, catching the raw edges of the prairie points in that seam. You will be sewing over many thicknesses of fabric, so go slow and easy and use a new needle. When finished, press the green fabric away from the prairie points so they are "standing up" against the first blue sky strip.  Topstitching the green strip at the base of the prairie points helps them stand up.

Next I sewed the two large pieces of the quilt to either side of this prairie point strip (sky and flowers to the blue strip and grass to the green strip). In this picture, I have the flowers tacked down with glue to hold them in place until I sewed them on. As you may have guessed by now, washout fabric glue is my friend. 

In this picture you can see I added more prairie points to the field of grass. Here I did some "unsewing" as ideas popped into my head. I decided where I wanted the extra prairie points, "unsewed" part of the grass seams, tucked the prairie point grass in and sewed them back up. If you look closely, you can see I sewed these spots closed on top with matching thread. It was easier that way.  Note:  You could always make same extra prairie points and scatter them along the green strip seams as you assemble the "grass" area of the quilt.  This would reduce time spent using your seam ripper.

The stems are brown fabric cut on the bias so they would wave and bend. (Jumbo rick-rack would work for this as well.)  Again, I "unsewed" parts of grass seams and tucked the stems in. I wanted the effect of the flowers growing out of the ground from different depths. Glue holds my stems in place.  

 Tuck the top of the stems behind the flowers. Easy, huh??

You can see how I tucked one stem behind a flower. This was one of the many times when I had to use water to loosen the glue, arrange things how I wanted them and then reglue to hold it in place. Word to the wise: when using glue to baste the flowers to the blue background, you might want to leave a bit of space open at the bottom of each flower to insert the stem.

I made the leaves with the dresden ruler just like making a pointy dresden plate, but that left the sides of the leaves unfinished, so I simply folded each side under 1/4" and pressed them in place, as if making a patch pocket. I tucked the end under the stem and glued the leaf down. Of course, you could make your leaves any shape you want. I used the dresden ruler as my template because it was the theme of the blog hop. 

When everything was placed where I wanted it, I used a straight stitch and sewed each piece to the background. The stems and leaves are edgestitched and the flowers were stitched a bit away from the points, giving them more texture.  I used my Juki 98Q to assemble it, so it was all done with straight stitches. You could use the fancier stitches that your machine may have to applique the flowers, stems and leaves, or if you enjoy the hand work, you can hand appliqué. Whatever works for you is what is right. =) 

All that is left to do is add borders, make your quilt sandwich, and quilt as desired. I would love to see your finished projects, if you would be so kind as to share your photos with me on A Quilting Sheep's Flickr group page

❋ A hearty THANK YOU to Capi, for taking the time to proofread the tutorial for me and helping with clarifying the instructions. You can find Capi at her darling Etsy store, Chosen Sisters. ❋   

Oh, Happy Day! 

 photo 2015_sig_zpsfk5a9zt3.png


  1. OK, this is the most adorable quilt. I so totally love the prairie points in the grass and the double-tipped dresden blades. Thanks for sharing how you did it. :D

  2. Thanks for this tutorial! I love the flowers! :-)

  3. Love it! You make it look so easy, but I know it isn't!

  4. OH Amy...you have out done yourself!!! This is adorable. Great tutorial also...

  5. I love everything about this quilt. Great to see your creative process in action.

  6. Wow, Miss Amy!! So beautiful and such an amazing job you did! Thanks for a fabulous tutorial and all the hard work! ;) xo Heather

  7. This is really beautiful Amy! Thanks for sharing it! :)

  8. I feel like every time you show one of your quilts I say the same thing, "Cool! This is so awesome! I love it! You are just so creative!!!" And I mean it again. I do think this is so clever and I really like the added grass and the leaves that are Dresden shape :) Your tutorial is great too. This how I cook, so it is always hard for me to share recipes, because it is as I cook directions,.


  9. Amy this is beautiful. You should make a pattern and sell it on Etsy.
    blessings, jill
    ps. sorry about the change-a-roo with the blogs. Too many trolls or something.

  10. Cool! I love reading that other people use the same un-process that always makes me laugh at myself. Your things -like this quilt- always look so perfect!

  11. Excellent!! enjoyed the bright colors!! love your photos!...
    since we are SNOWED in and our little VW is stuck in the lane!!:)....answer....read my favorite blogs and quilt....!! have a good day! The Tulips Will Bloom soon!!!

  12. It is a wonderful quilt, it is so sweet of you to share specifics. I had never considered finishing the center of the dresdens this way, but it is oh, so cute!

  13. I love this!! I have a Dresden plate ruler someone gave me and I have never used it....maybe I will give it a try. Again, I love your choice of colors!!!


  14. I love it, unsewing and resewing and everything! Thanks for sharing your process.

  15. Thanks for showing the steps to make a quilt like yours! It came out beautiful :)

  16. Sew cute! Thanks for the tutorial. Love that toe ring in the picture of the 'grass'

  17. I love the quilt, it's beautiful!!

    Thanks for the tutorial - it's perfect for me...i understand it completely!!

    Jellyroll race pieces are co-ordinated with very like-coloured fabrics, so your blues all "fit" together as do your greens. That's where I might have a challenge, since I've never used a jellyroll. Hmmmm added challenge!!

    I really like what you did with the flower centers, instead of stitching around each flower petal center - to just sew a simple circle; it added the perfect flower stamen. I love it!!

    Prairie point grass is perfect too; in fact the whole quilt is a complete success!! Truly a creation!!!



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