The Busy Bean

EZ Dresden Inspiration & A Giveaway

Since I finished a traditional Dresden quilt earlier this year, I knew that I wanted to go in a different direction with this challenge. Still a traditional block, I used the EZ Dresden ruler to create tumblers.

I’ve been wanting to play with a tumbler quilt for a while, and this was the perfect time. I cut 6″ strips of each of the fabrics in Violet Craft‘s Peacock Lane collection, which I’ve been hoarding since it came out, added in a few coordinating Kona solids, cut my wedges (or tumblers, depending on how they’re used) and started sewing them together in pairs.

Just make sure when you’re sewing your tumblers together that you offset the ends just a little. Basically, you want them to meet where your 1/4″ seam will be.

Here’s one more thing that might seem obvious, but I didn’t think of it at first… when you’re sewing your tumblers together, you want to have odd numbers. If you’ve got rows of four tumblers, they’re not going to meet up when you sew the rows together. If you have five tumblers, then you can sew the rows together and match up the wide ends with wide ends and short ends with short ends.

From there, I started making random groupings. I didn’t go in with a plan, I just started throwing sets together to get different shapes.

I squared up the edges.

And started sashing between the blocks with white.

I used the rest of the tumblers for the back, this time choosing to use grey around the outside. I wanted to keep the zig zag look of the tumbler blocks, so I made some tumblers from my background fabric and put those on the ends.

And that’s where the easy sailing of this quilt ended! After days of issues, I’ve got it almost done, I just need to finish the binding and take some pictures this afternoon. I will share it with you tomorrow.

For now, I’ve got an EZ Dresden ruler and some extra fat quarters of Peacock Lane to give away! If you’d like me to send them to you, leave a comment and tell me your worst quilting disaster. Just because it will make me feel better. Or tell me that I’m crazy and nobody else has quilting disasters… whatever you’re most comfortable with. I’ll pick a random winner – or maybe the person with the most horrifyingly sad story – and send them something to brighten their day. I’ll announce a winner this Friday, the 15th.

***giveaway is now closed. Thanks for entering.***

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog hop! Details and roundup posts are on

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90 Thoughts on “EZ Dresden Inspiration & A Giveaway

  1. Love your quilt! I’ve had a lot of disasters, but one of my most recent ones was a table runner that was a version of a nine-patch. I was checking the line-up of my seams consistently….or so I thought. When it was all pieced, I was so proud….until I noticed that one seam was off, and not by just a tiny bit. It’s in my unfinished pile. Just trying to decide if it’s worth taking apart or will I be the only one who ever notices it?

  2. I am a new quilter and have made one log cabin quilt in a class – so beside ripping out where I did not like by stitching I have not had disasters, but after reading the above ones I am sure to have some! thanks for the tips and love the dresden tumbler quilt you made!

  3. Well, I am the queen of the seam ripper. I once seam-ripped an entire quilt top because I wasn’t happy with the layout. And I still don’t have a design wall after all that!

    I also didn’t quilt at all for seven years. I think that might be the bigger tragedy/disaster.

  4. Yvonne on June 11, 2012 at 7:59 am said:

    Love the tumbler quilt – another idea for me to try. Thanks for a very generous giveaway.

  5. Yvonne on June 11, 2012 at 8:02 am said:

    Forgot to tell you,y biggest disaster… When I showed a finished quilt to a friend, she said “you know those colors do not go together at all”. No, I didn’t know that or else I would not have put so much time and effort into it!!!

  6. amorette on June 11, 2012 at 8:15 am said:

    you are not alone! mine was that i quilted my sandwich together, was all happy to have it done, used some expensive nice thread and was on track to make my deadline to donate it before i moved….then i flipped it over to realize the whole quilt was completely messed up on the backside. my tension had been wrong since the beginning, and since i was in a rush, i neglected to check it. ever. and this was not my first quilt! i have not had the heart to take out the stitches yet. and that was 6 months ago!

  7. Denise on June 11, 2012 at 8:47 am said:

    I was in a hurry to finish a lap quilt for a friend and didn’t realize that when I put the two halves of the top together one was upside down. I didn’t realize this until the top was quilted. My story, and I’m sticking to this, was that I meant to do that.

  8. I was doing some free motion quilting and having sew much fun that I forgot to check the underside periodically. When I finished the quilt, the backside had majorly puckered in about 25 places!!! I spent hours ripping and restitching! It was a nightmare! Now I constantly check out the backside as I go along 😉

  9. Kathie on June 11, 2012 at 9:12 am said:

    Im fairly new at quilting so not too many disasters yet besides hating the fabric I chose on one. The only other one was trying a simple table runner during a time I was pretty down. I kept trying to complete it but was every step I seemed to make an error. By the end of the quilt (it was a halloween fabric I loved and finished binding on Halloween) I ended up keeping what was intended as a gift, mistakes and all. You see I’m a perfectionist and this quilt became very special to me because it represents all the struggles I was going through and I made it, I finished :-)!

  10. Jill on June 11, 2012 at 9:36 am said:

    Colors. I am horrible at picking colors which so often make or break a quilt. Makes me sad.

  11. patty on June 11, 2012 at 10:08 am said:

    My worst quilting disaster was when I washed a yellow and blue queen quilt and blue fabric I dyed for the borders bled. I then had a blue and green tinged quilt! I ended up on my hands and knees to scrub that quilt to try and get some of the blue out of the yellow areas. It looked better but it never was bright yellow again. I had made this for a friend, but I never told her about the disaster.

  12. Colleen–I love how you did this. The use of white space is so great. So fun and bright!

  13. Bruinbr on June 11, 2012 at 11:05 am said:

    My worst quilting disaster was when I was chain piecing and thought everything was going well, but then when I was more than halfway through my pile, I finally noticed that my bottome stitches were coming out all wonky! A unknown tension issue made me best friends with my seam ripper for a good hour or so! Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. LeAnne L on June 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm said:

    I have quilting disasters every day, but the worst one was a queen size quilt that I ran short on the 10-year-old focus fabric. Thought I had enough but I was one strip short. Had to do some fancy reworking of the design on that one.

  15. jessie hansen on June 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm said:

    My 2nd quilt top isn’t actually done all in cotton, it’s more a master of all scraps in my pile quilt, so when I was folding it up to stash it so I can send it to my friend for quilting later, some of the blocks started falling apart! I don’t know what kind of fabric that was but it sure didn’t like straight stitches…

  16. usairdoll on June 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm said:

    I love how you designed your quilt! I’ve never made a tumbler quilt so I appreciate you mentioning your tips. I guess I should knock on wood as I really have not had a quilting disaster…yet. hehe. Of course I’ve sewed things upside down, backwards, sewed wrong pieces together but I’ve always caught it before I’ve gone too far. Believe me, I have a relationship with my seam ripper. hehe. Too bad you were not asking about other disasters in my life, I could name a few then. hehe.

    Thank you and SLMQG for a super giveaway and a chance to win.


  17. I’m not sure this is the worst quilting story, but it is one that came to mind when you asked this question:

    When I was young and pretty serious dating someone (who BTW lived out of town) I decided to make him a king size quilt as he had just bought a new home. Unfortunately, by the time I finished the quilt we broke up. I still gave him the quilt, but years later heard from him that he thought I intentially left pins in it. Evidently he and his new girlfriend rolled over and were stuck with pins. Sincerely, it wasn’t intentional, but made me glad I never cut that quilt up when we broke up!


  18. Rhianne on June 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm said:

    Huh that’s a tough one, I try to forget my disasters, but I think I would have to say the first time I tried to attach binding by machine with a decorative stitch. It was aweful and I ended up unpicking it all and starting over. Thanks.

  19. I have no idea how I did it, but the backing was turned wrong side out. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it until it was already quilted. The MAJOR error didn’t stop it from being cuddly. I now use it for the beach.

  20. my worse sewing disaster was when I was chain sewing my blocks and after sewing about 20 of them I realized that I did not change to a 1/4″ seam….yikes!!! I had to rip out all of those stitches and re-stitch…needless to say, I always check to make sure of the seam allowance before sewing….

  21. jmniffer on June 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm said:

    My worst sewing disaster was my second quilt. It was to be King sized (ambitious I know). After progressing though half a dozen steps on all the blocks things weren’t matching up as they should. I think it was an inaccurate 1/4″ seam. I figured I would “square up the blocks” only I didn’t really know what I was doing and used a long acrylic ruler, not an acrylic square. Big mistake. I made a poor block worse and all but gave up on quilting. I got over that and moved on to a new project. I’m so glad I did.

  22. Donna F on June 11, 2012 at 8:55 pm said:

    I haven’t had too many disasters yet besides sewing my shirt to a quilt. I think probably everyone has done that….right?

  23. Lisa Markham on June 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm said:

    Love the use of the ruler for tumblers and the variety of ways to use them. My worse story.. hmmmm… well, I’m working on a large lap quilt and have it all pieced and using flannel for batting for the first time and it is not quilting very well. The fabric keeps puckering on the underside and I’ve rippd out several lines of stitching and redone them but it still looks “loose” and not taught on the back. It’s frustrating but I’m going to conquer this quilt!

  24. Rachell Reilly on June 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm said:

    Thanks for a giveaway…I would love a ruler and those cute fabrics!
    My worst disaster was my second full quilt, my crib-sized for my second child. I got frustrated with my #1 regular foot, and not being able to see my stitches as I went, nor my 1/4″ line on my throat plate (it’s itsy bitsy). So I put in a different foot, one I’d never used before, with a huge open space. I worked the practically the whole sampler (12 blocks), with paper-piecing, templates and everything, and started measuring and squaring up, and every single block was very short–in exactly the same measures throughout each patch of each block! I took my machine in, the techs looked at it, the shop owner looked at it, then had the salesladies look at it–“Is this the foot you used the whole time?” “Yeah.” “That’s your problem…this is the buttonhole foot and it’s drawing in your fabric.” !!!! My hubbie let me buy a 1/4″ foot that day! Then I cut strips of background fabric, sewed them on two sides of each block, and trimmed to the required finished measures; then added the sashing. Nobody notices now ! Whew!

  25. I really really like what you made!! I’d love to win the ruler/fabric. I’m new to quilting, so I haven’t had a disaster yet 🙂 But I believe anything is “fixable”. If not, then it can be recycled 🙂 THanks for the chance to win.

  26. I made a Mariner’s Compass once. The first block came out like a Jewish Yamica cap! Seams. I kept trying and eventually figured it out but I did not rip out that awesome little cap. I still have it tacked to the wall as a decoration and a hoot.

    I would love to win a ruler! Dresdens are in my future. Thanks for your lovely tumbler.

  27. I really love the tumblers with the white sashing — so cute!

    I’m fairly new to quilting, so my disasters have been limited. I was making quilted placemats for my grandma for Christmas and I didn’t realize I’d nicked myself with my rotary cutter — and I bled all over the pretty white fabric! Thankfully, it washed out, but STILL!

  28. Bec Clarke on June 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm said:

    My worst quilting disaster was when I was trimming up the edges of a lap quilt I had just quilted and reliased that it was tucked up underneath itself and I had just cut into the middle of the quilt.
    I managed to fix it up with some stitching then an applique over the top but I was in tears before I figured out what to do.

  29. My worst quilting disaster was when I wrongly cut my favorite Domestic Bliss fabric for the Garden Steps QAL that I participated at Clover & Violet. I was really heart broken when I found that I end up with short of fabric… Anyway I feel greatful since I still have some Ruby fabric line with me and the colors are similar..and I make used of this to fix it. It is really a good lesson to learn – read instructions until you understand, before you do any cutting!

  30. I haven’t done more than a couple of quilts, but my worst disaster has to have been my first quilt. When I assembled my pieces the seams were not all quite 1/4″, but they held (and being it was my first quilt AND i was a rather new sewer to begin with I didn’t understand the consequences of this) so I kept plugging along. After the whole quilt was assembled and quilted I put it through the wash and about 25% of the seams split open. I was devastated. Fortunately I was able to sort of fix it up with ribbons and ricrac (it was a baby taggie quilt anyway) but still heartbreaking nonetheless.

  31. karen peachey on June 13, 2012 at 9:37 am said:

    love your take on the tumblers! I’ve only actually quilted 3 baby size quilts & a few table runners. And amazingly enough I’ve not had any big disasters!! I’m sure that will change when I put that big one on my machine, wish me luck!

  32. I love your idea to use the Dresden to make tumblers! Thanks! and thanks for the giveaway! One of my worst disasters was cutting the diagonal wrong on some sewn-together rectangles. I had to start over and recut – thankfully, I had enough fabric and realized the mistake before I made too many wrong!

  33. I have only recently started quilting this year. My first little quilt was completely ruined by the binding, I just did not get it right as I struggled with the corners. We live and learn.

  34. Michele T on June 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm said:

    Do I really have to tell everyone about something like this? When I first started quilting, not having a clue what I was doing, I made a small table topper block by block. It was a mess, nothing matched and it was mostly bunched up everywhere! I was only too happy that I used old fabric and fabric from old clothes… so it wasn’t a complete waste! Funny thing is I still have it (eek!).

  35. Hueisei on June 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm said:

    Very pretty quilt!
    Well, I think I’m made a lot of miscalculating on the seam. I always end up with a wrong measurement block.

  36. Nancysue on June 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm said:

    sewing my skirt to the quilt binding is so common with me, that I should quilt, wearing a light weight metal body armour 🙂

  37. Susan on June 17, 2012 at 8:32 am said:

    My worst quilting disaster was when I was making kaleidoscope blocks. I had fabric that had tiny lines to match up and I was SO careful. The pattern said to press seams open and join. Everytime I pressed my seams, the entire thing kind of bunched up instead of lying flat like before I pressed it. When I got the block together, I decided to steam it flat as it looked like a puffy thing. When I wet it and tried to press, it fell apart. I had used dissolvable thread in my bobbin!!!!!!!!! Thank goodness, I only made 2 blocks and not the whole quilt top. I had thought that the bobbin thread looked like a pigs tail-curly but thought that I had put that bobbin with the thread. NOT so!

  38. Linda Nedrow on June 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm said:

    My disaster was always helping someone else to do their quilting. Also I waited until I was 67 to start on one of my own. I now know that time lost is such a precious thing. Thank you for the chance to win your contest. Have a good week and happy quilting.

  39. Pingback: bits and bobbles | amherst thread tales

  40. christi on June 19, 2012 at 5:27 am said:

    well the first quilt i ever tried was to be a pinwheel. Looked easy enough cut out the pieces and then put together. i thought i was very careful when i measured and cut them out. so once the pieces were all cut out, i started to put together the indiviual blocks they looked good to me. so then when i started to piece the quilt together i found that out of 80 blocks i had two that matched in size. and when i cut the others down to the same measurement of those two i had lopsided blocks then. no matter what i tried they were just not going to work out. so i went ahead and put the lopsided quilt together just the top and have it hanging on the wall as a what not to do and a conversation piece. have gotten much better. thank you for my chance to win you awesome prize.

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