Amy’s “B” for Bobby

This Dresden Plate Tie Quilt was made for Amy in honor of her husband Bobby. She wanted the center display to replicate a “B” for Bobby. It is a bed-sized quilt which she sleeps under every night. This was the third tie quilt I made using the Dresden Plate pattern that resembled a vine. It has been very popular and some folks have asked how I made it. So I thought I’d lay out the steps for anyone with a basic quilter’s knowledge.

How to Make a Tie Quilt

Keep in mind that this is just one way to do it. There are other ways to make a tie quilt, possibly better ones. I’m happy with this one.

  1. Open up all the ties you plan to use. Don’t open up the entire tie if you only need a few blades, as this is wasted work. For the tie above I used approximately two-thirds of each tie.
  2. Iron out all the wrinkles you can easily get rid of. Some are steamed in and will remain there. No problem. These imperfections add to the interest of the quilt.
  3. I always stabilize each tie, even though some may not need it. Better to err on the side of caution than to have a tie that is too flexible. My choice is Pellon EK-130 as it istabilizes the tie while remaining somewhat flexible rather than stiff as are many stabilizers. (Tip: Buy it only on sale. It’s expensive.)
  4. After you’ve decided on the size of your template, cut out all the pieces you will need. Expericed quilters know how to get that template from a software program or can make their own. (Tip: Since I applique my blades, I cut off the seam allowance on the pointed end of the template so that the blade isn’t too long. Check it within the block you are using.)
  5. The best part of making a any Dresden Plate quilt is choosing the colored ties that form each fan. This is where art and eye trumps skill. I select all the groupings at once, arranging them in piles so that I’m not left at the end with bad choices. Finally I sew each fan together, piling them up in groups ready to be glued to a backing block.