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I have been asked to finish a quilt that was started by my customer's grandmother long ago.  She has given me partially finished Dresden Plate blocks - some consist of just the rays hand sewn together for the 'plates', on some of the blocks the outer edges of the rays have been turned under and machine sewn very close to the edge onto a square of background fabric.  These will have to be taken off the foundation blocks because of the poor condition of the foundation fabric.  My first thought is to use Heat N Bond and do a raw edge machine applique on new fabric, but I worry that this idea really takes away from the character of these very old blocks.  My customer can't afford hand applique, actually not many people in this world could pay me enough to do that!  Because of the way they are sewn, turning the edges under won't be easy or quick, though it would look better than raw edges.  I get myself into such a twist trying to do the right thing and still make a decent hourly rate!  Any suggestions?

 

Thanks,

 

Carol

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How would it work to use a fabric glue stick on the edges, turn them under (press) and then applique them on the background in the manner you chose?  Since some of them have already been machine stitched to the background, that could be done again without it being really different from the original work.  I really like the glue sticks to place things and hardly ever use and fusible bonding product.  This would keep things softer for the final quilting process as well.

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I'm not sure if this would work for you, but have you considered the Eleanor Burns style of applique? She puts two pieces of fabric, say your Dresden plate and muslin fabric, right sides together. Then she would stitch around the entire perimeter and cut a slit in the fabric that would be on the backside (the muslin) and then turn the whole unit right side out. Then she would stitch the piece down by machine (or hand) to a piece of background fabric. If you try it, maybe do a practice piece first and see if it is even feasible.

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Hi Carol,

The Eleanor Burns method works really slick, once you have turned the block to right side out ,fuse a fusible onto the back , I use lite steam a seam 2 or equivalent; then fuse blocks in place prior t o sewing in place. I would recommend a practice also but it is fast and easy once you get the hang of it. Good luck!

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