This is the first part of a four-part Quilt Along that includes a free downloadable pattern for this '57 Chevrolet art quilt and the free downloadable Dresden Daisies 82028 embroidery pattern from BERNINA. Finished size is approximately 16 inches by 25 inches.
I continue to create quilting projects and patterns that combine new quilting techniques with vintage designs. This project is no exception. A series of 57 Chevrolet cars were part of my high school life in the early 70s. These memories and the BERNINA 790 PLUS embroidery module inspired this art quilt.
Materials for the bottom and Dresden wheels
• Rotary belt, cutter and ruler
• Iron and ironing mat
• Sewing machine with 1/4 inch foot
• Embroidery hoop and embroidery foot
Creating a pattern
Like most creative projects, once inspiration strikes, it is necessary to continue the process. I do this with paper, pencil, and measuring tools to make decisions about techniques, scales, and steps to take. Sewing the background and making the embroidery will be covered in this article.
Art quilting background fabric is made from low-volume fabrics. Using a variety of background fabrics adds interest, depth and stability to the finished project. The applied car is sized to fit against the background.
Each fused applique piece is labeled on a draft pattern. Measurements are taken to size and position the embroidered wheels. The car applique design must be completed before the embroidery is placed on the background.
Creating a background
There is a small supply of fabrics on my shelves. This is why I keep every little piece of the projects. Red, black and white were selected for the appliqués and embroidery, suggesting vibrant whites and grays for the background.
Pulling more fabrics than the seven needed for the background allows for more flexibility in your design. After auditioning your choices, if some don't work well together, they can be saved for a future project. Selecting additional fabrics at the beginning allows you to move forward rather than backtracking for more choices.
Use the diagram above to cut out the background fabrics. Sew following the bulleted instructions. By pressing the seams open, it brightens the volume in later stages.
Note that there are no seams to match using this layout. This allows you to assemble it quickly and maintain the volume of the background piece.
Dresden Embroidered Wheels
Dresden blocks of all kinds continually find their way into my pattern creations. From the traditional 36 point block used in the Fancy bike And Penny Farthing Bike patterns on the rounded edge of the raw edge in the Whimsical wheelbarrow pattern on the fused edge wheels on the Whimsical Mini Bike to the split blade version on the Windmill in flowers pattern, if it is round and turns, the Dresden seems to fit.
1. Upload design, duplicate, reposition, resize and center
• Download the BERNINA software for free Dresden Daisies 82028 and transfer it to the embroidery function of your sewing machine.
• Open the pattern on your machine then copy and paste so that there are two identical patterns.
• Select the pasted design and reposition it to first flip it vertically, then flip it horizontally to create the top and bottom of the wheel.
• Reposition the upturned section to align with the top section, creating a complete Dresden wheel.
• Resize the entire unit to three inches.
• Central design in the work area.
2. Wheel placement and embroidery
• Mark the center point of each wheel on the prepared background fabric. The stitches should be five inches from the bottom of the fabric, approximately seven inches from each edge, and exactly eleven and a half inches apart.
• Insert the background fabric and stabilizer of your choice into the hoop, aligning the marked center of the wheel with the center of the hoop.
• Sew Dresden with the thread color of your choice. I used black for the entire design.
• Repeat the operation for the second wheel.
Careful preparation of the background fabric and precise placement of the Dresden wheel completes the first segment of the quilt. It's time to create the Chevrolet 57 applied.