Dresden Plate Clock

What time is it?

I knocked my sewing room atomic clock off the wall the other day and damaged the display, so I decided I needed a new clock.  I searched Amazon, Etsy, and eBay for sewing-themed clocks and decor and found a lot of cute things, but nothing that spoke to me enough to buy.  In my search, I ran across a few pictures of a handmade clock using a vintage quilt block design called the Dresden Plate, and I fell in love with it.  The original purpose of a Dresden Plate quilt was to use the smallest fabric scraps so nothing went to waste, and this random piecework style seemed to suit my crafting and sewing style.

This is my version of the Dresden Plate clock.

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Traditional Dresden Plates have 16 petals, but my first Dresden Plate blades were made using a template I accidentally found online at The Crafty Quilter that yielded 12 blades per Dresden, perfect for clock making.  I chose a 12″ x 12″ x 1″ square artist’s canvas to mount my clock to, and found that a 5″ tall blade created a Dresden with a final diameter of 11-1/2″ including the center circle.

Here’s what you need to make your own:

  • A 12-blade Dresden Plate — quilted to a piece of coordinating fabric at least 14″ x 14″ or bigger so it wraps around the canvas frame to be secured in place on the back.
  • Batting — I used white fleece on this, since the fabric content really didn’t matter. The fleece was almost too bulky on the corners of the frame.
  • 12″ x 12″ artist’s stretched canvas — available in the crafts section at Walmart, or any crafting store like Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s, as well as Amazon
  • Clock works kit — the kit you choose is partially determined by the depth of your stretched canvas frame.  I bought the 3/4″ kit for the 1″ deep canvas.  Available at Michael’s or Amazon.
  • Staple gun
  • A tube of E6000 glue or a hot glue gun
  • One piece of shim or other long flat wood, at least 12″ long

After sewing the Dresden, I applied it to the background fabric with a running top stitch, and quilted the background fabric with a simple echo outline of the petals.  You can get as creative or simple as you want.  I centered and stretched the finished block on the canvas, and secured it using an electric staple gun, stapling it to the back of the canvas’s frame, much like you’d reupholster a chair.  Find the center of the Dresden Plate by putting a straight pin through it from the front, and mark that location on the back of the canvas.  Clip a small hole where you marked the pin, put the stem through the fabric from the back and on the front, assemble the hands on the front as directed in the clock works instructions.  Finish by hot gluing the back of the clock works to the shim so it is straight and won’t move, and secure the shim to the frame of the canvas with hot glue.  Be sure you don’t cover up the dial adjustment or battery case on the back with the shim.  My mounting was disappointingly askew on my first clock, but it will be better next time. Trim any excess fabric on the back, hang and enjoy!

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Sewing Room Makeover

I’m still fighting the winter blahs and have been creatively uninspired in my sewing room lately, so I decided to do something I’ve been wanting for myself for a while.

Several weeks ago, I moved my sewing room from the front of my family room, to the back.  It’s a slightly smaller space, so I did a lot of de-cluttering and organizing and am extremely happy with the outcome.  I also now have a nice sitting area in front of our lovely fireplace again in the front part of the room.

Sewing Room Makeover

The new space.  I’ve been asked about the tables — the table on the left is our old dining room table with the center leaf in place; the table in the center is two 4-cube bookshelves with an Ikea butcher block top, total cost about $150.  The wrought iron shelving is a $5 find at a garage sale.  The large 18 cube organizer is my fabric.

I’ve been wanting to make dust covers for my embroidery and sewing machines to help finish off the reorganizing. The fabric I wound up using was a hand-me-down from my friend, Anne, and worked out yardage-wise for some quick dust covers. Fitting a cover to the embroidery arm on the embroidery machine was a challenge, and I’m satisfied with the result.

I still don’t know what to do next, but I do feel like I got something done.  Hopefully, with Spring just around the corner, I’ll start feeling creative again.

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Hello Fireplace!  Maybe wine and a good book?