Here is a brief trip through the process with lots and lots of pictures.........
In case this is the first time you are reading my blog...a little back history. My mom is a chocoholic! Big Time! For my entire young life my mom's breakfast consisted of a cup of tea and a Hershey's Chocolate Bar. I had to eat yucky cereal, but she reveled in her favorite food first thing in the morning, lol. Also, my mom's nickname since childhood is "Tootsie". Kind of appropriate, huh? Months and months ago I saw something that mentioned the movie "Breakfast At Tiffany's" and I thought to myself, "It ought to be Breakfast at Tootsie's and then it could be all about chocolate." And so, an idea was born.
For a month or two I searched ebay and every online fabric shop I frequent looking for "chocolate" fabric. My Dear Hubby took me to Lancaster, PA for a day and drove me from shop to shop as I purchased a few yards here, a few yards there. I knew what I wanted..."chocolate", but a tiny bit more sophisticated than a typical "kid" fabric. I also knew that I wanted to incorporate machine embroidery into the quilt. I went online to my favorite pattern shops and found just what I was looking for. Time to begin putting my ideas to the test.
I knew I wanted to make a Dresden quilt for mom, but I had one problem...I had never made a Dresden block before. So, I pulled out some scrap fabric and tackled my first Dresden.
I used my finished block to make a pillow...which I showed to mom. She LOVED it. First phase completed!
I began making Dresdens and while searching machine embroidery sites I came across the most perfect pattern...a woman munching on candy with the saying "Chocolate..It's not just for breakfast anymore!" It couldn't be more perfect.
I finally narrowed the fabric selections down to five different material Dresdens. I used three of the materials twice to make 8 Dresdens and the central square for the main embroidery. The plan was coming together!
I chose beige as the background fabric for the Dresdens. It would pick up the beige in the candy and also match the beige in the quilt I made my Dad last Christmas. Since they would be used in the same room I wanted them to coordinate a bit. I also found four smaller embroideries to use as cornerstones of the border.
I finally finished sewing together my eight Dresdens and even put quarter Dresdens around the central embroidery. It was just too "blah" without any other materials surrounding it.
I was pretty happy with the quilt so far, but it was "square" and I really wanted a rectangular quilt. I seemed to remember spotting a cupcake "border" embroidery pattern on one of the sites I frequented, and I was sure it would make an adorable border, if I could just FIND it. A bit of searching produced the pattern and I was one step closer to the quilt vision in my head.
The finished border added to the length...and to the charm. I was loving it more and more every day!
It was pretty obvious that the quilt needed a "darker" border to set off the lightness of the quilt and also showcase the individual desserts embroidered on the corners.
I machine quilted the blocks (amid some crises...which is a WHOLE other story!) and added a deep pink border for contrast.
The pink REALLY played well with the desserts!
When I looked at the back of the quilt, the center of each Dresden was blank...and BORING! Another quick search online and I found the perfect quilting for the center of each block!
The central block was still a bit blah...so I made a 1/2" binding strip and followed the outline of the quarter Dresdens....better...but now TOO pink! I went to JoAnn's looking for some type of "candy" trim to break up the pink. I know. I know. Just because I WANT "candy" trim doesn't mean they have it, lol! When I spotted this mini pompom trim my mouth began to water and visions of Malted Milk Balls filled my head. Mmmmmm.....YUM! PERFECT! Now I just had to sew it all on...by hand!
Much better, don't you think?
So here it is...FINISHED...in all of it's glory! I am so THRILLED with the way it turned out. This is without a doubt the hardest, most detailed and most themed quilt I have ever made...but I love every square inch of it. Are there "mistakes"? Sure, lots of them. But this quilt encompassed an awful lot of sewing and quilting "firsts" for me and I am thrilled with the progress I have made in the one year since I made my dad's quilt.
I even took a picture of the back...for posterity's sake.
All tied up and ready to wrap. I told my Dear Hubby that I should have named it "Blood, Sweat and Tears" instead of "Breakfast At Tootsie's". There is an awful lot of love, along with quite a bit of DNA (complements of my blood, sweat and tears), in this quilt and I am sure it will remain my favorite for many years to come.
I think we are going to need lots of Kleenex on Christmas morning...