Dream of making Dresden quilts? Dream come true ahead (+ fabric giveaway!)

Our friends Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson of Me and My Sister Designs have an exciting new book, and Martingale is proud to be the distributor. Get ready to make your Dresden dreams come true with The Double Wide Dresden Book!

So, what is a Double Wide Dresden? It’s a fast, fun, NEW way to make classic Dresden blocks. These Double-Wide Dresdens:

  • Are twice as fat a traditional Dresden wedges, so you need only 10 wedges (instead of the traditional 20)
  • Cut sewing time in half so you can create all the beauty with none of the fuss
  • Make it easy to cut wedges from strip sets
  • Skip hand-appliqued centers—instead, stars appear with no raw edges!

Make projects even easier with the companion Double Wide Dresden Ruler.

Get The Double Wide Dresden Ruler at Me and My Sister Designs’ website

Check out just a few of the delightful Dresden designs you can create:

Double Wide Dresden quilt
Start with the basics: the beginner Double Wide Dresden quilt.

Dresden Dragonfly quilt
Transform your Dresdens into dragonflies!

Dresden Gift Wrap quilt
Give a bounty of holiday gifts in a single quilt: the Gift Wrap quilt.

See more Dresdens—all double wide! >

We sent a little Q &A for Barb and Mary to answer—Barb obliged (and Mary’s here in spirit!). But before we start Q-ing and A-ing:

FABRIC GIVEAWAY! Barb and Mary sent us a fat-eighth bundle of their newest line with Moda Fabrics, called Confetti, so we could give it to one lucky winner! AND they included the book, the ruler, and some buttons to boot!



Find out how you can win this generous gift from the sisters at the end of this post.

Now, here’s Barb to dish about Dresdens and more!

Me and My Sister DesignsST!: You’re known for taking challenging quilt designs and transforming them into easy quilts that even beginners can conquer. What inspired the topic of Dresdens in your latest book?

Barb: We’ll that’s a story best told with “humble pie.” When Mary showed me the first Dresden block she was working on, I looked at it and very nicely said, “Ah, I don’t think anyone will go for it.” She put it aside for several months and started working on it in her personal stack of projects. She ended up taking it to a quilt retreat we attended with friends in the industry, and they all thought it was fantastic! She decided not to listen to me and that block turned into the Boxy Rectangle quilt.

Boxy Rectangle quilt
Boxy Rectangle

ST!: How does your Double Wide Dresden Ruler work with the patterns in The Double Wide Dresden Book?

Barb: The ruler works all by itself, and the flyer that comes with the ruler gives you all the basics. But the book, when used with the ruler, gives you all the tips and tricks. We’ll tell you exactly where to place the ruler on your fabrics for each of the projects so you can duplicate what we did. We tell you how much fabric you need. We’ve figured out the settings, measurements, and finishings to make your project even easier to complete.

Projects from The Double Wide Dresden Book

ST!: You’re the funniest, most lively sister team we know! Do you live near each other?

Barb: Thanks! Sadly, not anymore. Mary used to live about two miles from me when we started our business. A job change for her husband about four years ago moved her about eight hours away.

ST!: How do you divvy up your time—do you both design and make your quilts?

Barb: There has always been a kind of natural separation of the duties. Mary has always liked numbers and math, so she does all those related things. I usually answer all the emails and do the scheduling. We bounce design ideas off each other and divide the quiltmaking half and half. Though Mary always feels she makes more of the quilts.

ST!: Who writes the patterns?

Barb: Mary writes the patterns.

ST!: Who designs your lines of fabric for Moda?

Barb: I usually start the process and we go back and forth with photos and changes.

Who gets the Chinese take-out when you’ve got a tight deadline?

Barb: Mary! She’s the queen of take out. I’m not far behind, but several years ago I decided to cook at least three times a week and have stuck to that pretty well.

Dresden Beach Ball quilt
Beach Ball, Barb and Mary’s favorite quilt from the book, pairs both solids and prints.

ST!: What’s your favorite part of the quiltmaking process, and why?

Barb: I’ve always said that searching for and buying fabric for a new quilt is the best part! Sometimes a shop owner will ask, “What are you planning to do with this,” and my reply is “I just did what I planned.” I bought the fabric I loved, and that might be the only thing that ever happens with it.

ST!: What’s on your must-have or must-do list before you start a quilt?

Barb: The house needs to be straightened and a trip to the grocery store happens so that we have something to eat.  After that tunnel vision happens. All the cutting is done first. Neat piles of cut strips and rectangles are all ready to sew. Marathon sewing then starts!

ST!: What do you do when you get stuck, either with color choices, construction, or design?

Barb: I have to admit that I’m not the most patient person when it comes to mistakes. Rather than rip something out, I’ll usually just toss the mistake out and start again. That’s why I always purchase a bit more fabric than I need when shopping.

Dresden baby quilts
I Heart Baby

ST!: What’s the best quilting advice you’ve ever received?

Barb: Have fun! It’s not a race; enjoy what you love doing.

ST:! What’s your best tip for getting a quilt to the finish line?

Barb: That darned marathon sewing session works for me every time. I also make the binding after I complete a quilt top and before I send it to the quilter. That way when I get the quilt back, I’m ready to sew on the binding. It also helps me keep track of which quilts are being quilted.

Thanks for sharing your latest book with us, Barb (and Mary!).

To enter to win Barb and Mary’s fabulous prize, tell us:

How many rotary rulers do you own?

  • 1 to 5: So far I’ve kept to basic square and rectangle rulers.
  • 6 to 10: I like specialty rulers, they make cutting so much easier.
  • 11+: I have MANY rulers—and with them I’ve made MANY quilts!

Share your answer in the comments—we’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck!

Comments are closed for this post.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Julie, who says:

“Definitely 11+ and I think I’m happy to remain ignorant of the true total. What can I say? Those rulers multiply in the sewing room when the lights are out! Love Me & My Sister designs and fabrics – so fun!”

We’ll email you about your prize, Julie—congratulations!


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