Month 2: College Nights for the Dresden Neighborhood Sew Along

The 9th day of the month really snuck up on me.  My goal for next month is to work harder on my time management.  I still have to add roofs, doors and windows to finish up my February neighborhood and I’m confident I can do just that before the month is over.  My plan for today and the next 10 months is to share a new source of inspiration for making a Dresden Neighborhood Quilt Block (or mini quilt … whatever you prefer) and to keep the fun going in the #DresdenNeighborhoodSAL. This months inspiration is fairly similar to the first month – Hometown Memories – but I’m really enjoying making special architectural buildings to fit in the wedges!

Today’s inspiration is – College Nights.  I went to the University of Madison, Wisconsin for civil engineering and I had a really great time at school. Madison is a beautiful town with some great architecture and some great memories for me as well.  I designed four special Dresden Wedge Templates that are just four examples of the architecture you can find as you walk through Madison.  I chose some special fabrics for my house wedges:

  • a margarita glass, I may have had a few beverages in college
  • the donut fabric – not much better than a late night donut
  • the cards – many games of Euchre were played through the years of school
  • books … all the studying I had to do
  • the umbrellas for one of the favorite things someone said to me.  On rainy days there are two kinds of students at UW Madison – those with umbrella’s and those that get poked in the eyes by umbrellas.

Some of the wedges were fabrics from other projects I’m currently working on.  One of my favorite thing about scrappy quilts is remembering the projects originally made with those fabrics. 

*this post contains affiliate links to online shops at no additional cost to you. The small amount of affiliate income I earn allows me to bring you free patterns and DIY tutorials, as well as pay for domain fees. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement and Advertising Policies page.Madison WIsconsin Capitol Building Dresden Plate

There is a double wide Dresden Wedge that represents one wing of the Wisconsin State Capitol building.

Triangle Market

Here is the double wide Dresden Wedge that represents Triangle Market on State Street.

The Red GymI think the Red Gym is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen … it had to be made into a double wide Dresden Wedge.

Camp Randall ArchwayAnd I couldn’t figure out how to make a wedge for Camp Randall Stadium so I went with the archway that you walk through to get to the stadium.

You can get your very own templates for these four special Madison Wisconsin Dresden Wedge Templates on my craftsy page HERE

Today I’ll show you some tips and tricks on how to fit these special wedges into your neighborhood.  I’m not going to show you the whole process step by step though … that’s what the pattern you purchased is for.  If you are confused with anything from your pattern though don’t hesitate to contact me with questions via email:  lapaceksorchard {at} gmail {dot} com… I’m happy to help!

Each special building wedge is equivalent to TWO standard Dresden wedges. For example: if you decide to use one building wedge you would only need 18 regular Dresden wedges for the houses. 

REMEMBER: 1 Double Wedge replaces 2 Regular Dresden Wedges

College Nights Dresden Neighborhood by Kim LapacekI used all four double Dresden wedges so I only made 12 standard Dresden wedge homes. My special buildings were all created using the Double Wide Dresden ruler as a template. I chose the mathematical fabric for the background on this block since I did A LOT of math as an engineering student (and I secretly loved it).  It just seemed to fit this months' theme.

Ruby Ruler by Wise Craft

I used Wise Craft Handmade’s new “Ruby Ruler” to help me check my values and adjust my houses accordingly.  This is a newly released product and you must head over to Blair’s site to find out more about it.College Nights Dresden Neighborhood

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

This template is going to be a combination of a double wedge and some raw edge applique.  The base of the structure is a solid wedge.  Capitol Building Dresden NeighborhoodCut the wedge 3.75” from the smaller end of the wedge for the Capitol base.  I chose to trace the outline of the two “main” structures onto  Heat N Bond Lite.  Capitol Building Dresden NeighborhoodI fused these to the same fabric cut for the wedge.  I chose a gold structure of the statue on the top of the Capitol building. 

Capitol Building Dresden Neighborhood

In my ‘Hometown Memories” neighborhood I chose to hand stitch all the little details but this time around I thought I’d use my Bernina.  I blanket stitched all the edges down to secure the pieces and the free motion quilted the details with Aurifil 2605.  It’s not perfect but I’m totally ok with that!  You can definitely still get the idea that it is the Capitol building.

Triangle Market

Once again – we’ll combine the double wedge and raw edge applique to create this triangle building.

Cut the wedge 6.5” from the smaller end of the double wedge.

 Dresden Neighborhood SALDresden Neighborhood SALDresden Neighborhood SAL

Next mark a point 4.75” up from the bottom of the double wedge on both edges.  Fold the wedge in half to find the center of the wide top.  Connect the dot drawn and the center point to create a point in the wedge.Dresden Neighborhood SALTrace the remaining details onto Heat N Bond Lite.  I marked each shape with the color fabric I wanted so I wouldn’t forget what was traced.

Triangle MarketI traced each piece onto Heat N Bond Lite which means each bit needed to be stitched down and secured in place.  I used Aurifil 2605 to do just that and add in some of the other small details.

Triangle Market Dresden PlateI still have to add the words “Triangle Market” to this building but I’m not sure if I’m going to do that with hand stitching or simply markers … I’ll keep you posted.

The Red Gym

The Red Gym DresdenNeighborhoodSALCut a double wide wedge that is 4.25” from the skinny base to the top. 

The Red Gym DresdenNeighborhoodSALThe outline of the top of the red gym was traced onto Heat N Bond Lite.

The Red Gym DresdenNeighborhoodSAL

I traced the outlines of all the little details onto Heat N Bond Ultrahold because they are so small I don’t want to have to stitch them down to secure them.

The Red Gym DresdenNeighborhoodSAL

When cutting all of those small pieces from the fabric you’re going to want a SHARP little scissors.  I used Karen Kay Buckley 6-Inch Perfect Scissors and it helped me cut flawlessly!

The Red Gym DresdenNeighborhoodSALAs I added the details I fused them down right away with the iron.  I didn’t want to take the chance of anything moving.  I also found that using a long tweezers that I typically use for removing lint and stuck threads from my sewing machine worked really well as my fingers were too big and clumsy.  The Red Gym DresdenNeighborhoodSAL

Once everything was fused, I used Aurifil 2692 (black) to stitch the line details onto the Red Gym.  Yes – this was a putzy building to make but the end results are so cool!

Camp Randall Arch

This piece is pretty simple.  A normal wedge, a little bit of raw edge applique, and some thread work and you’ll be ready!

Camp Randall Arch DresdenNeighborhoodSAL

Cut a double wide wedge that is 3.125” from the skinny base to the top.  Trace the roof details and arch onto Heat N Bond Lite.Camp Randall Arch DresdenNeighborhoodSAL

Fuse these details to create the arch.  Using Aurifil 4012, I free motion stitched the rest of the details onto the Camp Randall arch.  It still needs the words but again, I’m debating between using thread or marker to add these details.  What would you use?

DresdenNeighborhoodSALIt was time to step back and check out my second plate.  I think it looks great EXCEPT the Capitol Building and Camp Randall Arch blend into the background too much.  You can see that margarita fabric, donut fabric and light blue horse fabric also blend in a bit but I’m not worried about those.  Those house wedges still need roofs and that will help define them from the background.  But the specialty buildings are done … and you can’t see them.

Fabrico MarkersTime to pull out the markers!  Yup – I’m going to color my quilt.  I took a lecture from Pam Holland a few summers ago and she uses these Tushineko Fabrico markers in her quilts all the time.  DresdenNeighborhoodSALThey have two ends … one like a paint brush and one more like a marker.  It was just what I needed to add a little definition between the buildings and the “sky”. 

DresdenNeighborhoodSALI decided to do the outlines of at least the four special buildings.  I may add some more blue to the rest of the quilt once the roofs are added but I want to wait to see how it looks before I do it. 

And with that my second Dresden Neighborhood block for the #DresdenNeighborhoodSAL is revealed … not quite complete. I hope you found some inspiration in my post and give these dresdenSALspecial buildings a try.

Now it’s your turn!  Let’s see what you come up with for your first Dresden Neighborhood for the #DresdenNeighborhoodSAL!  Feel free to share photos in my facebook group “Quilt and Dream Along with Kim Lapacek”, post to instagram with the hashtag #DresdenNeighborhoodSAL and/or link up below!


  1. Wow. They look amazing. I live the detail.

  2. Loved your explanation and the tip about the value tool. I haven't bought your pattern (yet) as my dresden ruler hasn't arrived. My sewing room is so untidy if your pattern went in might never be found again. I am really looking forward to making a neighborhood.


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*some posts on this blog contain affiliate links to vendors such as Amazon - at no additional cost to you. The small amount of affiliate income I earn allows me to bring you free patterns and DIY tutorials, as well as pay for domain fees. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement and Advertising Policies page.