Month 6: Upcycled Fun for the Dresden Neighborhood Sew Along

Good morning everyone! I’m really excited to share with you the theme for the sixth month of the #DresdenNeighborhoodSAL! It’s been a fun one for me to work on this month.  I want to remind you all that the themes I post each month are just suggestions, ideas, or starting off point. If you don’t want to make a neighborhood with that specific theme –it’s ok!  Just make whatever neighborhood you want!

Don’t have the pattern yet?  Get it on Craftsy or Etsy!  OR ask your local quilt shop to order it from me!

photo by Karmen Lindner photography

I tended to dress my three girls in really fun clothes when they were little – one brand in particular was Matilda Jane. I liked it for many reasons – one, if I were to make clothes for them this is the kind of clothes I would make and secondly, it was was made with really nice fabric that I knew I could use to make quilts for the girls in the future. 

photo by Karmen Lindner Photography

I’ve been collecting it now for years and the girls have started to grow out of it so it was time to use some of it to make their quilts!Upcycled Fun Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacek featuring Matilda Jane Fabric

The theme for this months Dresden Neighborhood Sew Along is Upcycled Fun!

Matilda Jane Clothing

Now – if you don’t have a pile of adorable clothes your kids wore growing up to cut up and make into a neighborhood – there are plenty of other options!  Perhaps head to your local thrift shop and get old dress shirts to make into your houses?  Or if you have some of your favorite clothes that you want to use? 

KL002Let’s take a look at some of the fun details in my Upcycled Fun Dresden Neighborhood. 

Upcycled Fun Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacek featuring Matilda Jane Fabric

One of my favorite things about Matilda Jane clothing is all the fun details from ruffles, to lace, to fabulous buttons. I haven’t worked a lot with “non quilting” material but I got some great tips from Blair Stocker’s Book “Wise Craft Quilts” and I would highly recommend it if you want to really do more with unconventional fabrics.

I did a little experimenting to get the ruffles added to the roofs.

Upcycled Fun Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacek featuring Matilda Jane FabricThe first step was to cut the ribbon ruffle to the length of the roof.  Upcycled Fun Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacek featuring Matilda Jane FabricI only wanted half of the ruffle so I cut it lengthwise.  I put the bit where I wanted it and stitched the edge down before adding the roof fabric.Upcycled Fun Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacek featuring Matilda Jane Fabric

I fused the roof on and once it was there I used Aurifil thread to secure the house down.  Because of the bulky-ness of the fabrics and details added into this particular neighborhood I stitched all the roofs down as I created them instead of just doing all the final stitching at the end.  This kept everything secure and made things easier to keep track of.

Upcycled Fun Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacek featuring Matilda Jane Fabric

When cutting out the plates for the houses I had fun fussy cutting around the great details of Matilda Jane clothes.  This particular dress had ribbon with great sayings all around the skirt.  I, of course, had to add the “challenge yourself” saying to my neighborhood.

Upcycled Fun Dresden Neighborhood

I have plenty of fabric from the girls clothes so I plan to make three more of these special upcycled fun – one for each of the girls’ quilts.  six months of Dresden Neighborhood Quilts by Kim Lapacek

I can’t believe that we are already through the first six months of 2018!  I’m loving how unique each months neighborhood is!

Now it’s your turn!  Let’s see what you come up with for your  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! If you’re ok with me sharing your version of the Dresden Neighborhood please let me know!  I love to do round ups on the blog. 



affiliate ad: supplies that would be useful when joining in the Dresden Neighborhodd Sew Along


photo by Karmen Lindner Photography

    Summer Rocks - a June Off Season Project QUILTING Challenge

    Hello everyone and happy June!  Yes!  I know I’m late but you’ll still have more time than a normal Project QUILTING Challenge to work on this challenge!  You can join in as many or as few off season challenges as you’d like.  These are purely for fun and inspiration!

    How are the off season challenges different from a normal challenge?  The biggest differences are that you get a whole month (or almost a whole month) to complete the challenge and there are no prizes!  These challenges are here for inspiration and camaraderie (are you in the Challenge quilt group yet?)Summer Rocks Project QUILTING Challenge

    Summer Rocks!

    The June challenge is based off our libraries summer reading program – Reading Rocks! I don’t know about you but our family loves joining in on the summer reading program and the libraries around here do so much to make it fun.  This month – let’s make a quilt inspired by the theme Summer Rocks!  Feel free to interpret it however you’d like.

    Summer softballTHE RULES:
    1. Your project should be inspired by the theme “Summer Rocks!”
    2. Incomplete or unfinished does not qualify. Every challenge piece must be a FINISHED project seen through from INCEPTION to COMPLETION during the challenge timeline (June 4th, 2018 through June 30th, 2018). Each piece must stand alone as DONE to count toward prizes. 
    3. Please remember that these projects need to be created during the week of the challenge (started on or after June 4, finished by June 30)
    4. Your project does not need to be a traditional quilt, but must meet at least one of these requirements:summer rocks
    • Include patchwork.
    • Include appliqué.
    • Have 3 layers stitched together by hand or machine. 55
    5. Link up a blog post, instagram post, or public facebook post to the linky at the bottom of THIS PAGE by Thursday, May 31st at noon CDT. Alternately, you may email the picture and description to {lapaceksorchard at gmail dot com} with PROJECT QUILTING in the subject line by 11am on Saturday, June 30th. Yes - that deadline is one hour earlier because it requires more work for Kim (which she is FINE with).
    When you create your PQ entry's blog post or instagram, please include:
    • a description of your creative process,
    • the overall size of your project (it's so hard to tell in a picture!)
    • where you are (ie, I create in Lodi WI)

    If you decide to just directly upload your image to the link up party please email Kim {lapaceksorchard at gmail dot com} this information so she can share it with everyone else.

    Summer SUP

    • Please use the hashtag #pqOffSeason and/or #projectquilting when posting on social networking sites to help spread the word about this fabulous quilting challenge!
    • Share progress pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and your blog - seeing your process and how you get to the final project is part of the fun!
    • Make sure you like Project QUILTING on Facebook.
    • We have created a ‘Challenge Quilts’ Facebook Group for you to share your thoughts, questions, and friendship on PQ and other quilting challenges. Just ask to join.
    affiliate links

    In the Garden–a Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    I’ve been holding out posting this quilt for a bit now.  I had dreams of showing it at Quilt Festival but to be honest I have no idea how to get it in there and I think enough “peaks” have been shown already that if one of the requirements was it not being shown publicly first, it wouldn’t qualify.  So – today is the day that I’m revealing one of the coolest quilts I have made to this day.

    In The Garden a quilt by Kim Lapacek

    Introducing … “In the Garden”

    In the Garden a Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    I was also holding out for some decent pictures.  My first round of pictures were on an overcast day with a brown pre-spring background.  The photos today are on my deer fence with no editing necessary … the lighting was absolutely perfect!The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung

    I designed this quilt myself and it was inspired by the illustrations in the book “The Biggest Story” by Kevin DeYoung, Illustrated by Don Clark.  Illustrated by Don ClarkThis page in particular really caught my eye.  I love the saturated colors, the mixtures of shapes, and the whimsy in the design.

    In the Garden a Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    From this I just started to make blocks using gelato ombre fabrics with a print or two mixed in here and there. 

    large triangle blocks on In the Garden a Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    I created a large 8.5” x 11” triangle block and used ThermOWeb’s Stitch n Sew EZ Print Quilt Block Sheets to make these triangles accurately.  I chose the 8.5” x 11” size for an obvious reason – it was the largest sheet I could put in my printer. 

    appliqued circles on In the Garden a Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    After the triangles, I started to make strips of ombre circles.  ThermOWeb’s Heat N Bond lite was essential for the raw edge applique.  To cut my circles perfectly I used the OLFA Rotary Circle Cutter.  It worked like a charm!  Since I put the fusible on the strip before I cut out the circles I was left with the strips of fused fabric with perfect holes set in them.  Instead of throwing these strips away I put them over ombre strips creating a sort of raw edge reverse applique effect. 

    Mermaid Scales on In the Garden a Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    Color Girl Quilts asked me to edit and test her Mermaid Quilt Pattern.  As a mother of three girls, of course I love mermaids and said yes immediately!  Who am I kidding?  Even if I didn’t have three girls I would love mermaids … and fairies …  Anyway!  Back to the story.  I tested her pattern (which is great btw) and used her Classic Curves Ruler to make a few of the scales.  These blocks were a perfect addition to the quilt. I surrounded them by some Scrappy Trip Along blocks and of course a bit of improv blocks as well.

    original block in In the Garden a Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    When you make the curve blocks using the Classic Curves Ruler you have some fun left over orange peel blocks.  Of course I couldn’t throw those away so I created a fun new block using some of the orange peels.  I put two of these into my quilt.

    tri recs triangles and houses on In the Garden a Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    I also made some smaller scaled triangle blocks using the Tri-Recs ruler.  I do have a love of houses too so I had to throw a few houses into the quilt.  There is so much happening in this quilt that you have to stare at it awhile to take it all in.  In the Garden a Quilt by Kim LapacekIt’s classic “Kim” busy and I knew I needed the right quilter to quilt it for me. I love Frank Palmer’s quilting style so I sent “In the Garden” up to him in Duluth, MN, to work his magic. I gave him no instructions other than “Do what you want.”  He let the quilt talk to him and it told him what to do and it is absolutely perfect!  The random linear quilting is simple yet interesting.  It’s not too much and really helps sort of settle the quilt.  I could not be happier!

    I just finished adding the hanging sleeve and label to this quilt.  It’s heading up to Minnesota for the 2018 Annual Show on June 14th – 16th in St. Cloud, MN.  I won’t be able to attend the show so if you happen to see it hanging I would love it if you could send me pictures!

    In the Garden a Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    Well – there she is.  My baby is officially out in this world. I  would love to hear what you think!  I guess good or bad, but if you don’t like it try to say it in a kind way Winking smile

    In the Garden a Quilt by Kim LapacekIn the Garden a Quilt by Kim LapacekIn the Garden a Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    Bean Bag Jungle–A Quilt for Blend Fabrics

    Morning everyone!  I was sewing a secret project for most of the month of April – a quilt for Blend Fabrics to use in their booth at Quilt MarketfunanimalsThe quilt features the fabric Funanimals by Maude Asbury and I the design was inspired by the pattern in the Bean Bag Fabric.

    Bean Bag Jungle Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    I used Color Girl Quilts Classic Curves Ruler to create the quarter circles in my quilt.  I know I’ve said this before but I used to HATE sewing curves.  I used to say I would never do it ever again.  Well, that turned out to not be true once I gave the Classic Curves Ruler a try. I think the fact that the ruler helps me to cut and prepare my curves so accurately the sewing just goes together so much more smoothly. 

    Bean Bag Quilt Applique animals by Kim Lapacek

    I mixed a combination of the curved blocks and some fun appliqued animals made easy with the use of ThermoWeb Heat N Bond Lite.  I’m not sure which animal I like the best!  Do you have a favorite?  You can can check out the entire creative process on ThermOWeb’s blog HERE

    Bean Bag Jungle Quilt by Kim Lapacek

    The incredible quilting on this piece was done by Kim Van Etten.

    If you love this quilt and want to make it yourself – no worries!  A pattern is coming soon!

    Unscripted in Mint–Finally … A Modern Mini Quilt

    Finally … I focused long enough this month and actually finished something!  I’ve had such a hard time focusing this month.  I knew I wanted to participate in the Modern Mini Quilt Challenge but I didn’t know that I’d actually be able to sit down and finish anything the way I’ve had a hard time accomplishing anything lately!  Unscripted in Mint by Kim lapacekBut I did it!  I created a Modern Mini Quilt for the Quilt Expos Challenge and I’m thrilled!  I used the cherrywood fabric bits left over from past Friendship Pineapples I’ve created.  Simply by matching 1” strips that were the same length together and starting to sew my quilt “Unscripted in Mint” began.  Unscripted in Mint by Kim lapacekI had chosen a solid mint as my main background fabric when I began and I made sure to incorporate that into the other 1” strip piecing.  I also sewed some slight curves into the pieces as I went.  I used my walking foot and some fancy machine stitches to do the quilting on this piece.  I love using my walking foot to quilt. It always just seems to come out nicely. Unscripted in Mint by Kim lapacek Another little trick of mine is that I purposely add slight curves into my line quilting.  As long as I don’t try to be perfect it looks like everything is just the way it’s meant to be.  Of course I used Aurifil thread for the quilting – Aurifil 50 wt, 2835. 

    This final piece measures at 18” x 20” and I’d love if you could visit it on facebook and let folks know what you think of it!  Also be sure to check out the other entries – they’re incredible and you may even recognize a few inspired by my Dresden Neighborhood pattern!

    I think I’m going to create a series of “Unscripted” quilts … starting with one for the newest Curated Quilts Challenge.


    affiliate ads

    Here are a few books that I reference when working on modern challenges.

    Here’s a few great classes on how to use your walking foot for quilting!

    Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot - $24.99

    from: Craftsy

    Next Steps With Your Walking Foot - $19.99

    Retail Price: $40.00
    You Save: $20.01
    from: Craftsy

    Month 5: Architectural Elements for the Dresden Neighborhood Sew Along

    Hello everyone!  Are you all excited to see what the theme is for the fifth month of the #DresdenNeighborhoodSAL?  I’m excited that I actually have my entire neighborhood put together in time for this post!  (I did finish April, btw – see it here). I have quite a collection of different fabrics.  I often get asked how I decide what to buy and typically my answer is that the fabric tells me to buy it.  Architectural Element Dresden Neighborhood by Kim LapacekI have been on the lookout for fabrics that look like materials houses could be made of for awhile now and finally my collection is large enough that I could make an entire Dresden Neighborhood out of them!

    In fact – I have collected enough special fabrics that I’ve been able to even put together pre-cut Dresden Neighborhood House kits that include architecturally inspired fabrics in varying scales, colors, and textures.  Not all the kits are exactly the same but they do all include 20 architecturally inspired prints.  Stripes Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacek

    You can use these 20 fabrics to either make one Dresden Neighborhood or use one (stripes neighborhood) or two or Prism Dresden Neighborhood by Kim Lapacekeven three (prism neighborhood) realistic prints to add an unexpected element to the typically whimsical Dresden Neighborhood.

    Now it’s your turn!  Let’s see what you come up with for your  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!


    Affiliate Ad: Supplies that would be usefully when joining in the Dresden Neighborhood Sew Along

    Craftsy Unlimited FREE 7 day trial at
    *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.