Monday, August 15, 2011

Tutorial for Dresden Plate (without template or fancy ruler)

I must say first that I was inspired to make this quilt from the Material Obsession 2 book, but I've always been put off making it because we don't get the fancy rulers here in New Zealand so I worked out how to do it myself!!
Materials per flower:
Two fat quarters
16 charm squares (or 5" squares of fabric)
large fabric scrap for centre
needle, thread, pins and scissors
pearl cotton (if hand quilting)
batting 18.5" square
rotary cutter, ruler and mat
Here's how you cut the petals out. 
Cut a diagonal from the left corner to 1" in from bottom right corner.
At the top, measure 4" across and then cut a diagonal down
1" in as pictured. Making sense??

Fold the top edge of your wedge in half as pictured
and sew a quarter inch seam (by hand or machine)
Clip the corner off the seam of the point so it turns nicely
and turn right side out.

Sew the petals together with a 1/4 inch seam.
16 petals makes the circle!
Sorry about this poxy photo.
Next find a plate in your cupboard that is big enough to cover 
the centre of your dresden plate.
Lay it on the backing fabric (I use a thin piece of old sheet for this)
and draw around it.
Lay the backing fabric the and the centre fabric right sides together
and sew on your drawn line.
Trim 1/4 in from line. Cut a slit in the backing fabric
and turn the circle right sides out.
Press carefully. You should have a perfect circle.
Cut a 18.5" square from your fat quarter fabric
and pin your dresden plate on it.
I hand sewed mine down, but I guess you could machine it
if you were careful.

I've decided to make a quilt and to quilt it as I go
so I cut a piece of batting and backing and pinned it to the top
and hand quilted the centre of the circle and the outside edge
of the dresden plate.
But you could do this by machine as well.
I just think the quilt-as-you-go method
will mean prettier quilting for this lovely block.

I know that Cat has already made 12 of 24
(that's going to be an epic quilt)
but I'm going to make 9 blocks.

It's so pretty and I'm thrilled to have finally mastered it,
I do hope you can too.
Please do let me know if you make one
I'd love to see it!!


  1. Just like a sunflower! So pretty. I don't think I have enough patience for all the cutting and measuring! Can't wait to see yours finnished x

  2. thank you so much for this. I've been hanging out for days for you to put up the tutorial. It looks so helpful!

  3. thank you so much for this. I've been hanging out for days for you to put up the tutorial. It looks so helpful!

  4. I too loved the quilt in the material obsessions book and was put off by the 'advanced' rating and the need for a template - your easy to follow instructions and tutorial has all of a sudden made this 'advanced' quilt easy for me (so far .. .. ..)
    20 blocks made - 4 more to go - yup I'm making the queen size one and it is an AWESOME way to use up scraps!

  5. Great fabrics Deb and I love your no frills templates!

  6. That looks awesome!!! I had to laugh at the in NZ we don't have fancy rulers - we sound pretty backward!

  7. I have the "fancy" template/ruler and never used it....but now I think I am inspired and I am going to try it your way! I have never brought a jelly roll/layer cake what ever, but now I think I will because I love the scrappy look you created, gorgous. Thanks for the tute, happy quilting, Sue SA

  8. Brilliant! Such an ingenious way of doing this pretty block.Who needs those fancy rulers :)

  9. Really like this! Great fabric choices too. Well done.

  10. Brilliant! It looks so pretty, too!

  11. Thank you, Thank you for your tutorial! I've been wanting to make a Dresden plate for a while but I have no ruler or access to one. Your tute was perfect! I posted about it on my blog.
    Millions of thanks!

  12. Hello,
    I have searched many many sites for a Dresden tutorial. I want to make some dresden potholders. My problem is I want to choose how many little "petals or blades" are in each potholder. Most of them I see are 11, 12 or 16...Is there a formula for figuring out how many will form a circle...hope this makes sense.


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