How to make dresden plate quilts

Written by arin bodden
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How to make dresden plate quilts
The Dresden Plate is a traditional quilt pattern that has a modern, feminine look. (sewing image by pncphotos from Fotolia.com)

The Dresden Plate is a popular, easily recognisable quilt pattern known for its flowerlike pops of colour on a usually neutral background. It's a versatile pattern than can use scraps of many colours or a more controlled theme of colours and patterns, and it works well as both a bed quilt and a wall hanging. The blocks for the Dresden Plate use a combination of piecework and appliqué and come together quickly.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Fabric
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wash all your fabrics on a warm setting in your washer and dry on a high setting in your clothes dryer. Remove any excess threads with scissors. Iron all your fabrics to remove any wrinkles.

  2. 2

    Download a pattern for your Dresden Plate pieces. Each block contains a flowerlike shape consisting of 20 teardrop-shaped pieces, a centre circle, and a 17 x 17-inch block piece. Print and cut out the teardrop-shaped pattern piece.

  3. 3

    Cut out 20 teardrop-shaped pieces for each block. You can be very creative here, using all one colour for all your pieces, alternating colours so that the pieces contrast with each other, or using a variety of colours and patterns for each piece.

  4. 4

    Lay out your teardrop-shaped pieces on a hard, flat surface and organise them the way you want them to appear on your quilt block.

  5. 5

    Pin together two pieces that are side by side on their long edges with the right sides together. Sew with a straight seam and a ¼-inch seam allowance, stopping your seam ¼-inch away from the curved edge. Press open your sewn seam so it lies flat. Continue sewing your pieces together in this manner until all 20 pieces are sewn together and they look like a flower.

  6. 6

    Cut out the centre circle for your Dresden Plate quilt. Fold the circle in half on both the length and width, pressing in the creases with your fingers.

  7. 7

    Cut out a 17-inch by 17-inch square for your block piece. Fold this square in half on both the length and the width, pressing in the creases with your fingers.

  8. 8

    Unfold both the circle and the square pieces. Lay your square on a hard, flat surface. Place the circle in the middle of the square piece, lining up the lines on the circle with the lines on the square. This will ensure that the circle is placed in the direct centre of your block.

  9. 9

    Place your flower piece made of the teardrop pieces on the square so it lies over the circle. Line up the vertical and horizontal centre seams of the flower piece with the lines on the circle and the square pieces.

  10. 10

    Machine appliqué around the outer and inner edges of the flower piece with a small zigzag stitch to secure all the pieces into place.

  11. 11

    Trim the block to 16½ inches square when you are done appliquéing.

  12. 12

    Make as many blocks as you need for the size quilt or wall hanging that you want.

Tips and warnings

  • For a twin size quilt, you will need 35 blocks, arranged 5 blocks across and 7 down.
  • For a full/queen size quilt, you will need 42 blocks, arranged 6 blocks across and 7 down.
  • For a king size quilt, you will need 49 blocks, arranged 7 blocks across and 7 down.

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