Dresden Plate Tutorial - Beginner Block Quilting Series

Uploaded by MissouriQuiltCo on 13.08.2009

Welcome to the Missouri Star Quilt Companyís beginner block series. Today, we have a really
special treat for you. Weíre going to do a tutorial on the Dresden Plate. This is a
new ruler, as seen here. And as seen here, itís called ìEasy Dresden,î by Darlene
Zimmerman ñ really a fun Dresden. Never in my life did I dream Iíd do a Dresden Plate,
but hereís the proof right here! This is a really fun block, so letís get started.
First, weíre going to use a charm pack because everything blends, as you know, and everything
goes together. This is a Hello Betty charm pack. It is a lot bigger than most charm packs.
The line of fabrics has 60 fabrics in it and so there are 60 squares in here. You need
20 blades to make a Dresden, and out of each 5-inch square you can make two blades, and
Iíll show you how. So follow me to the mat and weíll cut these charm squares into blades.
So we put our 5 inches ñ because the charm pack square is 5 inches tall ñ and we put
out ruler right on the 5 inch line and we cut around here. And weíre going to flip
our ruler and weíre going to do one more blade, so you can get two blades from one
square. And what you end up with is this right here.
So now we have this little Dresden Plate blade, and youíll need 20 of these. What youíre
going to do ñ and this is the magical part ñ youíre going to fold this over onto itself
and youíre going to stich straight across here. So what you end up with is this right
here. Now this is hand-stitched, but if you chain them together on the sewing machine,
Iím telling you, you can whip these out like crazy.
Then weíre going to flip this and ñ look at this little present! It makes its own casing
so thereís no turning under. Then what youíre going to do is attach these together. First,
we should press these.
So when you go to press these make sure that this seam is lined up in the middle. Put your
iron right down on top and press it. Press both of those. And then when you attach them
together youíre just going to line them up like this and sew your º-inch seam right
along here. What you end up with as youíre putting them together is this. So you see
how this is seamed right here at º inch, and it just lays over. You can press the entire
thing and you have a lovely Dresden Plate. So we need to add a couple more in here to
finish this, and I think weíll do that right now.
OK, here we are with our pieces right side together and weíre going to place this right
under the sewing machine. Weíre going to sew from top to bottom, so if thereís any
difference in height ñ which there should be very minimal, if any ñ will be at the
bottom. Alright, so weíre going to sew from this top Ω inch in, straight down. That gives
us one more Dresden on our blade, and we need 20, soÖ letís see. I believe we need one
more. And we have this lovely little pink one weíll pop in here. Line up your points,
sew º inch in, and then we will sew them together to complete the plate, making sure
that your right sides are facing each other. Weíll sew our last little seam and there
we go. And we have our complete Dresden Plate except
for the center circle, for which Iím going to show you some tricks right now.
OK, weíre going to press this nice and flat, and what Iíve done here is cut a 14-inch
square of muslin. You can actually use any square. This will become your block if youíre
making a quilt. And Iíve had a couple of other ideas of things to do. If youíre making
a long block you can put a stem on here, and wouldnít this make a darling flower for a
wall hanging? You could also put together a table runner, but right now weíre going
to concentrate on this middle square.
Inside this Dresden Plate pattern thereís a circle template for the center. Now this
is a copy of the circle template that I cut out of the cardboard on the back of the Hello
Betty pack. And so thatís really hand to make a little template for.
If by chance this didnít fit, you could make a template out of a measuring cup or a bowl,
as long as itís something bigger at whatever size you want your circle to be. So letís
make that circle. Come over here.
So for the center square weíll pick a charm square, and weíre going tio put our cardboard
template that we cut out on it. And weíre going to lightly trace a line around it. And
when we cut that out weíre going to cut it out just a bit bigger ñ a quarter of an inch
or three-eighths of an inch bigger. And so we cut all aroundÖ. There you go. Alright,
now weíve got to get a needle and thread.
Now weíre going to take our needle and thread, and it doesnít matter what color, because
basically what weíre doing is the same running stitch that youíd do if you were going to
make a yo-yo. So weíre going around our fabric, around our circle; just that in and out running
stitch thatís so familiar, because weíre going to gather it up.
OK, here we are, finishing up. Now what weíre going to do is weíre going to put this cardboard
in here. Just slide it in like this. Anytime you need a perfect circle for any type of
project or applique you are doing or anything, you can use anything that is round. Now just
pull that thread and do you see how it makes that just a perfectly round little square?
And now weíll just take this to the ironing board.
Here we are at the ironing board, and weíre just going to press this. Now, because thatís
cardboard we can just press the heck out of this thing. Make it a nice, flat circle and
then youíre just going to slide your cardboard out and you can lay that circle right on top
of your Dresden, and you have a perfect little center. Isnít that a nice little trick? You
can do that with, uh, I do it when I need to make little circles. I do it on quarters,
on nickels, on washers; they make all kinds of little things, but it needs to be something
you can heat with that iron. So just press that on there and then it makes just a nice
little circle in the center of your Dresden.
OK, so this is just a nice background square that weíre going to attach our Dresden plate
to, and to make it fit and accurate what I do is fold my fabric in half and then I fold
it in half again; and I just press this corner here so it makes a little ìxî in the middle,
which youíll be able to perfectly center your Dresden Plate on. So come over hereÖ
Now weíre going to center up this Dresden Plate. It gives you a good center spot. Weíll
put our circle on top and weíre just going to pin this down so that it stays intact so
we can stich it on. Youíre going to use an applique stitch for this, which is the same
type of stitch we use on the binding where you only see the little tip of it.
Because these all have their own facing on them, it makes perfect points and itís perfect
all the way around.
So we come up through the back and right out that fold. Do you see the fold right there?
We come right out that fold ñ and Iím using thread that you can see ñ and then you go
straight down and you come up about º inch later through the fold. And you will do that
all the way around. You donít have to be real careful or real accurate, especially
if youíre going to machine quilt on top of that.
So here we go, straight down, and come out right on that fold, right on that edge line.
Go straight down and come right out on that fold. Third timeís the charm, right? So youíll
do that all the way around and then youíll stitch it around here. And what you end up
with is a stitch pattern kind of like this. It doesnít have to be real tight and it doesnít
have to be real careful, but the results are quite impressive.
So thereís your little Dresden Plate!
Hereís an example of a finished Dresden Plate project. This is a table runner or wall hanging
with three Dresden Platyes on it. Each one has 20 blades and a center circle. Weíve
attached them by hand and then machine quilted over the whole thing to give it this finished,
elegant look. It really is a pretty project ñ perfect for a beginner or intermediate
sewer, and perfect for someone who likes to have hand things to do.
We hope youíve enjoyed this tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Happy Quilting!