Friday, April 24, 2009

Easy Dresden "Tutorial"

I've been on a dresden plate kick lately and have had many questions about the block. It truly is easy so I thought I'd share a little "how to."

I use the EZ Quilting Easy Dresden lucite template by Darlene Zimmerman. Directions are enclosed on sizes of blades, size to cut fabric, and size to cut background fabric. (I saw it at JoAnns this week, on sale, and the newer version comes with a "pointy" tool)

Whatever size you want your blade is the size strip of fabric you cut. I'm using a 2 1/2" blade so I cut my fabric strip 2 1/2" wide.

The template is really well marked. Using your rotary cutter trim off the outer edge piece then cut along side the other edge. This will give you your first blade. Turn your template with the 2 1/2" mark to the bottom and the smaller edge to the top and cut again. You keep rotating your template in this manner until you have the desired number of blades.
Fold your blade right sides together aligning the top edge. Sew 1/4" seam. I chain piece when I'm doing my sewing and end up with a long string.

On the folded edge snip the corner at an angle. My top edge is rough looking because the charm pack I'm using was pinked instead of straight cut.

If you don't have a Purple Thang use a toothpick or bamboo skewer. The Purple Thang is inexpensive and the handiest tool I own. Flip the edge right side out and use your Purple Thang to help make a nice sharp point at the tip of the blade.

Carefully lay flat and iron from the back side. Turn over and iron the front side.

Now you have a nice sharp blade. About 20 blades for this size dresden plate. Honestly depending on your seam allowance accuracy you could have more or less blades in your plate. Once you have your blades made start sewing them together, gently pressing the seams in one direction.

The smaller the blades the fussier they are to work with so here's a 5" blade. I definitely recommend starting with a larger size blade.

With this size blade your background fabric would be cut about 14" square.

Now you have a neat back.

All you have to make is the circle. No template given for that. I trace a circle that is larger than the hole. Applique your dresden plate to your background, pinning well. Place your circle on top and applique it down. (The template instructions tell you what size to cut your background depending on the size blades you make.)
I hope the mystery is now taken out of the Dresden Plate block and you have fun making your own beautiful blocks. 7

Many years ago I made a dresden plate quilt. All Robyn Pandolph fabric when she was still designing for Moda. (I did not do the quilting.)

This is the first dresden plate quilt I ever made. Never having used it and only storing it I listed it in my Etsy shop when I first opened it. SOLD! I'm getting ready to make another dresden plate quilt just for me.
s
~Piecefully, Stephanie

54 comments:

karen said...

Perfect! Definitely a "must save for later"!

Ulla said...

You made it sound so easy!

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

I have an itty-bitty ruler - I didn't know that there was a bigger ruler - I must get it! It is a beautiful pattern for using odds and ends of scraps and the way the ends are all finished - very easy to applique down! Your pastel version was very lovely and I can see why you want to make another... to keep!
Cheers! Evelyn

szkornelia said...

I always wanted to try this but it seemed like something very difficult. Thaks for the nice and clear tutorial.

Stina said...

Thanks for showing.. and do you know what.. this ruler is just now on its way to me from America.. my friend bought it for me at a Joanns...:o)
Have plans to make tumblers from it too..:o)

Jackie said...

Wow, I just love the quilt! I have seen the method before, but I think your explanation is much clearer. Yes, the purple thang is a great tool to use. Thanks for the tutorial

rachel griffith said...

oh my heavens...
you make it look easier than i thought it would be.

thanks SO much for the tutorial.
and yayyy to selling your quilt.

pratima said...

Thank you sooo much for the wonderful tutorial. I just have to try it :o)

Niesz Vintage Home said...

Oh, You're good!
I love that quilt pattern and have a couple of vintage Dresden Plate blocks somewhere around here.

And your triple stacked plates look awesome on that cute black and white tote!

Kimberly :)

Purpleflowerpatch said...

Stephanie, that was brilliant!! I always wanted to see a dresden plate made. Thank you! I am going to let people know via my blog...

Linda said...

Well that's so much easier than a cardboard template. I adore the quilt you made and SOLD, oh my how could you have parted with it, it's just so pretty?

Carrie P. said...

Hey you just reminded me that I have one of those tools. Your first attempt at dresden plates is so beautiful. I don't think I would have given that one up.

karen said...

Make sure you check out my blog today!! ~KaHolly

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Your tutorial is very clear - it certainly is an effective block! Love your quilt that you sold - so very pretty, I am sure someone is getting a lot of enjoyment from it!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Thank you so much, Now I need to learn to applique!!

Sherri said...

This is a great tutorial, Stephanie! I actually have this tool, but no directions...so I've never used it! Maybe I'll buy a new one to get the block background sizes that correspond to the blade size...and then have a spare tool to give away! Also wondering about the purple thang...is it a tool you buy in a quilt shop?

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Beautiful first dresden - and you SOLD IT? Thanks for the tutorial - I must get a template.

Susan said...

Thanks for such a good visual, Stephanie. I now know what I need and that template is the thing. I've seen that Purple Thang too. Your first dresdan plate quilt is beautiful.

Nedra said...

Seeing the dresden plate done in black and white is my favorite. Thanks for the tutorial.

Jodi@SimplyThisThat n.. said...

Thanks so much Stephanie! ooxx`jodi

belinda said...

Well...uh..duh....I feel kind of stupid to admit this...BUT, I had NO idea that is how they were made. This is sooo totally NOT how I thought you went about it...I won't go into HOW I thought you did it...thus saving myself from everyone agreeing 'ye-ow stupid'!!!
Great Tut....soo do-able!!!

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Stephanie, thank you so much, love the tutorial. I can see why the quilt sold right off.
Keep Stitchen'
Bonnie

Annemariesquilt said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial, hmm this does not look to diffiquilt :-))
Your Dresdenquilt is so beautiful! Realy did you sell it?

Lynn said...

After reading your post I; #1 stopped by the big fabric store on way home from food store - no ruler - but saw some cutsie fabric on sale and bought it. #2 went to LQS no ruler - but saw some more cutsie fabric on sale and bought it. #3 bought ruler on ebay and did not buy anything else.

Kaaren said...

That's the exact same ruler I used for my Dresden Plate quilt. Excellent tutorial, Stephanie. They should include your 'how to' photos with the written instructions.

The quilt that you made and sold is awesome. So soft an feminine. Have you decided on the fabric for your next one?

Thanks for showing and sharing!

Candace said...

Great turorial Stephanie! Gosh - I love your first Dresden quilt - the colors are gorgeous and no wonder it sold right away!
Cheers!

creativedawn said...

You are welcome! This is a very good Dresden tutorial as well...good job!
hugz
Pam

Momoo said...

Thanks so much for all the great info. I've never seen a Purple Thang, but definitely will keep my eyes open for one.

Purple and Paisley said...

i had no idea this is how you do dresdens...wow...what a wonderful tutorial...very clear...add it to my to-do-list! thank you! ☺

Chookyblue...... said...

oh another thing on my to do list........your quilt looks lovely......

Suzie said...

Thanks for showing us how to use the ruler! I'm partial to using new rulers, they usually save a lot of time and the pieces look just fine. The purple thang is one of my favorite tools, too! Love the quilt you sold.

Karen said...

Thank you so much, Steph! It truly does look like something I could do! Can't wait to try it. Thanks again! Love the one u sold on ETSY...the colors r beautiful.

Beth said...

Thanks so much for posting this -- I had always thought Dresden plates were too difficult to try -- now I know I should just get started~

Messy Karen said...

next time a have an extra coupon i know what i will be bringing home. can't wait to try it out.

Eileen said...

What a neat tutorial.. I never even thought about how these were made before. Wonderful!

I have been loving your bags and things too. Just taking a short break from the gorgeous weather and thought I'd try and catch up a little bit. The cameo on the black and white back is perfect!

henny said...

thanks Stephanie...
I'll keep your tutorial, it seems so easy to followed :)
But, it's a pity, to find all those rulers, rolled cutter,etc is difficult here and if any...so.so very...expensive! Till now I still used scissor and straight simple ruler :(

Robin said...

It's great how you show both the back and the front so the final result is perfectly clear. Love those soothing colors at the end...

Simone de Klerk said...

Thank you for the turorial! Looks so easy, so once I find the ruler to make it, I shall really have a try!

Darlene said...

Awesome tutorial, Stephanie. Need to get that template at Joann's 0 thank you so much! Your RB quilt is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Very clear and to-the-point tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to do it. I've got the template and was planning to study the instructions. You've done the job for me ;-) I should start stiching as soon as a pick the fabrics from my stash.

Blogless Me

artycrafty said...

wonderful tutorial!
there is so much you can do with quilting! oh man! do I have alot to do now! lol

jody said...

steph, my e-mail isnt working. noticed you haven't blogged lately and hope you are ok! love the dresden and your tutorial actually makes me think i could do it!

V and Co. said...

oh i want that ruler! i think i'm going to try to find one online!!

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Dresden plates are really popular now. And so fun to make.

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

That I can handle! Thanks for sharing and taking the fear out of dresden plates :)

Anonymous said...

V. here...
Thanks so much for the Dresden Info. I appreciate every clue. V

Jantine said...

This is so clever, I have been wondering on how to make those neat sharp points, thank you very much!!!

*karendianne. said...

Fantastic tutorial. Can't wait to give it a go. :)

Karen said...

Thank you for the tutorial. Love the Dresden plate quilt that you made and sold. It is so soft & pretty looking.

*karendianne. said...

2nd visit on this post. I needed it today. Extremely helpful. Thank you for making this. It's a good tutorial. Back to the machine...

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BubzRugz said...

I have never done dresden plate and don't have the ruler but your tutorial was great and I have just made my first dresden plate....... thanks Hugz from Bubz

BubzRugz said...

Just to let you know I made my plate and have 'blogged' a picture with a link back to you for providing the tutorial...... thanks.... Hugz

mblittle5 said...

I was so inspired by your tutorial I made a scrap block last night! I've had the ruler for ages (picked up for a song at a quilter's "flea market"). I think I'll make a baby quilt for a friend's first grandbaby. This was really easy!