Friday, April 26, 2013

Giant Scrappy Dresden Plate Block and Tutorial

Whilst awaiting the arrival of a backing fabric for my current work in progress I decided to whip up (what I thought would be a quick project) a Dresden Plate block.  I have never made a Dresden Plate block and my only wedge ruler has been sitting idle since 2008, although on several occasions I have read the instructions but have always promptly resumed my usual sewing schedule.

I have used a 9 degree Circle Wedge Ruler by Marilyn Doheny to make my Giant Dresden Plate Block (the two pieces on the left lock together to make a 15.5" wedge, measured from top to bottom through the center).  I have seen quilts made with this wedge ruler with amazing spiraling circles and dazzling movement - which prompted the purchase of this ruler - but I decided that perhaps I should start at the beginning with a very simple pieced circle.   

tutorial

You can use any Wedge or Dresden Plate ruler and apply the following instructions.  The wider the wedge the less wedges you will need to make.  My wedge ruler is a 9 degree wedge and therefore a total of 40 wedges are required to make a full circle.  A 10 degree wedge ruler will require 36 wedges to make a full circle, etc.
  1. Sew 8 strips together measuring 2.5 inches x 4 inches (or strips to suit the size of your wedge/ruler). Press all seams in the one direction.  To ensure that these horizontal seams lock with the adjoining wedge you will need to alternate the direction of the seams.  For half of your wedges  press seams in one direction and for the other half of wedges press seams in the opposing direction.  For example, if you are making 40 wedges, press all seams up for 20 wedges and press all seams down for 20 wedges.
  2. Place wedge ruler on top of fabric strip.  My wedge ruler has horizontal lines at 1 inch intervals which make placement easy as you can match seam lines with lines on the ruler; helpful but not necessary to complete this project.
  3. Trim away excess fabric.
    4.  Fold the wedge in half lengthwise (no need to press) and sew a 1/4 inch seam along the top (the wide end) of the wedge.
Turn the wedge right side out and press.  If needed use a sharp tool to shape and sharpen the point.  

Make 40 wedges and sew wedges with opposing seams together to make a full circle.  I pieced four 1/4 circles first and then joined them to make a full circle.
THE STATS
40 wedges.
320 pieces of scrap fabric rescued from my scrap bin.
Circle Diameter:  36 inches.

My next dilemma is how to best applique a center circle, and/or even how best to applique this entire (large ~ 36 inch diameter) block onto a background fabric.  Applique is not one of my strengths and a machine technique would be preferred.  All suggestions are very welcome!

Rita
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62 comments:

  1. It is SOOOO gorgeous!!!! What about a machine blanket stitch?

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  2. This would make a great Christmas tree skirt!

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  3. Do you have a blind hem foot? On the Bernina it is a Number 5. You can use silk thread or a fine thread to stitch it down. Try it on a circle scrap. Bernina has You-Tube tutorials as well. This is absolutely lovely!

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  4. This is fantastic! Thank you for explaining your process ;)

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  5. Gorgeous! I'm following you on bloglovin'

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  6. Fun dresden! I would temporarily attach it to my quilt sandwich, baste or spray adhesive or pins. Then I would quilt it in concentric circles and leave the points free, like prairie points.

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  7. Deb over at Works In Progress ran an OldRedBarnCo quiltalong on Dresden Plates but she didn't say how she sewed the centre down... (I'm guessing with a machine because she's a busy mum!)
    http://deb-robertson.blogspot.com/2011/11/tutorial-to-sew-perfect-circle-for-your.html

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  8. Simply outstanding! Your fabric choices are spectabular. Love the prairie pointed edge. What is done with the center?

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  9. Gorgeous and so "Red Pepper"! I like to hand stitch my Dresden plates down, but I guess you could easily do it by machine, either with a straight stitch, a zig zag or even a blind stitch.

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  10. That is so amazing! Great idea and a beautiful result :-)

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  11. Beautiful beautiful beautiful! Good luck with the applique. I think I would be tempted with a blanket stitch or the idea above (quilting and prairie points) has totally blown me away!

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  12. What a fabulous Dresden! I make lots of (much smaller) Dresdens for pillows and I always machine top stitch them down to the backing, really close to the edge. Gives a nice crisp tailored finish.

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  13. So cool! Between you and Geta Gramma...there surely must be a wedge of some kind in my future! Your scraps make it so you!

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  14. Gorgeous ...I love dresdens. Thank you so much for this fabulous tutorial

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  15. This is amazing! Would be so cute in Christmas fabrics for a tree skirt. Do you think it is large enough?

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  16. absolutely gorgeous. i think i would blanket stitch it down by machine. can't wait to see the finished project. thanks for the tutorial.

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  17. I just can't express how much I love this one and I know for sure that I will try it too. Must just get that ruler first. Thanks for sharing the tutorial, it's much easier that way! Greetings from Germany

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  18. I think you could bind the raw edge circle - and - seeing that the rest is all neating hemmed - you could just topstitch the whole beautiful dresden onto a quilt top and quilt as a whole cloth quilt.
    I will definitely try this - You are very creative and love your cheery colors!! It makes me smile.

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  19. I've never been a fan of Dresden plates until now! That is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Think I need to buy a wedge ruler.

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  20. This is Awesome I Love it
    Thanks for the Tute Great Ruler

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  21. Oh my gosh ~ love this so much! You inspire me!

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  22. Holy Cow Rita you never cease to amaze me. Whatever you end up doing it's going to be a stunner.

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  23. You took the mystery out with this tutorial. Thanks so much, Rita. You amaze me!

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  24. You took the mystery out with this tutorial. Thanks so much, Rita. You amaze me!

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  25. What a great scrap buster, Rita!!!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent with us (again)♥.

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  26. For the center, I cut a circle from template plastic, cut the fabric 1/4" larger, used starch on the seam allowance and ironed the edges under, then stitched it down with invisible thread.

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  27. I recently made a pillow with an orphan dresden plate - and ended up stitching on the center circle with raw-edge applique and I love it! Here is a the pillow I made:
    http://www.cascadequilts.com/2013/03/orphan-block-turned-pillow.html

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  28. I recently made a pillow with an orphan dresden plate - and ended up stitching on the center circle with raw-edge applique and I love it! Here is a the pillow I made:
    http://www.cascadequilts.com/2013/03/orphan-block-turned-pillow.html

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  29. You know, if you use longer strips when sewing the 8 pieces of fabric together, you could cut one wedge then turn the ruler around and cut another wedge going the other direction. I think that would avoid some of the waste when cutting the wedges out. You wouldn't need to re-iron seams going in opposite directions then as that would be taken care of.
    I like the idea of quilting in circles and having the point free.
    Don't know what to do for the circle.

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  30. I'm loving this tutorial, makes it look like could actually DO this. Question though - after step 4 (where you've sewn a 1/4 in seam on folded fabric strip) - then what???? Did you cut that off? Is that how you get the points? Thank you!

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  31. this is amazing. And you've made dresdens sound less intimidating to me!

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  32. As soon as I saw the picture I uttered to myself "oh good grief!" You are amazing and the fact that you JUST whipped this up makes me feel just a little bit woozy... I have tried to "whip up" things before and they never turn out like this! LOVE IT!

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  33. Gorgeous dresden! I have yet to make one so I'm no help to you, sorry!

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  34. Rosemary b here
    I LOVE this. What a happy snappy perky project!
    Can you live next door to me? Really, the house is for sale! And it has a porch :-) and you could live next door to ME

    lol
    This is super wonderful and I am going to printify it right now. I have a ton of strips I want to use for just this sort of thing!

    Thanks loads for always making me happy
    but, you could make me really happy by living nexxt door to me

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  35. How amazing, so much colour and such a modern take on a traditional block, I love it :)

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  36. Oh my gosh, this is just outstanding. Every time I see your pics in IG, I tell myself "must buy more prints with white in". You've got such a way with white base/accent prints, Rita. Stunning.

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  37. It's brilliant ( colour & design ) I have used the blind hem stitch to applique a dresden plate in the past , I think using a silk thread ( as suggested ) would make it almost invisible .

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  38. Your giant dresden is so amazing!!!

    Have you ever done a floor quilt? My LQS has a giant dresden floor quilt right inside the door and it's fabulous.

    http://www.amazon.com/Floorquilts-Fabric-Decoupaged-Floorcloths-no-sew-Fun/dp/1571204261/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367042253&sr=8-1&keywords=floor+quilts

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  39. WHOA! Gorgeous! Why dont you make it into a table center piece.... Just back it and quilt it.....

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  40. For applique stitch -- check out the machine stitch that Ricky Tims uses in his book Rhapsody Quilts. The book gives hints etc. My machine doesn't have this stitch so I haven't used it. It appears to work really well on tight curves, sharp inner and sharp outer points. His machine has a double blanket stitch and he covers how to learn your machine to anticipate when and how to pivot around the applique. Plus, he writes about threads to use besides invisible monafilaments.
    This is one gorgeous quilt. I wish I could .....

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  41. This is gorgeous!!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial. I soooooo want to make one!

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  42. This is now on the list! Very fun! Thank you for sharing it!

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  43. Wouldn't that be so awesome out of Christmas fabrics for a tree skirt?

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  44. Oh I could see a small version for my feather tree as well!!!

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  45. Such a lovely Dresden. I might suggest for the center circle to
    1. Cut BOTH the circle and a piece of lightweight interfacing the same size, including 1/4" seam allowance. 2. Sew the wrong sides together.
    3. Clip just up to the seam, every 1/2" or so, around the outer circle to give ease prior to turning.
    4. Cut a slit in the center of the interfacing only, large enough to turn pieces right side out.
    5. Press the pieces, ensuring no interfacing is showing.
    6. Place in the center of your dresden and either machine applique with a blanket stitch (shorten width of stitch)and use the same color of thread as the circle fabric. Or, hand applique with YLI Silk thread #100. If you choose to hand applique, then you can also try using "Templar", which is a heat resistant mylar plastic. Cut a circle the exact size finish you prefer. Then place on wrong side of fabric and trace 1/4 -1/3" larger with pencil. Cut out fabric and use spray starch by wetting the entire circle. Place wrong side fabric UP, then put "Templar" circle on top. The wetness of the entire circle will help adhere it while you use your iron to press over the seam allowance all the way around. Once you've gone all the way around, turn over and give final press to the right side of the circle. Pop out the "Templar" and you've got yourself a wonderful circle to hand applique.
    7. Baste circle to the middle opening, either directly on your quilt sandwich or if you aren't at the point of putting it on batting, then baste it on while Dresden is laying on a flat surface so that you are sure it doesn't pucker and it will be flat when done. Then use YLI Silk thread #100 matching tone/color to stitch down. I love the YLI thread because it nestles very nice into your fabric and hides the stitches. You don't have to have an exact color match, but more so match the tones. Greys work well... taupes.. or whites.. unless of course your circle is black. Then use darker tone. My favorite applique needle is by Jeana Kimball, Foxglove Cottage, #11 Straw needle. Some prefer the #10. They are super sharp, longer, and a bit flexible.

    Good Luck!!!

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  46. Do you have the Cut A Round tools from Phillips Fiber Arts? They make it really easy to cut and piece circles.

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  47. Thanks for making this look doable.. I am newer to quilting but I would thin you could put it where you want it and pin it like crazy to hand applique in place... interfacing would be tricky on those beautiful points on your dresden plate outer edges... cool to let them have a 3d effect by not sewing them down at the very edge! Kathi

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  48. Hi Rita, I love your Plate. My Dresden is on the current issue of Down Under Quilts. I attached mine by machine. You could check out the mag or shoot me a message and I will send you my destructions......
    Love your work
    Leanne xo

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  49. LOVE!!! Thanks for the tutorial. :-)

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  50. I had been looking at your finished quilt wondering how on earth you had made it - without thinking that you may have pieced them before cutting the wedges! facepalm!!! Such a gorgeous quilt Rita :)

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  51. Wonder if this would work with paper-piecing to make it easier?
    Anyways, your finished quilt is magnificent. Wish I had lots of scraps in the colorways like you used.

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  52. I ordered the rulers from Marilyn Doheney after seeing your Dresden plate. Very inspiring!!! thank you for sharing another fabulous Red Pepper project!

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  53. Wow, totally impressive tutorial. Can't wait to dig through my scraps and make this lovely block. Thanks for posting!

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  54. This ruler is superb. I did a floor quilt for baby shower in all bright baby colours. She was delighted with it an said she,d use it for wall hanging until baby was ready to lie on it.

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  55. A stunning beauty. I love working in scraps and this looks like it will make a big dent in my stash. Thank you for a wonderful tutorial.

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  56. Thank you sooooo much for your tutorials, and for this especially!! I need to make one for me!! Hugs from Brazil!!

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