The Making of a Dresden Plate Quilt Part 1

Dresden Plate 4 Sections

One of my most favorite quilt blocks is the Dresden Plate and yesterday I started working on my fourth Dresden quilt project.

AccuQuilt Dresden Plate Die #55071

Using the AccuQuilt die sure makes cutting the blades and the circles an easier task. In the past I have used a blade cut out of cardboard as a template and cut each by hand with scissors.

My current block is being made from the wedge section which has four individual wedges across the Dresden Plate die.

I can lay six layers of fabric across the section and cut twenty-four wedges/blades in a single pass through the AccuQuilt cutter.

Removing access fabric and cut pieces

If you look at the die it has four rounded blades, four wedge blades and two circles. For this quilt, I am using the wedges and circles. It will be the first Dresden Plate I’ve made that has a finished, point edge. In the past, my plates have had a round raw edge. The quilt pictured below was a completely scrappy quilt.

Dresden Plate made in 2016

My new project is going to be on the purple-lavender-pinkish theme. I am using scraps for most of it, however, my fabrics are larger leftovers.

Finished edge Dresden Plate

Each plate has twenty wedges and I have laid them out in a reoccurring pattern. Before I can sew my wedges together, I have to fold the wedge in half (right sides together) and sew a 1/4 seam across the bottom of the large end. I chain piece all the wedges before moving onto the next step.

Wedges sewn on the large end

I then cut the blades apart so I can clip off the end that will be the point.

The Dresden Plate Wedge
Snipping the wedge

The next step is to turn the end out so the point appears.

Turning the end out

I just use my fingers to flip the end. I then grab my wooden chopstick to push out the end to make a good point. If you have a “Purple Thing” that will work too. Just watch how hard you push as you don’t want to push through the fabric. I then finger press my point down to help when I walk over to the iron for a press.

Use a chop stick to push out and make a good point

After I’ve turned all my wedges for the plate I’m working on I walk over to the ironing board.

Pressing the point on the wedge

A tip I will share here is to do your best to center the tip. Often my wedge will have a light line down the middle from when I folded the wedge in half to sew. I use this to center my seam for the point. I also use steam to get a crisp point.

After I press all my wedges, I return to my sewing machine to start sewing the wedges together.

Using the AccuQuilt die makes sewing the wedges together an easier task. There is little point on the sides of each wedge that help me to align each piece up with the next one. Sometimes my points are not perfect and when this happens a wedge may be a bit longer than another. I no longer have to guess whether I’ve aligned them correctly when I use my guide points.

My best tip here is to sew the blades together in twos. I will then press my seams open. I am using my normal size Oliso iron but if you have a Clover Mini Iron, it would be very useful in pressing open the wedge seams.

Press Open the Wedge Seams

I then sew my two pairs together, press those seams open and then sew the final wedge on and press the seam open. This should give you four sections with five blades sewn together. I sew my four sections together and press my seams.

Plate Sections
A sewn plate and a layout of pieces plate

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Dresden Plate and I will share tips about sewing the center circles and appliquéing the plate onto the fabric background square.

If you are interested in learning more about some of the tools I used, I have an affiliate link to the product page. As always, thanks for stopping by my blog and Happy Sewing!



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