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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dresden Plate Block Tutorial

In April, Cindy, one of the girls in a block exchange group I am in. Wanted the Dresden Plate Block done for her month. I had never made one before, nor had several others in the group. She sent proper directions to everyone, and included a paper template for us to use to cut the inividual pieces out. I had a little bit of difficulty following those directions, and using the template. So, I studied the directions, the template, and pattern, and came up with a much (to me anyway) simpler way to cut the plate pieces. When I posted the tutorial on my Facebook page, and some of the other ladies, in the group, and also friends, seen it, they thought it was helpful. A few, like me, had been very nervous about doing the block, but tried the tutorial, and found it easy. So, hope someone else, that may have been contiplating doing this block, but havn't yet, find this helpful too. 

This dresden plate, is designed to be centered in the middle of a 17" background square. Cindy wanted to add some trapaunto work in the corners. If you arn't familiar with that technique, you could use that space to add some fancy quilting. Or, you can simply make the background square smaller. Although, you will have to do the math to figure out the size you'd like.  You may choose to use (4) different white, ( or other light color of your choice ) 9" squares, sewn together into a four patch, or (1) 17" white square, ( or other light color of your choice ). The first option will give you a scrappy look, and you can use all different fabrics, for the plate pieces. The second one, will give you a more uniform look, that ties all the blocks together. For Cindy's blocks, she chose the center circle fabric, and we added Christmas fabrics, from our stash to coordinate with hers.
This tutorial, focuses on the cutting and sewing of the plates. and then sewing them onto the background square.

Step 1.
Lay a 3" X 6" piece of fabric on your cutting mat. Align edges with lines on mat.

Step 2.
Line ruler up so it is at the top corner of the 3" side and on the 2nd. line from the top (bottom of finished wedge piece will measure 1") Cut first side of wedge

Step 3.
Line ruler up so it is at the bottom corner of the 3" side and on the second line from the bottom (bottom of finished wedge piece will measure 1") Cut second side of wedge

Step 4.
Wedge piece should measure 3" across at top, and 1" across at the bottom.

Step 5.
Fold in half, so right sides are together

Step 6.
Sew a 1/4" seam along the top (wider part)

Step 7.
On the side that is folded over (not the side with the open edges) clip the corner of the material off, but don't cut the seam line.

Step 8.
Turn top part of piece (sewn part) over onto the wrong side, line up the seam in the middle and press.

Step 9.
Piece shown here is how the back, (wrong side) looks with the little pocket at the top with the right side of the fabric showing at the top.

Step 10
Wedge piece ready to be sewn to another one.

Step 11
Here are two wedge pieces ready to sew to each other.

Step 12
Align pieces so that the inside short sides line up with each other.

Step 13
Now lay one on top of the other, with right sides together

Step 14
Sew a 1/4" seam, starting at the 1" end and working towards the wider top end.

Step 15
This shows that you sew all the way to the end. Through where the top pockets are.

Step 16
Now, press the pieces open, and when another one is sewed to the second, always press the seams in the same direction.
Continue this, until you have sewn the proper amount of wedges together. When you have the amount needed, you sew the first to the last, in the same way.

Step 17 Here is my dresden plate sewn together and laid out on the background fabric. A center circle still needs to be appliqued on to the center of the circle to hide the plate edges. And then, the outside of the circle will be machine appliqued to the background fabric.

Step 18
Here is the center circle, cut and ready to be appliqued to the middle. I measured the center hole opening across the width, then added 3/4" to that measurement, then cut out the circle.

Step 19
Here's showing what the center circle (not sewn on yet) will look like.

Step 20
Here's the finished block!

Hope this is helpful, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me privately, or you can ask in the comment section, and I will reply to you.

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