As I’ve said before, the dresden plate is one of my favourite patchwork patterns….. it always looks bright and cheerful and it’s a proper old timey patchwork pattern.
This is a tutorial to show the way that I prefer to sew the pieces which make up the plate block.
It’s a little bit different to the method I wrote about yesterday.
Each block requires twelve pieces. (Okay some times the pattern will require more, but this one uses twelve)…Place the paper template in the centre of each piece of fabric.
Pin the paper template into place to stop it wiggling about. Secure the end of the thread with a few back stitches at the start of the curve of the fabric. Sew a line of tiny, evenly spaced stitches along the top of the curve of the fabric, gently pull the thread to gather the fabric over the curve of the paper template so the fabric hugs the paper underneath.
Insert the needle through the layers of fabric and make a few stitches to secure the thread which will keep the gathered fabric in place. Make sure you don’t sew through the paper and are only sewing through the fabric. This is a lot easier than it sounds. The needle will pretty much want to sew through just the fabric rather than through the paper as well.
Trim the thread. Pin the sides of the fabric over the paper template, turn up the bottom of the fabric and sew securely into place. Make sure the needle doesn’t go through the paper but only through the fabric, after a couple of stitches, sew the other side of the fabric into place.
Trim the thread. The fabric should feel nice and secure around the bottom of the template.
Bring the other side of the fabric over the paper template and with a couple of stitches, secure the top of the fabric so that the gathered top holds the template into place. If you feel the fabric at the sides seems a bit loose, then you can pin it to keep it’s shape until another side piece is sewn to it. These pieces are about two 3/4 inches long and I don’t find they really need the extra pinning if you give the fabric a little press with your thumb. If the pieces are particularly long then you may prefer to pin the sides.
When you turn the patchwork piece right side up, you won’t see any of the tacking stitches.
Sew the sections together with a small neat whip stitch.
When your ” plates” are all finished, applique the patchwork on to fabric. To remove the papers you will firstly need to cut the backing fabric away, leaving a generous one inch seam allowance on the inside of the circle. The paper pieces are really easy to remove and can be reused. The tacking stitches, such as they are, are left in place and I find they seem to add a little more structure to the patchwork when they are worked this way.
This is the way I prefer to sew most of my paper pieced patchwork such as hexagons. I don’t like sewing through the papers, partly it is a bit of a pfaff to have to unpick the tacking stitches, but by tacking just through the fabric, I find the patchwork shape feels more secure, and has a bit more structure to it.