piecing together a dresden plate block……

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Piecing a dresden plate block is pretty simple.  Arrange the pieces together in a pleasing mix of fabrics, the more the fabrics clash the more interesting the block will be when it’s all sewn together.  Try to aim for a good mix of light and medium fabrics with a few darker or particularly brighter prints thrown in.


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Take two of the pieces and with right sides facing each other, pin them together.


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Using a “sharp” needle (the type you would use for applique), secure the end of your sewing thread through the fabric only.  Try to use the best sewing thread you can.

Grey thread or light brown will blend in best with your fabrics so the stitches aren’t so noticeable from the front.


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Holding the two pinned pieces together, insert the needle straight across the pieces only through a small amount of the fabric.  Don’t sew through the paper.


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Keep working up along the edge of the two pieces.  It’s a bit like tracing the steps up a ladder.  The stitches form tiny diagonal lines.

It’s tempting to sew your stitches very close together, you really don’t need to sew them too close, when you have sewn a few stitches you can run your fingers over the flattened pieces, it should feel smooth.  If you can feel a bit of a ridge then you are sewing the stitches too close.


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When you get to the top, make a few stitches to secure the thread and trim the thread.


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From the front you shouldn’t be able to see your stitches.


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Sew the next section in the circle,  just the same as you’ve sewn the previous piece.


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Keep sewing sections until you have a half circle of 6 pieces.


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Repeat with the other pieces that make up the second section.


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Pin them on top of each other and whip stitch them in to place the same way as you’ve seen all the other pieces.  When the “plate” block is finished, give it a light press with a hot iron to flatten the patchwork.


(I haven’t forgotten the centres….. I’ll write about those in my next post)


4 thoughts on “piecing together a dresden plate block……

  1. I love Dresden plates. It has been many years since I made one with the curved edges. Thanks for refreshing my memory about how to handle the curve. Cute fabrics in your dresden. Cheers Linny

    1. I hate seeing the dresden plates with lumpy up tops that are folded down…. I figured gathering up the fabric would make a much smoother curve and I’m sure this way is easier….. I think most of my quilts tend to have the same fabrics in them though thank s to a huge donation of fabric from my eldest sister there’ll be some new fabrics appearing.

    1. Thank you. I love scrappy quilts which use pretty much a piece of everything in a fabric stash…. I rarely buy more than a fat quarter in anyone fabric (it’s got to be heart stoppingly fantasticly amazing to make me buy a half meter… that’s only ever happened a couple of times)… that way I end up with a much wider selection and it encourages me to use up every piece where possible.

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