Dresden Plate Tutorial – Quilting Made Easy!


Welcome to the Missouri Star Quilt Companyís
beginner block series. Today, we have a really special treat for you. Weíre going to do
a tutorial on the Dresden Plate. This is a new ruler, as seen here. And as seen here,
itís called ìEasy Dresden,î by Darlene Zimmerman ñ really a fun Dresden. Never in
my life did I dream Iíd do a Dresden Plate, but hereís the proof right here! This is
a really fun block, so letís get started. First, weíre going to use a charm pack because
everything blends, as you know, and everything goes together. This is a Hello Betty charm
pack. It is a lot bigger than most charm packs. The line of fabrics has 60 fabrics in it and
so there are 60 squares in here. You need 20 blades to make a Dresden, and out of each
5-inch square you can make two blades, and Iíll show you how. So follow me to the mat
and weíll cut these charm squares into blades. So we put our 5 inches ñ because the charm
pack square is 5 inches tall ñ and we put out ruler right on the 5 inch line and we
cut around here. And weíre going to flip our ruler and weíre going to do one more
blade, so you can get two blades from one square. And what you end up with is this right
here. So now we have this little Dresden Plate blade,
and youíll need 20 of these. What youíre going to do ñ and this is the magical part
ñ youíre going to fold this over onto itself and youíre going to stich straight across
here. So what you end up with is this right here. Now this is hand-stitched, but if you
chain them together on the sewing machine, Iím telling you, you can whip these out like
crazy. Then weíre going to flip this and ñ look
at this little present! It makes its own casing so thereís no turning under. Then what youíre
going to do is attach these together. First, we should press these. So when you go to press these make sure that
this seam is lined up in the middle. Put your iron right down on top and press it. Press
both of those. And then when you attach them together youíre just going to line them up
like this and sew your º-inch seam right along here. What you end up with as youíre
putting them together is this. So you see how this is seamed right here at º inch,
and it just lays over. You can press the entire thing and you have a lovely Dresden Plate.
So we need to add a couple more in here to finish this, and I think weíll do that right
now. OK, here we are with our pieces right side
together and weíre going to place this right under the sewing machine. Weíre going to
sew from top to bottom, so if thereís any difference in height ñ which there should
be very minimal, if any ñ will be at the bottom. Alright, so weíre going to sew from
this top Ω inch in, straight down. That gives us one more Dresden on our blade, and we need
20, soÖ letís see. I believe we need one more. And we have this lovely little pink
one weíll pop in here. Line up your points, sew º inch in, and then we will sew them
together to complete the plate, making sure that your right sides are facing each other.
Weíll sew our last little seam and there we go.
And we have our complete Dresden Plate except for the center circle, for which Iím going
to show you some tricks right now. OK, weíre going to press this nice and flat,
and what Iíve done here is cut a 14-inch square of muslin. You can actually use any
square. This will become your block if youíre making a quilt. And Iíve had a couple of
other ideas of things to do. If youíre making a long block you can put a stem on here, and
wouldnít this make a darling flower for a wall hanging? You could also put together
a table runner, but right now weíre going to concentrate on this middle square. Inside this Dresden Plate pattern thereís
a circle template for the center. Now this is a copy of the circle template that I cut
out of the cardboard on the back of the Hello Betty pack. And so thatís really hand to
make a little template for. If by chance this didnít fit, you could make
a template out of a measuring cup or a bowl, as long as itís something bigger at whatever
size you want your circle to be. So letís make that circle. Come over here. So for the center square weíll pick a charm
square, and weíre going tio put our cardboard template that we cut out on it. And weíre
going to lightly trace a line around it. And when we cut that out weíre going to cut it
out just a bit bigger ñ a quarter of an inch or three-eighths of an inch bigger. And so
we cut all aroundÖ. There you go. Alright, now weíve got to get a needle and thread. Now weíre going to take our needle and thread,
and it doesnít matter what color, because basically what weíre doing is the same running
stitch that youíd do if you were going to make a yo-yo. So weíre going around our fabric,
around our circle; just that in and out running stitch thatís so familiar, because weíre
going to gather it up. OK, here we are, finishing up. Now what weíre
going to do is weíre going to put this cardboard in here. Just slide it in like this. Anytime
you need a perfect circle for any type of project or applique you are doing or anything,
you can use anything that is round. Now just pull that thread and do you see how it makes
that just a perfectly round little square? And now weíll just take this to the ironing
board. Here we are at the ironing board, and weíre
just going to press this. Now, because thatís cardboard we can just press the heck out of
this thing. Make it a nice, flat circle and then youíre just going to slide your cardboard
out and you can lay that circle right on top of your Dresden, and you have a perfect little
center. Isnít that a nice little trick? You can do that with, uh, I do it when I need
to make little circles. I do it on quarters, on nickels, on washers; they make all kinds
of little things, but it needs to be something you can heat with that iron. So just press
that on there and then it makes just a nice little circle in the center of your Dresden. OK, so this is just a nice background square
that weíre going to attach our Dresden plate to, and to make it fit and accurate what I
do is fold my fabric in half and then I fold it in half again; and I just press this corner
here so it makes a little ìxî in the middle, which youíll be able to perfectly center
your Dresden Plate on. So come over hereÖ Now weíre going to center up this Dresden
Plate. It gives you a good center spot. Weíll put our circle on top and weíre just going
to pin this down so that it stays intact so we can stich it on. Youíre going to use an
applique stitch for this, which is the same type of stitch we use on the binding where
you only see the little tip of it. Because these all have their own facing on
them, it makes perfect points and itís perfect all the way around. So we come up through the back and right out
that fold. Do you see the fold right there? We come right out that fold ñ and Iím using
thread that you can see ñ and then you go straight down and you come up about º inch
later through the fold. And you will do that all the way around. You donít have to be
real careful or real accurate, especially if youíre going to machine quilt on top of
that. So here we go, straight down, and come out
right on that fold, right on that edge line. Go straight down and come right out on that
fold. Third timeís the charm, right? So youíll do that all the way around and then youíll
stitch it around here. And what you end up with is a stitch pattern kind of like this.
It doesnít have to be real tight and it doesnít have to be real careful, but the results are
quite impressive. So thereís your little Dresden Plate! Hereís an example of a finished Dresden Plate
project. This is a table runner or wall hanging with three Dresden Platyes on it. Each one
has 20 blades and a center circle. Weíve attached them by hand and then machine quilted
over the whole thing to give it this finished, elegant look. It really is a pretty project
ñ perfect for a beginner or intermediate sewer, and perfect for someone who likes to
have hand things to do. We hope youíve enjoyed this tutorial from
the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Happy Quilting!