Dresden Plate Doll Quilt

I had been hoping to buy myself an EZ Dresden template on my recent visit to San Diego but the shop was out of stock.

Doll Quilt with a Dresden Plate Motif, made in Autumn Colours

Tied Dresden Plate Doll Quilt

The universe provided an alternative in the form of Mikarah’s tutorial where she posted instructions on how to make your own template. Making your own template is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than flying from Australia to the United States to go buy one.

My beloved helped me with the template, after just a little begging. I drew the template on heavy paper first, and he helped me transfer the design to the template plastic.

Petals for Dresden Plate Quilt Block with the Cutting Template

Some of the Petals and the Template

I cut sixteen petals out of two orange tones from my stash, not sure whether I’d got the template right enough for them all to fit together when all the seams are in place.

First step – sew the points. I used my new long flat pins to help me with the alignment. I like using them, but because they’re so long and thin, they feel a bit bendy compared to my regular glass-head pins.The flat pins were lovely for the applique part of the project and I’ll put them aside for that in future.

It turns out sixteen petals was too many. I got a complete circle with fourteen petals. Maybe my quarter inch seam was a little too scant or maybe I didn’t cut the template quite right. Either way, it was a good experiment. The main thing I learned – I’m not sure I’ll bother making another Dresden Plate. I admire them when others make quilts out of them, but for me the effort just wasn’t worth the result.

I did enjoy tying the quilt sandwich and I like the effect so I think I’ll do that again. I also enjoyed machine appliqueing the blades to the background fabric, even though it was a bit fiddly. I used my sewing machine’s blanket stitch for the central bright orange element and a narrow zig-zag around the outside.

This will be a doll quilt for a future swap, most likely. It’s the perfect size, at 15 inches square.

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5 responses to “Dresden Plate Doll Quilt

  1. That’s really pretty. I’m surprised you haven’t made a dozen.

  2. Im so sorry to hear you had trouble! It looks beautiful though, I love the colors.

    • Thanks, I like the colours too – they seem perfect for autumn (fall) or maybe Thanksgiving. I’ve been allocated a partner in the Quilting Board’s doll swap, so it will have a new home in Washington state soon.

      I didn’t really have trouble – it was more a surprise when I got to 14 and was already all the way around! Really appreciate you posting your instructions.

  3. I love Dresden Plates…I have my Great-Great Grandma’s quilt, and I have had plates made waiting for me to get MUCH BETTER at applique before finishing them. I made mine with the rounded petals.

    • Nice to hear from you Michelle. Your DH is obviously keeping you very busy these days, not to mention packing for a move. Phew!

      Rounded petals would be MUCH harder I’m sure – curves are just that little bit harder to get smooth. I’d encourage you to just get stuck in and start the machine applique. It wasn’t that hard at all, really. If you can work your machine (which you clearly can) machine applique is not a big leap.

      I have a second-hand (aka cheap, ex-library) copy of Mastering Machine Applique by Harriet Hargrave which is generally pretty helpful, especially in telling you where to pivot on inside and outside angles. She also describes an invisible stitching approach which I can’t get my head around at all. Maybe your library has a copy?

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