Curved Edge Dresden Plate How To
I made one of these as a pillow for my quilt market booth for Splendor 1920 and have just made an updated version that I'm about to turn into a pillow as well. This time, I used two Art Gallery Elements fabrics for the backgrounds to give the vintage dresden an updated look. Here's how I made my dresden and the background.
8 fabrics for the dresden petals (12" x 12" is plenty), 1 fabric (4") for the center, 2 fabrics (1/3 yard each) for the background
2/3 yard of fusible fleece (this will give you extra)
fat quarter of muslin
Washable Elmer's Glue
Needle and matching thread for applique
Thread conditioner like Thread Heaven (optional)
Download pattern: Download Dresdenplate_templates
Cut 16 Dresden petals and 1 circle center from the attached pattern. I used Splendor 1920 in the "Elegance" colorway for all of the petals and Oval Elements Licorice for the center (note: one of the most important parts of getting the dresden to lay flat will be really accurate cutting. Too much or too little fabric will cause the plate to bow and lay all loopy-ish.)
Cut one piece of fusible fleece 18 1/4" x 18 1/4"
Step by step:
1. Piece the four pieces of elements together in a square for the background. I alternated prints.
2. Lay out your dresden design. I went with a design in color order from darkest to lightest. When I'm satisfied with my layout, bring it over to the sewing machine on a small cutting mat to keep it in order. I've been known to move them around if I don't leave them just so. You can also take a quick phone photo of your layout to remember the order.
2. Place the first two petals right side together, and sew together along one edge using a 1/4" seam allowance. (Note: As I mentioned before, accurate cutting is super important. A super accurate seam allowance is also imperiative.)
3. Keep adding petals until all 16 are attached, then sew the first petal to the last petal.
4. Press all of the seams to one side.
5. Place the dresden right side down on the piece of muslin. Pin it in place.
6. Cut the muslin to the shape of the dresden.
7. With the dresden still pinned to the muslin, bring it to the sewing machine. Set your machine to a slightly shorter stitch. Mine is usually at 2.5, so I bring it to a 2.0. This helps to go around small curves. Starting at a seam, sew around one curve of a petal using a 1/4" seam allowance. When you get to the next seam, stop, pivot at sew to the next seam. Repeat until you've sewn the entire way around the dresden.
8. Press to set the stitches. Snip to but not through the seams all the way around the dresden. It will be especially important to snip at the seams between petals to avoice bulk at the points.
9. Turn the dresden right side out through the hole in the middle. Press well. I use a pin to pull each seam neatly out. It's important to really take your time doing this to avoid puckers and points.
10. Place fabric circle and the muslin circle right sides together, and sew together using a 1/4" seam allowance.
11. Snip to but not through the seams as you did for the dresden.
13. Place the dresden exactly centered on the background. Use elmers glue to hold in place. Press to set the glue. (This washes out.) Do the same for the circle on the top.
14. Fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the base.
15. Using a blind stitch, stitch the dresden to the background. This is how you applique by hand. If you are familiar with hand sewing binding, it's like that, except that I take even smaller stitches.
15a. Start at the top of the fabric and bring the needle through the background taking less than a 1/4" stitch.
15b. Exactly where the needle came up, place the needle into the dresden taking less than 1/4" stitch right in the fold (the edge of the fabric) of the applique (dresden).
15c. Exactly where the needle came out of the edge of the applique fabric, place it back down into the base fabric. Continue until the entire applique is sewn in place.
Note: My Rule of thumb here is, if you can see the needle between stitches, you'll be able to see thread.
You can see below where I've taken about five stitches along.
Once you have the entire dresden and the circle center stitched in place, you are ready to quilt as desired. I did a different design on each petal and then an all over flower for the background. Now I'm ready to make this into a pillow! The instructions for pillow making will be in a separate post.