Monday, April 21, 2014

Dresden Plate Table Center

I made this little table Center last fall to show the colors we would be using for our block of the month program: the Saturday Surprise Sampler. 

Since then, several people have inquired about a pattern for it.  It is such a simple project that I thought I would just write a short tutorial for it.

It is basically one Dresden plate stitched down to a backing of felted wool.

I used my little Dresden plate ruler, which is an 18degree wedge ruler, from which you make 20 petals or blades to make up a circle:

There are other 18 degree rulers, like the squedge ruler which is a little longer.

 If you have a 15 degree ruler, you would use 24 petals to make up a circle
My little ruler is only 8 inches long, which would only make a circle 17 or 18 inches wide, and I wanted it a bit larger, so I just extended the side edge when I cut the pieces.

So, step by step, here we go..

1. Pick your fabrics!
The backing is felted wool, and that is probably the scarcest thing you will need, 
For the brown one above, I had an old wool blanket that I could use.  
For the one pictured here, I had purchased some off white yardage of 100% wool and washed it in hot water, and dried it on hot in the dryer to shrink it.   

I had been looking for a project to use the Bee My Honey fabrics by moda.
I decided to stay in the gray and white tones for this project,

2. Cut 20 wedges,
I cut the fabrics 12 inches wide and cut the wedges using the ruler:
You can see here how I combined it with my longer ruler to extend the side edge, extending the angle along the edge. 

Note: I used five fabrics and cut four blades from each fabric.   In the brown one above, each blade was a different fabric.  If you do it this way, you will need a 5" x 12" piece of fabric to cut the piece from.

2. Sew the ends:
Fold the long end over, backstitching at the folded end of the seam.  
Trim the corner at the folded end, and turn the point right sides out:
Press the ends, trying to center the seam.
3.  Sew the long edges of the petals, or blades together to make the circle, press the seams all to the sides, backstitching at the wide ends, 

The circular unit should lie flat!

4. You will need a piece of fabric to place over the centre of the flower.  It could be a square, a circle or another shape if you like, 
I decided to keep the bee theme going by paper piecing a small hexi unit! 

Cut a piece of wool for the backing with a margin of at least half an inch all around it.
  Pin the sewn unit to the wool and then quilt it down.  I went all around the edges first with a straight stitch, and then did some free motion designs, 

5.  After you are done, then trim the edges of the wool about an eighth or a quarter inch beyond the edge of the fabric edge, 

That's all there is to it really, I hope you give this project a try!  



  1. what a great tutorial for a great project! i've always loved dresden plate, but the idea of an entire quilt was quite overwhelming...this makes it seem manageable! thank you!

    1. Thanks Molly, I a agree, it is much more approachable to use them in a smaller project, they make nice appliqués.


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