Dresden plates! Dresden plates were one of the first quilt blocks that I learned to identify when my mom took up quilting. I’ve always loved their look but had no interest in making them myself because of all the hand stitching involved. I’ve since started to enjoy hand stitching, so I was thrilled to make these blocks for the Craftsy July 2012 Block of the Month! I simply adore how my fabric choices look in this block (unlike many of the other blocks).
The first dresden plate block is a very traditional dresden plate, with points on each ray of the plate. The class teaches the way to sew the rays so that the points are finished and you don’t have to turn them under yourself. Apparently it’s a very traditional technique, but a revelation for me as I had never considered the idea before. To attach the plate to the block background I pinned every other ray down, as instructed, and then I stitched the inside circle by machine at 1/8th inch. The stitching is hidden by the center circle but it helps to make the block a little sturdier.
I’m very proud of my hand stitching that is invisible on both the ends of the rays and center circle. I think my mom and her quilty ladies will be proud too :)
The second dresden plate block was a more modern take on the block. This plate didn’t come together quite as smoothly as the inside of the plate had a fair bit of excess fabric that I needed to ease. Fortunately, it hid well beneath the center circle that is appliqued on top. This must have happened because my seam widths consistently increased very slightly from the center of the circle out. I’ll have to watch that I’m more consistent for the length of the seam next time.
To finish the edges of the plate without having to turn a 1/4″ hem, The plate is appliqued to a circle of fabric the same size, right sides together, and turned inside out. I used muslin since it’s a bit thinner than the heavy Kona cotton I’m using for a background. I also trimmed out the middle of the muslin to reduce thickness across the center where there are the additional 2 layers of fabric from the center circle.