Some of my friends and I are taking a Block of the Month Class at American Quilting and each year for the past 5 years Amy (the owner and resident designer) has designed and taught her Block of the Month Quilt. In past years we have done a Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall Quilt and this year it's a Patriotic theme. The patterns for Amy's (past years) BOM Quilts can be purchased on her website "Under the Garden Moon" she also has more great patterns that she and her daughter have created. Make sure to check them out, you won't be sorry that you took the time to visit.
I'll keep you updated on our progress but, in the mean time I thought I'd get you all started with where to buy your ruler and a little tutorial to show you how to make the block. . . just in case you want to make a Dresden Plate Quilt along with us.
The ruler can be purchased from Connecting Threads or you can go into American Quilting and buy one if you live in or near Orem, Utah. The Dresden plate block as seen below was the BOM for January.
This is the 18 degree fan ruler that also comes with a pattern.Begin by looking through your fabric. You will need a variety of fabrics in an assortment of colors and patterns. One thing you'll want to remember is the fabric you pick for the Dresden Plate wedges should be a good contrast to what you pick for the background fabric. In other words, you can use any variety of light to dark fabrics just remember you don't want your light fabric to blend in with the background or it will look like you have missing wedges. What a great way to use up what you have laying around the house.
Tutorial for Making a Dresden Plate Block
Tutorial for Making a Dresden Plate Block
Next, you'll want to decide on a background fabric and purchase what you might need. You will get four 10"x10" squares out of every 10 inch cut of fabric (a generous 1/4 yd. cut).
Trim off both sides to create a wedge or spoke in a wheel. Take a single wedge, fold the wider edges with right sides together, and sew using a 1/4" seam making sure to leave a long tail in between the wedges (that way your stitches won't unravel). Now pick up another wedge repeating the process, continue chain-stitching until you've completed 20 wedges. Cut your chain apart. Trim the seam at the tip, press seam open and fold to the back (wrong sides to wrong sides). Center the seam and press.
You can arrange the spokes in a pleasing manner or randomly pick them up. You can sew them into sets of pairs or sew them one by one like I did.
IMPORTANT: Make sure to leave long tails so they can be tucked under the seams in the back of the block. Continue sewing until you've sewn all 20 spokes together. Then sew the last seam to connect the wedges into a circle.
Please note: If you sew narrow (scant 1/4") seams you will end up with a bigger Dresden Plate. If you sew larger (fat 1/4") seams you will end up with a much smaller Dresden Plate. Which ever way you sew will determine how big of a center circle you will need to cover the opening and finish the block. Big or small be consistent!!
The seams between each spoke can be pressed open or pressed in one direction. I personally liked the spokes pressed in one direction it gave it a sense of movement and dimension. The seams pressed open will make it lay very flat but it creates a depression in between the seams. Both will work it's just a matter of preference.
My handy dandy pressing tool was very useful. It saved me a lot of trips to the ironing board and is very effective in pressing the seams open without any distortion.
I cut my background fabric at 10 inches square which will allow for any trimming up after you applique your Dresden Plate. I like a nice clean edge when I sew my blocks together. Fold your background fabric in half and then in half again. Pinch and finger press the fold. This will give a centering mark to align your Dresden Plate.
Align your Dresden Plate with 5 spokes in each quarter section of your 10" background square.
Attach to the 10" background square with applique pins and baste the center hole.
This is one of six blocks I'm making for a Valentine Table Runner for next year. I had good intentions but this month has gone by so quickly. After Christmas this holiday just sneaks up on you. I'm going to call it "Love Makes the World Go Round." The blocks with be surrounded with a checkerboard pattern using 1" (finished) blocks. It looks really cute in my head and when I get it done I will try to remember to blog about it.
Here are some of the fabrics we bought at American Quilting on Valentine's Day. We are going to use civil war fabrics and fabrics that compliment them. The background fabrics are also shown. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to use just one background fabric or a variety of background fabrics. If you know me, you know I love all things scrappy so, I'll probably end up using several different background fabrics.
Here's some of my civil war & shirting fabrics that I'm going to use in my big quilt. Maybe I'll make a king-size for my bed. We'll see if I get discouraged and just make a smaller one to hang over my couch or lay on my table.