Tutorial: Dresden Burst Baby Quilt

This is a repost of the quilt I made for my last Riley Blake Design Team Project in July!  I’m posting here incase you missed it!

For this months project,  I decided to make a baby quilt.  I love Dresden Blocks but didn’t want to make an entire quilt of them.   Instead I scattered 3 sizes of them on the front of a quilt.

What to make one?



Here’s How:

You will need:

All fabric is from Go Fly a Kite line from Riley Blake Fabrics. The white fabric with gray dots used for the background is from the Willow line, also from Riley Blake Fabrics.

1/2 yard each of 5 different fabrics to make the dresden points
1/4 yard fabric (may need more for pattern matching) for the centers of the dresdens
1 1/2 yards fabric for quilt back
1/2 yard for binding
1/2 yard for borders
1 yard white with gray dots (or light color) for quilt front
Easy Dresden Ruler
1 1/2 yards cotton batting
Spray Starch
Spray Basting

All seam allowances are 1/4″

First: Complete your Dresden Blocks

You will need 20 pieces to complete each dresden block.

I used 5 different fabrics and cut 4 pieces from each of the 5 fabrics.

You will need to cut: (using the easy dresden ruler)

20 dresden pieces 8″ tall
20 dresden pieces 5″ tall
20 dresden pieces 3″ tall

To begin making your dresden block, fold your cut piece in half lengthwise.  Stitch a 1/4″ seam along the wider edge.

Trim the seam allowance at the corner and turn right side out.

You will have a piece that looks like this.  Starch lightly and press. Repeat until all 20 are sewn.

Pin 2 of your sewn dresden pieces together.  Stitch along one side.

Repeat until all 20 dresden pieces are sewn together.

Press all seams to one side.
Repeat these steps with your other 2 sizes of Dresden’s, so that when you are done you have 3 different sizes of dresden blocks.

Set aside all 3 pieces.

Next: Prepare Quilt Top.

Cut your background fabric (the white with gray dots) to 30″ x 40″.

Cut 4 strips from your border fabric each 4″ wide by the width of the fabric. (so 4″ x 44″)

Stitch 2 4″ border strips to the 40″ sides of your background fabric.  Press seams to one side and trim edges flush with background fabric.

Stitch remaining 2 4″ border strips to the 30″ sides of your background fabric. Press seams to one side. Trim.

Next:  Quilt.

Make a “quilt sandwich” with your prepared quilt top, quilt batting and quilt backing (you do not need to cut it, just leave it as 1 1/2 yards).

Baste well and machine quilt as desired.

I chose to machine quilt circles onto my quilt, using my backing fabric as a guide.

Complete your machine quilting and trim all layers even.

Next: Attach Dresden Blocks to Quilt.

Cut 3 circles from the fabric you wish to use for the center of your dresden blocks. I chose to fussy cut each one.

1 circle 3 1/4″ in diameter
1 circle 4 1/4″ in diameter
1 circle 5 1/4″ in diameter

Place the circle, right side down onto a scrap of white fabric.

Stitch around the entire circle  with 1/4″ seam (don’t leave an opening).  Trim your white fabric and clip the seams around the circle.

Cut a slit in the white fabric and turn the circle right side out.  Press well. Set aside.

Now place the dresdens on your quilt top as you like.  I scattered mine.  Use some spray basting to hold the dresdens in place and LOTS of pins.  Stitch the dresden to the quilt along the outside edge.  Stitch as close to the edge as possible.

After you have stitched all 3 dresdens to the front of your quilt, pin your prepared circles to your blocks.  The 3″ (after sewn) circle goes on the 3″ tall dresden block, the 4″ circle goes on the 5″ tall dresden block and the 4″ circle goes on the 8″ tall dresden block.

Stitch each circle in place, I used an appliqué stitch around the circles to give it a more finished look.

Next: Bind

Cut your binding strips to 2 1/2″ and bind as desired.

If you liked this project, you may also like the projects in my book!

Project Teen by Melissa Mortenson

Diamond Quilt pattern- made entirely from Fat Quarters!



Melissa Mortenson is the author of the Polka Dot Chair blog which is in its 7th year of sharing fresh and creative ideas with readers. She is the author of “Project Teen, Handmade Gifts your Teen will Actually Love”. Her first fabric line “Derby Style” debuted in January 2015 through Riley Blake Designs. A mom of 3, she considers herself lucky to be living in Kentucky.


  1. says

    Oh how cute this is! What a great tutorial! This quilt would be loved and cherished forever!

    I hope you will consider adding a photo of this into SewSet, a new on-line sewing pattern & tutorial directory. I would love for others to be able to find this and you as they search!

    Thank you so much for sharing!
    – Jessica, SewSet.com

  2. VickiT says

    I absolutely LOVE! LOVE LOVE this quilt. Thank you for the awesome tutorial. I only wish I had such adorable fabrics to make one right now. I have the baby that needs one (my almost 6 month old Granddaughter) but not the cute fabrics. darn.

  3. Robyn says

    Great quilt, I am very keen to make it, but tutorial doesn’t show how to make the point on the dresdan plate. Can you please show this is more detail. Thanks

  4. Diane says

    I did one of these for a baby boy. It turned out well. Should I send you a picture? The fabrics that I used look like little neck ties.

  5. Kay says

    Love Dresden plate. I was wondering if you could do a tute. On a Dresden table mat. I need to know how to put a backing on them? Love your tute. Very easy to follow. Keep up the good work.

  6. Pat Wagner says

    Is the dresden plate hand sewn or machine sewn. does this effect the quilting done before the plates are applied?

  7. Jan Hood says

    “Is the backing cathedral windows or does it come with that look?”
    I was just about to ask the same thing ( a month later..lol) I’ve looked all over for that fabric..no luck..then it just dawned on me..was it your own cathedral window using Riley Blake fabric ???
    Love the quilt !!

  8. Barbara Morrison says

    I instantly fell in Love with this Baby Quilt. So I made it. I had it done in no time. It was easy and came out Beautiful. I would Love to share pics but don’t know how.

  9. Kendra says

    Made a small version of this quilt, where the bigger dresdan plate centered in the middle and went around with layer cake squares cut in half for the border. Was absolutely darling.Thank you for the tutorial.

  10. Judy Sidwell says

    I just made this quilt in a throw size. It will be given as a Christmas gift. It turned out beautiful and was so quick!

  11. Brenda says

    This quilt is adorable … as soon as I have a great grandchild I will make it.
    Is the Dresden Plate Ruler and a 22.5 degree ruler the same angle?

  12. Deanna Watson says

    Is the Dresden Plates machine or hand sewn onto the quilt? If machine quilting does it affect the look of the backing.

  13. Darlenle says

    I made this quilt for a Great Granddaughter. It turned out beautifully. You instructions were so easy to follow. For the centers of the Dresden Plates I made some machine embroidered Bugs on white fabric. I named the quilt; Cute as a Bug. The new Mom loved it. Thank you for this pattern. I will use it again but this time for a bigger quilt for myself.

  14. says

    Enterprises having a large website with a lot of traffic influx
    will require the reseller hosting package. A dedicated rented machine can be rented for operating complex web applications and for the multiple sites interconnected to your business.
    You can be diligent about protecting your website but someone else on the same server might
    not be.

  15. Vicki says

    Love it!!!! Tip that I use: Use fusible interfacing for the back of the circle and you don’t have to pin so much. Really easy.

  16. Terri says

    Same question that’s been asked twice before but with no answer, were the Dresden plates and circles hand sewn on or machine sewn on?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *