If I had to pick, I think I’d have to say that Dresden Plate Quilts are my favorite type of quilts (I’d put an Ohio or a Sawtooth star block at a close 2nd and 3rd though). I think there is something so fun about a Dresden plate, it always reminds me of a giant prize ribbon. Sarah Ashford is back with us today sharing another fabulous quilt tutorial, a free Mini Quilt Pattern that is the perfect quilt to stitch up on a quiet afternoon or during a lazy weekend.
Mini Dresden Plate Quilt Pattern:
I love seeing new fabric lines come out. There’s always new ranges to tempt us and a great sense of anticipation to start sewing when a beautifully curated collection of fabrics is released. But more often than not, it is the time factor that stops most of us in our tracks. As let’s face it, who’s got time to make a full sized quilt with every new fabric line that they fall in love with!
So to get a quick fix, often the answer is to make a smaller project such as a bag or cushion. I love these items as much as the next person, but my husband will be the first to say I don’t need any more bags, and I now have more quilted cushions than chairs to put them on! So a good alternative is to make a mini quilt. After all, it’s quilts that I love making best of all, and if I put it on the wall I can look at it every day.
As you will have read from my previous tutorial (for the Churn Dash Block Pincushion) at the moment I’m really into making traditional blocks with modern fabrics. So I had a look through some of my quilting books and I felt inspired to make a Dresden plate. I love Dresden plates so much, and one day I will make a whole Dresden quilt, but for now, I feel a mini quilt is a good compromise. I just love Welsummer by Kim Knight for Cotton and Steel, so this was the perfect collection for me to use.
So I’m going to show you how, and I do hope you will make a Dresden Mini Quilt of your own, using those fabrics that you love the most and want to look at every day.
Dresden Plate Mini Quilt Supplies:
You will need:
Fat eighths of 6 different fabrics
14” square background fabric
5” square for the central circle (You may wish to fussy cut this)
16” square batting
12 1/2” square backing fabric
Fat 8th binding fabric
Card or template plastic (optional)
Optional – selvage strips with 1/2” extra width
Print of the Dresden blade template. You may wish to mount it on card or template plastic to give it more stability. We are making a 12 blade Dresden so if you have 6 fabrics you will need to cut 2 of each. As long as you have 12 in total it doesn’t matter how many fabrics you use! I find using a pen is easiest to draw around the templates as pencil doesn’t always show up. You can cut just inside of the line when you cut the blades out.
Lay your blades out in a pleasing circular arrangement and take a photo that you can refer back to.
Take one blade and fold it in half, right sides together. Stitch a 1/4” seam from the side point of the blade to the tip of the blade. Repeat for every blade. You may find it quicker and easier to chain piece. Cut off the ‘ear’ at the top of each blade to reduce bulk.
How to Sew the Dresden Blades:
Turn right side out and press open, ensuring that the point of each blade is at the top and centre.
Referring to your layout photograph, take one blade and pair it with an adjacent blade, right sides together. Stitch a 1/4” seam down one side to join the two blades together.
Repeat with all the pairs and then join the pairs together. Keep joining the blades until you’ve completed a full circle. Press.
Now take your background fabric and fold in half and in half again pressing in the creases. Spray baste the completed Dresden and line it up with the creases so that it is centered on the background fabric. Iron in place.
Using a neutral thread, stitch close to the edge all around the blades to secure the Dresden to the background fabric.
Now we need to complete the middle of the Dresden. Take the circle template and draw around it on the reverse side of your chosen fabric. You may wish to fussy cut your fabric to have a central motif for your Dresden. Cut it out, and cut out a second circle in the same fabric.
Create the Center:
Place the circles right sides together and put a pin in the middle so they don’t move. Using 1/8th” seam, stitch all the way around the circle. Cut a small slit in the back circle and turn through. Take care not to snip the front circle!
Use a sharp tool such as a knitting needle to push out the seams and create the curves. Press the circle flat.
Set aside the circle and layer up the mini quilt to create the quilt sandwich. Place the backing fabric right side down and fuse the batting to it using spray baste. Lay the quilt top on top, fused with spray baste. Finally, spray the reverse of the central circle with spray baste and place in the center of the Dresden.
Quilting the Mini Quilt:
Stitch the circle to the center of the Dresden close to the edge of the circle.
Echo quilt around the Dresden blades using a slightly longer stitch length. I’ve used 3.5 and quilted 2 lines of echo quilting. Pull the threads to the back and sew them in. As the quilting doesn’t extend all the way to the edge, stitch around the edge of the mini quilt to enclose all three layers.
OPTIONAL – You may wish to add some selvage detail to your mini quilt. The selvage on the Welsummer fabric is just so cute, I thought it would be fun to incorporate it! If you want to, cut a piece of the selvage that you’d like to include, ensuring that you also include 1/2” of the fabric. Fold over 1/4” so that just 1/4” of the fabric is revealed, and iron in place. Stitch close to the seam to create a hem. You don’t need to hem the bottom of the selvage.
Position onto your mini quilt. I’ve placed mine diagonally in the top and bottom corners so the ends will be inside the binding. I’ve secured it with a double row of stitching at the bottom and one row of stitching at the top parallel to the hemline.
Make your binding in the usual way. I like to use 1.5” single fold binding for mini quilts as it reduces bulk and uses less fabric. Machine onto the mini quilt, hand stitch on the reverse and you are finished! All you need to do now is find somewhere in your sewing room or your home to display it!
About the Maker:
Sarah Ashford is a British Quilter and embroiderer and founder of the GreatBritishQuilter challenge on Instagram. Sarah regularly contributes projects to magazines and loves to spread the joy of quilting everywhere she goes. Follow her on Instagram at @sarahashfordstudio and be sure to check out her beautiful sewing room decals in her etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/
Other Mini Quilt Patterns that you may like: