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Dresden Burst Baby Quilt Tutorial

I hope that you’ll enjoy this simple Dresden Block Baby Quilt tutorial that I’m calling “a Dresden Burst!”.  If you like this post you may also like this Turnstile Baby Quilt Tutorial. 

Free tutorial for a Dresden Baby Quilt, so cute and simple!

For this month’s free tutorial, I am going to show you how to make a baby quilt from Dresden Quilt Blocks.  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.

How to Get the Pattern

Option 1:

You can now purchase this tutorial in PRINTABLE PDF version, with 2 of our most popular Baby Quilt Patterns!

JUST CLICK HERE to purchase in our SHOP!

Option 2: Read the Directions off of this page

How to Make a Baby Quilt with Dresden Blocks

What to make one?

Free tutorial for a Dresden Baby Quilt, so cute and simple!
Free tutorial for a Dresden Baby Quilt, so cute and simple!

Supplies for Dresden Baby Quilt:

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. Both fabrics are now out of print. I recommend picking a fabric line that has a “featured image” that you can fussy cut for the center of the dresden blocks. You can also use a simple swiss dot for the background fabric.

  • 1/2 yard each of 5 different fabrics to make the Dresden blades
  • 1/4 yard fabric (may need more for pattern matching) for the centers of the Dresden Blocks
  • 1 1/2 yards fabric for the 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″


Step One: Create 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 and 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.

How To Make the Dresden Plate:

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.

Step Two: Prepare the 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 two 4″ border strips to the 40″ sides of your background fabric.  Press seams to one side and trim edges flush with the background fabric.

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

Step Three: 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.

One circle 3 1/4″ in diameter, one circle 4 1/4″ in diameter and one 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.

Step Four:  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.

There are TWO ways to quilt this. One is all over pattern quilting. You can also custom free motion quilt it. Alternatively, you can FIRST quilt the quilt then AFTER applique the Dresden blocks on to the quilt. That way the free motion quilting will not show in the blocks. However, there may not be enough quilting on the blocks to hold the fabric in place properly after it is washed.

I quilted the same pattern right over the top of the dresden blocks. If I didn’t I would need to custom free motion quilt the top. I am not skilled enough to do that so I just did an all-over pattern.

Complete your machine quilting and trim all layers even.

Finishing: Binding the Quilt

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

Dresen Burst Baby Quilt Tutorial

If you liked this project, you may also like these quilt patterns:

Derby Prize Ribbons Quilt Pattern!

Giant Star Baby Quilt Pattern

Rail Fence Baby Quilt Pattern – Beginner Friendly

25+ Free Baby Quilt Patterns

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  1. 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. 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. 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

    1. Robyn, when you fold the “plate” in half lengthwise and then sew across the widest short edge (make sense?) the point will be formed when you open the plate. Hope that helps

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

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

  13. Pingback: Over 20 Dresden Plate Quilt Patterns
  14. 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.

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  16. 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.

  17. 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?

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