Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dresden Plate Block- Part 1

This block is one of the prettiest I have ever seen, and with my method of making the template for it, you will be able to make two different sizes. It's easy to make this template and will save you some money, too. You will be able to control the size of the petals, along with their lengths, to suit what you had in mind. So, grab a large piece of paper so we can get started.

Find something very large and round. A plate or a bowl will work. Lay this down on the paper and trace all the way around it, like so:
Carefully cut out the circle, then lining up the edges, fold it exactly in half.
Make a good crease on that fold. You will need the line, and the lines after it. Unfold the circle and using a pen or marker, mark the creases on both ends. You will be doing this after every fold.
To make the next fold, match up your marks and crease the paper well. Open the circle and mark the edges on each end of this crease. You will have four equal segments in your paper circle.
With the third fold, you will match your marks and you will see a 'V' on the paper. When all four notches match up, make your crease, unfold the paper and mark those ends with notches. Keep going with the folding and marking until you have a circle with 16 equally segmented petals.
You do not have to have 16 petals and you can stop anywhere, as long as each segment is equal. You might want your petals fatter, but I would not recommend going any smaller than what I show here. Considering your 1/4" seam, you could easily run into problems going that way. This is just my advice, and you do not need to follow it. These are just basic instructions for making the templates.

Okay so far?
Now that you have a nice paper circle, pick a petal, any petal, and outline it, like this-
This is the piece you will use to make a template. But first, you will need to make more marks.
Start with the narrow end of the petal. Bring your ruler up so that you have a one inch bottom. If you make it any smaller, you won't have much room come sewing time. Make your mark straight across.
Next is the top- the widest part of the petal. Mine was 2 inches across when the ruler was placed notch to notch. Mark that line, too.
This is the small petal and it calls for 16 petals to make a complete circle or flower.
Now, if you want a longer petal like I did, tape down a piece of paper to make the extension. Mark your bottom line, then measure up to your desired length. Mark that and do that again on the other side. My larger petal is 3 inches across at the top with a one inch bottom.
These next three pictures will show you how I did this.

I did not know this until I started putting the large Dresden Plate together, but it takes 18 petals to make a complete circle, where the smaller takes 16 petals. Please make note of that on your template.

Transfer these to a heavy piece of cardboard, as in an insert in a new shirt. Something that will last a while. Save your paper templates for when you need new templates. I like to mark any notations right on the template because I know I won't remember any specifics later on.

One more thing to do.
Trace different sized circles on your template cardboard. Make a few different sizes, as you might want a smaller or larger center for the flower. Use anything handy- a cup, bowl, whatever you have. You might not want a circular center and that is up to you, but from what I've seen, a circle is used for the center. Here are two of mine.

You are now done making templates for your Dresden Plate. Get your fabric ready. In Part 2, we will make a Dresden Plate block.

If you have any questions, please use the comment section below and I will get right back to you!

Happy Sewing!


  1. this is very good. I would never be able to explain it like you did. thanks

  2. I have searched over and over for a template and how to make my own, this looks like the best yet, thanks so much!!!

  3. Hello, can you tell me how to find "Part 2"