Block Friday at Quiltmaker

by Cate Prato of Quilting Daily

One Black Friday a year is enough for me: I survived by shopping online.

But BLOCK Friday? That’s a day I could celebrate every week of the year.

For the next few Fridays we’ll be featuring favorite quilt blocks with demonstrations and advice on how to make them and resources for the quilt block patterns along with helpful tools.

Got your fat quarters and rotary cutter ready? Let’s start off with the Dresden Plate quilt block.

Let’s learn to make a Dresden Plate quilt block!

I have long adored this quilt block pattern and wanted to try making it ever since inheriting a bag of vintage feedsack and shirting fabric that included some Dresden blades already cut out.

I didn’t have enough of them to make a whole quilt, and as I’m a novice at making traditional quilt blocks, I also had no idea how to cut and piece my own.

To be honest, I was rather intimidated. But when I saw my colleague Diane Harris’s tutorial on how to make Dresden plates, I realized it isn’t hard at all.

QMMP 150200 sunshine 506px Block Friday at Quiltmaker

You Are My Sunshine from Quiltmaker’s Jan/Feb ’15 issue, on newsstands now.

Diane designed the You Are My Sunshine crib quilt with half Dresden plates for the Jan/Feb ’15 issue of Quiltmaker. The quilt block pattern and instructions are included in the issue.

Here are some of the basic tips included in her video demonstration:

  • Start with a strip of fabric whose width measures the length of the blade you need, to make cutting easier and faster.
  • Use a Dresden plate template to make sure the blades are cut to the correct size.
  • After stitching and trimming the pointed end of the blade, turn the fabric and use your fingernail to press the seam so it stays open.
  • When you turn your blade right-side out, make sure the seam is in the middle of the blade before pressing.
  • The easiest way to appliqué the Dresden plate to the quilt is with a machine straight stitch.

If you’d like to make your own You Are My Sunshine quilt, you can instantly download the pattern now. Looking for Dresden plate designs that are more challenging? Try the downloadable Dancing Dresdens…

QMMP 150200 GETCH 506px Block Friday at Quiltmaker

Dancing Dresdens from Quiltmaker’s Jan/Feb ’15 issue

…or Midnight Snowfall quilt patterns.

QMMP 150200 SNOWFALL 506px Block Friday at Quiltmaker

Midnight Snowfall from Quiltmaker’s Jan/Feb ’15 issue, on newsstands now


Or, if you like Dresden plates as much as I do, just download the entire Jan/Feb issue for all the Dresden quilt block patterns, how-tos, tips, and more.

Happy Block Friday! Can’t wait until next week.

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