Dresden plate patchwork quilt by erickaeckles


Dresden plate
Brain Storming


I love Dresden plate patchwork quilts, and a couple of years ago I drafted up a pattern, cut out some hundred papers, and some fabric shapes...then promptly forgot about them as I had other sewing projects on the go.

Earlier this year when I was sorting out my studio I found a box filled with odd shapes of fabric and paper pieces....and then remembered the Dresden Plate I'd begun.  Suddenly the studio seemed tidy enough, and I sat down with a cup of tea and a couple of pieces of toast, and started sewing the "slices" together to make the plates...and before I knew it I had made a whole stack of plates.

I've stalled a little as I'm a bit un-sure where to go now...I've got a couple of ideas about how to place the plates, I don't really want them in straight rows, but on the diagonal.... I'm not sure if I want blocks of colour behind the plates, or shirting fabric (I've got a big collection of good quality cotton shirts) which I think would be good for a contrast..

I've now pieced 20 whole plates, 8 half plates and 4 quarter plates.  So for now, I'm just drawing and  planning in a sketchbook, every so often I arrange the blocks out on the carpet....it hasn't clicked yet...but I'm happy to put the patchwork to one side until the light bulb comes on!

And I can't decide quite how I'm going to do the centres, I like Suffolk Puffs (though I now live in Norfolk, I am a Suffolk girl...being both "born and bred" there) so feel those would be a nice touch... but I also like covered circles... figure it's a detail that can wait 'til the plates are in place.

For now, these plates have been put on a back burner as I have other sewing projects on the go again (I never seem to be sewing just one thing at a time), and I keep a couple pinned up on my work board so I keep looking at them and don't forget them again.

While I was sewing these together I wrote out a couple of tutorials on my blog explaining how I drafted the initial pattern, how I sew my pieces together (I also sew my tops a little bit different so have shown that way too) and have also wrote a tutorial about sewing fabric over paper pieces...hope they help.


arranging "slices" in a dresden plate...
pinning and piecing dresden plate "slices"....
three joined "slices" of a dresden plate...
gatheirng fabric around a paper "slice"...
I sew the fabric around the papers, I don't sew through the paper....
details on how ot draft a dresden plate ot yur own specifications...
selection of plates
dresden plate
dresden plate
arranging slices for a plate...
a stash of prepared dresden plate "slices"....
I've tried to make each plate different...





Beautiful dresdens. You do such wonderful work



Thank you... though look who's talking...I love your scrappy star quilt, it's just like stained glass.
I really do love hand sewing, for me part of the pleasure really is in every tiny hand sewn stitch, I know it takes a longer time, but this is the way I was bought up to do things from a very early age.

I do some things on a machine but that tends to be more things I sell (feeding my tummy rather than my soul)

I think this way of working is something I inherited from my dad, he was a very careful gardener (everything was measured before he planted it, and he had various lengths of wood with drilled holes for different seeds and beans!)

I'm laughing because although I'm quite fussy in my sewing....if you could see my studio right now....it's such an old mess, luckily I'm quite leggy so can "seven league boots" step across to my sewing table...too many piles of UFOs and books and boxes of scraps ..scraps that will "come in handy one day".


These are really lovely!


Ditto Hawkfan's lovely work comment...wow and I love reading the "story" behind each of your projects!


It sounds like your dad was an engineer or at least had an engineer's personality. I like hand sewing the binding on my quilts but otherwise, I'm afraid I don't have the patience. There are times when I wish I did more hand sewing though since you can take it so many places. I used to do a lot of cross stitch and it was nice to take it with me.


HawkFan True Carolmarie 1kadybug

Thank you for the very nice compliments....
I tend to take some crochet with me if I'm travelling as I'm a bit of a pin dropper (boyfriends feet must be magnetic as he always finds them) so don't tend to "travel sew"...but yeah it is nice and portable. Just sitting on the back door step first thing in the morning, when the morning is still and quiet with a cup of tea and some sewing is just nice to do...


When I'm sewing by hand I can hear the radio, watch box sets (anything Jane Austen is a particular favourite but also like Inspector Morse and it's follow up Lewis, not to mention Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation.....and I think I watch all the Die Hard Films every few months as I have a crush on Bruce Willis...ooohhh and I like the Harry Potter films too...bit of a mix in tastes I know...) I also like listening to audio books....when I'm sewing on a machine I can't really hear anything.
However, I do do some things on a machine...I make Christmas Stockings from old vintage blankets, I hand embroider and applique on them first, and then sew the stockings and lining on my Bernina (the walking foot makes such a difference) and also make hot water bottle covers and tea cosies, glasses cases and those are sewn on the machine....but they also have some hand work on them too, either applique or embroidery.
I try to keep my quilts separate from that, and just feel happier when I'm sewing them by hand.

I think people get put off by the preconceived amount of time that must get spent hand sewing...I'll be the first to admit that yes, it does take a bit of time, but when it's something that can be picked up every time you plop into a chair and watch tv it's almost quicker....(when I used to travel to work on a bus I took some crochet to make granny squares....I'd made a huge blanket in less than 3 months, and got to chat to lots of people who were asking me what I was making)
Maybe all men's feet are more magnetic...though last year I stepped on a needle which went right through my foot, I didn't tell my boyfriend what happened in case he told me off, I'd have felt awful if my cat had stood on in so I kept it a secret for ages. Needle went through eye side first which just made me glad I was sewing and not darning!


These are so beautiful...and I am looking forward to seeing the finished quilt some day. I love the look of Dresdens...so vintagey and perfect in any room. You do gorgeous work.



I'm terrible for starting things and then putting them to one side and then start on something else...last winter (around Jan/Feb 2013 ) I started a huge granny's paperweight crochet blanket (it's also called African flower but I prefer the other name)... it's "mostly" finished, it's useable, but I still need to sort out the sides, (need to make half hexagons which are a right pain to make) and have about two thousand tails left to sew in (have already sewn that amount!)
Thank you so much for your lovely comments...

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