The Dresden plate is one of the most well-known and easily identifiable quilt patterns.
It has the perfect combination of traditional quilt design and unique piecing, making it a timeless choice for many quilters.
We will review some essential FAQs about the Dresden quilt pattern; plus, I have gathered 21 gorgeous, jaw-dropping examples of this beautiful quilt pattern for you to see.
So without further ado, let’s discuss why this quilt pattern is vital to the quilting community.
- What Is a Dresden Plate Quilt?
- FAQS about Dresden Plate Quilts
- Dresden Plate Quilt Pattern: 21 Gorgeous Patterns to Try
- 1. Free Mini Dresden Plate Pattern
- 2. Mega Skinny Blade Dresden
- 3. Tilda Sunkiss Dresden Plate Quilt
- 4. Parasols Quilt Pattern
- 5. Bring Me Sunshine
- 6. Little Applique Sun
- 7. Rounded Dresden Blade Tutorial
- 8. Dresden Plate Quilt Top
- 9. Kathleen’s Modern Dresden Plate
- 10. Giant Dresden Plate Quilt
- 11. Dresden Plate Table Runner
- 12. Mini Dresden Holiday Tree Hanging
- 13. Flower Power Dresden Quilt
- 14. Umbrella Dresden Plate Quilt
- 15. Dresden Irish Chain Quilt
- 16. Summer Rain Modern Dresden Plate Quilt
- 17. Esther’s Dresden Plate Quilt
- 18. Mini Dresden Rainbow Kit
- 19. Vintage Dresden Plate Quilt
- 21. Floral Dresden Plate Quilt
- 21. Free Dresden Plate Block Tutorial
What Is a Dresden Plate Quilt?
Before we go into FAQs about Dresden quilts, I want to teach you a little bit about the history of the Dresden plate quilt block and where it originated. It has a pretty interesting history.
Back in the 1800s in Dresden, Germany, ceramic artists were creating beautiful works of art. Artists painted beautiful designs onto porcelain tableware and placed their trademarks on the bottom of the pieces.
These trademarks resembled crowns and would let people know who had painted the pieces. Fast forward to the early 1900s in America, where quilt making was a huge part of life since there are cold winters in a large part of the country.
The Dresden plate quilt block emerged in the 1920s and is meant to be reminiscent of the Dresden porcelain trademarks. Dresden plate quilts have been popular ever since, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
FAQS about Dresden Plate Quilts
Now I want to go over the FAQs you might ask when looking into making a Dresden quilt. This pattern is versatile and an excellent fit for beginners and seasoned pros.
What size is a Dresden Plate template?
Dresden plate templates come in a wide variety of sizes. I’ve seen some as small as 2 ½” and as large as 9”.
How many blades does a Dresden Plate have?
The number of blades you use to create a Dresden plate will depend on the width of the plates. The smallest number I’ve seen used is 12 plates; you can go up to 36+ plates.
How do you piece a Dresden Plate quilt?
You sew the flat side edges together with a ¼” seam to create a circle of Dresden blades. You then press the seams open so they will lay as flat as possible on the foundation fabric.
How do I attach a Dresden Plate to fabric?
Take your Dresden Plate and place it onto the foundation fabric. Pin it into place so it won’t move. You can now attach it either by hand or with a sewing machine.
Dresden Plate Quilt Pattern: 21 Gorgeous Patterns to Try
Now that we know a little bit more about the Dresden quilt pattern let’s look at some beautiful examples of what is possible using a Dresden Plate pattern. I tried to find several unique projects to inspire you to think outside the box.
Here is a great free tutorial by The Polka Dot Chair that shows you how to make this cute little mini quilt. She takes you step-by-step and includes photos to illustrate how to do them.
This Dresden Plate uses 12 blades. The designer includes a downloadable pattern to use to create the blades.
How cute is this double Dresden Plate design? This pattern includes full-size printable templates and instructions on how to piece this mega skinny blade Dresden pattern. The finished Dresden Plate measures 27” in diameter, and the finished quilt measures approximately 40”.
Here is a gorgeous quilt made by Amber from Gigi’s Thimble. She used a fat quarter bundle to create her blades and chose to use shorter blades so she could have a large center circle. These look like flowers, don’t they? The choice to use multiple fabrics gives this quilt a whimsical look perfect for this quilt pattern.
If you are curious about creating a Dresden Plate quilt but don’t want to use applique, this pattern is perfect. The designer used her skills to create an entirely traditionally pieced Dresden block. This would make a super fun beginner project.
Bring Me Sunshine is a sunflower-inspired quilt pattern that uses English Paper Piecing (EPP) to create these lovely flower blocks.
The link above is for a quilt kit that includes precut paper pieces, acrylic templates, and the pattern to help you make these beautiful blocks. The kit does not include the fabric, but this would be a fun pattern to use with fabric scraps.
Another shape that is popular for Dresden blades is the sun. Here is an adorable example of how someone created a scrappy yellow sun to go onto a scrappy patchwork foundation fabric. The designer gives a brief explanation of how she produces her Dresden Plate.
Here is an easy-to-follow free tutorial on how to create this charming Dresden Plate. Unlike the other examples we’ve looked at, this Dresden Plate has rounded tips giving it a much more soft and sweet look.
The tutorial writer shows you how to use paper templates to create these perfectly rounded blades with her multi-part tutorial series.
How gorgeous is this quilt top? This quilt is outstanding with the combination of the quarter Dresden Plates, whole Dresden blocks, and tulip applique pieces! The color palette is warm and inviting, and the Batik fabrics give this a fun, boho vibe.
This quilt’s color choices and placement give it an incredible optical illusion, complete with spiraling Dresden Plates.
This bold design is highlighted with beautiful custom quilting with lots of echoing and swirls to add dimension. Creating a quilt like this might be the answer if you want a statement piece.
Here’s a scrappy patchwork Dresden Plate quilt. If you look closely, notice the tip of each blade is free and not stitched down. What a cute detail to include! The finished size is 41” x51”.
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If you want to try out the Dresden Plate quilt block but don’t necessarily want to make an entire quilt, why not make a cute and functional table runner for your dining room?
The designer of this particular table runner used beautiful vintage-inspired fabrics to add a touch of nostalgia to her work.
She gives a brief tutorial on how she created this table runner at the end of the post.
Here is a Dresden quilt design that is “outside of the box,” and I love it. Instead of creating a traditional “plate,” you will create rows for the different layers of the tree. This project should only take about 4-6 hours, so you could easily make it in one day or over the weekend.
Can we all agree and say this quilt is jaw-droppingly gorgeous? To create this masterpiece, the designer combined the traditional Dresden Plate pattern with a playful, boho patchwork background. The finished quilt measures 67”x85”.
This quilt is another excellent example of thinking outside the box and uniquely using the Dresden Plate pattern. The designer used five blades to replicate an umbrella and added a cute applique handle to each one. They also used sashing to make the umbrellas “pop” against the bright white background.
If you want a free tutorial, this one from Moda Fabrics is fantastic. They not only show you to make a Dresden Plate, but they also walk you through the steps of making this fun Irish Chain design. The finished quilt will measure 84” square.
Summer Rain is an eye-catching modern quilt pattern that showcases a wide variety of different Dresden Plate designs.
There are multiple flower types, a sun, butterflies, and ladybugs all over this quilt top, and the attention to detail is inspiring.
Also, several elements have an extra layer of batting to give them a more plush feel and look. Great idea!
Here is a wonderfully traditional Dresden quilt featuring adorable 1920s replica fabric to naturally lean into that “vintage” feel the Dresden quilt pattern has.
The custom quilting adds so much depth and design to the overall look of the quilt.
Isn’t this mini quilt just adorable? This pattern comes in a kit that includes the paper pattern, full-size templates, and fabric for the front, back, and binding. This would be a fantastic beginner project for any age. The finished measurements for this mini quilt are 16”x21”.
Jolene Klassen designed this beautiful quilt from Blue Elephant Stitches. She used a mixture of new and vintage fabrics to create the whole quilt and a handmade template to cut out the Dresden blades.
The color palette is lovely and gives this quilt a scrappy feel. When I think “Dresden Plate quilt,” this is the quilt design I imagine- beautiful and timeless.
I love the mixture of pointed and rounded Dresden blades for the different flowers. The variation makes the design feel organic. These Kaffe Fabrics are phenomenal for this kind of design, and the quilter who made this had a GENIUS idea.
For the muted background fabric, she simply used the Kaffe fabric she had, but instead of using the right side of the material, she used the back. That way, the colors still match the vibrant flowers, but they don’t distract.
If you need a tutorial on how to make small blades for a Dresden Plate, use this tutorial. The writer gives easy-to-follow instructions and detailed images to show you how to make them. Note: the instructions assume you have an acrylic template to cut the individual pieces.
I hope you found these different quilts and tutorials inspiring. It’s so fun to see a seemingly traditional quilt block have new life breathed into it by other quilters.
About the author: Miriam Ronne is a lover of all things quilting and sewing. She is a self-taught quilter and is constantly learning and broadening her skill set to create one-of-a-kind quilts! When she’s not behind her sewing machine you can find her playing with her fur babies or trying her hand at other crafty things.