Quilt Block Tutorials, Tutorial Tuesday, Tutorials, UK craft blog

Tutorial: Sew. Happy. Quilt. QAL – Dresden Quilt Block

{Manic Monday Linky Party is still open!} Holy cow, it’s the last tutorial of the Sew. Happy. Quilt. Quilt Along! *sniff, sniff* I can hardly believe it – the ladies in the Flickr group have been SO amazing and I’m so proud of them. Many of them are totally new to quilting and Quilt Alongs and they’ve done some fantastic work.

So here it is, the Dresden block. Not anywhere near as tricky or difficult as last week’s QuatraStar. BTW, I’ve updated the QuatraStar pdf download to one that should print out at exactly 6″ square. It seems my printer interprets ‘borderless’ as ‘Let’s see if we can shrink this a bit’, so you guys were getting bigger printouts than I was. The wonders of technology. Sigh.

If you want to link to this page, that’s fine. But please don’t link directly to the pdf or the Word doc – link to THIS page and people can follow the link to the pdf. That way I get an idea of how popular it is, which enables me to provide more free stuff in the future. So it benefits you to play politely. And I’ll know if you’re cheating.

Print the PDF WITHOUT BORDERS and check the 1″ scale mark. Cut the Dresden template right on the line. As with all patchwork, the Seam Allowance is 1/4″ throughout.

Dresden_Template – the 1/4″ Seam Allowance in already included in the template. You DO NOT need to add 1/4″ to the sides.

Dresden Block Tutorial– Here’s a Microsoft Word version if you want to print and go.


{1x} 12.5” x 12.5” Background Square

A total of {5}Dresden wedges

{1x} Quarter Circle Unit

A little of how dresdens work: To count up how many dresdens you’d need for a full circle, you need to know what degree the angle is on yourdresdentemplate/ruler. Ours is 18°. Divide 360 (there are 360 degrees in a circle, remember?) by the degree of your ruler. In our case that’s 360° divided by 18° = 20. And if you want to make only one block (which is ¼ of a circle) – like ours – you divide by 4 to discover how many blades you’ll need. Thats 20 divided by 4 = 5. So you need to cut 5 wedges.

The quarter circle: I have given you a quarter circle template. I recommend you trace it onto freezer paper. There are 2 lines drawn in a circular/arc shape, and a right angle. You need to iron that template onto the back of a square of fabric and cut along the outside edges. Then, carefully pull away the top of the circle from the fabric and trim the paper to the inside curved line. Now re-iron the template to the back of the fabric. Spray the whole thing lightly with starch and VERY CAREFULLY – SERIOUSLY, DO NOT RUSH THIS – fold and iron the edge of the fabric over the edge of the template. Set it aside – you’ll use it later.

Now move on to the blades themselves. As the photo caption says, fold the top edge of your dresden wedge in half, lengthwise, with RST. Sew ¼” seam and clip the inside corner (to make turning it out easier). GENTLY press the seam open. GENTLY!!!

Flip the pointed edge you’ve just made towards the back of the wedge (the wrong side). Try to centre it so the seam is pointing straight down, then press the edges in place.

Repeat for all 5 wedges.

Sew the edges of the blades together in your chosen order. When you are aligning them, match the tops and do not worry about the bottoms of the wedges. You will cover that in the next step. Press seams open to prevent bulk (to the side is probably ok too if you prefer it.)

Take the quarter circle you made earlier and carefully remove the freezer paper, making sure the folded edge stays neatly folded. Press it again if it needs it. Now pin the blades on their edges, and pin the quarter circle well too.

Using a sewing machine foot which allows you to see the needle clearly, sew carefully along the edges of the blades and the quarter circle. If you want, you can also baste the outside edges of the fan 1/8” from the edge. Just make sure you don’t baste more than ¼” from the edge or your stitches will be visible in the quilt top. DONE!

© Copyright J C Excell, 2012. You are welcome to use any SewHappyGeek tutorial for personal use. You are even welcome to make a couple to sell, but you are not given permission to use my pictures or my words without giving me credit and linking back to the original. You are NEVER allowed to copy an entire tutorial or post.
Sometimes my pictures have my family in them and they are never intended for public use. Also, I work very hard to provide free tutorials for my lovely readers, and anyone copying or selling my tutorials is guilty of copyright infringement.
This website is protected by Copyscape and is checked regularly, which means I WILL find you.

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13 thoughts on “Tutorial: Sew. Happy. Quilt. QAL – Dresden Quilt Block

  1. I’ve made a few Dresdens before using the easy ruler, I love them and I especially love the fabric you used, I have some on order myself! 😀

  2. I’ve made a few Dresdens before using the easy ruler, I love them and I especially love the fabric you used, I have some Lauren + Jessi Jung Hideaway and Flora on order myself! 😀

  3. Thanks, Jenna! I got on board late, but am almost finished! This has been a fun QAL! One quick question: I am a slow study and can’t figure out if I should add 1/4 to the Dresden template OR if it’s already added. Can you clear this up for me? Thanks again!

  4. I’ve never done a dresden block either but have always wanted to. So I’m really looking forward to doing this one this week.
    I see on the schedule that there is no more tutorials left. So do we assemble the blocks any way we like? Or do we assemble them just like the image for the qal?
    I love your colors by the way. I wish I had went with something other then what I chose, but at the time I figured this was a learning qal and I didn’t want to use up my favorite fabrics in case I screwed it up. But miracles happen and with your wonderful instructions – I have made it through this qal very pleased with the results of my block. Just not my colors. LOL

  5. oh wow . Hope I can get this done . I’m ‘afraid’ of dresdens ! However ; you have me going places I’ve never been so …………………………….. won’t be able to sew for a few days . busy schedule and blah blah blah ………………… 🙂

  6. The template says the blades are 9″. My 1 inch seems to be correct, if maybe a HAIR off, but the blade is 8.75. Will it be OK if I just cut it to 9? Which end should be lengthened?

  7. I have the ruler and the instructions have disappeared!!! Could you send me a copy of the instructions to me?? I would appreciate that very much. My email address is snizzy@woh,rr.rr.com

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