Yesterday I finished off the last two Dresden Blocks out of the 30 I have made over the last few months. They can be a bit tricky and while making them I have learned a number of tips and tricks that has made them very easy to accomplish, which I would love to share.
This seam at the top of the blade is sewn with a very very small stitch. I learned that you could then poke a lot when turning it to get that nice point without making it through the seam. I also found that the above cut worked better than the normal diagonal cut I usually used on a seam I planned to turn.
I have several tools for tuning points, but this really sharp point worked the best.
So you can see that this gave me a really nice point on the blade.
When sewing my blades together I did not start at the top. I started a short distance down on the seam, took a stitch or two forward, then backed up over the end. Then I cut cut off the thread it would not show at the top of the blades and I could leave a bit of a thread tail. I also used a smaller stitch on the seams.
This is a normal stitch plate on most machines. Notice the large oval opening for the needle. This does not work well with making these little guys. They are small and can get sucked down into that opening.
I used my single opening plate. By the way this plate is wonderful for piecing. It improves your stitch and seam accuracy. Just do not try to do a zig zag with it. However, I have learned I can move my needle over just one or two degrees for a wider or narrower quarter inch seam. Every machine is different so be careful when experimenting with that.
When pinning your plate onto you background fold your background in half and again in the opposite directions and finger press. Then line up each blade on the pressed line equally on all four sides. Use either the point or the seam between two blades all the way around the four sides and it will be be placed perfectly on your background. My backgrounds were made with four different fabrics so I had a seam to line up my blades.
I sewed my blades down by machine with thread that matched or blended well given what fabrics I used in my blades. They can be hand appliquéd down as well, but 30 Dresden blocks was more than I was interested in doing hand appliqué on. I think they looks just fine with this method.
I hope this little tutorial helps some of you think about maybe giving Dresden Plates a try. I pretty much threw in the towel a couple years ago making them. When I got involved in making the Anthologie Southern Charm quilt along a while back I had to jump in and figure them out. Since then I have sort of become addicted to them, and will soon show you my 24 Dresden with 24 Flying Geese quilt.