This week I wanted to try making a few Dresden plate blocks with 12 fabrics I had left over from a previous project. However, I am new to quilting and don't own any special rulers for making triangles or petals. I wanted to try making a couple Dresden plates with pointed petals but did not see a good template on the internet. I came up with this method to make 12 petal Dresden plates using only a cutting board with a 45 degree angle mark, a ruler with a 60 degree angle mark any my rotary cutter.
This tutorial concentrates on how to cut out the petals accurately. It does not focus on tips for sewing the pointed Dresden plate petals.
This is a technique, not a template. I used 5.5 inch strips of fabric, the wider tops of the petals were approximate 4 inches and the narrower bottoms were 7/8 inch. I am appliquéing these plates onto blocks that finish at 12.5 inches square.
Ruler with 30 and 60 degree angles marked
360 degrees, 12 petals means each petal takes 30 degrees of the circle both before and after sewing.
Angle between petal side and petal bottom is 105 degrees. My ruler does not have a 105 degree measurement, but I can create that angle by using the 45 degree angle on my cutting board combined with the 60 degree angle on my ruler.
I cut most of my printed fabrics right side down. For dark and greenish prints I find I can see the marks on the rulers much more accurately this way. I don't see many other tutorials with the fabric cut facing down. This does not work on batik and solid fabrics, but does make cutting some prints easier.
Place a strip of fabric along the 45 degree mark of your cutting board. This strip is 5.5 inches wide and will be used to make a Dresden plate for a block that finishes at 12.5 inches
The fabric in place, the 45 line doesn't photograph well here
Now place your ruler so that the 30 degree mark is on a perpendicular line on your mat. This was difficult to photograph as well.
A different angle of the same setup.
Your fabric strip and ruler edge should now intersect at an angle of 105 degrees, to allow you to make the first cut off your strip.
The first cut was made
You can move the fabric off the 45 degree line now if you wish. For the next cut, you need to allign the 30 degree mark of the ruler along the cut you just made. You will also have to choose now how wide you want the bottom of your petal to be. I choose a width of about 7/8 inch, which is at the intersection of the 30 degree line and the 1.5 inch line.
Flip the ruler to the other side of the fabric strip for the third cut, to create the next petal.
Continue along your fabric strip, alternating sides
You can check for accuracy by lining a cut petal up on your rule or cutting board. If the top and bottom of the petal are aligned horizontally, then you should be able to center your petal along a mark and have equal widths to the left and right.
There are many other tutorials of how to sew the pointed petals. Briefly, fold in half right sides together and sew along the wide top side. Clip the excess fabric in the seam at the fold; if you are dextrous you can do this at the same time you clip the treads to unchain your pieces. Turn the petal right side out and use a bamboo skewer or other pointy object to make a sharp corner. Press flat, do not iron it will dull your point. If the fabric feels limp I suggest adding extra starch at this step.
Sew the petals together. I found that starting at the fold and working towards the center worked better. I sewed mine in pairs, then into quads and finally all 12 together in a ring. The center of this ring is roughly 1.5 inches in diameter and I plan to applique a 2.5 inch circle over the center.
The back of the ring shows the seams. I pressed them around in a circle.