Dresden plates are one of those patterns that are easily recognized. It was especially popular in the 1930’s, though there are examples that predate the early 1900’s. As a result, we have many historical examples of this iconic quilt made in the pretty calicoes of the time. Most often created as an applique, the Dresden plate is a circle of fabrics radiating out from a center. These rays of fabric can end in points, curve like petals, or cut smooth in a circle. We’ve had a few different ones come into the shop. Because of these variances, the design has been known by different names, Dahlia, Sunflower, Aster to name just a few. The following quilt is a great example from Kaye.
Kaye’s quilt is hand appliqued. You can see that the beautifully even blanket stitches around the outside and around the center circle. This particular Dresden plate has a subtle curve around the outside. It really lends itself to the “plate” versus the flower of this design. Did you know Dresden is a city in Germany that was known for beautiful decorative porcelain plates during the early twentieth century? That is where this pattern gets its name!
I also like Kaye’s choice to use a dark color like burgundy with the much lighter cream patterned material in the plates. It gives an emphasis to the spokes of the wheel that make up this design.
Quilting Kaye’s Quilt
Kaye asked me to quilt this Dresden plate with a wide open meander. It is a simple process that adds texture and the structure needed to complete the quilt, without adding any additional design to the quilt. The star of the show here is the applique, and who could argue with that?
Binding Kaye’s Quilt
One of the services that I offer is binding. That is why this quilt, unlike so many of the other quilts that I picture here, has the excess batting trimmed off. Now you might be wondering why that binding looks a little rough. It’s not actually finished yet. Kaye only wanted us to sew the binding on the front so she can hand finish the process later. There is something relaxing about sitting on the couch, maybe watching a movie or talking to a friend or family member while you hand stitch down a binding.
If you are looking for your next project, have you considered a Dresden plate? Because of its age and status as public domain (no copyright), there are tons of free patterns and Youtube videos showing how to make one. This one is from the American Quilter’s Society. Afterwards, send us a photo or share it in the clubhouse. I always love to see what you’re working on!