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This tutorial has been written by Sarah Ashford, founder of the South West Modern Quilt Guild.

Dresden Plate Mini Quilt Project

Dresden plate mini quilt project


You will need:

Background fabric -   18” x 18” 

Selection of fabrics for the 9 'blades' (a minimum of 8” x 8” per  blade)

Central circle fabric – 6” x 6” (you may wish to fussy cut a motif here)

Backing circle fabric 6” x 6”

Batting, backing and binding, as desired

All usual sewing supplies, machine, threads etc.

Dresden blade template - click to download.



How to sew a dresden blade

1) Cut out 9 dresden blades in your chosen fabrics.

How to make a dresden blade


 2. Fold each blade in half lengthways, right sides together and sew along the outer straight edge, using a ¼ inch seam. Finger press the seam open, then press with with a hot, dry iron.

Quilting tutorial from Sarah Ashford

3) Unfold the blade, turning the stitched end to the reverse. Use a point turner to push the top of the seam into a point. Press the blade flat to finish the point. Repeat for all 9 blades.

Dresden plate mini quilt free pattern

4) With right sides together, stitch 3 blades together down the long edge, using a ¼ inch seam. Repeat so that you have 3 sets of three blades. Finally, join each set of blades together, until you have a complete circle of blades. Press.  

Quilting a mini quilt

5) Pin and stitch the blades to the backing fabric using your stitch of choice. This can be done by hand using a slip stitch so that the stitches are not seen, or using a straight machine stitch.

Sewing the centre of a dresden plate


6 ) Next create the central circle. Using a template, cut out 2 circles, one in the chosen fabric (you may wish to fussy cut a motif here) and one for the back. Stitch the two circles right sides together.

Fussy cut fabrics

Here's an example of a fussy cut centre for a dresden plate.

7) Notch and trim the seam allowance. Cut a slit in the backing fabric and turn the circle right side out. Use a hera marker to get a smooth line along the edge of the circle. Press the front.

Turning a circle throughDressden plate quilting project

8) Pin and stitch the circle to the centre of the blades.

Echo quilting on a mini quilting

9) Quilt back and bind your mini quilt as desired. In this example, the Dresden Plate has been machine echo quilted around the blades.


Strip pieced Dresden plate tutorial

Why not create your own fabric, for example by stitching strips of fabric together and then cutting out the blades.  This is a great way for using up small scraps.

Pieced dresden plate

You could add some hand quilting to your piece, or even stitch a saying or motto.

You could create a 12 blade Dresden using a smaller template.

Mini dresden name tag

Or create a mini dresden for a name tag lanyard.

For other mini quilt projects click on one of the images below.

Free mini quilt patterns for swaps

Mini scrap quilt project