I’m so excited to be part of the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild’s EZ Dresden Challenge blog tour today. This Challenge is in honor of Darlene Zimmerman’s 20th anniversary of creating tools and rulers for EZ Quilting. One of these classic tools is the Dresden ruler, used to cut wedge-shaped pieces typically to create a very traditional Dresden Plate block.
Here is my own traditional Dresden quilt created a couple of years ago. (And still un-quilted, I might add. I should really work on that…) There are lots of excellent Dresden tutorials that show how simple it is to create this very classic block. It has been fun as part of thischallenge to see the variety of other ways to use this ruler and how versatile this tool really is!
This is the block that I came up with, using Darlene’s Dresden ruler. My pinwheel has a diameter of 16″, and here’s a brief tutorial for how I did it. (I suggest reading the whole tutorial through before you start cutting and creating.)
Fabric requirements for one block:
1/4 yard striped fabric and 1/2 yard white fabric
Fabric requirements for 41″ x 60″ quilt above
3 different 1/4 yards of striped fabrics
2 1/4 yards white fabric
1/4 yard border fabric
3/8 yard binding
1 3/4 yard backing
The short-cut trick for this block is using a striped fabric. You could, of course, piece strips and cut them with the Dresden ruler as well, if you want a custom stripe. I used this stripe from Bonnie and Camille’s latest collection Vintage Modern. The stripe print comes in three color ways, red, pink, and gray. (You can find this fabric here, here, here or here.) A 1/4 yard gave me exactly enough fabric for the colored wedges for 2 blocks. If you want a little leeway for mistakes, get 1/3 yard.
From your 1/4 yard, cut 5 pieces of fabric that look like this: with a dark stripe at the top and at the bottom. My piece is 9″ wide and just over 7″ high. (Of course, you can use any striped fabric you like, just make sure there is a dark stripe at the top and the bottom to create this effect.)
I then cut my wedges 7″ long, so line-up the 7″ line at the top of the fabric and cut fabric into the wedge shape.
Turn the ruler upside down and cut a second wedge. Continue cutting wedges alternating the ruler’s direction.
You should be able to get 4 wedges across a 9″ wide piece of fabric. (As you can see, I trimmed off the ends at the bottom to make the wedge exactly 7″. Hindsight, I would have just left the bottom edge intact, so don’t feel like to you have to trim off that little piece.)
You will need 10 striped wedges and 10 white wedges per pinwheel block. Using a 1/4 yard each of the red, pink, and gray stripes I was able to get 20 wedges from each – enough for two blocks of each color. From the white fabric I cut three 7″ x wof (width of fabric) strips and cut them into a total of 60 wedges – 10 for each of the six blocks.
Using one striped wedge and one white wedge sew them together in sets of two. Combine 8 of the sets into sets of 4 wedges. Combine 2 sets of 4 wedges with a set of 2 wedges to create a half circle, always keeping the striped wedge on the same side of the white wedge.
Repeat the process with remaining wedges to create a second half circle and sew the two half circles together to create a whole circle/pinwheel.
From remaining white fabric cut 6 squares 20.5″. Fold into quarters and crease the sides. Unfold.
Using the four creases as your guide, line up your pinwheel lines with the creases. You should have 5 wedges per quadrant. Turn your raw edges under a 1/4″ and carefully press and pin in place. You can then hand applique the wheel block to the backing fabric. I just used my machine to sew the edges down.
Once your wheels are sewn down, square up your blocks to 20″. Assemble the blocks together 2 across by 3 down. Cut your outside border fabric into (5) 1 1/2″ strips and add to the outside edges. Quilt and bind as you desire.
Now is your turn to come up with a project using the EZ Dresden ruler and if you do so, you could enter to win some amazing prizes. September 1-6th you can go to the SLMQG site and enter your projects. All the details are found on the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild site.
For more inspiration, check out these other sites for ideas:
Don’t have a Dresden ruler of your own? You can buy one at most local quilt shops, directly from Simplicity.com or from Amazon. I also have one to give away! If you want the chance to win one, leave a comment on this post. GIVEAWAY CLOSED.