Dresden Pillow Tutorial

Today I am sharing a tutorial for a Dresden-inspired circle pillow “poof” using Bari J.’s gorgeous new Bijoux collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. This tutorial will create a 16″ cushion.

The fabric requirements for this project are:
  • 10 fat quarters (I chose that many because I wanted the variety of prints, but you could use as few or as many as you want.)
  • one regular 1/4 of a yard for the pillow side (I used Essential Ovals Elements Mustard)
  • two 6″ squares of solid (I used Pure Elements Honey)
  • pillow stuffing
  • one Dresden wedge ruler

I used the EZ quilt Dresden wedge ruler by Simplicity (an 18 degree wedge) – it’s widely available in the notions department of chain sewing stores, as well as independent quilt shops.  This ruler is available at large chain sewing outlets, as well as lots of independent quilt shops. I’ve used this ruler on projects before including a traditional Dresden block as well as my Peppermint Pinwheels quilt tutorial. This wedge is an 18 degree wedge and requires 20 wedges to complete the circle. (There are other wedge rulers at different widths that will use a different number of wedges to create the circle.)

If you are using 10 different prints, cut a 7″ x 9 1/2″ rectangle of each print. Use the Dresden Wedge ruler to cut 4 wedges 7″ long from each print.  You will need a total of 40 wedges for this project.

Layout wedges to get the color and design placement you want. Match-up wedges into pairs, right sides together, and sew one edge using a scant 1/4″ seam. Press seam to one side.

After sewing pairs together, sew four of the sets into groups of four, and then into two groups of 10 wedges. Sew the final two halves together to create the Dresden circle. Repeat the process to create a coordinating back.

To create the center circle, trace and cut out a 4″ template. (Cereal box weight cardboard is perfect.) Then cut out a 6″ circle of fabric (it doesn’t have to be a perfect circle).  Run a large basting stitch around the edge of the circle, place the template in the center and gather your fabric around the circle. Press the edges well with the template still in place.  Remove the template and press again. Starch will help you get a nice crisp circle.  Then fold the fabric circle into fourths and lightly press to create lines above.
Use pressed lines as guides to find the center of the larger pieced circle by lining up pressed lines with the lines of the pieced wedges. There should be 5 wedges between each quadrant of the center circle. Pin circle and sew in place using coordinating thread. Remove pins and press.Repeat with second side.
Cut and sew a 3 1/2″ x 52 1/2″ strip for pillow side. Sew strip ends together to create a continuous circle. Fold in half and lightly press to mark 4 equal quadrants on the strip. Using the pressed lines as guides, pin marked quadrants on the strip in place every 5 wedges to keep strip equally distributed. Then carefully pin strip equally all the way around the sides. Sew in place using a 1/4″ seam.
Repeat the process, pinning the back side to the strip and sew edges, leaving a 5″ opening to stuff the pillow. Turn pillow right-sides out and stuff with batting. Hand-stitch opening to finish pillow.
And there you go! A beautiful pillow, showcasing lots of pretty fabric, and so much simpler than it looks. I’d love to see what you make using this tutorial. Be sure to add it to the AGF Flicker group!

And finally, some out-takes from the pillow photo-shoot last week before I left. My trusty assistant wanted to show-off his Vanna White skills. They may be goofballs, but they’re MY goofballs and I’m so happy to be home with them.


  1. says

    Look at that adorable little boy! Thanks for the tutorial! That little boy face just makes the Grammy in me smile and want to give him a cookie!<br /><br />Cheery wave from<br />Bev

  2. says

    Pretty pillow – you really do make it look easy. Easy enough that I&#39;m thinking I might just try it! I follow both your and AGF&#39;s blogs via google reader (for now)… I am transitioning to a new reader platform with The Old Reader.

  3. says

    I love this fabric! I&#39;m searching out every project I can that uses it because I think it&#39;s so lovely! <br /><br />(I follow AGF on Pinterest and subscribe to their blog… and yours!) :)

  4. says

    Love this pillow – I really need to get over my Dresden-dread and make something like this project. Thanks for the giveaway chance – I follow AGF in allways possible. Love your blog, too!

  5. says

    very cool! Great use of the dresden. I&#39;m working on a quilt with dresdens for the first time ever and so far, so good. Not nearly as scary as I thought. :)

  6. says

    I absolutely LOVE this new line. I think the butterfly prints are my favorite. Great pillow tutorial too – I may just have to make one!

  7. says

    Thanks for the tutorial to a very lovely pillow. I like the dresden plate look in the pillow and the Bijoux fabric line really makes it pop out. Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. says

    Lovely pillow and great tutorial – thanks for sharing. I&#39;ve no idea who Vanna White is but your boy looks very cute!<br />I&#39;m an AGF follower – thanks

  9. says

    I have a dresden sitting in a drawer somewhere, i know what to do with it now! Thanks for the tute – although finding a cushion insert could be a challenge! :o)

  10. says

    I bought this tool a while back to make a dresden block . But haven;t done it yet. This pillow is amazeing. Lov ethe fabrics. They are gorgeous. Thank you for the tutorial on it.

  11. says

    Following All! Love what you do! And, love this fabric! Thanks for the giveaway!<br /><br />satterfieldfamily at sbcglobal dot net

  12. says

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I need to get me a Dresden ruler pronto! I follow you AGF and FQG! Thanks for the chance to win!<br />mrs(dot)hbraun(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. says

    I have been obsessing over this fabric and this pillow perfectly showcases it! I was wondering what you used as stuffing. Thanks for the chance to win!

  14. says

    My favorite from that fabric line is the one you show while cutting the wedges. Thanks for the chance to win a whole set!

  15. says

    Super cute pillow!!! Thanks for the great tutorial. I subscribe to the AGF blog and follow them on Twitter.<br />Thanks for the chance to win. Your pillow model is adorable too!

  16. says

    This fabric line is fantastic! I love the pillow tutorial. I am a beginner and it was easy enough for me to follow along! Thanks for the chance to win!

  17. says

    I&#39;ve never made a dresden before, that ruler looks great! Love how your pillow turned out :) I follow agf on Facebook and subscribe to their blog.

  18. says

    Great tutorial… and what a super way to use the small fabric collections that we all have – not enough for a quilt but too pretty to break up and use in a scrappy way. I follow AGF on pintrest and the blog. Thanks!

  19. says

    Love the pillow &amp; the Bijoux fabrics are so beautiful! Thanks for the great tutorial &amp; for the chance to win (I follow AGF on Twitter).

  20. says

    Thanks for the chance to win some Bijoux fabric — I&#39;ve wanted to make a pouf-y pillow plus have a Dresden on my list for some time. I follow AGF on Pinterest, Liked on FB, and subscribe to their blog. I also follow your blog. alternate email mlwright29(at)hotmail(dot)com

  21. says

    I like your pillow! I&#39;ve sewn 2 of these pillows in the past and they were so fun and quick to make. I follow Art Gallery Fabrics on Pinterest and Facebook because I just love their fabric collections.

  22. says

    love the pillow and didn&#39;t even realize you were having a giveaway:) Although would love to win some fabric. Follow you on Bloglovin and will like you on Facebook. thanks!

  23. says

    I hopped over here from the Art Gallery Fabrics blog. I follow AGF on twitter and Bloglovin. And Facebook! <br />This pillow is so cute. I really should give it a try. I have a slightly different Dresden ruler but I&#39;m sure I could figure it out. Bijoux is so beautiful. I live the colors.

  24. says

    I hopped over from Art Gallery Fabrics blog from my Bloglovin&#39; and I also like them on Facebook. I also follow you on Bloglovin&#39; so much loving and following to do &amp; I love it all. Great pattern – thanks for sharing :)

  25. says

    I love round pillows and feel there should be more of them in the world 😉 I like how your colors work together. I already follow AGF on FB. Thanks!

  26. says

    My comments are not posting to your blog or to AGF&#39;s. Here goes another attempt.<br />We follow AGF on Pinterest, liked AGF on FB, and subscribe to AGF&#39;s blog. I follow your blog, and also Pat Bravo&#39;s personal blog.<br />Your pattern is great – I&#39;ve wanted to make a dresden plate and a pouf-y pillow for some time, and here you have a tutorial that does both. Thanks for the chance

  27. says

    Thanks for the lovely tute! I just finished making an AGF pouf and I&#39;m feeling pretty good about it 😀 fun to sew up and fun to use the ez dresden ruler too. <br />

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