Welcome to the first of twelve Block of the Month patterns. The series of blocks will go together in, what I’m calling, The 2015 Adventure Quilt. Join us on our journey as we stitch our way through many quilting fabrics and scraps using many different techniques. I’ve compiled a collection of blocks that will look great as a sampler, which features one stitched block for each month, or as a single block in a quilt design.

Remember, this quilt will be a scrap adventure for you and I.  Total yardage for the entire quilt is not provided, rather we will be working in a color pallet of scraps (or Fat Quarters).

If you’d like this block pattern as a downloadable PDF, please click the “Print Post as PDF” button at the lower right of this post.

Notions, Fabrics and Supplies:

Let’s get started on the quilt adventure by choosing fabrics. I recommend choosing three colors. Any three colors should work. I’ll be working with black, white, and a green/chartreuse color collection. As I rummaged through my quilting fabric scraps, I found that I had the most of these colors on hand, many of the fabrics from Riley Blake Designs.


One thing I was thinking as I pulled my fabrics is that I may need to have interchangeable pieces as the months progress. By that I mean, a collection of black-based fabrics, a collection of mostly-white and an assortment of greens. As we add more blocks, I want to ensure easy addition of fabrics if my scrap bin gets low.

January: Scrappy Dresden Fan 

The block this month measures 12-1/2″ x  12-1/2″, and it measures 12″x 12″ once it is stitched into a final project. A 1/4″ seam allowance is included.

Cutting Directions:

For the scrappy strips:

  • Cut a 5-1/4″ x 17″ strip black fabric.
  • Cut a 3/4″ x 17″ strip green fabric.
  • Cut a 1-1/4″ x 17″ strip black/green/white print fabric.
  • Cut a 3-1/2″ x 17″ strip white fabric.
For the background:
  • Cut a 12-1/2″  x 12-1/2″ square/block fabric. (We made two blocks, cutting a 12-1/2″ square of white/black print for the featured block and a 12-1/2″  square of solid green fabric for the second block.)

For the 1/4-circle:

  • Cut a 4″ x 4″ square/block for the 1/4-circle. (We made two blocks, cutting a 4″ square of solid green for the featured block and a 4″ square white/black print for the second block.)

First Step, Stitch the Strip

  • Arrange the strips as shown above. Keep the narrowest strips in the center.
  • Match right sides and use a 1/4″ seam allowance to join the strips. Press.
  • Once the strip set is stitched, it should measure 9-1/4″ x 17″.

Create the Dresden Plate

Trace 'n Create Quilt Template Dresden Plate Collection by Nancy Zieman

If you’ve never created a Dresden Plate appliqué, you’ll need a template to create the wedges.

  • The traditional Dresden wedge is 4″ to 8″ in length. I designed a template that creates traditional to super-sized Dresden blocks, the Trace ‘n Create Quilt Template—Dresden Plate Collection.

Follow the directions included with the Trace ‘n Create Dresden Template, select the wedge size desired, and trace five wedges per block.

  • For each quilt block, trace five wedges on the top layer, following the instructions in the package.

  • Use a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler to cut wedges along traced lines.
  • Alternate cutting directions with the ruler. This will make efficient use of your fabric and yield a scrappy design by rotating the cut wedges.

  • Place wedges right sides together and stitch using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.

  • Use the chain stitching method to stitch all five wedges.

  • Cut threads between wedges and finger-press seams open.

  • Make a pressing template from a 4″ square of tagboard. In the center of the pressing template, draw a straight line from corner to corner.
  • Insert pressing template between fabric layers, aligning seam with straight line.
  • Press. Use the pressing template to assure that all five wedges will align in the next step.

  • Place two wedges right sides together. Stitch with scant 1/4″ seam. Press seam open.

  • Stitch five wedges together.
  • Press the seam allowances open.

  • Pin the Dresden petals to the background, aligning the bottom and right sides of the petals to the background.

  • Machine stitch around the points of the Dresden petals using a blanket stitch and monofilament thread.
  • Use a straight-stitch along the bottom and right sides to secure the edges.

  • Determine the size of the circle diameter used in the lower corner of the quilt block.
  • Follow the directions on the Trace ‘n Create Quilt Template—Dresden Plate Collection to determine the finished diameter.
  • Layer the circle fabric and interfacingnonfusible side to right side of fabric. Trace desired circle size onto interfacing.
  • For this block, the diameter is traced at the 6-1/2″ diameter mark on the circle template.
  • Mark the stitching line.

  • Stitch directly along the line.
  • Remove the excess fabric, 1/4″ past the stitching line, using the Pinking Rotary Cutter.


  • Trim away the interior of the interfacing with a scissors, leaving about 1″.

  • Turn and fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.

  • Place finished quarter circle on the lower corner of the Scrappy Dresden block.
  • Cover the edges of the Dresden center by at least 1/4″.
  • The quarter circle should line up with the background square.

  • Stitch circle to Dresden Plate with a straight stitch, blind hem stitch, or decorative stitch.
  • Straight stitch the corner edges to secure them.

Share your 2015 Adventure Quilt Blocks Socially

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If you are on social sites like Instagram, Twitter, Flickr or Facebook, let all your friends know you are working on The 2015 Adventure Quilt Blocks by tagging your post with the hashtag:   #NZBoM.

The hashtag is a searchable “word” associated with an event or activity, which, when searched on popular social websites, like Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook, will show every single post using that hashtag. Even if you don’t personally know that stitcher, you’ll see her/his progress and a photo. Hashtags are a fun way to network and connect with people who share similar interests.

What would a Quilt Look Like?

As part of this Block of the Month series, included are ideas of what a quilt might look like if you made it with only this month’s block. Some of the concepts have sashing and others do not. These quilts are a good way to brainstorm what this block looks like repeated.

  • This quilt features blocks made with different backgrounds, sashings, cornerstones, and borders. The Dresden petals all point in one direction.

  • The following quilt features four blocks grouped together to make a circle or flower shape. No sashing is included, but a border has been added.
  • Lastly, a Dresden block quilt for your wild side.  This concept has Dresdens pointing in all directions to make a sort of “snake” through the quilt top. No sashings were used, but a border has been added.

In the 2015 Adventure Quilt Block of the Month series, we’ll be making twelve fun blocks from five different templates/tools: Carefree Curves Template, Dresden Template, Grandmother’s One Patch Template, Lone Star Template, and the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge.

See all the 2015 Adventure Quilt Blocks HERE.


Watch for the next block to arrive on the third Saturday of each month!

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog




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Nancy Zieman—author, pattern designer, businesswoman, producer, and national sewing authority—is the host of the popular show Sewing With Nancy®, which appears exclusively on public television stations across the United States and Canada. Follow Nancy’s blog at NancyZieman.com/blog and sign up to receive Nancy’s E-News for the latest news in sewing, quilting, and creating.