Think outside the traditional patchwork world and use a multi-sized Dresden Template to add a modern twist to a tried ‘n true design. I call it the Dresden Melody with five half-Dresden Plate Designs that seem to flow melodically together. The finished size is 28″ X 82″. Enjoy this patchwork tutorial!
Dresden Melody Supplies:
- Three fabrics: 1 yard for the Dresden Wedges, 2-1/2 yards for the background and binding, and 2-1/2 yards for the backing
- 1/2 yard fusible interfacing such as ShirTailor
- Trace ‘n Mark Water Erasable Marking Pen
- Cut three crosswise strips from the fabric designated for the wedges: 4-1/4″, 6-1/4″, and 10-1/4″.
- For best results, spray the fabric with Mary Ellen’s Best Press Starch Alternative, and press before cutting.
Trace and cut 20 wedges from the widest width strip:
- Begin with the widest fabric strip, 10-1/4″ crosswise strip. Place the template on the fabric, aligning the marking for the 24″ Dresden Plate along the top edge of the fabric. Trace along the sides of the template.
- Rotate the template 180-degrees, align the template with the previously traced edge. Also align the 24″ marking and lower edge with the cut edge of the fabric. Trace along the side of the template. Repeat until 20 wedges have been traced.
- Place the fabric on a rotary cutting mat, align a rotary cutting ruler along the traced lines; cut with a rotary cutter. Save the leftover fabric.
Note from Nancy: The Trace ‘n Create Templates are designing tools. They are not fabricated to be used with a rotary cutter.
Trace and cut 20 wedges from the medium width strip:
- Repeat the process as detailed above, tracing 20 wedges. Use the 6-1/4″ crosswise strip and the 16″ finished Dresden Plate markings.
Trace and cut 10 wedges from the narrowest width strip:
- Use the leftover fabric from the widest crosswise strip. Recut the fabric into a 4-1/4″ strip.
- Repeat the process as detailed above, tracing 10 wedges. Use the 4-1/4″ crosswise strips and the 12″ finished Dresden Plate markings.
Finish the top edge of all wedges:
- Cut six 3/4″ wide crosswise strips of ShirTailor or other medium-weight fusible interfacing.
- Align right sides and top edge of wedges to the smooth (non-fusible side) of the interfacing. Chain stitch the wedges to the fusible interfacing strip.
- Cut the interfacing between the wedges. Trim off the extra interfacing from the sides of the wedges.
- Begin with the small wedges. Fold the interfacing to the wrong side of the wedges; press.
- For the medium and larger wedges, fold the interfacing to the wrong sides. At each corner, create a slight tuck in the interfacing. This step will keep the seam allowances from peeking to the right side after the wedges have been seamed.
- Press the interfacing to the fabric.
Separate the wedges into five groupings:
- Create two groups as pictured below.
- Then, create three groups as shown in this photo.
- Later, the five total groupings will be arranged in a flowing style.
Stitch the wedges together:
- Following the layout, pin, and stitch wedges together, aligning right sides.
- Begin stitching from the narrow ends.
- Press the seam toward the larger wedge. Press under a 1/4″ along the unsewn top side of the wedge.
- The reason for creating a slight tuck at each end of the medium and large wedges becomes evident at this point. The tuck will prevent the cut edge from peeking through to the right side.
Create the half-circles:
- Cut three 5″ squares of fabric and three 5″ squares of the fusible interfacing for the half-circles. Hint: I couldn’t find a third color of fabric that blended with the two fabrics I chose. Then, I looked at the other right side of the fabric and used that for the half-circles. It was the perfect coordinate!
- Stack pairs of squares, right side of fabric to smooth side of interfacing.
- Place Template B (Circle) on the squares, trace the 4-1/2″ circle markings.
- Stitch along the traced lines with a short stitch length, which creates a smoother curved edge when turned right side out.
- Trim the excess fabric. For best results, use a 45 mm pinking blade in the 45 mm rotary cutter, which trims and grades the edge in one step.
- Trim a donut hole from the center of the interfacing using a scissors, leaving approximately 1″ of fusible interfacing.
- Turn the circle right side out. The interfacing is now on the wrong side of the fabric. Glide the beveled edges of a Point 2 Point Turner to smooth out the fabric and create a sharp outer edge.
- Press. The fusible interfacing will hold the crisp edge.
- Cut the circles in half. Five half-circles are needed for this table runner project.
- Cut the background fabric, two lengths that are 16″ x 84″.
- Place the lengths on a table or on the floor. Match the lengths and tape together.
- Begin with one of the three Dresden groups that are alike. Center one group in the middle of the length, 42″ from each short end; pin.
- Pin a half-circle over the open area.
- Align and pin the two remaining Dresden groups, that are alike, on the opposite half of the table runner. Align the tips of the long wedge to the half-circle as pictured.
- Pin the remaining two Dresden groups to the background fabric, using the same positioning guidelines.
- Set the machine for a blind hem or straight stitch. Edgestitch each Dresden group, including the half-circle, to the background fabric.
- Pin the center seam strategically to insure the designs will align as planned.
- Stitch with a 1/4″ seam.
Finish the table runner:
- Layer the table runner, batting, and backing fabric.
- Machine or hand stitch the layers together. The featured table runner was professionally quilted by a long-arm quilter—Pleasant Valley Farm Longarm Quilting in Markesan, WI.
- Cut and piece 2-1/2″ strips of leftover background fabric to yield approximately 210″ of binding. Bind the edges of the table runner.
More Dresden Ideas
The Dresden Plate is one of the most versatile and creative patchwork designs available. For more ideas check out these blog postings:
For a chance to win a Trace ‘n Create Quilt Template—Dresden Collection from Clover, please leave a comment describing what you’d like to create with this template.
Also, several of you have asked for downloadable, printable instructions of this project. For your convenience, the Dresden Melody Table Runner is now available to purchase as a downloadable file.
Bye for now,
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