How to sew a modern quilt by Nancy Zieman. How to sew Dresden Plate quilt.







Change the fabric, modify the technique, and a traditional Dresden Plate quilt design turns into Twirling Parasols. This is just one of four Dresden quilt design options featured in my Sewing With Nancy TV episode, Sew Grand Dresden Quilts. It’s one of my newest Sewing With Nancy programs, which you can watch online, on Public TV, or on DVD. Click here and watch at your computer!

Traditional Dresden plate designs, as featured in the wall quilt below, have the characteristic points at the end of the wedges. With a little modification, traditional turns modern!


How to sew a Dresden Plate quilt by TV's Sewing With Nancy Zieman.



Wall hanging created by Shelli Koehler.

Twirling Parasols



How to sew a modern quilt by Nancy Zieman. How to sew Dresden Plate quilt.







It’s almost too difficult to believe that the two featured quilts were created with almost the same process. Both feature 36″ and 16″ Dresden plate designs.

Here’s a preview of the modern process.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Cut crosswise strips to create all of the parasols and then sew together into a strata. Exact cutting instructions are given in the Sew Grand Dresden Quilts book.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Use Template A to trace the wedge shapes.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Cut along the traced lines, plus cut an equal number of white wedges.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Separate the wedges into the same color orientation. There will be two options of color—one set of wedges will be inverted.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Pair a colorful wedge with a white wedge; stitch 10 pairs for each parasol. Note: Traditional wedges are folded in half and stitched across the top to create the points prior to this step. This is the first of the makeover tips.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Press the seam allowances toward the darker fabric.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Stitch the pairs together to create a complete circle.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman




Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Align the smooth side of interfacing to the right side of the parasol.  Stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Turn the interfacing to the wrong side and press.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Create the circles using Template B and more fusible interfacing. (Watch this tip on TV since I forgot to take a photo!)


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Stitch a circle to the center of each parasol.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



  • Make two 36″ and six 16″ parasols. Position them on the background fabric. You’ll find the background dimensions in the book, yet feel free to personalize the background sizes.
  • Position the parasols on the background; topstitch with monofilament thread.

Sew Grand Dresden Quilts Sewing With Nancy Zieman



Praise for this technique!

Jane Hall, a Sewing With Nancy viewer watched the Sew Grand Dresden Quilts series and had these comments.

. . .  right before Christmas I finally made a decision to tackle a much dreaded task that I had put off for TEN YEARS. I was challenged with 50 Dresden plate circles made by my boyfriend’s mother back in the 50s that were something less than perfect in their size and assembly! I plowed my way through “turning under” and sewing down the raw edges—accomplishing nine of those “masterpieces.”  

However, I promised to make four more for his children and thought I’ll never get this done! And, then, NANCY TO THE RESCUE! I watched your shows on Sew Grand Dresden Quilts and cried with JOY! I had no idea that the answer was so simple, using fusible lightweight interfacing to turn those raw edges into finished circles! Thank you, Nancy, I’m proud to say I have now completed all of those circles with your magic method.

Book and Template combo

You’ll love this great combo.  If you already own the templates, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the book and DVD also.


Sew Grand Dresden Quilts by Nancy Zieman



Watch the Sew Grand Dresden Quilts online.

Click here to watch the 30-minute Sewing With Nancy TV show online.

There are 80 programs to watch online, or on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone. Download an app for Apple products here. 


How to sew a modern Dresden quilt by Nancy Zieman



More blog posts on Dresden Quilts:

Sew a Dresden Sunflower from Fabric Scraps

Sew Techie Covers—Be Creative with Odds & Ends

A Summer Solstice Quilt

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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