Carli's Freestyle Dresden Plate Template & Tutorial

I make my own templates. Its quite simple, trust is involved and careful storage of similar sized templates are essential. As you know from reading my blog, I like to be frugal with supplies and tools.
I used the cardboard above decades ago and I still have it. I didn't have a template in the beginning. So I made my own.

You start with making a straight line on cereal board. Placing a quilting ruler with the 60 degree line on the drawn straight line. Then draw a line upwards away from the original line. Repeat on the other side. Its your decision to decide what size of fan template you want?

 In this photo above, you can see that I used a fabric fan piece to assist you in your fan development.

 Here I used a template from a magazine wedge that I modified to fit my size of fan. This is a simple way to use something already made. You can even take another dresdent fan apart to discover the size of a finished plate. Its up to you.

This is my storage basket that I keep all the Dresden stuff in so I'll always recognize it. I have many, many storage compartments and they don't look like something that came out of Martha Stewarts magazine!
I like to do lots of hand sewing when its fishing season here in the Northwest. So this little storage unit fits nicely into my camera packback.

Dresden Plate Tutorial 

 So you've made the template you want and this is how you proceed.
You trace your cardboard template onto the fabric you've chosen.

I fussy cut the rooster heads just for fun, this chicken fabric was a recycled curtain.

 I like the complimentary nature of a darker fabric alternating with a lighter colored fabric, but you can decide what you want, I recommend practicing on at least one plate before starting into an enormous bed sized quilt.

Pin and sew the fans together along the top.

Many different ways exist for putting the fans into pairs. Some people sew three together in triplets, others sew by hand etc. I've done all of the above and several others that are not worth mentioning as they were failures.
The most important thing to remember is to "ALWAYS" pin the points together, not the sides evened up. As you sew the pairs together, just sew as pinned even if the edge of the seam is different on either side of the fan seam.

 Press, press and more pressing, not ironing!

 This just shows you that  it will come together, but it won't look like it will as you lay the pairs out.

 Your done! I'm not sure what I'll use this little plate for, but I'll post it as an addition to this post when its done. I'm off to walk my 5 km today with Rusty.


  1. It just struck me that you could use the same technique that I used to make a circular knitting needle organizer to organize your templates. Just get a binder and some of those plastic inserts (the kind you use to protect pages). You could slide your templates into separate organizers and label everything nicely. Do you think everything would fit?

    btw, I started a new blog - let me know if you like it!

  2. Heh Kirsten,
    Yes, for sure, I use some of that kind of a binder system, but I also use baskets when I'm traveling. Are you coming on Saturday to the Quilt In?

    1. Absolutely! Been looking forward to it for weeks!

  3. Thank you for sharing! I now know how to go about getting my own template made up.


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