Generations of Delight: Dresden Plate Variations

The Dresden plate quilt block has been a popular block among the quilting crowd for years. Many of our grandmothers, great grandmothers and even great great grandmothers enjoyed piecing this classic quilt block using their leftover scraps. Now, Dresden blocks are made with a variety of fabrics and quilt blocks, ranging from traditional to modern, so even modern quilters can enjoy piecing this delightful quilt block. Dresden plate variations today make this wonderful block a great project no matter what your quilting style! 

Yellow Dresden Plate: Dreden Plate Variations on

Antique Dresden Plate Quilt via A Quilting Life

Antique Dresden plate

Antique Dresden quilts were often pieced from bits and pieces in the quilter’s scrap bin. My great great grandmother hand-pieced the above Dresden quilt in the 1930’s. My family members have recalled that these fabrics were also found in the her dresses and aprons, making this quilt a treasured family heirloom.

Modern Dresden Plate Pillow with Various Fabric Patterns

Photo via A Quilting Life

Modern Dresden plate

Modern Dresden block variations can also become family heirlooms. This delightful modern variation Dresden pillow, the Breeze Pillow from the book Fresh Family Traditions: 18 Heirloom Quilts for a New Generationgives a decidedly fun twist on the Dresden block.

The petals of the Dresden are trimmed to create a “wheel” using an easy to master freezer paper appliqué method.

Dresden Plate - Colorful Modern Pillow

Photo via A Quilting Life

Mixing modern and traditional Dresden plate

Another delightful modern twist for quilting a Dresden plate is to simply create a traditional Dresden block using modern fabrics.

Although this pillow is classic in style, the fresh fabrics bring a contemporary feel to this design. This pattern, Grandma’s Dresden Pillow, is also found in Fresh Family Traditions: 18 Heirloom Quilts for a New Generation.

Double Dresden Delight Quilting PatternDouble Dresden Delight by Bluprint membre Melissa Corry

Double Dresden Delight pattern

The Double Dresden Delight quilt in fresh, modern fabrics features double pointed Dresden blades appliquéd onto a wholecloth background for a decidedly modern feel. Partial Dresden curves in the corners of the quilt add a whimsical twist.

Get the free Double Dresden Delight pattern here.

Playful Piecing with Dresden PlatePhoto via Bluprint instructor Camille Roskelley

Field Day Dresden quilt

If you are interested in making a Dresden block or quilt and aren’t quite sure where to begin, Bluprint instructor Camille Roskelley has a delightful Dresden Quilt Project in her class Playful Piecing Techniques.

Her Field Day quilt features fun, chunky Dresden petals with pointed tips. Because the Dresden blocks alternate with 16-patch blocks, this quilt goes together quite quickly. Take her class for tips and pointers on piecing this delightful quilt, and receive patterns and instructions for several other quilts as well.

Dresden De Jour Pattern on

Photo via Bluprint member quiltjane

Paper-pieced Dresden plate block

For another fun, modern twist on the Dresden plate block, how about creating a unique paper-pieced Dresden? This contemporary 12″ finished block Dresden pattern by quiltjane offers a fresh perspective on the Dresden block.

Get the Dresden Du Jour pattern here.

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What to learn more about the story behind Dresden plate? Check out the “Dynamic Dresden Plates” post to learn fascinating historical information. Plus, you can get even more project ideas using the versatile Dresden plate quilt block!


What type of Dresden project will you be creating first?

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