Friday, January 9, 2009

Dresden Plate Block

My winter block of the “four seasons” quilt is a Dresden plate block. The center is a cross-stitch piece I had done with no intended use. The blue is silk that was left over from the "blue nude” quilt I had done.
The Dresden plate quilt pattern was very popular in the 1920’s and 30’s. It is also know by names such as Grandmother’s sunburst, sunflower, and friendship ring. There are usually 12 or more “petals” that are sewn together, radiating from a central circle, and then appliqued onto a block of fabric. The segments may be smooth at the outer edge of the circle or shaped into arcs or points, or a combination.
History of the Dresden Plate Block (for the full history and pictures go to the source article)
But there is indeed a much earlier example that used this configuration in the center of a wool, medallion style quilt. In fact this amazing antique is the earliest surviving American made pieced medallion quilt. It is inscribed, "ANNA TUELS HER BEDQUILT GIVEN TO HER BY HER MOTHER IN THE YEAR AU 23. 1785". 2 To the right is an illustration of the medallion center of Anna Tules quilt and below is a link a photograph of it. The center Dresden Plate style motif is surrounded by hourglass and heart blocks and a wide beautifully quilted border.
Here is the block quilted. You can still see some of my “blue” washable marks.

Patterns from History written by Judy Ann Breneman
Quilter's Muse Virtual Museum-- The Secret Quilt Code: Underground Railroad Quilt Blocks, The Roots and Impact of a New American Myth


Stepping said...

Beautiful! I am getting a post ready on my Mother in Laws quilting abilities. I wish I had the time and the patience. Enjoyed your post.

Jabulani said...

Oh this is beautiful - so clean and simple but nonetheless striking. I like the combination of the quilting and embroidery. I may just try one of these because I have loads of little cross-stitch kits that would otherwise just get framed or put into cards. Quilting them in is another way of using them up. Thank you for the idea. :)

James said...

I used Madeira and Shangri-La by Moda to make the wedges for the Dresden Plates and Shangri-La for the sashing and borders. The blocks had to be cut at 14 1/2” to accommodate the size of the Dresden Plate. The wedges took two charm packs in total and I cut them at 5”, the actual width of a charm square which yielded 2 wedges per charm square.