A place where I put sewing tutorials to keep them from getting lost in my main blog.
The necktie quilt instructions are for creating a Dresden plate design. This second post is for those who wish to create their own pattern instead of purchasing one at the high prices. The Grandmother’s fan block is a variation of using one quarter of the Dresden plate design. All photos should be clickable to a larger size for easier viewing if you need. Please let me know if any of it is not understandable and I’ll try to reword it. You will need: (1) sheet of paper (2) pencil (3) ruler (4) protractor (5) compass
There are a couple of things you may want to think about before you get started. I’m doing this tutorial in a small size just for illustration purposes but you need to use a sheet of paper half the width of your intended plate plus a little extra. For example if you want a plate 60 inches wide you need paper about 35 to 40 inches. Read through and look at the photos and everything should make sense. The larger your intended plate the more blades it should have as the blades get much wider as they get longer.
Draw a line anywhere on the paper and then put a dot someplace on that line.
Now put the point of the compass on the dot and draw an arc or half circle. Any size is ok. This could be the size of your inner circle if you want. If not you can change it later.
Now you need to have an idea of how many blades you want in your plate. How many is a personal choice. I like using an even number of blades but its not absolutely necessary. Small plates can look nice with fewer blades but larger ones really look better with more blades. Divide 360 by the number of blades you choose. That will be the degree of your blade angles. I chose 12 blades which would be a 30 degree angle.
Put the protractor on the line. I believe all protractors have a tiny circle, hole, or dot and line for alignment. Mine has a hole. I put that on top of the dot I drew then marked a tick mark at my chosen degree and half way between.
Draw a line from the dot to the degree tick mark and a dashed line from the dot to the half way tick mark. Both lines are important.
My protractor has a quarter inch line on it. I believe most do too.
Use that quarter inch line to draw your seam allowance on both sides of the blade (or wedge) like this.
Next you need to determine the length of your blade and create the top. Put a dot someplace along the dotted center line.
Use that dot to hold the compass so you can draw the top arc of your blade.
You could leave it this length but suppose you want a larger blade. Extend the sides of your blade by adding more paper or use a larger sheet at the beginning.
The top of the blade can be marked anywhere as long as your dot is placed on the center dashed line. If you want a rounded top blade just draw a quarter inch seam line. I used the compass to trace it.
Suppose you like a pointed blade for your plate. Then you would draw a line from seam line to seem line like this. See the arrows?
Then add your seam allowance.
The only thing left to do is cut out your template and use it as is or glue it to cardboard for strength.
Now that you have the basic idea why not make yourself a Dresden Plate or a Grandmother’s fan quilt. A Grandmother’s Fan is simply one fourth of a Dresden Plate. I try to make my tutorials clear but since I’ve been at this for awhile I’m not sure I’m explaining it clear enough for a beginner to understand. Try it a couple of times in miniature then let me know if I should change something.
For the next steps on how to put together the Dresden Plate go here. Necktie Dresden Plate