3 April 2012

Tutorial Tuesday - Spike Dresden Plate

I found this great block, via Pinterest. I had no idea how to make it. However, after consulting the incredible wealth of knowledge that is Southern Cross Quilters, I had a pretty good idea how to make this version of the Dreseden Plate. It is a variation of the One Seam Flying Geese technique.

This tutorial assumes that you know how to make a Dresden Plate block. I've never made one before this tutorial. I used the Easy Dresden Tool by Darlene Zimmerman for this block. I was super easy to use.

The trick to this block is inserting an isoceles triangle into the seam between two wedges of the block. I basically used trial and error to get the right height for the triangle. The base of the triangle needs to be twice the width of the base of the Dresden Wedge (the skinny end). My Dresden wedges were 1", therefore, the base of my triangle was 2".

Working out the height is a bit more "artistic". What I did was sew a few trial runs. My opinion is that the sides of the triangle should be the same length as the side of the Dresden wedge. However, to get a piece that sews and sits well, a clipped the top of the triangle off. Sooo, in order to do that when drafting the triangle insert, I would recommend the following steps.

1. Base is twice the width of the base of the bottom edge of the wedge.
2. Measure the length of the side of the wedge. This is the vertical height of the triangle.
3. Add 1/2" to this measurement.
4. Use these measurements to draw your triangle.
5. Then clip 1/4" off the top of the triangle.

You should end up with something that looks like the shape below. Then fold wrong sides together (if using print fabric) and finger press the vertical height. 

Place the folded triangle along the outside seam of the Dreseden Wedge and then place another wedge over the top. All the raw edges should be together. The triangle should be the same height as the outside edge of the wedge (or pretty close).

This is what the triangle looks like sewn into the seam between the two wedges.

Finger press the seam open. I used a crochet hook pushed up inside the triangle to help me flatten it. Normally, Dresden Plate tutorials say to press the seams all in one direction, but because of the bulk of four layers of fabric in this technique, I think it's better to press the seam open. The pressed open seam will be protected by the triangle insert once it's pressed.

Turn the section over and press.

That is basically it. I did them in pairs, then in fours etc until the plate was complete. Below is an image of the back of the plate once it's all sewn together.

Add your middle circle. Completed block.

I'd like to thank Jeannie, Fran, Jodie, Jan, Jo and Judy for the help they gave me in working out how to do this. Please let me know if there is anything which is unclear or confusing in the tutorial!!

YES, please feel free to Pin on Pinterest. Sorry, can't get the auto-pin button to work!!

EDIT: If you don't have the dresden template, visit this Quilts By Design tutorial for instructions on how to make your own template.

EDIT: New video tutorial supplement now available - video on how to insert spike between wedges.


Thankyou, it is an impressive looking block.

Lovely! may I pin it on Pinterest?


Thanks for all your lovely comments.

And yes, please feel free to pin on Pinterest!!

Clever Girl! It looks do-able even for me and the block is great.

wow I do love this, thanks for sending me an email about it! I think I may just have to give it a try.

Spectacular tutorial! Thank you sew much!!!

Thank you for posting this tutorial. The block is fabulous and your directions are very clear.

Tht is AMAZING! I need to get more daring with my piecing. :-)

I'm crazy about this block and love the tutorial.thank you for posting

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments. Once you get into the swing of it, you can really power through this block and it looks soooo cool when done.

I have GOT to make this. I think I'll do it as sunflowers and applique them on a whole cloth. Really beautiful and great tutorial! Thanks.

Hi Guys and Gals,
I have never made a Quilt before.
I really like this - Spike Dresden Plate". But I need a pattern for it.
Will someone tell me where I can find one and if needs to be free.
My husband is out of work and we are losing our home, so I thought this might take my mined off of all the bad things going on in our life.
Thank you
Bev in Ohio

Oh My Gosh!!! This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing with us.

Beautiful block and you made it look so simple. Thanks for sharing!

Me again, wow, lots of new readers for this post!!

Bev - try this website. It has instructions for making your own templates and how to sew them up. Then you just follow my tutorial.


And to everyone else - you might want to keep reading the blog. I plan on doing another give away for the Dresden plate ruler. All you will have to do is comment on a post.

Comp open to anyone and I cover postage costs.

If you don't follow me, consider doing so, as you will get notifications of any new posts.

pretty cool I have never seen this one before thanks for the tutorial Debbie Kelly

Do you sew the insert down to the wedge? I do npt understand hoe you get it to lay flat.

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I've made and added a video on how to insert the triangles between wedges. Link at the bottom of the post.

what a *fabulous* variation! The effect is quite stunning.

Since the wedge is pressed flat, the edges are loose, are they not? Obviously the pointy tip and the base of the wedge are secured in the seamline, but shouldn't the long edges be secured?

An applique stitch? A blanket stitch? Machine stitched?

Or is it not a problem and I'm just making more work for myself?

goreouis! easy peasy! thanx for the tutorial. it's much appreciated.


You mean the long edges of the spike?

Well, I think in most cases, this would be secured when the whole thing is quilted. But you could sew it down separately (if you wanted to do the work!!). Personally, I'd just make sure it was dealt with in the quilting.

This is very pretty, thanks for the tutorial, I will be trying this one

gracias excelente tutorial, abrazos

I Really like this design. I think I'll try it right away. Love the dresden pattern.

Hi Michelle,
I am loving the tutorial you have made for this gorgeous block.
Always have loved the Dresdan plate. I may have to give this one a go!
Thank you for sharing.
Carole (fellow Scquilter xx)

Amazing block! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I love Dresdens and will definitely be trying this variation. Making all the spikes in one color (or color family) would be a great way to unite some scrappy Dresdens.

I have made several variation of dresden but have never seen this particular one. I'm ready to try it. Thanks so much for posting this very interesting pattern. quiltersden@hctc.net

I have searched high and low to try and figure out how to make this block. Just found yours on pinterest!! Thank you so much cannot wait to try it.

one of the most complete and clearest photo instructions about how to do a complex quilt block. Congratulations and thank you so much.You're a good teacher!!

gracias por su explicacion tan competa, me a aclarado muchas dudas al respecto, la tecnica es preciosa. gracias, gracias, un abrazo

Love this - Dresden is one of my favorites, can't wait to try this. Your instructions are spot on!!!

missouri star quilt co. has a wonderful tutorial of this block. Jenny gives all the sizes and easy to follow directions

Thank you so much for your effort. This tutorial is great!!! Thank you from Spain.

Precioso bloque!!
Muchísimas gracias por tu trabajo.
Un abrazo!!

It's just gorgeous! Many thanks from a very hot and muggy Auckland xxx

Thank you so much for posting this. I have seen this block for a long time, but never had the time to tackle figuring it out. I see lots of possibilities after reading your directions and your pictures are great. Thank you, again.

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Looks very interesting. I am going to give it a try. Thank you for the posting.