dresden plate

A former co-worker of mine introduced me to English Paper Piecing (EPP). With each sewing project she finished, she cut out small squares of left over fabric, basted them over paper hexagons, and stitched them all together into one of the most beautiful textiles I’ve ever seen. Seriously, it was and is amazing and has continued to stick in my mind over the years.

I tried my own hand at EPP hexagons in August of 2019. Andy and I decided that we needed a Halloween quilt, and after settling on a pattern we marched down to our local fabric store and picked out our themed fabric. Of course I haven’t finished that quilt yet (getting close though I think!), but when the chance to explore EPP further during the March Aurifil challenge arose, I took it! WIPs be damned!

At first I flirted with the possibility of more hexagons, but while searching through all the different options on www.paperpieces.com (who so generously gifted myself and the rest of us Artisans our paper pieces) I was reminded of all the beautiful dresden plate quilts I’ve seen over the years. Never wanting to miss an opportunity to try something new, I snatched a pack of the 12″ 16 Petal Dresden pieces (which makes 6 blocks) and set off on my adventure.

This go ’round I went small. Instead of making some quilt blocks with my dresden plates, I decided to make a placemat/something cute to set on the table under a dish.

The thread I used was Aurifil Cotton 80wt in a creamy off-white. What I appreciate most about 80wt is twofold: how easy it is to break with my hands (sharp things near me make me nervous) and how invisible it is (so easy to make lil secret stitches). But on the less practical side, I really like the cute wooden spool : )

While this was my first time basting a curved edge, and I was definitely nervous, it action turned out decent! With each piece my technique improved, which has me feeling very confident in moving forward with a larger dresden plate project.

Also, I just wanna name how few dresden plate piecing resources there are out there! All I wanted was a photo tutorial or youtube video about how to baste these things but had no luck finding anything. Maybe I should just fumble through my own process publicly and share it so other folks like myself can explore this wonderful EPP shape…

Full disclosure, I haven’t finished my project yet. But that’s okay! I’m enjoying the process, so why rush the product? That said, I hope to finish soon because I’m looking forward to a pot of soup sitting on top of this thing, or maybe even a loaf of crusty bread.

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