For my Bee Pieceful block exchange I decided to use my Go! to cut out Dresden Plates. I’ve seen mixed commentary on making these from various blogs online, some saying the plates come out perfect, some saying that they needed 21 blades to make the circle rather than twenty.
I sewed up a test block and sure enough, the sizing was a little off. I should have taken a picture of my before and after, just as a testament to what a spritzer bottle, a hot iron, and determination can accomplish! Nevertheless, it was clear: modifications needed to be made.
So, what worked for me was to use a precise quarter inch seam at the top of the blade and edge it into just a couple thread widths wider at the bottom of the blade. Playing with my seam allowance just that little bit meant my second plate came out perfect, flat as a pancake. You’ll see . . .
Shape the Blades
1. To begin, take a blade and fold it in half lengthwise. Lightly press. Then, using a quarter inch seam allowance, sew across the wide end. You will need 20 blades for a single plate.
You can chain piece these and they will zip right along.
2. Trim the seam allowance to about 1/8" at the fold.
3. Turn the blade right side out. As you turn, finger press the seam so that it is open.
4. Press the point out so that it is sharp. Line up the seam with the fold line you created when you first pressed the blade in half.
Assemble the Plate
1. Lay out 20 blades in a circle.
2. Line up two of the blades, fabrics right sides together. Be sure the top pointed edges are perfectly aligned. (There’s a little wiggle room at the bottom of the blade since that will later be covered by an appliqued circle.
3. Begin stitching at the pointed part of the blade. Back stitch a few stitches (see white arrow below for placement). As you begin, your seam allowance should be a perfect 1/4" seam. Gradually widen the seam allowance so that it is just a wee bit larger (the width of a couple threads) as you reach the bottom of the blade.
4. Press the seam allowance open. You can see in the picture how the bottom seam is just a little wider than the top seam.
5. Sew five blades together. One advantage to sewing in groups of five is that you can lay your blades to see if they are squaring up correctly to make an exact quarter circle.
6. Here it is with the four groupings sewn.
7. Sew the groupings into halves and then sew the halves together to make a full circle. Here it is from the back:
And here it is from the front:
Flat as can be and isn’t that a pretty sight!
Part Two of the tutorial will come later, probably a couple months from now after I have my bee blocks arrive. I’m waiting to choose the background fabric and the circles until I have more blocks so I can really see the effect. I already bought a white fabric with little blue dots but now that I have a couple plates made up, I’m thinking I might possibly go for a dark brown background. We’ll see.