Dresden Plate challenge – wip Wednesday

This week I decided to challenge myself, and try to make a block I had never done before – the Dresden Plate. I was so inspired by Susan at The Bored Zombie’s Dresden plate quilt, that I had to give it a go.   So I bought a Dresden plate template (I went with EZ Quiltings) and pulled some fabric.

1930 quilting fabric

I decided to raid my stash of 1930’s fabric which has been sitting under my bed, untouched, for years.  There is something about the Dresden pattern that just called out to be made in vintage style fabrics.   I was actually shocked at how much of this fabric I had accumulated over the years – what is shown above is about 1/15th of my stash. I went through a period many year ago of making baby quilts out of this fun fabric ( I was partial to the Aunt Grace and Storybook lines).


With the fabric cut, I found the rest of the process really easy.  I sewed the top of the cut pieces together using chain stitching.

string sewing

Snipped the corner, turned it inside out and I was ready to go.  I was so surprised how quickly I could get the pieces and block done.  I thought it would take me hours to finish a block but it was really quick.

Then came the hard part. Having finished most of the block pieces I realized I wanted to make the block feel a little more modern.  I started playing with what to back the block with and here are my top  choices…

1.  Hatched block back

1. Hatched block back

2.  Scrappy white back

2. Scrappy white back

3.  Red & white dot back

3. Red & white dot back

4.  Black & white dot back

4. Black & white dot back

5.  Navy blue back

5. Navy blue back

6. Grey linen print back

7.  Red solid back

7. Red solid back

HELP!  I can make a case for each of these fabrics and I am feeling a little overwhelmed.  Please let me know which back you like best.

All selections, suggestions, advice, feedback, comments and support gratefully accepted.


42 thoughts on “Dresden Plate challenge – wip Wednesday

  1. I like the dresden plate and I believe that a solid background (grey – 1 and navy blue 2) would draw your eye to the multiple fabrics rather than the background. Here the background points the colors of the fabric out and not the fabric itself == hope this helps #!} Terry

  2. Wow – looks like I’m right in line with what everyone else thought. I love the navy or gray linen for a really beautiful finished look. But I really like the withe with red dots for an over-the-top eye catching look. Sorry I can’t be more help – but at least you know whichever you choose we will like it. And just use whichever fabric you don’t choose for the backing or binding to at least get a bit of use out of them all!

  3. I prefer the solid gray myself. The polka dots/patterns in the others seem to busy for such a wonderful (and full of its own details) block. Basically, what Terry said 🙂

  4. Beautiful Block–both pattern and material selection! The gray linen option is my most favorite. I feel the prints of your Dresden plate stand out so much better against the gray. The gray still does have ‘color’ so it isn’t just super plain–if that makes sense! ha! I also like the polka dot you chose for the centers. I would have never thought of putting that with them. Can’t wait to see/hear what you decide to do and your finished blocks.

  5. You have seriously made my day! It just makes my heart sing when the community works together and inspires one another. Thank you a million times over for the link – I’m so glad to see this post today!

    I LOVE your dresden the red polka dot center is awesome! My taste, which is always bold and a little mixy/matchy really likes the red polka dot background. I think the navy makes the dresden sing though. You have a tough call! 🙂

  6. The one on the white-red dot looks VERY Sarah Fielke to me! I think there’s a quilt like that Material Obsession. That would be MY pick but I see why you are having a hard time deciding. Repro fabrics are a great choice for this block, these are darling.

  7. The navy was first thought. I love the 30s prints you used to make the Dresden. I love making baby quilts out of these fabrics too!

  8. I like the navy blue or second choice grey. Although I love grey it seams to make the lovely fabrics more pale so I opt for navy. In my opinion the dotted fabrics move the focus of your beautiful block so no dots for me. The red polka dots in the center are the touch modern contrast 🙂

  9. I love how Susan’s quilt turned out as well and agree with you about it being inspiring. I like how yours are coming along too, for a background I like the black dots on white or the grey. Have fun and can’t wait to see how it ends up 🙂

  10. Black & white dot or grey linen are my votes. The plain background certainly helps the prints pop, but I think a small print like the dots would be fun.

  11. The one that made my heart go pitter patter is the red polka dots. Although I don’t think it gives it a modern feel. So if that is the goal, then the gray linen. Super cute Dresden – I bet you are addicted now!!

  12. Cath the Dresden is beautiful. I am partial to them myself. I would definitely go with the readand white spot! It was my first choice at a glance and when I reviewed again definitely the spot. It makes the colours dance. Have a great day ………….Marie

  13. I always love your bright choice of fabrics.
    I agree that the grey linen looks the best with just the one block but I think I would be tempted to go with the #1 cross-hatch fabric and use the borders to frame and lift.

    • I think you are right about the whole quilt being in the grey. I am concerned it will be to much. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to change Myron’s a lot with this one.

  14. Heeeeey, cath! Check you out. This looks awesome!! I have to say that it pops against that navy, but I also love the grey. However, anything will look wonderful bc the fabrics are adorable!!

  15. Love your Dresden Plate! I’d pick the grey linen for a background. They are saying that grey is the new ‘modern neutral,’ whoever ‘they’ are. Anyway, it makes each of your lovely 1930’s prints stand out and hold it’s own, and it has a bit of texture. The dots make a cheery background, but it is much more difficult for my eyes to pick out the details in the prints.

  16. I like the red polka dots! Very pop art(i think) and modern. Different too. Never would have thought of that. Getting ready to quilt my Dresden now. My first and I liked making it. Easier than I thought it would be.

  17. I love Dresden Plates. I love that you’ve chosen 1930s fabrics for yours. My mom made just a few quilts but they were always Dresdens. Not long ago I posted photos of an unfinished top she left. Hers always had the rounded edges on the outside.

    I like the background with the red dots best and I think it’s because of the plate’s center fabric with the white dots. I think the combination seems modern with just a hint of 1940s. If you want to really show off the fabrics in the Dresden, then I think the dark blue works well (but maybe with a different center?). I can’t wait to see what you decide to do!

  18. My vote is for red. Or black and white dots the size of your red ones.

    My mom recently sent me a Dresden quilt made by her grandmother with what I’m guessing are flour sack prints in pastels. I love it.

    • That is so special that you have your Grandma’s Dresden plate quilt. I can spend hours staring at vintage quilts from the 1930s and 1940s. The workmanship is unreal and the fabrics devine. Absolutely treasure it.

  19. Wow, gorgeous! I’m loving them on the grey linen! But the red dots tie the center in so nicely!
    I’m sure that whatever you choose will look great!
    And glad to hear they go together easily, i’ve been wanting to give them a try as well!

  20. I’m a little late to the party, but if you haven’t made your mind up yet, why not do all of them? You’ll have to play with layout I’m sure, but it’l give a whole new aspect to the quilt. Maybe toss in some other options that you wouldn’t have had enough to do the whole quilt with.

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