Dresden Fan Plate tutorial- learn to transform a circle block into an octagon then into a square. No applique is required for finishing the block.
I wanted octagons because it is easy to turn them into squares.
My Dresden fan blocks have 24 wedges. I use a 15 degree fan ruler to make them.
An octagon has 8 sides so all I have to do is to turn 3 sides of the dresden block into 1.
The first step is simple.
Step2 Rotate the block counter clockwise and cut the next 3 sides.
Step 3 (picture below). Rotate again. This time keep the first side you created aligned with a vertical line of the cutting mat and be sure the new side you are cutting is aligned (parallel) with an horizontal line of the cutting mat. It is easier to place the block with the corners/points that have to be cut on the horizontal line of the cutting mat.
This step is important and you have to keep it in mind while you cut the other sides. It assures 90 degree angles to the final square blocks.
You can see below the vertical and horizontal sides aligned with the lines of the cutting mat.
Repeat until you cut all the sides.
Below is the finished octagon. Love, love, how it looks and I did not waste too much from the original block.
The sides should be all equal in size. Not all of mine are but the differences are minor, I don’t think I will have problems when joining the blocks.
Now I have to add triangles in the four corners and I will have a square.
What to do if the Dresden block doesn’t have a number of sides divisible with 8 (the number of sides of an octagon).
Example: 20 wedges Dresden plate block.
Here is what you can do:
Fold the Dresden block in half. Mark the 2 half points onto the edges.
Fold in half again. Mark the 2 points onto the edges (you have now 4 points).
Fold one more time, you will have now 8 points marked onto your block. Using the ruler, cut between 2 adjacent points.
Or, you can make a template. Use the same technique described above. Start with a circle and make the octagon. Place it on top of the Dresden block in the position you want and cut around it.
I just found here a calculator for different regular shapes, in case you need it.
I am busy now piecing 16 more Dresden blocks for my quilt.
From octagon to square
Edited to add:
Complete pattern available, if you want to sew your own version.
Theodora quilts says
very nice and clever !
Es Interesante y muy bonita la combinación de colores.
No tengo Blog, siempre la visito. Saludos desde Venezuela.
Que maravilla….como quedará al final???????
Marjorie's Busy Corner says
Those blocks are beautiful!! I wish I got my centers as perfect as you do…and the colours just jump out at you….can't wait to see it finished Geta…
I was just thinking how you make these blocks and everything look so simple…..but If I were to do them, I would be pulling out my hair.
Vicki W says
That's going to be a fabulous quilt! I love these blocks.
You are playing very nice with the geometric shapes!
Thank you very,very much for the link.Very useful!
This is so interesting! I am really need to try this. I love those blocks!
Great idea Geta – love the poke-a-dot fabrics.
I`ll try that
Greetings from Marianne
Ivory Spring says
Quilting Yai Yai says
I love them.
You are one clever lady!
jen duncan says
This is wonderful!
Oh my word, this is fabulous! Thanks for sharing!
Sharni Crossett says
From here is Australia…your quilting is beautiful!! I love this quilt and would love to make it one day!!
BJ and Amber says
Just wondering if you can share your method of making the dresdens! I love this quilt and would like to make on similar using your techniques! Please email me if you're able… bjamber(at)xmission(dot)com
Nancy quiltin' momma says
Brilliant!! Love it love it love it!!
Thank you so much for sharing this. I have made many Dresden blocks but never thought to change them. I learn so many new things from your blog posts.
I also must say that I bought your book while attending the AQS show in Grand Rapids, MI, this past week and cannot wait to try one of the projects. Any chance you might be a teacher at one of the shows?
Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet says
Oh I love it! What a great looking block. I have just the fabric for this too, I think. Thanks for the tutorial!
You never cease to amaze me with your works. Always something new with you and this is one thing I will make.
Very clever I love it , Thank you for tutorial.
Donna Hardey says
Love this quilt. I am making a similar quilt and have to stitch the small octagon to the center of my block. What have you found to be the easiest way to do that?