Dresden Plate Problems :(

Posted by on October 3, 2016 in blocks, Help | 11 comments

I downloaded and printed the second template from Robin.  On my printed page, the quarter circles are the correct dimensions.

The first block I made, I scooted the blade set to where they hit near the 6 inch line like Barbara’s, then trimmed my block after sewing them down.  I didn’t feel good about it, so I didn’t want to waste my quarter circle by sewing it down.  After trimming I knew it was wrong because I had to trim too much from the outer blades. (First pic)


So, I tried again thinking I had just done something wrong.  Pretty much the same scenario.  When I lay the blade set on my 6.5″ ruler, the points hit the edge. (Pic 2)


So, since the blades were hitting 1/2 an inch from where they should, on the third try, I trimmed half an inch from the top (wide part) of the blade.  That has seemed to work better.


What am I doing wrong?  We are using 1/4″ seam allowances, right?


Thanks in advance. 🙂


  1. On the last four that were successful blocks, I previewed the blades on the 7 inch block and found on some of them that they were too wide. After examining my blades I found my ¼ inch was too scant and so I resewed them and then they fit. I did all my trimming after the block was completed.

  2. Sew the blades together carefuly, being careful not to stretch those bias sides. The bottom edges should not stair-step as the picture shows — those edges should meet. Pin before stitching.

    • Thanks, Karen…..the bottom edges are stair stepped because I didn’t bother to trim them to size, that’s all. 🙂

  3. Can you tell me please where to find the updated template from Robin because when I click on the Dresden Fan Templates link on this URL (http://www.blocklotto.com/2016/10/dresden-fans-in-october/) the PDF only has 1 quarter circle shape and 2 blades. Please and thanks!

  4. I have just made two blocks using the templates and they turned out perfect. One other thing that you may need to check is if your printer is printing the templates the correct size.

  5. I cannot get my blocks to come out correctly either. If they come to the 6″ line, doesn’t this mean that when the blocks are stitched together one to another, the petal tips would meet? That doesn’t sound right as should be some background showing once the blocks are sewin into whole dresden plate blocks. …
    I couldn’t use Robin’s resized template as it stitched up too barge and hung over the sides of the block. I fiddled and fussed for 2 days to no avail. So went into my EQ7 and found a 16 petal pointed dresden plate to get the sizing of the blade widths correct.
    My printer prints correctly …. these EQ7 templates fit the block sides just fine but the tips only reach to the 5 1/2″ point , not the 6″ mark as the picture showed. The tips angles are the same. I have double checked everything using templates for each step along the way.
    Not sure what to do next — will keep the 8 blocks I’ve got partially sewn for my own use, I guess and wait and see how others fare….

  6. I was DETERMINED to figure out WHY my blocks were too small. So I began again — and this time, found another page of templates. The page I had (from the library here ?) measured too small when I compared them. The rectangular petal templates were laying horizontally on the page …
    Plus, went back and got all my “basics” correct — make sure the fabric is spray sized or starched so those bias edges don’t “travel” when you go to stitch them, make sure you use a narrow marking tool when you make and trace around the template and CUT THAT TRACING LINE OFF! as it adds tiny amounts to your final cutout piece, and stitch slowly and carefully, not letting your fabric “wander” away even a thread from the accurate 1/4″ stitching line.
    Voila! I’ve got accurate fan blades now for 2 blocks which I will continue on with tomorrow and post soon after.
    Just couldn’t go to sleep with this mystery of the wrong sizeds hanging over my head.

  7. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one have problems, Kar. Well, not glad, really…but relieved, I guess that I’m not the only one. I think maybe I won’t participate this month, as I don’t want to send blocks that maybe won’t match everyone elses. I’m glad you were able to get them to work for you finally.

    And just my opinion, but I feel like if the blocks are being trimmed on the two sides where the two outer petals touch the edge, then when they are joined the valley of the peaks won’t line up correctly.

    • Thanks for your comment, Nancy — made me feel like I was not by myself trying to get these plates to work right.
      I’ve mad tons of Dresdens with all kinds of outer edges and have never had trouble. Then again, none ever came right up to the edge of the finished block so they’d have to line up, tips or dips. Think that is what really foxed me in trying to get the edges to come EXACTLY at the correct place.
      Then I got the smart idea to check Sohpie’s cartoon of Old MacDonald and saw that her Dresden plate flower tips DID cume right up to the finished edge — but didn’t have to match up with tips in another block. So I decided to try once again to make the block with the yet different template I found here.
      So with the correct template and a clear idea of hos the blocks lay up, I took out all my Dresden-making skills and tried once again and IT WORKED!
      Now, whether the “dips” will line up I’m not going to worry about. Figure if one will be setting these in all over sets of 4, one can always add a frame or border around every foursome and not have to worry about differering tips/dips alignment block-to-block … so I am off and running.
      Please don’t give up — In the end I think we can find aN INNOVATIVE way to use blocks that differ slightly 1 from another if we should be lucky enough to win a set.

  8. Nancy, Karen and others, I need to remake the block with the last version of the templates before I can guess where things went wrong for you and try to help. I’m sorry I just haven’t been able to do so and that I have left you frustrated. I will be posting more detailed directions (though maybe not before the end of the month, unfortunately) and I will get back to you all as soon as I can. I promise.

    • Sophie,

      It’s no problem! I knew you had plenty to worry about these past few weeks. 🙂

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