Monday, August 29, 2011

September Bee Block - The Circle Game

"And the seasons they go 'round and 'round
and the painted ponies go up and down;
We're captive on a carousel of time.
We can't return, we can only look
Behind from when we came,
And go 'round and 'round and 'round
In the circle game."
--Joni Mitchell, the Circle Game

This month I celebrate the big 3-0 (eek!), and I want to make a quilt to mark this milestone.  I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to combine the timely lyrics above with a quilt technique that I've wanted to try for years but only had the courage to tackle now....

Dresden Plates!

Make a Dresden plate with your modern "SPIN" on it!
--Make it any size, from 10 to 20 inches.  Please center the Dresden Plate on the background fabric and keep at least an inch of plain background fabric on each side.
--Make it with pointy spokes, rounded spokes, uneven spokes or no spokes at all (wagon-wheel style). 
--Make it with 6 to 600 spokes.
--Make it ultra-scrappy or perfectly coordinated.
--Attach the center circle and background using either hand or machine applique.  Visible stitches are fine.
--GET CREATIVE!  As long as it's pieced and round, it's good to go!

--I have sent wildly-colored Kaffe Fassett fabric to each participant.  Feel free to add from your own stash!
--There is red polka-dot fabric for the center and light-blue for the background.
--Please return large unused pieces of fabric, but you can keep the smaller scraps.

I have found a bunch of free tutorials online to get you started:

A.  A 16-inch classic Dresden Plate with a free template.
B.  A 16-inch scalloped Dresden Plate with a free template.
C.  A 13-inch spokeless Dresden Plate with a free template. 
D.  A 12-inch spokeless Dresden Plate with a free template.
E.  A 10-inch scalloped and spiky Dresden Plate with a free applique template.
F.  Ultra-scrappy Dresden Plate.  (uses a ruler, but you can use another website's printed template).
G.  Scrappy Wagon Wheel.  Uses a basic compass and foundation piecing.
H.  Check out these beautiful examples! And the closeup of this pattern!
I.  A Youtube Tutorial!

I know this may be a bit of a challenge, but I know the blocks will turn out great!  Can't wait to see the finished results!

My version of a Modern Dresden Plate.

Closeup (showing stitching).

Sample of fabric package for Bee members!


  1. oooo.....seems like fun! Thanks for the challenge!

  2. awesome! this is another block pattern i've never tried. i love bees~

  3. I look forward to this! I've never made a Dresden Plate, so I'm especially glad there are links included to help. I really like the compass rose look of the example you've shown!

  4. I've been quilting for over 40 years and never made a Dresden Plate. It's about time.......


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