Plates for Your Table

This project is my version of a common block called Dresden Plate. I love this traditional block and started thinking . . . wouldn’t this make a wonderful plate charger for my table and that was the start of my inspiration for this month’s Moda Bake Shop project. I really fell in love with Bonnie & Camille’s “Simple Abundance Collection” that’s now available in stores. It looks so great with the colors I have in my home.

This is a HUGE post but there are FOUR projects within this ONE post. I’ve included instructions for each of the four projects. You can make one of the projects or all of them. The projects are listed in the following order within this post:

  • Part One: Making the Dresden Plate Charger
  • Part Two: Making the Fat Quarter Napkins
  • Part Three: Making the Napkin Rings
  • Part Four: Making the Dresden Plate Table Runner

  • One Fat Quarter Bundle of “Simple Abundance” by Bonnie & Camille
  • 3 yards of Cream Background Print #55011-19 for Hourglass Units & Quilt Backing
  • 2/3 yards of Cream on Cream Floral #55017-19 for Background Block in Table Runner
  • 2/3 yards of Green & Brown Stripe #55014-13 for Binding
  • 15″ x 15″ piece of felted Cream colored Moda Wool for each 13″ Dresden Plate Charger
  • Stack-n-Whack 18 degree Fan Ruler by Bethany S. Reynolds
  • Triangle Square Up Ruler by Eleanor Burns
Cutting Diagram to use for cutting up your fat quarters.

Added Note: Please refer to the cutting diagram below. The measurement for Letter A is typed incorrectly and should read 4″ x 4″ squares. Also the first “A” at the top of the diagram that looks like a rectangle should be marked letter “D” it’s actually leftover. This information will not print in the printer friendly version of the pattern.

  • 2 Small Buttons per Napkin Ring
  • Coordinating Embroidery Floss for finishing Dresden Plate Chargers

Part One: Making the Dresden Plate Chargers
(Finished Size: 13″ Round)

1. The method for making the Dresden Plate Units is the same no matter what size you decide to make. In this portion of the tutorial I will be using the 3″ x 6″ rectangles for making the Dresden Plate Chargers.

Begin making your Dresden Plate Units by picking out 20 darker fabrics from your Fat Quarter Bundle. Make sure to cut out the strips along the 22″ length of your fat quarter so you will have plenty of room to square up your strips and rectangles.

For Each Plate Charger cut 1 set of 20 rectangles:

  • Cut each strip 3″ x 22″ Sub cut each strip into three 3″ x 6″ rectangles.

2. Using the Stack n’ Whack 18 degree Fan Ruler you will cut out the 20 spokes for each dresden plate unit making sure to align your ruler on the fabric in between the zero and the 6″ line. Trim off the excess fabric on both sides.

3. Arrange each spoke in the position that you desire or you can follow the layout in the picture.

4. Starting with the first spoke pick up the second spoke and place it underneath and continue around the circle. Take the stack to your sewing machine. Reduce your stitch length to 1.5-2.0 (my machine is preset to 2.5).

5. Take the first spoke and with right sides together fold it in half matching the corners of the widest edge and sew using a 1/4″ seam. This will create the point. Make sure to make long thread tails in-between each spoke as you chain stitch.

6. Create a chain for every 20 spokes. This will help keep it more organized.

7. Clip the corner of each point before turning.

8. Fold the seam open and finger press before turning.

9. Turn the seam inward and use a knitting needle or a blunt point to make it pointed.

10. Make sure the seam is in the center of the spoke before you press.

11. It may be easier for you to lay out your spokes as you sew them together. I like to work in a clockwise direction. Establish a starting point and pick up two spokes. Use a 1/4″ seam to sew the spokes together in pairs. Chain Stitch all the pairs. Make sure you start sewing at the outside edge and sew down toward what will become the inside circle. This will assure that your outer edges match up nicely. Remember the open center circle of your dresden plate will later be covered with an appliqued circle.

12. Chain stitch the pairs into 5 sets of four. Then finish by sewing the sets of four into a dresden plate. Press all your seams in a clockwise direction.

IMPORTANT: leave a long thread tail at the outer sewn edge where you begin sewing. Later the thread will be folded into the seam allowance. This will assure that the seams will stay sewn.

13. Now place your sewn and pressed dresden plate in the center of the 15″ x 15″ piece of felted Moda Cream Wool. Pin in place. Using my walking foot I first stitched in the ditch in-between each spoke and secured or locked my stitch at the beginning and end.

14. Then using an invisible thread and a very narrow hemstitch I stitched around the dresden plate unit. You may also hand applique if you desire.

15. Make a cardboard template and create a curved edge. Then use it to trace the curve around each spoke.

16. Cut the wool along the pencil line around the dresden plate charger.

17. Make a 3″ circle out of cereal box cardboard and then cut a piece of fabric larger @ approximately 3 3/4″. Then sew a running stitch around it and pull the threads tight. Apply a bit of starch and press. Remove cardboard then press again.

18. Center the circle in the middle of your Dresden Plate and machine applique using invisible thread and a small hemstitch. You may also hand applique if you prefer. I finished off the wool edge of my Dresden Plate Charger with a blanket stitch.


Part Two: Making the Fat Quarter Napkins
(Finished Size: 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″)

You will need 2 fat quarters (one light & one dark) for each napkin you decide to make.
  • Cut one fat quarter @ 18″ x 18″ square of Green #55011-15
  • Cut one fat quarter @ 12″ x 12″ square of Cream #55013-19
There won’t be enough of the same fabric from your fat quarter bundle to make more than one napkin. This section is just to teach you the method I used for making the Fat Quarter Napkins. You will have to buy additional fabric to make more than one fat quarter napkin.

This is the additional yardage you will need to buy if you decide to make the Fat Quarter Napkins:
  • 2 yards of Green #55011-15 fabric will be enough to make eight 18″ x 18″ squares.
  • 1 yard of Cream #55013-19 fabric will be enough to cut nine 12″ x 12″ squares.
1. Before you cut your fabric make sure to starch and press out all of the fold lines.

2. Take your two fat quarters and trim the darker fabric to 18″ x 18″ square. Then take the light fabric and trim to 12″ x 12″ square.

3. Mark the center on each side of the 12″ square and the 18″ square.

4. Match up the centers on ONE side and pin. Also measure where you would stop sewing the 1/4″ seam on each corner of the 12″ square then make a dot as seen in the picture below.

5. Start sewing from the 1/4″ point in each corner in toward the center where you marked the opening.
Leave at least a 3 finger size opening to turn the napkin when finished.

6. Press the seam toward the darker fabric as seen below.
Then bring the opposite side of the 12″ square up to the opposite side of the 18″ square, matching the centers. Sew from the 1/4″ mark in one corner to the 1/4″ mark on the opposite corner.

Again press the seam toward the darker fabric. You have now sewn two sides of the napkin.

8. Now turn the napkin and repeat the process. Match the centers and pin making sure the corners match up at the 1/4″ point as seen in the picture below.

9. Close-up of sewing the seam down toward the 1/4″ point in the corner where you will stop sewing. Make sure to secure you stitches where you finish the seam.

10. By centering the 12″ square in the middle you will have flaps in all four corners that will become the mitered corners.

11. Fold the flaps and finger press the corners.

11. You will sew the finger pressed seam as seen in the picture below. Make sure to insert the needle where you ended the side seams.

12. Close up of the mitered corner.

13. Close up of the trimmed corners. Make sure to press the mitered seams open and clip the fabric close to the sewn seam right where it meets the corner so that it lays flat.

14. Now you are ready to turn your Fat Quarter Napkin.

15. You may sew a straight or decorative stitch around the inside edge of the darker fabric to finish it off the napkin.


Part Three: Making the Napkin Rings

(Finished Size: 1 3/4″ x 6 1/2″ before buttoned)

1. Cut one piece of fabric and one piece of pellon measuring 4″ x 7 1/2″
2. Baste the pellon on the wrong side of fabric.
3. Fold in half with right sides together then sew a 1/4″ seam.
4. Turn right side out. Press.
5. Turn ends inside tube about 1/2″ and press.
6. Sew closely all around the outside edge.
7. Move your needle to the left a little and sew around the napkin ring again.
8. Sew two button holes and attach two buttons.
9. It’s ready to button up and use as a napkin ring.

Part Four: Making the Dresden Plate Table Runner
Finished Size: 15 1/2″ x 66 1/4″

Cut the following to make your hourglass blocks for the Table Runner:
This will be enough to make 72 hourglass blocks (you will use 64)
  • Cut 36 squares measuring 4″ x 4″ from 18 of the darker prints
  • Cut 36 squares measuring 4″ x 4″ from the Cream Background Print #55011-19

Part A: Making the Hourglass Blocks:

1. Start by taking one light 4″ x 4″ square and placing it right sides together over the 4″ x 4″ darker square. Repeat this process for the remaining squares and then draw a pencil line from the top left corner down to the lower right corner.

2. Sew a 1/4″ seam on each side of the pencil line.

3. Cut along the pencil line of each square.

4. Press the seams to the darker fabric.

5. Pair the half square triangles (HST) with other half square triangles (HST).

6. Place one HST over another HST with right sides together making sure the dark sides are over the light sides as seen in the picture below.

7. Draw another pencil line from one corner across the seam to the other corner as seen in the picture below. Now sew a 1/4″ seam on each side of the pencil line.

8. After sewing a 1/4″ seam on each side of the pencil line you will cut along the pencil line as seen below. You will need to make two piles. One pile for the left half and one pile for the right half. You ask why? Well, when you go to sew the HST’s together you will want the seams to seat into each other and that will give you well matched points and seams.

9. Now comes the pressing. Start with the right pile that you made in step 8. Open the seam and press them in a clockwise direction as seen below. Repeat the process for the left hand pile as seen below. These seams will go in a counter-clockwise direction.

Here’s a close-up of the seam that you will be opening up.

10. Trim each unit Hourglass Unite to 3″ x 3″ using the Triangle square up ruler making sure to keep your left piles together and your right piles together.

11. Arrange and sew the Hourglass blocks from the right hand pile into groups of 4 hourglass blocks per sashing unit and then repeat for the Hourglass blocks from the left hand pile. You will need 16 of these Hourglass Sashing Units for the Table Runner and then press the seams open.

Part B: Making the Dresden Plate Blocks for the Table Runner

You will need 5 sets of 20 rectangles for the Five 8 3/4″ Dresden Plates.

Out of 20 darker fabrics cut the following:
  • Cut strips @ 2 1/2″ x 22″ then Sub-cut each strip into FIVE 2 1/2″ x 3 3/4 rectangles.

Out of the Cream on Cream Floral #55017-19 cut the following:

  • Cut a 10 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ background square out of a light print for each Dresden Plate Unit you decide to make. Your table runner can be any size you choose. For example, you could use 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 Dresden Plate Block Units depending on how big your table is. I am using 5 blocks for my table runner.

Out of the Dark Brown Fabric cut the following:

  • Cut 12 squares measuring 3″ x 3″ out of the dark chocolate fabric for the posts.

1. Make the 5 dresden plate blocks following the instructions in the Dresden Plate Charger Section in Part One.

2. Then applique the dresden plates to each of the 10 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ background squares. You can hand applique or machine applique using an invisible thread.

3. Take an hourglass sashing unit and sew one to each side of the dresden plate block.

4. Take two 3″ x 3″ chocolate squares and sew to each side of an hourglass sashing unit. Then sew to the the top and bottom of the dresden plate block (refer to table runner pictures).

5. Continue to assemble the Dresden Plate Table Runner according to the layout in the picture below.

  • One Dresden Plate Table Runner (finished size: 15 1/2″ x 66 1/4″)
  • Six Dresden Plate Chargers (finished size: 13″ round)
  • One Fat Quarter Napkin (finished size: 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″)
  • Six Napkin Rings (finished size: 1 3/4″ x 6 1/2″ unbuttoned)

I hope you LOVE this fall project as much as I LOVED making it.

Hugs, Kim Walus


118 comments on “Plates for Your Table

  1. splashylady says:

    I've searched many places, I even have many books, but I've never seen so much attention to giving detail, what a blessing you are. Thank you for the time and effort you put forth for those of us who could use a more personal touch! Pamala

  2. WONDERFUL PROJECTS!! Love the runner so much.

  3. All of these projects are gorgeous. I've been looking for a desden plate tutorial and this looks like the one! Thanks so much!

  4. arlette says:

    Gosh!!!!!! I love it!, I'd like to have it!

  5. Jackie says:

    Kim, You are a designing genius!! I just love them all, but the table runner and charger are out of this world!! You have totally outdone yourself.

  6. These are so beautiful-the table runner is gorgeous! You do such detailed work and a generous tutorial for it!

  7. quiltingnana says:

    so creative…I absolutely love the charger pattern…want to make a couple for our round bistro table!

  8. busymom says:

    Thanks for having such get patterns and easy directions to follow. I look forward to making some of these projects

  9. miss~nance says:

    OH wow theis is suc a beautiful project. I have always wanted to try Dresden plates. This is definately going on my TO DO list.


  10. quiltmom says:

    Hi Kim,
    Thanks for creating such a wonderful detailed tutorial – and also making a printer friendly version. It helps to see each step clearly. U also liked the specifics about hour glass blocks.
    Anna (quiltmom)

  11. Kim D. says:

    Hi Kim,

    What a great tutorial.. Love the dresden plate charger. I may have to make one of my own. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Roslyn says:

    Lovely table setting, great tutorial.
    I will for sure at least make a charger!

  13. Michelle says:

    I love this tute!! I can't wait to get started on my set!

  14. Mandy says:

    I still love this so much! But I think it's a little advanced for my skills yet lol!

  15. ana-ane says:

    Very well , Thanks so much. Ana-Ane

  16. V and Co. says:

    most def one the best kim!!! fabulous!

  17. Anne Marie says:

    It's AnneMarie Doman! Your project is amazing. You are so talented!

  18. Julia says:

    Oh my gosh they're such wonderful projects!!! I'm in love with that table runner… it's so gorgeous!

    Everything is!!
    Julia ♥

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