Free quilt pattern: Modern Dresden

August 10, 2021


What comes to mind when you think of a “Dresden Plate” block? 1930s feed sack fabric and tiny calicos? A quilt cut from Grandpa’s work shirts? Not when you see the modern baby quilt that APQS Dealer Cindy Schellenberg has created from sparkling blues on a crisp white base!

Several years ago Cindy made a quilt using a traditional Dresden block, but an inkling of bringing that block design into the 21st century has been nibbling at her for quite some time. Drawn to the bright, solid blue fabric and the vivid blue striped fabric, she pondered what would happen if she used the stripes in half of the fan blades, and how the block would look with the normal wedge points blunted. That brilliant juxtaposition of those two fabrics created blocks that look as if they could spin right off the quilt! Suddenly her pattern, Modern Dresden Baby Quilt, was born!

She created the Dresden blocks using a Stack-n-Whack 15-degree fan ruler to make cutting simple and fast. But just in case you don’t have one, she’s also included templates for each of the three Dresden Plate fan blades so that you can duplicate the blade dimensions easily for the three block sizes.

Rather than constructing the blocks in a traditional way by appliqueing them to background blocks that are the same size, Cindy used solid white fabric for the background. This allows creativity to jump in since you can arrange the blocks any way you like on the fabric. She used a blanket stitch to stitch the plates in place, but you could use anything from a hand stitch to a machine satin stitch…whatever you like!

To anchor the Dresden Plates while also helping emphasize each blade, Cindy used her APQS Millie and a longarm ruler to stitch in the ditch between each one.

The Hobbs 80/20 batting has just the right amount of loft to fill in the blades and make each one puff up on the quilt. The white background fabric provided a wonderful playground for her fabulous freehand and fillers. Super-fine Invisafil 100-weight thread ensured that texture and dimension enhanced the Dresden Plates instead of overpowering them.

Like many quilters, from the first time she saw a longarm, Cindy knew she wanted one! As she put it, “I was so intrigued by them, how they worked, the amazing things you could quilt with them, and oh the feathers! I so badly wanted to make feathers!” She hoped to purchase one at retirement and quilt part-time for a few customers and guild friends. But as she researched machines and started dreaming of the day when she’d have her own machine, she knew she wanted to make the transition earlier. So, in January 2016 she purchased a Millie & Quilt Path, opening her business—Seashell Quilts—in April of the same year.

For the first few years she only did “Edge to Edge” quilting, which kept her really busy. A few customers started requesting custom quilting, and she knew it was time to up her game. She started doing custom quilting with Quilt Path—which she says, “is an amazing program and makes me look so good!” She has even started teaching Quilt Path classes.

This year she decided to add to her toolbox, so she took some classes on Freehand Feathers. She had so much fun in her feather classes that she wants to put feathers on everything now! 😊 And from the looks of this quilt, she’s got them mastered! Her advice to quilters thinking about a longarm? “If you’re dreaming of purchasing a longarm, whether for personal use or to open a business, do it!! It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!”