Tagged: dresden wedge

Jun 04

EZ Dresden Challenge Tutorial

Welcome to yet another wonderful stop on the EZ Dresden Challenge blog hop!


The Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild has paired up with Simplicity to celebrate Darlene Zimmerman’s 20th anniversary with EZ Quilting by hosting and sponsoring the EZ Dresden Challenge.   To see more details about this challenge, and to see the list of prizes, be sure the visit the EZ Dresden Challenge page of the SLMQG Blog.  They will be donated by these awesome sponsors!



My name is Tanya, and I am going to show you a fun way to use the EZ Dresden Ruler for this paper pieced quilt.


I’ve seen this quilt design, or some variation of it, floating around blog land, and I LOVE IT.  But, I am not a big fan of using up a lot of paper printing off templates. I have been trying to figure out how to make this quilt without having to use up a lot of fresh paper, and then Darlene Zimmerman’s EZ Dresden Ruler fell into my lap.  This was my ticket to making my own template using scrap paper.

After making many paper pieced quilts with scrap paper, I have found that some printer or photocopy ink melts under the heat of the iron.  Also, hot irons and scrap paper with crayon don’t mix.  Or rather, they do mix, in a bad way.   And, while I do find that newspapers and phone books provide plenty of paper and are easy to rip, I’ve had problems with the paper being too weak, and the ink rubbing off onto my fingers and fabric.  Recently, though, I have found a source of scrap paper that I love to use.  Do you receive the Money Mailer envelopes in your mailbox with a ton of advertisements (5.5 inches by 8.5 inches), and just toss them?  Well, let me show you what you can do with them.

Preparing your template squares:

First, throw out the small advertisements and glossy advertisements.  Then, cut your 5.5 x 8.5 inch advertisements into 5.5 x 5.5 inch squares.  If you don’t have the mailers, then regular 8.5 x 11 inch paper can give you two squares, 12 x 12 inch paper can give you four squares.


For a baby quilt (40 inches x 50 inches), you will want 80 template squares

For a twin quilt (70 inches x 90 inches) you will want 252 template squares.

Preparing your EZ Dresden Ruler:

  Grab a strip of tape as long or longer than your dresden ruler.

Draw a straight line from end to end.  This line does not need to be in the center of your tape.


Place your dresden ruler on your cutting mat and find the center.  Place your tape line on top of the center line.

Here is your ruler with a midline.


Drawing your Template:

Place your ruler above the template squares, making sure the bottom of the ruler rests on the bottom corner, and the midline goes from corner to opposite corner.


Draw on either side of the EZ Dresden ruler.  You now how your template drawn.  These lines are not the lines you will use to sew.  Rather, they are fabric placement lines.


Preparing your fabric:

Cutting the wedges are pretty easy.  Cut strips of fabric 8 inches tall and at least 3.5 inches wide.  Then, using the dresden wedge, cut along either side of ruler.  If you use really long strips of fabric, you can just flip your dresden ruler and cut your next wedge going the opposite direction.

I will be using Kona Snow for my background fabric.  For every template square you plan on using, cut out one 4.5 x 6.5 inch rectangle.  I made 80 squares, so I will need to prepare 80 rectangles of background fabric.

Since this is a solid with no marked front side or back side, I can cut these rectangles into triangles all in the same direction.  If you are planning on using a patterned fabric for the background, plan on cutting half of your rectangles into triangles with the cut going from top right to bottom left, and the other half with the cut going from top left to bottom right.  See image below.

Constructing your blocks:

Grab a handy glue stick, and glue the dresden wedge on each template square within the fabric placement lines.

Place one of the background triangles, right sides together, on to one edge of the wedge.  Before you sew, make sure the long side (hypotenuse) is the one aligned with the side of wedge, the thicker side of the triangle is up by the fat end of the wedge, and the smaller angle of the triangle is down by the skinny edge of the wedge.

Set your sewing machine to a stitch length to about 1.5.  The smaller the stitch length, the easier the paper will be to tear away.  Sew 1/4 inch away from the edge of the fabric.

With the first background triangle flipped out of the way, align the next background triangle on top of the other side of the wedge, right sides of the fabric together.  Sew 1/4 inch away from fabric edge.

Now, press the triangles to either side.

Trim the edges, using the paper template as your guide.  Now, your block should be 5.5 inches square.

Your blocks are complete!  Arrange them as you want, and sew them into rows.  I personally like to sew my squares into rows first, and then remove the paper.  However, you can remove the paper first and then sew the squares into rows.  Press the seams however you want them (I pressed mine open) and then sew the rows together.  Press with the iron again, and you are done!  You have a crisp looking paper pieced quilt, and you only used paper that was on its way to the garbage anyway!

Here is the finished quilt.

I quilted my quilt with a free motion loopy design, and then I bound it with Kona Raffia.  But, in honor of the challenge itself, I had to add one more thing to this quilt.

It needed a traditional dresden plate for the back.  Hand applique and all.

*Edited to add*

I have since made two more quilts using this tutorial.  You can see them here and here.

Would you like to win a free ruler to begin your own Dresden Quilt?  Leave me a comment on this post telling me your summer vacation quilting plans.  I’m in the process of making orange peel templates in hopes to make my first hand appliqued quilt.  I’d love to hear what  you are up to this summer.  Comments will be open until Friday, June 8 MST, and then I will announce a winner on Friday, June 9th.  Good luck everyone!  Remember to link up your final projects in September on the SLMQG.com blog.  I can’t wait to see them!

Be sure to visit other blogs during the EZ Dresden Ruler Blog Hop.

June 1
Salt Lake MQG: Kick Off www.slmqg.com/

June 2
Lee: freshlypieced.blogspot.com/

June 3
Kati www.fromthebluechair.com/

June 4
Victoria: bumblebeansinc.blogspot.com/
Tanya: www.squaresandtriangles.com

June 5
Val: howaboutpinkplease.blogspot.com/
Leigh: leedledeedlequilts.blogspot.com/

June 6
Amy: amyscreativeside.com/
Elisa www.stitchoutsidetheditch.com/

June 7
Katie: www.swimbikequilt.com/
Emily: emsscrapbag.blogspot.com/

June 8
Melissa: happyquiltingmelissa.blogspot.com/
Brooke: pitterputterstitch.blogspot.com/

June 9
Nicole: mamalovequilts.blogspot.com/
Amy sukie.mt-wudan.com/

June 10
Elizabeth: www.dontcallmebetsy.com/
Colleen: www.thebusybean.com/

June 11
Faith: www.freshlemonsquilts.com/
Deonn: quiltscapesquilting.blogspot.com/

June 12
Angela: angelaflicker.com/
Barbie: thequiltingmill.blogspot.com

June 13
Amy: www.diaryofaquilter.com/

June 14
Jessica: sewcraftyjess.blogspot.com/

June 15
Salt Lake MQG: Wrap-up www.slmqg.com/