Because I don't think a girl can have too many Dresden plate rulers, I bought a new one a few months ago, but with the holidays, didn't get the chance to play with it.
My kitchen table needed a new table topper to go with my kitchen's new look. That's where my new ruler comes in. =) Then I thought, "Why not do a mini tutorial while I am at it?"Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Here is how the ruler works. It's really very simple. =)
This ruler makes 12 fan blades per plate. I want 4 plates for my table topper when I'm finished, so I chose 12 different fabrics and will cut 4 blades from each of the 12 fabrics. As you can see, you can make your fabric strips anywhere from 1" to 8 1/2" with this ruler. I chose to make mine 8" and cut my fabric in 8 " strips. I usually cut up to 4 layers of fabric when cutting the blades.
Line up your ruler on your fabric and cut on both sides of the ruler. The piece on the left is a scrap piece. This is the only time you need to cut your fabric on two sides of the ruler. After the first cuts, you simply rotate the ruler and cut again. Over and over until you have as many pieces as you need. There is very little fabric waste, which is so nice.
After your fabric is all cut into your fan blades, take your fabric and fold the wider part of the blade in half, right sides together, using 1/4" seam,
chain piece your blades. I have found using a small stitch length keeps them from coming apart at the ends after you cut them apart from the chain. On my sewing machine, I use the 1.5 setting. My normal piecing setting is 2.5, if that helps.
After they are all sewn, cut the threads that are holding them together. On each of the fans, cut the corner on the fold, being very careful not to cut the thread.
I put my thumb up in the inside of the fan and use my index finger to finger press the seam open
and then I flip the blade right side out. It's kind of hard to explain, but once you have the blade in your hand, you will understand. If not, please ask for clarification.
I didn't take a picture of this next part, but what you will need is something to stick up inside the point to get it is all nice and pointy. A chop stick is what I like to use. That seam is going to go in the center (I just eye ball it) on the back side of the fan blade. Give your fan blade a good press.
It looks like a tie, doesn't it?
Once they are all complete, it's time to make the plates. I like to lay out my fabric in a circle for this part.
Taking two blades and putting them right sides together, making sure they are lined up nicely at the top. The bottom part of the blades will be covered with a circle so that part of the blade doesn't have to be perfect.
It's important to back stitch at the top to lock the top of the blades together. I also chain piece at this point, always back stitching at the top of each blade.
Cut them apart, open and lay them right sides together
and sew until they are all sewn together. Time to press all the seams open. I am pretty free with the starch during this part.
See how easy that was?
Now its time to cover the center of your Dresden plate. There are many ways to make circles. This is just how I like to do it. There is no right or wrong way. =)
I use cereal boxes for templates. I cut out a circle and cover it with foil. The foil gets hot and helps with the pressing, but it can also burn your fingers, so be careful.
I cut the fabric larger than the template. As you can see, it's not exact at all.
Its kind of hard to see, but I put tiny snips all around the circle to help get it to fold around the template. This is the time when starch is your friend. I starch these babies like crazy!
I nudge the fabric with the iron all around the circle. If I don't like how it looks, I starch and press it all over again.
The finished circle.
I use washable fabric glue to hold the circle in place on the Dresden plate until it gets sewn on the block.
I press it with the iron to dry the glue. And now you are done!
Another idea is to make a small Dresden plate to use as the center.
My new table topper!
Tutorials are not easy to write, so my hat is off to all the bloggers out there that do it well and have taught me so much!