History of the Dresden Plate Quilt
What is the Dresden Plate?
The Dresden plate is blocks of fabric appliqued into a radiating petal pattern, representing a beautiful flower. As more representative of a flower rather than a plate there is also other names including Aster, Dahlia, Sunflower, Friendship Ring and Grandmother’s Sunburst. There are many different modern versions of the Dresden plate quilt today that have been adapted from the popular designs created in the 1920’s and 30’s.
History of the Dresden Plate
The Dresden Plate Quilt was named after Dresden, Germany the center of 19th century romanticism movement of art. This movement featured fine decorations of porcelain plates embellished with designs including flowers, fruit and foliage.
Women admired this quilt in the 20th century due to its simple but unique technique that could use the smallest of scrap fabrics. As fabric was becoming scarce in the 1920’s and 30’s women would use any spare fabrics they could find including pretty old hankies, aprons and old tablecloths.
In this era women would also call the quilt a “feedsack quilt” as many were created using old sacks formally holding grains. Many women would trade their sacks with other for the perfect colours and patterns to create a beautiful and colourful quilt.
Dresden quilts would eventually become treasured family heirlooms as they used many different spare fabrics that women would find.
Before the 20th century there was a few different versions of the Dresden plate. The closest representation was found in earlier versions of the Victorian Crazy Quilt. The Victorian crazy quilt was a design using old scraps similar to the Dresden quilt. There was one even earlier version of this medallion style quilt found in the “ANNA TUELS HER BED QUILT GIVEN TO HER BY HER MOTHER IN THE YEAR AU 23. 1785”. However the Dresden plate wasn’t seen again till the latter part of the 19th century.
The Dresden Quilt today
Modern Adaptions using bold and bright modern fabrics and technique has seen the Dresden Plate quilt become one of the most popular designs in the past few years. There has been a modern take on the original design by creating a second flower in the center of the original Dresden flower.
The Dresden plate has a significant part in quilting history due to the beautiful round shape using on the smallest amount of scraps.
Join quilting history and grab some of your own fabric scraps and create a composed and stunning design either a quilt, cushion, table runner, handbag, mugrug or more, the options are endless.
Here are some photos that our lovely Sweet Pea customers have created using the following in Sweet Pea ‘in the hoop’ machine designs
Dresden “Sweet as Sugar” cushion and quilt block
Dresden table runner
Half dresden plate mugrug
By Dawn Thompson Hockgeiger